Is the Pentagon's new UFO office a revelation or just another coverup?

Is the Pentagon's new UFO office a revelation or just another coverup?
AP Photo/John Locher

Count this as one story I never thought I would see being covered by NBC News, but here we are. With the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act last month, Congress ordered the creation of a new office under the umbrella of the Defense Intelligence Agency that would be tasked with investigating and analyzing reported sightings of UFOs. (Or UAP, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, as we’re supposed to call them these days.) This order came largely at the direction of an amendment entered by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, with bipartisan cosponsorship from others including Marco Rubio.

Unfortunately for the many people who have been following this topic for many years, a new debate broke out inside of what’s come to be known as the ufology community almost immediately. Some saw this news as an indication that “Disclosure” of the secrets behind the UFO phenomenon and what the government really knows about them could be close at hand. Others, who have been more than suspicious of the American government on this subject for decades and believe that a coverup has been taking place disagreed. Would the new office usher in a new era of transparency and public revelations? Or would everything be swept back under the rug away from the prying eyes of the world? NBC News reporter Alex Seitz-Wald jumps into the debate this week.

The establishment of a new office, signed into law just before New Year’s, to study “unidentified aerial phenomenon” has divided the loose community of activists, researchers and pseudo scientists who hunt for proof that we are not alone in the universe.

Some hail the legislation creating the new office, tucked into section 1683 of the massive National Defense Authorization Act, for bringing new resources, rigor and officialdom to the investigation of a phenomenon — and a potential national security threat — that has long been stigmatized in a way that makes it difficult to study…

But the movement has long believed the government is covering up the greatest secret in history, so many are having a hard time believing the feds want to do anything other than clamp down again after several years in which it became socially acceptable for former presidents and CIA directors to talk publicly about weird things they’d seen in the skies.

NBC checked in with a variety of people who are well known in ufology circles, ranging from a representative of MUFON to Lue Elizondo and Steven Greer. MUFON doesn’t think that new resources will be put into the investigation of exotic craft because they ” believe that considerable resources have always been dedicated to the matter at some level inside deep government and industry.”

Greer, on the other hand, objects to the idea that UFOs should be treated as a security threat at all. He believes that the federal government has been gaslighting us for years on this issue and that the aliens (assuming there actually are aliens inside the craft) are here to help us.

As [Greer] sees it, aliens are here to help us and the military-industrial complex is hyping their danger and creating the U.S. Space Force to prepare for interplanetary war, arguing movies like “Independence Day” are part of “a false narrative created by covert groups striving to generate fear of ETs.”

I realize that I get paid to offer my opinions on the issues of the day and I have been following and covering the UFO topic for many years. But with that said, I’m hesitant to even dip a toe in this latest debate. I’m always glad to see more attention being paid to the subject in public by both the government and the mainstream media, but there simply isn’t enough information out there yet to draw many definitive conclusions, at least in my opinion.

Is the government hiding secrets about what could potentially be the greatest story in the history of mankind? You can bet your last dollar on that. They classify (and grossly overclassify) so much information that a lot of it is always withheld. But how much do they really know? And who exactly is the “they” that we’re talking about? At one end of the spectrum are the people who remain convinced that various governments around the world have known of one or more intelligent, technologically advanced extraterrestrial presences on our planet for at least the past 75 years. Many in that group believe that our leaders and our military have been in contact with these beings and even have examples of their technology and biology tucked away in the dark corners of the military-industrial complex.

Other’s are far from convinced, suspecting that the government probably has much better photos and videos than the public has been shown, but they are largely as confused as we are. I land somewhere between the two camps, personally. I’m confident that there are at least some people deep in the bowels of the military’s special access programs (SAPs) who have a lot of knowledge, though it may not rise to the level of crashed flying saucers hidden under the deserts outside of Las Vegas. But even if they have such knowledge, would they share it with presidents or members of Congress? I’m guessing that our elected officials have seen some fascinating or even alarming things in classified briefings such as the ones that Gillibrand and Rubio (among others) have received. That’s why they’ve pushed for the creation of this office. But the career military and intelligence people who are truly on the inside would never entirely empty the bag for them.

The new office is scheduled to deliver reports (both public and private) and more congressional briefings over the course of the year. We shall soon enough know what they are willing to share with us, if not the full extent of all the goods they have. But today I will simply offer a tip of my hat to NBC News for taking a serious look at this subject and reporting on it (mostly) responsibly. Welcome to the party, pals. It only gets crazier from here on out.

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