UFOs, which are more commonly referred to as UAPs these days, have been in the media quite a bit since 2017. This is due to a piece written by the New York Times, which was credited with starting up the UFO curiosity machine for the first time in decades. Since then, the stigma that has notoriously surrounded the topic has finally begun to wane, and various governments have become publically interested in the subject.
The fabled 2017 New York Times article was titled ‘Glowing Auras and Black Money: The Pentagon’s Mysterious UFO Program.’ The article details a multi-million dollar secretive government program dubbed the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.” Aside from the name, other aspects of the shadowy program were somewhat suspicious, such as the $22 million allotted to the program being challenging to track down or that the Pentagon claimed to have shut the program down back in 2012 but, in fact, did not do so.
The well-written article originating from such a reputable source forced various governments, including our own, to finally publically take UFOs seriously. They could no longer simply dismiss the new pressure from the public; people wanted to know why our government was seemingly taking UFOs seriously behind the scenes but then shrugging the topic off when confronted publicly.
Various agencies begin working on official public-facing UFO reports
In 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was tasked with creating a report detailing the potential threat posed by the UFO phenomena. A public version of the report was released, and a classified version was handed over to the Congressional Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. The 9-page public report didn’t contain much substance, but it did conclude that for many of the cases investigated, many were not easily explainable.
The report came right on the heels of the first congressional hearing relating to UFOs in over 50 years. Held in May, the hearing included Pentagon officials testifying and being questioned on various aspects of the UFO phenomena. It provided a chance for lawmakers to ask Pentagon officials their burning questions, but unfortunately, any decent questions were delayed answers until the closed-door hearing took place. And as the name implies, cameras and the media were not allowed access to this hearing, as classified information was discussed.
Later, as part of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) was established with the goal of supervising the development and execution of intelligence relating to UFOs collected by the intelligence community. AARO was also tasked with providing unclassified annual reports to Congress that would update them on new noteworthy findings concerning things such as nuclear security and health-related incidents related to UFOs.
The first of these reports was technically due on October 31, which has already come and gone. So here we are, ten days later, still waiting for word on why the report is delayed or when it may finally release. But this isn’t the only report the public is currently awaiting; in June, NASA announced it was organizing an independent study on UFOs.
NASA is commissioning a study team to start early in the fall to examine unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) – that is, observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena – from a scientific perspective.NASA
Then, earlier this month, NASA announced that it had selected 16 individuals to join the independent study team. Included were well-qualified people such as professors, astrophysicists, CEOs, scientists, etc. The study officially began on October 24 and will run for the next nine months. NASA hopes this study can “lay the groundwork for future study on the nature of UAPs for NASA and other organizations.” However, it’s important to remember that, like the UFO reports that came before it, this study will focus solely on unclassified data, so be sure to tamper expectations.
What are UFOs?
Where we stand now, nobody really seems to understand the strange happenings occurring in the skies above us. And while the overwhelming majority of strange sightings likely have perfectly earthly and reasonable explanations, it’s the one to five percent of truly unexplainable cases that should pique people’s interest. It’s these cases that could potentially redefine our current understanding of the world around us.