The Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense now have just under six months to provide the Congressional Intelligence and Armed Forces Committees with an unclassified report on “unidentified aerial phenomena.”
This is a stipulation that was inserted in the “committee comments” section of the intelligence authorization law for fiscal year 2021, which was contained in the massive spending bill.
This report is to contain detailed analyzes of UFO data and intelligence collected by the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, and the FBI, as directed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Finally, the report should identify any potential threats to national security posed by UFOs and assess whether any of the nation’s adversaries could be behind such activity, the committee said.
The submitted report must be unclassified, the committee said, although it may contain a classified appendix.
A spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed the news to the Snopes fact-checking website.
Congress has long been interested in UFOs
The Pentagon released three short videos in April last year showing “unidentified aerial phenomena” – clips that the US Navy had previously confirmed to be real.
The videos, one from 2004 and two from 2015, show what appear to be unidentified flying objects moving rapidly when recorded by infrared cameras. Two of the videos show members of the service reacting with awe at the speed at which objects are moving. A voice speculates that it could be a drone.
We still do not know what the objects are and there is no consensus on their origin. Some believe that they may be drones potentially operated by terrestrial adversaries seeking to gather intelligence, rather than by extraterrestrials which we normally equate to UFOs.
In August, the Pentagon announced it was forming a task force to investigate.
Members of Congress and Pentagon officials have long been concerned about the appearance of unidentified planes that have flown over US military bases. The Senate Intelligence Committee voted last June for the Pentagon and the intelligence community to provide a public analysis of the meetings.
But this is not the first time that the Pentagon has looked at aerial encounters with unknown objects. The Pentagon has previously investigated the records of such incidents as part of a since-closed classified program launched at the request of former Senator Harry Reid.
This program was started in 2007 and ended in 2012, according to the Pentagon, because they felt there were higher priorities that required funding.
Former program manager Luis Elizondo told CNN in 2017 that he personally believed “there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.”
Ryan Browne of CNN contributed to this report.