The United States has been taking a closer look at unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. A report detailing what the government knows about UFOs is expected to be made public this month.
While it is not known what new information the report will include, two officials with knowledge of it said no aliens will be uncovered. The officials, speaking to The Associated Press, said the report found no link to aliens from unexplained sightings also captured on video.
The two officials did not want to be named because they did not have permission to publicly discuss the report. They said the report will not rule out the possibility that unexplained sightings could be linked to military activities involving other nations.
The main conclusions about what the U.S. government knows about UFOs have already been reported. But the full report is expected to present a more complete picture of available data.
U.S. lawmakers ordered an investigation into UFOs because of concerns about national security threats from enemies. The government resisted talking about UFOs for generations.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was one lawmaker who wanted the investigation. He said, “there is stuff flying in our airspace.” He continued, “We don’t know what it is. We need to find out.”
Congress late last year told the director of national intelligence to report on UFO data from multiple government agencies within 180 days. That time period is about up. The intelligence office has not said when the full document will be released.
The bill passed by Congress asked the intelligence director to provide any evidence that a possible enemy may have flight technology that could put the United States at risk.
Flight technology has become much more developed in recent years. There is concern among some U.S. officials that enemies may have technology that could be a risk to U.S. military sites, including nuclear missile bases.
But sometimes when lawmakers talk about the issue, they leave room for explanations that might not be from this planet.
“Right now there are a lot of unanswered questions,” Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California recently told NBC. “If other nations have capabilities that we don’t know of, we want to find out. If there’s some explanation other than that, we want to learn that, too.”
Luis Elizondo is the former head of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. He said he does not believe that unexplained sightings were another country’s technology because it would be impossible to keep that secret.
Elizondo accused the Defense Department of trying to discredit him. He said there is much more information the U.S. has on UFOs that is kept secret.
Pilots and sky-watchers have long reported UFO sightings in U.S. airspace. They seem to travel at unusual speeds or directions. In most cases, however, such mysteries are explained after an investigation.
In 1960, the CIA said 6,500 objects had been reported to the U.S. Air Force over a 13-year period. The CIA said the Air Force concluded there was no evidence that those sightings were hostile or related to alien spaceships.
Reports of UFOs have continued since then. Some people who study the subject say investigations have been limited by the stigma of the subject. They also note the government has a history of staying silent or lying about investigations of UFOs.
In 2017, The New York Times reported on a five-year U.S. Defense Department program to investigate UFOs. The Pentagon then released videos, leaked earlier, of military pilots seeing objects they could not identify.
The Navy announced in 2019 it would create an official process for its pilots to report UFOs. And in August, the Defense Department created a special group to study, search for, and record UFO sightings.
I’m Dan Friedell
Nomaan Merchant and Calvin Woodward reported this story for The Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.
Words in This Story
alien – n. a creature that comes from somewhere other than the planet Earth
conclusion – n. an opinion reached after considering all the facts and information related to a subject
stuff – n. materials, supplies, or equipment
capability – n. the ability to do something
stigma – n. a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something