But also adds that it can’t find evidence of extraterrestrial life, either
Last month, it was announced that an unclassified Pentagon report on UFO sightings was set to be released to the public in June. Now, with two weeks to go until its arrival, we have intelligence officials’ first findings – namely, that they can’t definitively rule out theories that the UFOs could be alien spacecrafts.
Before you get too excited, the report found no evidence of alien technology, and instead simply concluded that the mysterious aerial phenomena are still unexplained.
According to The New York Times, the report states that the majority of the 120 UFO incidents over the past two decades did not originate from American military or advanced US government technology. This determination rules out the possibility that the sightings were of programs that the government meant to keep secret.
However, officials told the publication that this is the only conclusive finding from the report, meaning the possibility of alien responsibility for the UFOs can’t be officially debunked – probably much to the government’s frustration.
A likely explanation for the recent sightings is experimental technology from the likes of Russia or China. One senior official told the NYT that the government is worried that the UFOs could be hypersonic technology, which Russia and China are both developing and testing. If it was hypersonic tech, the official said it would suggest that the two countries’ research had far outpaced American military development.
The full report is compiled from files that were previously kept hidden away from the public eye, and its aim is to determine whether recent UFO sightings constitute a threat to the US. In news that may further fuel conspiracy theories about the government’s UFO secrecy, the unclassified report will still include a classified annex that will remain off limits to the public. Officials who spoke to the NYT said this annex won’t include any evidence that the phenomena are alien spacecraft.
Last year, after three videos of UFOs were declassified by the US Department of Defense, The Pentagon announced that its Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force would be making some of its findings public every six months. Alien enthusiasts got more good news in January this year, when the CIA released hundreds of documents about UFOs, and again in April, when the Pentagon confirmed the authenticity of a newly-leaked UFO video.
Last month, former US president Barack Obama commented on a CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday report, which examined “the US government’s grudging acknowledgement” of UFOs. Speaking to the broadcaster, Obama said: “What is true, and I’m actually being serious here, is that there’s footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don’t know exactly what they are, we can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory. They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so, you know I think that people still take seriously trying to investigate and figure out what that is.”
In an interview with Dazed in April 2020, Nick Pope, who investigated UFOs for the UK government’s Ministry of Defence in the early 90s, said aerial phenomena is typically denied by governments “because of the embarrassment that comes from the implication that, despite our sophisticated air defence network, there are things in our skies that we can’t identify”.
Read the full feature here, in which UFO experts hypothesise about what last year’s declassified Pentagon footage could really mean.