Pentagon’s UFO Report Lands With A Shrug, Sightings ‘Probably Lack A Single Explanation’

Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images and AFP/ Stringer/ Getty Images
Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images and AFP/ Stringer/ Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its highly anticipated Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) report to Congress on Friday, June 25, 2021. The nine-page assessment examined the 144 U.S. government reports of UAP from November 2004 to March 2021. The report concludes that these UAP sightings “probably lack a single explanation” and are still searching for logical clarification on all but one UAP incident.

Although this nine-page report is not an exhaustive study of UFOs, nor does it seek to either confirm or deny the potential existence of alien life, there are several important takeaways from it. Here are some of the most exciting and significant pieces of information given to the public in this report.

The Pentagon building located in Washington, D.C. (Photo Credit: AFP/ Stringer/ Getty Images)
The Pentagon building located in Washington, D.C. (Photo Credit: AFP/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

UAP categories

According to the official UAP report, when UAP sightings are resolved, they will fall into one of five potential explanatory categories: airborne clutter, foreign adversary systems (defense technology from other countries), USG or Industry Developmental Programs, Natural Atmospheric Phenomena, and an overarching “other” category.

The ambiguous “other” category probably holds the most public interest, but unfortunately, there is not enough specific data to analyze to really be able to categorize the UAPs that have been previously sighted.

So far, only one of the 144 reliable UAP sightings has been able to fit into one of these five categories. The identifiable UAP has been sorted into the “airborne clutter” category after it was identified as a deflating balloon.

There were no standardized reporting mechanisms until very recently

A major reason why the data available to the government is so limited is that there was no standardized reporting mechanism that existed until the Navy established one in March 2019. In November 2020, the airforce adopted the same mechanism, but it remains limited to government reporting.

This information is interesting because UAP sightings have certainly been missed, considering that military agencies only implemented standardized reporting in very recent history.

Unusual movements and patterns

In 18 incidents described in 21 reports, observers reported unusual UAP movement patterns and flight characteristics. These strange patterns include UAP remaining stationary in heavy winds, moving against the wind in a strange way, maneuvering abruptly, or moving at considerable speed without any visible means of propulsion.

Furthermore, in a small number of these cases, military aircraft systems were able to process radio frequency energy associated with UAP sightings. These unique flight patterns make identifying UAP much more difficult for experts because they can’t confidently and logically pinpoint what they have seen.

These characteristics suggest that perhaps some UAP may be intelligently controlled because they are not blown around by the wind. There is also the potential that UAP are electromagnetic, as they emit radio frequencies.

Over half of the reported incidents involved observation with multiple sensors

Of the 144 UAP reports that were examined, 80 involved observation with multiple sensors. This is noteworthy because numerous systems picked up on UAP incidents in over half of the cases reported.

Furthermore, the official report recognizes that social stigmas may also play a role in the number of UAP incidents that get officially reported, stating “although the effects of [these stigmas] have lessened as senior members of the scientific, policy, military, and intelligence communities engage on the topic seriously in public, reputation risk may keep many observers silent, complicating scientific pursuit of the topic.”

In other words, there is the chance that there have been more UAP sightings but observers are too worried to come forward with their stories of what they witnessed.

Next steps and reactions

Most of the data used in the official UAP report is from U.S. Navy reporting, but going forward, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) is looking for additional ways to standardize incident reporting across U.S. military services and other government agencies to ensure all relevant data is captured and reported.

Photo of a UFO, circa 1966
Photo of a UFO taken in 1966 by a young boy walking his dog. The photo was given to the army, but no comment was ever made on it, demonstrating the U.S. army’s historical reluctance in acknowledging UFOs. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

This official report fell short of many expectations. It, for one, absolutely does not conclude that UFOs and alien spacecraft are a reality. Rather, it shows that the UAPTF, which was first set up in August 2020, has not made discernible progress or made any definitive conclusions. However, considering the task at hand, perhaps this is not all that surprising.

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Regardless of the underwhelming findings, the Pentagon’s UAP task force represents a reversal in previous thinking. The task force being set up is remarkable in itself as it shows a shift in thinking even from one year ago.

The UAPTF’s very existence represents the shift towards an acknowledgment of the potential reality of UAPs worthy of scientific and military analysis. The very existence of the UAP task force and the new official UAP report is proof that sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena will no longer be ignored or forgotten.

Madeline Hiltz

Maddy Hiltz is someone who loves all things history. She received her Bachelors of Arts in history and her Master’s of Arts degree in history both from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Her thesis examined menstrual education in Victorian England. She is passionate about Princess Diana, the Titanic, the Romanovs, and Egypt amongst other things.

In her spare time, Maddy loves playing volleyball, running, walking, and biking, although when she wants to be lazy she loves to read a good thriller. She loves spending quality time with her friends, family, and puppy Luna!