Tuesday, June 28, 2022

UFO encounters have more than doubled in the past year, military officials say

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UFO sightings are so common near US military installations that a database of encounters has grown to about 400 incidents, up from 143 announced almost a year ago.

That’s what US military intelligence officials told lawmakers Tuesday morning at the first congressional hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years.

“Since the early 2000s, we have seen an increasing number of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft or objects in military control exercise areas,” Scott Bray, U.S. deputy director of naval intelligence, told members of the U.S. Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Intelligence – House of Representatives Counterproliferation Tuesday. “Reports of sightings are frequent and ongoing.”

In June 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report on UFOs — or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, UAPs, in the new Pentagon-approved nomenclature — noting that 143 sightings since 2004 remained unexplained.

On Tuesday, Mr Bray attributed the rapid increase in case numbers in part to better military sensors, but also to a reduction in the stigma of reporting UFO/UAP sightings.

Following the 2021 report, Congress approved funds to establish the new Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG) at the Pentagon tasked with investigating UFOs/UAPs. US Undersecretary for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie, who heads the group, told lawmakers the program aims to treat UFO/UAP sightings as serious national security issues and persuade the military to do the same to see like this.

“Our goal is to remove the stigma by fully involving our operators and mission personnel in a standardized data collection process,” Mr. Moultrie said. “We believe making EAP reporting a must-have will be critical to the success of the effort.”

Both intelligence officials confirmed other conclusions of the 2021 report, namely that there was insufficient evidence that the UFOs/UAPs represent alien or extraterrestrial technology, but that they believed they were physical objects rather than perception tricks. As such, they should be taken seriously as potential hazards.

“Because UAPs pose potential flight safety and security concerns, we commit to a focused effort to determine their origins,” said Mr. Moultrie.

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