From Popular Mechanics
The Pentagon’s once-covert UFO program is officially active again with the establishment of a task force that will investigate the sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs).
The Pentagon says the task force’s mission is to “detect, analyze, and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.”
Earlier this year, the Navy officially released three notorious UFO videos.
The Department of Defense has approved the establishment of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force (UAPTF), a Pentagon spokesperson says. The task force will investigate the sightings of UAPs, also known as unidentified flying objects or UFOs.
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This is the first official government program affiliated with UFO research since a 2000s-era unit that analyzed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other UAPs lost its funding in 2012, even though multiple sources confirmed with Popular Mechanics that the unit remained active in secrecy after its shuttering.
In a statement provided to Popular Mechanics, the Pentagon says the Department of the Navy, “under the cognizance of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security,” will lead the UAPTF. David L. Norquist, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, approved the task force.
The DoD established the UAPTF to “improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs,” Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough says in the statement. “The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze, and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.”
This tracks with the June Senate Committee Report in which the Senate authorized appropriations for fiscal year 2021 for the task force and supported its efforts to reveal any links that UAP “have to adversarial foreign governments, and the threat they pose to U.S. military assets and installations.”
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In that report, the Select Committee on Intelligence said it “remains concerned that there is no unified, comprehensive process within the federal government for collecting and analyzing intelligence on [UAP], despite the potential threat,” and so it directed the task force to report its findings on UAP, “including observed airborne objects that have not been identified,” within 180 days.
“The safety of our personnel and the security of our operations are of paramount concern” Gough says in the statement. “The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report. This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing.”
Last month, Senate Select Committee of Intelligence chair Marco Rubio said he wants the UAPTF to find who’s responsible for UAP spotted over American military bases. Rubio said he hopes “the Chinese or Russians or some other adversary” haven’t made “some sort of technological leap” that “allows them to conduct this sort of activity.”
In a July New York Times report, Harry Reid, the former Nevada senator who played a crucial role in funding the government’s original UFO program, said “crashes of objects of unknown origin may have occurred and that retrieved materials should be studied” by the new task force.
“After looking into this, I came to the conclusion that there were reports— some were substantive, some not so substantive—that there were actual materials that the government and the private sector had in their possession.”
In the same New York Times article, Eric Davis, the astrophysicist who consulted with the original UFO program and now works for the defense contractor Aerospace Corporation, said that after he examined certain materials, he came to the conclusion that “we couldn’t make [them] ourselves.” Davis said he briefed a DoD agency as recently as March about retrieving materials from “off-world vehicles not made on this earth.”
It’s already been a big year for developments surrounding UFO research. In April, the U.S. Navy officially published three videos that show unidentified aerial vehicles are genuine, several years after the notorious clips first leaked online and properly ushered in the UFO renaissance. The Navy confirmed the three videos, taken by Navy pilots, last year, but said the footage should have never been released to the public in the first place.
We will update this post as we continue to learn new information regarding the UAPTF.
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