UFOs are definitely real, according to numerous military pilots who have seen flying objects they couldn't identify—and as a strange side effect of the COVID crisis, we may soon learn more about how much the military knows. The Trump administration's $2.3 trillion COVID relief bill in December gave the Pentagon and intelligence agencies 180 days to provide Congress with an unclassified report on "unidentified aerial phenomena" (UAP)—and with the June deadline approaching, much is still unknown. More:
- What to expect. New Yorker staff writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus, who has extensively researched UFOs, tells CNN that while it's not clear what to expect, sources have told him that major revelations are unlikely. He notes that the government takes a "strict diagnostic approach" to things it can't identify in US airspace, and the report won't reveal "that we have been in touch with some galactic committee for decades." He adds that the report is extremely likely to have a classified annex.
- The "taboo" around UFOs. In a piece published in the New Yorker this month, Lewis-Kraus looks at how lawmakers and military officials got past the fear of ridicule and started taking UFOs, or as the Pentagon calls them, UAP, seriously.
- "What I'm telling you, it's real." Lue Elizonda, former chief of a Pentagon program to investigate UAP, on Sunday told CBS' 60 Minutes that there is no doubt what Navy pilots have been seeing is real, and there is not always a simple explanation. "We're going through our due diligence," he says. "Is it some sort of new type of cruise missile technology that China has developed? Is it some sort of high-altitude balloon that's conducting reconnaissance? Ultimately when you have exhausted all those what ifs and you're still left with the fact that this is in our airspace and it's real, that's when it becomes compelling, and that's when it becomes problematic."
- Rubio speaks out. Sen. Marco Rubio says this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously, the Guardian reports. "I mean, some of my colleagues are very interested in this topic and some kinda, you know, giggle when you bring it up," he told 60 Minutes. "But I don’t think we can allow the stigma to keep us from having an answer to a very fundamental question."
- Pentagon watchdog conducts its own probe. The Navy Times reports that the Department of Defense's internal watchdog notified military agencies earlier this month that it had launched an evaluation to "determine the extent to which the DoD has taken actions regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena."
(Reported UFO sightings jumped during the pandemic.