Congress to order the establishment of a permanent office to investigate UFOs

As regular readers may recall, much of the bruhaha surrounding the Pentagon’s June 25 report on the activities of the UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or what we call UFOs) Task Force, was kicked off by the passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by Donald Trump last December. The portion of the annual, “must-pass” bill that covered the UAP Task Force spawned considerable interest from the Armed Services and Intelligence committees in both the House and the Senate, leading to classified briefings that took place earlier this year.

Now we appear to be entering the next act of this highly interesting play. The new Fiscal Year 2022 bill is already in the works and it once again includes intriguing language about the UAP Task Force. But unlike the last bill, which seemed to be largely an exploratory, fact-finding measure, this version (assuming it passes) will lead to far more concrete actions. As investigative journalist Tim McMillan revealed today at The Debrief, Congress wants the Pentagon to replace the UAP Task Force with a regular office inside the Defense Department tasked with handling the study of UFOs, collecting data and reporting to Congress. As the term is used inside the government, “task forces” are temporary in nature by definition. This move would create a more formal structure under the Department of Defense, complete with funding and personnel, that would initially run until at least 2026, but could be extended further as needed.

Legislation contained within the upcoming FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act calls for the establishment of a permanent office to address “unidentified aerial phenomena” or “UAP,” more commonly known as UFOs.

“Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish an office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to carry out, on a Department-wide basis, the mission currently performed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force as of the date of the enactment of this Act,” the proposed legislation reads.

If passed, the move would represent a monumental shift in the U.S. government’s over half-century position on UFOs and represent the first formally acknowledged and permanently staffed effort to investigate unexplained aerial activity since the 1969 closure of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book.

Tim has all of the details of this unexpected and very welcome development at the link, along with a thorough recap of what led up to this moment, so be sure to check that out if you’re not up to speed on all of this yet. The rest of the language in the proposed NDAA reveals even more intriguing details, however. The new office would be responsible for developing procedures to synchronize and standardize “the collection, reporting, and analysis” of UFO encounters by all branches of the military and other applicable agencies. They would have to develop a central repository to collect such reports from all branches of the military. Further, they would establish and coordinate cooperation with allies of the United States, which seems particularly important considering that this has been clearly defined as a global phenomenon and not one that is just applicable to the United States.

Some eyebrows may be raised by one portion of the bill saying that the new office would be tasked with evaluating potential “links between unidentified aerial phenomena and adversarial foreign governments, other foreign governments, or non-state actors.” This leaves open the possibility that the craft are not from “out there” but may still be the products of Russian, Chinese, or other adversarial nations’ technology. But until the point where we actually find out what these things are, that option was always going to have to remain on the table. After all, this is our military. Job One is evaluating potential military threats from adversaries. And that has to remain a possibility for them until such time as it can be definitively ruled out.

There will also be regularly scheduled briefings and reports, some of them public, on the work of this new office and what is known about our backlog of reports of such encounters. Just as with the last report, I’m not going to get my hopes up too far just yet, but it seems like Congress from both sides of the aisle are taking this issue seriously. I don’t get to say this very often, but… good job, Congress. I salute you.