Here Is The Much-Anticipated Government Report On Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (Updated)

The Senate Intelligence Committee requested report on UAPs is finally here and you can read it for yourself.

ODNI/USN

The Director Of National Intelligence has finally released a much-anticipated report on just what information the U.S. military and U.S. Intelligence Community has regarding unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAP, more commonly referred to as unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, and what they've done with that data, as well as what sort risks the phenomenon might pose to national security. You can read the unclassified version of the report, which the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had requested last year, for yourself and the link below. 

Read the entire report here.

A copy of the report can also be found here.

"For years, the men and women we trust to defend our country reported encounters with unidentified aircraft that had superior capabilities, and for years their concerns were often ignored and ridiculed," Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement ahead of the report's release. "This report is an important first step in cataloging these incidents, but it is just a first step. The Defense Department and Intelligence Community have a lot of work to do before we can actually understand whether these aerial threats present a serious national security concern."

Hype for this review, the Senate's interest in which had first emerged in June 2020, has been steadily building all year. “Frankly, there are a lot more sightings than have been made public,” John Ratcliffe, who had been Director of National Intelligence between May 2020 and January 2021, under President Donald Trump, told Fox News in March.

“There are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things that we’ve seen,” he added. “And when that information becomes declassified, I’ll be able to talk a little bit more about that.”

"What is true, and I’m actually being serious here, is that there is footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are." former President Barack Obama had also said in May during an appearance on CBS' "The Late Late Show with James Corden."

The request for this report had first appeared in a separate report that Senator Rubio had submitted on behalf of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as an accompaniment to a draft of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The Senators on the Intelligence Committee had demanded that this UAP review be submitted in an unclassified form, though it could have a classified annex, within 180 days of that legislation becoming actual law. The final version of that bill was included in the larger Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which President Donald Trump signed in December 2020.

When it first emerged that the Senate Intelligence Committee was interested in getting this information, the U.S. Navy had already publicly confirmed that it had provided multiple members of Congress with classified briefings on the topic of UAPs in recent years. The news was also the latest addition to a years-long burst of mainstream reporting, and general public interest, into what the U.S. government, to include the U.S. military, has or hasn't been doing on the matter of sightings of unexplained aerial objects and related issues. This had been prompted by series of stories, starting in 2017, centering largely on the disclosure of the existence of a number of still very murky U.S. military initiatives, primarily one known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP, which reportedly delved in the matter of UAPs/UFOs. Its predecessor, known as Advanced Aerospace Weapons System Application Program, or AAWSAP, which was the pet program of then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, also dealt with fringe and pseudo-scientific topics

Adding to the media frenzy, Luis Elizondo, a veteran counter-intelligence officer who says he ran AATIP – something the Pentagon has disputed, but without providing hard evidence – came out publicly after quitting his job within the Department of Defense in protest. Not long after, he joined Christopher Mellon, who was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence between 1999 and 2002, and other ex-government officials, among others, to establish To The Stars Academy with the at times bizarrely outspoken rocker Tom DeLonge at its helm. The enterprise was established to promote awareness surrounding the UFO cause and to monetize it for entertainment purposes. A television show on the History Channel quickly followed that ran for two seasons. Since then, the fellowship and business venture has fallen apart and now Elizondo and Mellon have been working independently to promote the issue and its potential national security implications, and they have been amazingly successful at it, clearly.

That original reporting on AATIP and the founding of To The Stars Academy largely focused on a trio of leaked videos that had been shot from U.S. Navy fighter jets over the years that purported to show UAPs/UFOs and the experiences of various Navy pilots who had been involved in sightings of such phenomena. The Pentagon formally released those clips, one of which was filmed in 2004 and shows an object that is now commonly referred to as the "Tic Tac," in April 2020, over three years after the last one had been unofficially leaked.

Then, in August of that year, the Pentagon announced it had established the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) within the U.S. Navy. This task force, the official mission of which is "to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security," is housed within the larger Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare/Director of Naval Intelligence, also known as N2/N6. The UAPTF sounds robust, but it is really just a few people, some of which have other assignments, as well.

The potential that UAP sightings represent "a threat to U.S. national security," and potential malign activity by American adversaries is a very real concern. It is possible, if not highly probable that a not insignificant number of these sightings involve unmanned aircraft capable of conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance of sensitive areas in and around the territory of the United States, as you read about in great detail in this War Zone feature.

In fact, in the past year or so, new reports or additional details about previous incidents, many of which The War Zone has been first to report on, have continued to emerge about what are likely to have been interactions with drones in sensitive areas. This includes our reports about previously undisclosed incidents near the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant in Arizona and the U.S. Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) air defense battery on Guam, as well as on new information about the swarming of Navy destroyers off southern California, all of which occurred in 2019. The Navy has said the flying objects involved in the latter incident remain unidentified

Regardless of what each unique incident involved, we know for a fact, through our reporting, that man-made systems are being encountered disproportionately in remote military operating areas where America's most capable weaponry is utilized in training on a daily basis. Whether there are more exotic and unexplainable events occurring in these areas as well is yet to be understood.

Hopefully this report will help clear up some of the lingering questions regarding what is actually going on regarding this issue, but it is also likely to result in more questions than it answers. There is also the issue of just how horribly the DoD has handled this issue historically and especially in recent years that remains to be dealt with. The Department of Defense Inspector General has taken up the UAP issue and how the military has dealt with it recently. It could very well turn out that we learn more about all of this from its findings than from this much-anticipated report. 

We will give this historic report a close examination and will be back soon with further analysis. 

UPDATE: 6:10 PM EST —

With the release of this report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has sent out a memorandum detailing the Pentagon's plans to respond to its recommendations. This includes a plan to "formalize the mission currently performed by the UAPTF" and otherwise improve the "collection, reporting and analysis" of UAP- related intelligence and other information.

You can read the full memo below:

DOD

"Incursions into our training ranges and designated airspace pose safety of flight and operations security concerns, and may pose national security challenges. DOD takes reports of incursions – by any aerial object, identified or unidentified – very seriously, and investigates each one," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby also said in a statement. "The report submitted today highlights the challenges associated with assessing UAP occurring on or near DOD training ranges and installations. The report also identified the need to make improvements in processes, policies, technologies, and training to improve our ability to understand UAP."

Other members of Congress are now responding to the report's contents, as well.

"I was first briefed on these unidentified aerial phenomena nearly three years ago. Since then, the frequency of these incidents only appears to be increasing," Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in an statement, according to U.S. News & World Report. "The United States must be able to understand and mitigate threats to our pilots, whether they're from drones or weather balloons or adversary intelligence capabilities."

“Through the Intelligence Authorization Act, the Congress and the Intelligence Committee required the preparation and release of today’s report, as it has become increasingly clear that unidentified aerial phenomena are not a rare occurrence and our government needs a unified way to gather, analyze, and contextualize these reports," Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a press release. “We should approach these questions without preconceptions to encourage a thorough, systematized analysis of the potential national security and flight safety risks posed by unidentified aerial phenomena, whether they are the result of a foreign adversary, atmospheric or other aerial phenomena, space debris, or something else entirely."

Contact the editor: Tyler@thedrive.com