- The US military has received hundreds of new UFO reports in recent years, a new intelligence report reveals.
- Half of the new reported incidents are suspected to be balloons, drones and random disorder.
- Some reports are unknown, and some had “unusual flight characteristics or performance.”
The US military has received hundreds of new UFO reports, a newly released intelligence report has revealed. And while some of the objects have been identified, others remain unknown.
Since March 2021, a special task force established by the Department of Defense has received 247 new unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) — or more commonly unidentified flying objects (UFOs) — according to an unclassified analysis by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released Thursday.
The March 2021 date marks the end of the ODNI’s preliminary assessment period of 17 years, during which there were 144 UAP reports. Since that date, a further 119 incidents have also been reported that occurred before March 2021 but were not included in the preliminary assessment — bringing the total number of reports up to the end of August 2022 to 510.
A Pentagon task force — called the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) — conducted an initial analysis and characterization of 366 new reports not included in ODNI’s preliminary assessment and found that more than half of the objects “exhibited anomalous characteristics.”
According to ODNI’s analysis, 26 objects were determined to be drones or drone-like entities, 163 were characterized as balloons or balloon-like entities, and another six were attributed “clutter.” This could mean, for example, birds, plastic bags, airborne debris or weather.
U.S. officials have attributed a number of UFO incidents to foreign drones involved in espionage or mid-air debris, The New York Times reported last October.
However, ODNI cautioned in its report that these initial characterizations do not mean “positively resolved or unidentified.” These observations simply help the US get the necessary resources to access the remaining 171 new reports that remain uncharacterized.
“Some of these uncharacterized UAPs appear to have exhibited unusual flight characteristics or performance and warrant further analysis,” ODNI wrote.
Most UAP reports come from U.S. Air Force and Navy personnel, who have seen the objects in the course of their regular duties, ODNI said. Although UAPs can potentially pose a safety hazard to aircraft, there have been no reported incidents between US aircraft and UAPs.
“The safety of our service personnel, our bases and installations, and protecting the security of America’s operations on land, in the sky, at sea and in space are paramount,” said Pentagon Air Force Brig. Gene. Pat Ryder said in a statement Thursday about the new ODNI analysis. “We take reports of incursions into our designated space, land, sea or airspace seriously and investigate each one.”
Last May, Congress held its first hearing on UFOs in decades, although it ended without any major breakthroughs. Defense officials testified that while the incidents may be strange, there is nothing to suggest any extraterrestrial characteristics.