And it’s as empty as you’d expect.
In the summer of 2021, the Pentagon announced the creation of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), an office specializing in tracking UFOs (officially renamed PANI, for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena). In May 2022, the institution declared that it would agree to an effort of transparency by publishing a long report on these mysterious phenomena. This one has finally come out after months of waiting.
The document was first mentioned in a hearing of Pentagon officials before the US Congress. The session was broadcast live, and it was the first time in more than 50 years that the US government had spoken officially on the issue of NIAPs (see our article).
The objective of this communication effort was above all to break a “vicious circle of excessive secrecy and speculation” which had been maintained for several decades. And if we can indeed salute the merits of the approach, we must admit that the public did not have much to put in their mouths. In essence, the Pentagon was content to explain that the most intriguing phenomena still remained ” unexplained “.
We take (almost) the same ones and we start again
The enthusiasts were therefore eager to discover the content of the textual report. However, since we had to wait several additional months, some observers expected to find new crisp elements. Unfortunately, even if it was predictable, there is ultimately not much information to be drawn from this document.
The report, available here, covers approximately 510 NIAPs documented by various US government agencies. Most sightings come from the US Navy and US Air Force.
According to the document, 366 new strange manifestations have been identified since the inception of the AARO. Among them were 163 balloons or similar objects. These objects are often used in scientific experiments that require atmospheric measurements.
26 others were drone-like objects. The report also specifies that 6 of these observations concerned birds, meteorological phenomena or debris such as plastic bags.
No little green men on the horizon
171 of these new entries, however, could not be identified. These are machines that have presented “unusual flight characteristics or performance”, and which “will require further analysis”.
Overall, the conclusion therefore remains the same as during the hearing in May 2022. Scott Bray, director of intelligence for the US Navy, explained on this occasion that his agency had “ no detected fumes that suggest the presence of an object of extraterrestrial origin “. He had also conceded that the data available ” do not allow to suggest an explanation “. Sorry for those who were hoping for a portrait of a little green man at the controls of his flying saucer!
But ultimately, the mere fact that these devices could not be identified is also important information in itself. For representatives of the Air Force, this shows above all that there is ” an urgent and critical need to improve airspace safety by devoting scientific resources to NIAPs “. Because until proven otherwise, it is not impossible that some of them represent a threat.
Laying the foundations for a healthier approach
Again, this is a conclusion already made during the 2022 hearing. But the agency spokesperson insists; he underlines the fact that this effort is very important to overcome the sometimes caricatural and sensationalist nature of certain observations.
Indeed, serious scientific work on PANIs has regularly been undermined by unobjective interpretations, often based on conspiracy theory. To determine the origin of these phenomena, the priority is now to start again on a healthier basis. This implies stopping systematically taking observers for fanatics, and respecting a solid methodology before drawing conclusions.
” We need to stop the wild speculation and stigma and invest in science to tackle this national security threat says Ryan Graves, head of a PANI investigative committee.
The Pentagon finally wants to bury the big taboo around UFOs
These conclusions are already raising some eyebrows on the side of the most cynical observers. Indeed, even if the US government had identified a particularly noteworthy or problematic NIAP, it would be surprising if it provided specific details knowing the sensitive nature of this issue. But in absolute terms, we have no choice but to take the report at face value. Most of this information remains unverifiable.
Moral of the story: this effort of transparency is an interesting step in the establishment of an active collaboration on this long taboo subject which interests both the public and the authorities. It remains to be seen whether this approach will produce conclusive results.
The text of the final report is available here.