For several decades—well over half a century, in fact—information has been collected about unidentified aerial phenomena.
That’s what they’re called in modern parlance, at least. Prior to the last few years, these mysteries of the skies were more commonly known as unidentified flying objects or UFOs. This had been the name given to them by Edward Ruppelt, the first director of Project Blue Book, the United States Air Force’s systematic study of anomalous aerial phenomena that ran from March 1952 until December 1969. The program was the successor to a pair of previous studies, Project Sign and Project Grudge, undertaken by the USAF beginning in the late 1940s.
Project Blue Book, although it had been the longest-running government study of UFOs to date, produced limited results regarding the potential that an unrecognized form of technology existed and operated in our skies. Among its primary findings had been three main points:
- “No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force was ever an indication of threat to our national security.”
- “There was no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as ‘unidentified’ represented technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge.”
- “There was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as ‘unidentified’ were extraterrestrial vehicles.”
This might all be news to anyone who hasn’t been following the UFO/UAP subject now for more than the last few years. In fact, it might also be news to the most recent government group that has been convened to analyze the problem, which appeared to frame its analysis of the issue within a narrow period spanning only the last few years.
Recently, a widely anticipated government report on UFOs was recently delivered to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence by the Navy’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF). In it, we learned that our government has been using a formalized method of collecting reports on UAP encountered by our military since early 2019, involving a refined mechanism for the collection of data on such reports that subsequently was adopted by the USAF in late 2020. Based on this, the Navy’s UAPTF has analyzed 144 incidents that have been logged since 2004, the majority of which occurred within the last two years.
To summarize their conclusions: all but one of these incidents remain unexplained, and the technology behind them could represent both a hazard to aviators, as well as a “challenge” to United States National Security.
Despite the merit of the Task Force’s analysis of recent reports involving UAP, it leaves much to be desired. For instance, the nine-page report—which also consists of a cover page, and appendixes at the back—leaves us with a total of just six pages that are actually related to the discussion of what the UAPTF learned from studying UAP reports during its short time in operation. What’s more, of the 144 reports that were logged, there were no details provided that gave any specific information about any of these incidents… not even one.
Indeed, the UAPTF report leaves much to be desired for longtime followers of the UFO topic. Also contained within the report are a few curiosities; take, for instance, the following excerpt regarding the USAF’s involvement, and its limited participation in the analysis of the phenomenon in question:
“Although USAF data collection has been limited historically the USAF began a six-month pilot program in November 2020 to collect in the most likely areas to encounter UAP and is evaluating how to normalize future collection, reporting, and analysis across the entire Air Force.”
Obviously, the report’s authors must have meant that the USAF has played a “limited” role in the recent collection of information on this topic, which the UAP Task Force relied upon for its analysis. However, many who read this when the report appeared online were no doubt aware of the irony in the statement: the one branch of the military that actually did undertake what remains the single longest study of unidentified flying objects in American history with Project Blue Book is now considered to have participated in “data collection [that] has been limited historically”?
Of course, there are other issues the public version of the UAPTF report presents, and we must recognize that this is also considered to be nothing more than a preliminary report, as its title aptly conveys. Nonetheless, many Americans and others around the world had probably been hoping for a bit more from our government about its involvement with the study of UAP.
Perhaps with time, there will be additional analysis and even portions of the classified version of the report that will be obtained and released by diligent transparency advocates who make frequent use of the Freedom of Information Act. However, for the time being, it appears that “what you see is what you get,” and in light of that, the American public has been left wanting on the subject of UFOs, or whatever else people may choose to call them.
It certainly isn’t the first time it has happened either… indeed, some things really don’t ever change, do they?