New U.S. government report on UFOs adds hundreds of sightings
What is this strange object in the sky? A new US government report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAP, has some possible answers, but many mysteries remain. One thing you won’t find in the report: the words alien or extraterrestrial.
UAPs are more commonly known as UFOs or Unidentified Flying Objects. They are often associated with science fiction concepts of alien visit. The government is now required to issue a annual report on NAPs in Congress. On Thursday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an unclassified version of the 2022 report.
One of the key takeaways for 2022 is that UAP reports are on the rise. Most of the new reports came from Navy and Air Force personnel, including airmen. The ODNI has recorded 247 additional sightings since its 2021 report, and also added 119 sightings that were discovered or reported after this preliminary assessment was published. This brings the total of UAP sightings over the past 17 years to 510.
Several factors can influence the fire hose explosion of the new UAP reports. The ODNI said that “the observed increase in the reporting rate of UAP is in part due to a better understanding of the possible threats that UAP may pose, either as flight hazard security or as as collection platforms for potential adversaries, and in part due to the reduced stigma around reporting UAP.” The phrase “adverse collection platforms” refers to the possibility that some UAPs may be connected to foreign governments collecting intelligence information.
The Office of Anomaly Resolution for all areas of the Department of Defense collects and analyzes UAP reports. Of the 366 newly identified reports, AARO characterizes 163 of them as “balloon or balloon-like entities”. Half a dozen are attributed to what he calls the “mess,” which includes birds or floating debris like plastic bags. Another 26 were probably drones. This leaves 171 “uncharacterized and unattributed” reports.
ODNI and AARO make no definitive statements about truly unknown objects. “Some of these uncharacterized UAPs appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities, and require further analysis,” the report states. The ODNI also said many reports lack detailed data.
The ODNI said UAPs pose a risk to flight safety, although no collisions have been reported between UAPs and US planes. Overall, the report is thin on detail and, alas, there are no titillating references to visitors from beyond our planet.
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