For quite some time, while some of us were shouting from the rooftops, trying to draw attention to the Pentagon’s UFO/UAP programs, you never heard a peep out of CNN about it. This month, however, you can barely get them to shut up about it. (I mean that in a good way, of course, and encourage them to continue.) Two weeks ago both Jake Tapper and Michael Smerconish ran segments dealing with the topic. But last night, the cable news staple released some breaking news about the military and their interest in unidentified flying objects (or unidentified aerial phenomena, as they prefer to say it these days). According to CNN’s sources, the Pentagon is forming “a new task force” to study UFOs and it will be announced in the next few days. But wait a minute… didn’t we already have one of those? Let’s see what they’ve got to offer.
The Pentagon is forming a new task force to investigate UFOs that have been observed by US military aircraft, according to two defense officials.
Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist will help oversee the task force, which is expected to be officially unveiled in the next few days, according to the officials. Previous efforts to look into what the Pentagon dubs unidentified aerial phenomena were led by the US Navy as many of the documented encounters involved their aircraft.
The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Members of Congress and Pentagon officials have long expressed concerns about the appearance of the unidentified aircraft that have flown over US military bases, posing a risk to military jets. There is no consensus on their origin with some believing they may be drones potentially operated by earthly adversaries seeking to gather intelligence rather than extraterrestrials.
Could the Pentagon really be preparing to announce a brand new task force to study UFOs? As regular readers will recall, we’ve known about the existence of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) literally for months now, ever since Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough dropped that bombshell on us. Later, Senator Marco Rubio called out the task force by name when announcing some new legislation from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Did CNN not hear about that or is this really something different?
Okay… there’s one of three things happening here and I’ll briefly examine them in order, along with providing some information from a journalist who is deep on the inside of this story. The possibilities would seem to be as follows:
1. The network ran with a couple of anonymous DoD officials and misinterpreted the fact that they were talking about the existing UAPTF.
2. There is an official announcement forthcoming, but it’s more of an “official” launch (or perhaps “rebranding”) of the existing program.
3. There actually is a brand new task force taking over the former duties of AATIP and then the UAPTF.
In reverse order, number 3 just seems unlikely in the extreme. The government remains very gunshy about discussing this topic until somebody drags them kicking and screaming up to a microphone. Why generate even more headlines by unveiling a new program that would basically just replace a system that you already have in place? The only way I could see that happening was if Rubio’s rather stinging indictment of the disorganized way the Pentagon handles information on this subject spurred them to action. The language in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 definitely made it sound as if the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing over there. Perhaps they’re seeking to rectify that situation by reorganizing the entire operation? Possibly, but I can’t imagine a behemoth the size of the Pentagon getting anything that sweeping done in only seven weeks.
Returning to my list of options, items 1 and 2 can basically be combined together. It’s entirely possible that we’re still talking about the existing UAPTF and there was just some misinterpretation going on by either the DoD officials speaking on background or CNN’s reporters. Stranger things have happened.
But that’s not the only possibility. What this may turn out to be is the “officially official” announcement of the existence of the UAPTF. So what do I mean by that? You probably recall some of the momentary excitement that was boiling up in the news cycle back in April when the Pentagon announced that they were releasing three UFO videos. But then we clicked on the link and found that they were the exact same videos we’d known about and been watching on a loop since late 2017 and early 2018. What they were doing, however, was “officially” releasing the videos that had already been making the rounds and taking ownership of them.
There was never any sort of official announcement of the formation of the UAPTF as the follow-on program taking the baton from AATIP. Yes, the existence of the task force became known (and confirmed for all intents and purposes) when Susan Gough made reference to it. And when Marco Rubio’s committee put the name in the IAA in June that pretty much sealed the deal. But the Pentagon had never actually offered an official acknowledgment that the program existed. And for that matter, there’s never been a definite declaration of what the name is. (Does the P in UAPTF stand for “phenomenon” or “phenomena?” They’ve used both, though the singular “phenomenon” wouldn’t make much sense in this context.)
I’m leaning toward that last explanation and I have an additional reason to believe that’s the case. Last night, some of us were batting around this news on #UFOtwitter and a rather definitive statement was offered by Lt. Tim McMillan, who we have spoken with here before on a couple of occasions. When Jason McClellan (another UFO researcher) suggested this was the literal “launch” of the task force, Tim made a pretty definitive declaration that it wasn’t.
Write it down in your journal and circle the date. In the coming days the DoD will put out an official press statement acknowledging the ONGOING Task Force (which is not newly established) and state for the record the Navy is the branch heading the effort.
— Lt. Tim McMillan (Ret.) (@LtTimMcMillan) August 13, 2020
After I suggested that he might be right, but this sounded like some sort of a “rebranding” effort on the part of the Pentagon, Tim tossed the following meme at me.
— Lt. Tim McMillan (Ret.) (@LtTimMcMillan) August 13, 2020
While nothing relating to this topic is ever a 100% sure bet until the government confirms it (and even then things can get dodgy), Tim has been talking to everyone involved with this story for a few years now. He has impeccable contacts in the government, the military, TTSA, and among fellow journalists who follow this subject closely. If he’s willing to say that the announcement is specifically dealing with the existing Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (or Phenomenon) Task Force rather than something entirely new or a revelation that the task force didn’t actually exist until now, I’m pretty much willing to take that to the bank. In any event, assuming CNN didn’t miss the train entirely on this story, we should know in the coming days. Hang in there, folks. This story is far from over and I still maintain that it could eventually wind up being one of the biggest revelations to take place in our lifetimes.
(Corrected Susan Gough’s name in original article.)