The Pentagon caused a fuss earlier this year when it declassified videos of UFOs. Alas, an unidentified flying object is just that—something pilots couldn't identify, and not necessarily an alien spaceship. But there's been a rising call for more transparency on the subject, including from such heavyweights as Sen. Marco Rubio and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Now the New York Times reports that more transparency is indeed coming: The Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force—the formal name of the group run by the Office of Naval Intelligence—has been directed by a Senate panel to "standardize collection and reporting" on such sightings and to make public some of those findings every six months. The main impetus is to figure out whether nations such as China or Russia are using advanced aviation technology to spy on us.
“We have things flying over our military bases and places where we are conducting military exercises and we don’t know what it is—and it isn’t ours,” said Rubio, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, per the New York Post. But the Times story has plenty for believers in aliens to chew on, including an astrophysicist who worked with the Pentagon program talking about retrieved material and adding, "We couldn't make it ourselves." He also gave a classified briefing earlier this year on "off-world vehicles not made on this earth." As for Reid, he seems open to the idea of other-worldly spacecraft. "After looking into this, I came to the conclusion that there were reports—some were substantive, some not so substantive—that there were actual materials [from crashes of unidentified aircraft] that the government and the private sector had in their possession," he told the Times. (Read more UFOs stories.)