Pentagon Announces New Group to Counter UFO Threat

Southwesterly view (1998) with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in background (Photo Credit: DoD photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force / Wikipedia)
Southwesterly view (1998) with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in background (Photo Credit: DoD photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force / Wikipedia)

The US Defense Department has announced that they will soon have a new body up and running dedicated to coordinating investigations into UFOs spotted in restricted airspace. The move is motivated by fears that these unidentified flying objects (UFOs) may pose a legitimate risk to aircraft and national security.

Although the announcement is certainly not confirmation of little green men, it will likely excite theorists and skeptics alike.

The news was released in a statement on Tuesday made by Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, who said the body will lead efforts to “detect, identify and attribute objects of interests” and to “assess, and as appropriate, mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security.”

These “objects of interest” are officially called undefined aerial phenomena (UAPs), but are more commonly known as UFOs.

The new body is called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group, or AOIMSG, and will report to and be overseen by high-ranking officials in the military and intelligence services.

Name a better duo than the US military and aliens. We’ll wait.

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force - FLIR Video
FLIR video – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (Public Domain)

It will be the successor to the Navy’s UAP Task Force, which was unable to explain 143 objects sighted between 2004 and 2021, as detailed in a report this past summer.

The report said that out of these 143 UFOs, 18 showed unusual flight characteristics and movement. Whether advanced technology was involved in these cases or not needed further investigation. Aside from the “fun stuff” relating to strange sightings, the report also highlighted the difficulties in collecting and analyzing data on these objects, and the stigma pilots and other servicemembers face when reporting them.

With this report along and a number of recently declassified videos of undefined aerial phenomena, there has unsurprisingly been much excitement about the possibility of these phenomena being extraterrestrial in nature. However, the report explains that there is little chance of this being the case, saying “We have no clear indications that there is any nonterrestrial explanation for them — but we will go wherever the data takes us.”

Although many interpret the military’s keen interest in UAPs as evidence for extraterrestrial existence, in all likelihood they are much more concerned that these phenomena are advanced foreign hardware.

Many sightings have not been officially explained, but are more than likely objects such as birds, drones or balloons, or strange but natural atmospheric conditions. However, there are a select few that are placed in an “other” category, as they appear to be unexplainable with the military’s current understanding of science and technology.

Clearly, there is plenty of confusion, disorganization, and stigma attached to UFOs and the process of reporting them, but the AOIMSG should change this. A new standardized reporting process that operates across all branches of the government will greatly improve future studies on the topic. It will also make recommendations for changes in doctrines, reporting, regulations, laws, and training “as deemed necessary by the Director.”

The body’s focus will be on UAPs and other unexplainable events that occur in the restricted military and governmental airspace.

As mentioned in Hick’s statement, the Navy’s UAPTF will be absorbed by AOIMSG. It will be guided and governed by a council headed by the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and the director of operations for the Joint Staff. Additionally, other senior military officials will oversee the body.

Jesse Beckett

Jesse Beckett is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE