US probe sheds light on UFO mystery – NYT
The lion’s share of unidentified flying objects reported by military personnel and other government sources in recent years probably stem from airborne trash or foreign surveillance aircraft which may include Chinese drones, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing unnamed US officials familiar with the probe.
US intelligence agencies and the Pentagon launched the investigation after a report last year revealed government sources had encountered 144 unidentified aerial phenomena since 2004. The report triggered increased public interest in UFOs, as well as concern at the Pentagon about potential security threats they may pose.
At the time, only one of those cases had been resolved, where the UFO was identified as a deflated balloon. Since then, US officials have reached conclusions on many of the other sightings. Intelligence agencies are set to deliver a classified document on their findings to Congress by Monday, the Times said.
Military officials have said there isn’t any evidence to suggest that extraterrestrial visitors have landed on Earth. However, they have been tight-lipped in their explanations of the phenomena, because Washington has tried to avoid revealing to China and other countries what it knows about their alleged spying activities.
“We do not want potential adversaries to know exactly what we’re able to see or understand, or how we come to the conclusion,” Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, said in congressional testimony last May. “Therefore, disclosures must be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.”
The Pentagon expanded its UFO-tracking unit earlier this year to include not just airborne objects, but also unexplained phenomena sighted underwater or across multiple mediums.
“It is vital to our national security and the safety of our military personnel that we maintain awareness of anomalous objects in all domains,” Ronald Moultrie, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security, said in a July memo.