A long-awaited government report on UFOs
, also known as unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), has been made public, revealing what US intelligence agencies know about the mysteries that have long drawn Americans' attention to the skies.
The release of the unclassified report comes nearly a year after the Department of Defense announced the formation of a UAP Task Force with the mission of “detecting, analyzing, and cataloging UAPs that may pose
a threat to US national security
The nine-page report concentrated on 18 UAP sightings, most of which occurred near US training and testing grounds.
According to the report, “some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernible means of propulsion,” and “in a small number of cases, military
aircraft systems processed radio frequency (RF) energy
associated with UAP sightings.”
While the report speculates that UAPs could be caused by factors such as "airborne clutter," it concludes that many of the mysterious sightings remain unsolved for the time being.
“With the exception of one instance where we determined with high confidence that the reported UAP was airborne clutter, specifically a deflating balloon,” the report said.
The Department of Defense and the Office
of the Director of National Intelligence were given six months, until June, to deliver the task force's findings to Congress
as part of a provision in former President Donald Trump
's $2.3 billion pandemic
Sen. Marco Rubio
(R-FL), who requested the report as acting chair of the Senate
Intelligence Committee in December, argued that any evidence of UAPs should be taken seriously and "constantly analyzed."
“I don’t think we can let the stigma keep us from having an answer to a very basic question,” he said in an interview
with CBS’s “60 Minutes.” “I want us to take it seriously and have a process to take it seriously,” he added.
The report comes after the Pentagon
admitted for the first time in 2017 that it had been studying UFOs as part of a program known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, and two years later, in 2019, the US Navy confirmed the authenticity of a series of leaked UFO videos for the first time.
The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which no longer exists, was funded with the assistance of former Nevada
Sen. Harry Reid (D), whose jurisdiction included the Air Force
testing site Area 51, which is well-known among UFO enthusiasts.
In an opinion piece published late last month in The New York Times
, Reid stated that he supported the program because he was concerned that honest conversations about the subject would jeopardize national security and limit technological advancement if they were prohibited or kept under wraps.
“I believe there is information uncovered by the government’s covert investigations into unidentified aerial phenomena that can be made public without jeopardizing our national security,” he wrote.