Intelligence officials are set to deliver Congress a new report today on unexplained aerial phenomenon, better known as UFOs.
The document, from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will provide an update to a report the intelligence agency made public in June 2021, which explored more than 140 incidents of UAP encounters between 2004 and 2021.
Despite calls for greater transparency from lawmakers and military leaders, is not yet clear which contents of the coming report will be made public. While it could offer more detailed explanations into the surge of recent sightings, Defense Department officials are downplaying theories of alien invasions and emphasizing ordinary objects they say are more likely to blame.
Military officials told the New York Times that most resolved UFO cases can be attributed to foreign spies or airborne trash. In May, during Congress’ first public UFO hearing in more than 50 years, Pentagon officials testified that a video with mysterious glowing green triangles actually displayed drones that were shot through night-vision lenses.
In another video, referred to as GoFast, an unknown object appeared to move at incredible speed. Military officials later debunked the video as an illusion created by the angle of observation against water, according to the New York Times. A separate incident, known as Gimbal, showed an unknown spinning object that appeared in a U.S. Navy video that military officials now say was due to the optics of a classified image sensor.
While many other incidents remain unexplained, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough told the outlet that the department needs to uphold “its obligation to protect sensitive information, sources and methods.” Report findings, therefore, are unlikely to reveal what the U.S. knows about surveillance from adversaries like China.
Gough added that available data is also just too limited to draw definitive conclusions.
“In many cases, observed phenomena are classified as ‘unidentified’ simply because sensors were not able to collect enough information to make a positive attribution,” Gough told the Times about cameras, radar and other devices that collect information. “We are working to mitigate these shortfalls for the future and to ensure we have sufficient data for our analysis.”
For those still searching for confirmation on whether to expect any visitors from outer space, last week NASA announced the formation of a new team that will spend the next nine months studying unclassified data on UFOs in order to better understand extraterrestrial episodes.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was not immediately available for comment.
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media