UFO theorists have a new ally in their hunt for extraterrestrials: the U.S. government. Provisions in the new defense spending bill will streamline how officials compile, share, and respond to reports of unidentified aerial phenomena. And all of it would happen in the open.
The National Defense Authorization Act will create the Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office, reports say. The group would investigate reports of UFOs and publish their findings. The agency would submit annual reports that would disclose “whether the government has any materials from the incidents … or data on any biological or health effects linked to any (UFO) encounters.”
The measure is getting a lot of support from those who believe the truth is out there.
“I think it’s probably the most significant legislation to target this topic since probably 1969, since Blue Book,” Tim McMillan who co-founded the website The Debrief, told Nextgov. “In fact, there were a lot of specific things that were named and outlined in the legislation, some of which are still included now, that have not been discussed before.”
Project Blue Book was the Air Force’s program that studied UFOs. The government ended that project in 1969. Though, officials kept the program’s existence a secret for decades.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, proposed the amendments to the defense budget.
“I really see this as trying to know what is knowable and not having a head in the sand perspective on this,” she told TODAY. “These are serious issues of national security and technology that we should know about.”
Congress recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act. It’s on President Joe Biden’s desk awaiting his signature.
Congress Approved UFO Program Before
This is not the first time Congress has asked the defense department to investigate UFOs. In the 2000s, officials quietly created the Aerospace Threat Identification Program. It wasn’t a secret program, but government officials kept its existence known to only a small number of people.
The ATTP only operated for a few years before the government killed it in 2012, Politico reported. Information from that program leaked in 2017. It forced the Pentagon to admit that they had reports of UFOs that its investigators couldn’t explain.
No Longer a Fringe Interest
In recent years reports of UFOs have infected the public conscience like never before. For decades, many people would ignore discussions about unidentified aerial phenomena or dismiss them as conspiracy theories. But that is changing quickly. That’s partly because of social media increasing our access to information, but also the quality of reports has improved.
For instance, in 2019 a U.S. Navy pilot filmed a “tic-tac” shaped craft as it passed in front of his jet. Documentary filmmaker Jeremy Corbell released the video earlier this year, and the Pentagon confirmed it is real. Government officials admitted they have no idea what it is.
Corbell released another video after that featuring an upside-down pyramid-shaped UFO flying near a Navy ship. Again, the Pentagon confirmed the video but said they can’t ID the craft.
Videos like these have fueled mainstream interest in unexplained aerial phenomena. That created the pressure to push Congress to look into them.