UAP Task Force

The Senate Intelligence Committee has called for a report on UFOs from the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and others as appropriate. Details were given in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, on pages 11 and 12, under the heading “Advanced Aerial Threats”:

The Act made reference to a hitherto unknown unit, referred to as the “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force at the Office of Naval Intelligence”. This was picked up in a July 23 article in the New York Times, and a July 25 article in Popular Mechanics quoted from a DOD statement about this UAP Task Force:

I have obtained the full, unexpurgated statement from the DOD’s Office of Public Affairs, and am publishing it below:

“As we have said previously, the Department of Defense and all of the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously, and examine each report. This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP) when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing. Thorough examinations of any incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace often involves assessments from across the department, and, as appropriate, consultation with other U.S. government departments and agencies. The safety of our personnel and the security of our operations is of paramount concern. To protect our people and maintain operations security, which includes not providing information that may be useful to our adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examination of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP. Regarding the task force mentioned in the article, I can say that the department is creating a task force to gain knowledge and insight into the nature and origins of UAPs, as well as their operations, capabilities, performance, and/or signatures. The mission of the task force will be to detect, analyze, catalog, consolidate, and exploit non-traditional aerospace vehicles/UAPs posing an operational threat to U.S. national security and avoid strategic surprise.”

I fully support the creation of this new task force, which should go some considerable way towards meeting the concerns expressed by the Senate Intelligence Committee (and the Senate Armed Services Committee). UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) was a term we popularized at the UK Ministry of Defence in the Nineties, as part of a ‘rebranding’ of the UFO phenomenon, attempting to ditch the pop culture baggage that attached to the term “UFO” and reframe the debate as the defense and national security issue that those of us studying the phenomenon knew it to be. Every government rightly wants to secure the territorial integrity of its airspace and ensure that all objects and phenomena in its airspace or in close proximity to its military assets are identified. This bold new initiative may be controversial, but it makes perfect sense in strategic terms, whatever the true nature of the phenomenon.