While you were busy watching reruns of Ancient Aliens, Alf, and The X-Files, a group of U.S. senators, including the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, were sitting in a classified briefing by the Pentagon about the U.S. Navy’s reported encounters with unidentified aircraft. They’re not saying it’s aliens, but…
They are the latest group of government officials to receive classified information about UFO sightings, as first reported by Politico. Earlier this week, President Trump told ABC News that he had also been briefed about UFOs. While he said he didn’t “particularly” believe in UFOs, he thought the Navy might. “Well I think my great, our great pilots would know,” he said. “Some of them really see things that are a little bit different than in the past. So we’re gonna see.”
The Navy has seen a lot of “things that are a little bit different” over the years. They have had a lot of contact with unidentified flying objects (like this one and this one and others that didn’t make it to the mainstream media). In fact, as George Carlin once wrote, thanks to “countless taped and filmed” and otherwise “documented radar evidence seen by experienced military and civilian radar operators” there is more evidence of the existence of UFO than there is of God. The accounts are so common, that in April the U.S. Navy drafted new guidelines for pilots and other personnel to report encounters with “unidentified aircraft,” telling Politico that it “investigates each and every report” and takes these “very seriously.”
When someone in the Navy spots some flying object that they can’t quite identify, they are reported to what The New York Times calls the “Pentagon’s shadowy” program, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which listens to their story, analyzes the radar data, and video footage and then buries their findings in the sub-basement of the FBI (or so we’ve been led to believe by TV and Blink-182). In another story in The Times, one military intelligence official who ran the program called the Navy’s UFO sightings “a striking series of incidents.”
Politico thinks the government’s newfound interest in UFOs isn’t due to a recent X-Files marathon in the Congressional office buildings, but because of that 2017 story in the Times about the Defense Department’s secretive program and the UFO encounters they have investigated, followed by another report in May. The stories include reports like when a pilot and his wingman were spooked by something that looked “like a sphere encasing a cube” zipping past the cockpit. Or the time in 2004, where two fighter pilots from the USS Nimitz were flying 100 miles off the coast of San Diego and found a large underwater object that was “much larger than a submarine,” and a second “wingless, white” and “oblong” object that hovered 50 feet above the water and moved erratically. (You can watch the video of the encounter here, Scully.)
Politico reports that the UFO sightings are a hot topic on Capitol Hill, with one former government official saying, “There are people coming out of the woodwork.” Maybe they should plan an X-Files marathon after all.