Okay, I added in the “spectacular” part because I’m a sucker for a Seinfeld reference, but the “real” part is, well… real. After six months of anticipation, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its unclassified report on the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force’s assessment of UFOs seen in and around restricted airspace and military facilities. (You can download and read the report here. It’s only nine pages, some of which is just boilerplate.) A second, classified report which is believed to be much longer and containing far “juicier” material was also delivered to Congress. The White House has also been briefed on the report.

Right off the bat, I’ll let you know that if you were expecting any new videos or photos of alien autopsies or crashed flying saucers, you won’t be seeing anything of the sort. This was a workmanlike report describing the type of evidence that’s been collected and the challenges involved in obtaining and analyzing such data. Of course, that was one of the primary tasks assigned to ODNI by the Senate originally. But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t get some very important and intriguing information.

The mainstream media, including NBC News, quickly began rolling out their own interpretations of what it all means, but they didn’t have a lot to work with. The bottom line is that the task force referred to 144 “incidents,” almost all involving the Navy, reported between 2004 and this year. Of those 144, the Pentagon was only able to definitively explain one of them, that being a downed weather balloon. The other 143 remain classified as unidentified.

Some in the ufology community were disappointed with the lack of specificity and new information, but officials had been fairly clear from the beginning that the public report wasn’t going to provide much of that. But still, as I already mentioned, there were important conclusions in the report that merit our attention. I was personally quite satisfied with the report because it touches on a couple of things that I had sincerely hoped they could nail down for us. The first, and perhaps most important, was an acknowledgment by the government that “most” of the sighted objects are “real” in a physical sense, and some of them perform in inexplicable ways.

Most of the UAP reported probably do represent physical objects given that a majority of UAP were registered across multiple sensors, to include radar, infrared, electro-optical, weapon seekers, and visual observation.

In a limited number of incidents, UAP reportedly appeared to exhibit unusual flight characteristics. These observations could be the result of sensor errors, spoofing, or observer misperception and require additional rigorous analysis.

That was the first admission I was hoping for. Yes, the UFOs are real. As you can see, ODNI felt obligated to include the possibility that some of the “unusual flight characteristics” could be the result of sensor errors. But that’s only a “could be” explanation. If you listen to the pilots involved in some of these encounters, it’s clear that they weren’t seeing a sensor error.

The second major point that was covered addresses the issue of who created these things. The authors of the report were again hedging their bets and leaving room for speculation, but the bottom line is that they don’t know. Further, they have no evidence to suggest that it’s the Russians or the Chinese. (Emphasis added)

We currently lack data to indicate any UAP are part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary. We continue to monitor for evidence of such programs given the counter intelligence challenge they would pose, particularly as some UAP have been detected near military facilities or by aircraft carrying the USG’s most advanced sensor systems.

In case you have any doubts as to whether they believe this could all just be secret tech from foreign rivals, I would point you to a statement issued by Marco Rubio shortly after the report was released. (Remember that Rubio was one of the key drivers in getting this report created and released in the first place.)

If there was any suggestion that these objects were the property of the Russians or the Chinese and they’re flying around in the middle of our naval battle groups and over our nuclear facilities, there wouldn’t be any discussion going on as to whether they “might be” a threat to national security. We would be very nearly on a war-footing already.

There’s going to be more action coming soon. Shortly after the report came out, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum (available at The Black Vault today) directing “all military aircrews or government personnel” to report any unusual sightings to their chain of command. They are also expanding the scope of the UAP Task Force to grow well beyond just the Navy and coordinate all of the data collected. The report also speaks to the need for more “resources” (meaning funding) to establish a permanent program to investigate UAP. That’s some of the best news of all, assuming Congress approves that request, which they almost certainly will.

So, assuming you’re convinced that the government is telling the truth about all of this (a big assumption, I know), we’ve learned that the UFOs are real. They’re not ours and they’re almost certainly not the property of one of our adversaries. And some of them do things that they just shouldn’t be able to do based on our understanding of the laws of physics. So who made them? That’s the next question and the next chapter in this story. No, we can’t blame “dem aliens,” or at least not yet. No evidence to support that idea has been confirmed thus far. But we’re running out of other suspects quickly.

And to think that almost none of this would have been possible were it not for the efforts of a few key people who brought this subject to the attention of the mainstream and out of the fringe. Chief among those have been Chris Mellon and Lue Elizondo, the guy who ran AATIP for years and blew the lid off the whole UFO subject. Speaking of Lue Elizondo, he weighed in almost immediately.

Thank you very much, Lue. It’s been a pleasure, and the ride is far from over.

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