As the clock ticks down to the highly-anticipated day that the Pentagon is required to tell Congress what they know about unidentified flying objects (UFO’s), the Defense Department Inspector General’s Office announced it will be conducting its own investigation into how the military and intelligence communities have handled reports of UFOs.
UFOs, or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) as they’re referred to more officially, have been more prominent in the national consciousness since last April when the Pentagon officially declassified several videos that had been circulating the internet for years, giving them credence and confirming that the videos, filmed by Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015, weren’t a hoax.
Just two weeks ago, the Pentagon was very forthcoming in confirming the authenticity of another video, evidently filmed aboard the USS Russell off the coast of San Diego in 2019.
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These videos (among others) and the Pentagon’s relative transparency in the matter, has piqued the curiosity of Americans from extraterrestrial-life believers, military aviation enthusiasts, and now government officials. In August of 2020, the Department of Defense established a task force to “improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs.”
In December of 2020, Congress approved the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill. Included in that bill was a condition of the 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act, which stipulated that the intelligence community had 180 days to provide Congress with what it knows about UAPs. The bill having been signed in late December, some declassified nuggets of information are expected sometime next month. The language in the bill suggests that Congress expects a very detailed and thorough examination of not only the videos filmed by military personnel, but of all UAP sightings, and that procedures for cataloguing and analyzing each incident are in place.
Now, five months later, the Office of the Inspector General has notified the Defense Department that they will be under the microscope for their implementation of these procedures.
The memo that was posted online provided five days for all organizations on the distribution list to provide a point of contact. Included on that distribution list were intelligence community members, the secretaries of all military branches, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and several commands (U.S. Central Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Special Operations Command).
As noted by Adam Kehoe of “The War Zone,” the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is a curious omission from the list considering there has been a significant amount of UAP activity there. In the memo, Randolph Stone, assistant inspector general for evaluations for space, intelligence, engineering and oversight, alluded to the possibility of changes in both objective and location throughout the evaluation process.
As also observed by Kehoe, the memo refers to an “evaluation” rather than an “investigation.” This likely means the scope is to determine/ establish policy and procedures when it comes to UAPs and not to specifically target anyone for negligence or wrongdoing.
Regardless, DOD is clearly taking UAPs seriously in terms of national defense. While this flurry of activity has been a boon to the alien-life conspiracy narrative, the explanation for most UAP sightings is likely much simpler and more Earth- bound, though not necessarily much less frightening: drones.
It may not be much of a coincidence that as video of UAPs has become more widely circulated, drones have also become far more prominent and much more sophisticated (though, admittedly, there are a few that are hard to explain away with drones). Whether it’s a weekend hobbyist with a lack of knowledge or regard for FAA regulations, or something much more nefarious, like a foreign government spying on American military assets, drones seem like the most plausible theory at this stage.
If the UAP Task Force and the DOD evaluation reveal that there are, in fact, foreign drones gathering information, it would represent both a gap in our intelligence, and a need for an accelerated timeline in the U.S.’s plans for dealing with drones both domestically and abroad. Whether they are simply about our inability to identify UAPs, or actual revelations about what these mysterious sightings are, we should have some answers soon.