The mystery is
still up there
Radio has something called a Driveway Moment; you’re listening to a program so riveting that you cannot break away. I had a Driveway Moment a few months ago while listening to the New Yorker Radio Hour on my drive home from the grocery store.
An investigative journalist, Leslie Kean, was being interviewed. It caught and held my full attention, so I sat in my vehicle until the program’s conclusion.
Because Kean is a respected journalist whose work is found in the New York Times, The Nation, Boston Globe, Huffington Post and many other newspapers and magazines.
She has written extensively on Burma’s ongoing civil war and authored a best-selling book in 2010 titled UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record.
To Kean’s further journalistic credit, she is not afraid to tackle topics that are often considered taboo by the mainstream. She does so objectively and critically; to me, she has credibility in spades.
And, she was talking about a highly anticipated report expected from the U.S. government on – are you ready for this? – UFOs.
UAPs, the new UFOs
In December 2017, Kean dropped a bombshell when her co-authored article appeared in the New York Times revealing a secret government program.
The U.S. government had been studying national security risks associated with Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. UAPs were formerly called UFOs or unidentified flying objects.
Replacing UFOs with UAPs probably has to do with the public’s association of the former term (UFO) with extraterrestrials, aka Aliens. For the government and most scientists, the possibility that the objects of concern are from outer space is literally at the bottom of their list of candidates.
In 2007, a Senate-sponsored bill included a directive to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to prepare a report, one classified and another, unclassified, to the Congressional Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. Guess who gets the unclassified version?
You are correct – us.
The report is intended to reveal the findings of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF). This group was tasked with assessing the threat posed by unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).
Pilot reports of UFOs are not new. They go back at least to World War II. *
No more swamp gas and weather balloons to explain all sightings.
The highly anticipated report was released yesterday, June 25, 2021.
This article was begun before the report was released. The findings, which I will shortly summarize, have changed the trajectory of this column to some degree, but the focus remains the same. Is there evidence that inexplicable objects are operating in our air space? Alien or not.
It appears from the report that there is, but there is no evidence that would reveal the origin of these objects. Although we are not privy to the contents of the classified report, we must all wonder what undisclosed information that document contains.
I trust that most of you have seen the recently released videos taken by Navy pilots during training maneuvers off the coast of San Diego
Please keep in mind that our military pilots are highly skilled; millions of dollars are spent on training them.
These young folks represent the very best our country has to offer. They are far more competent observers than the average person. They better be, when flying in formation and practicing maneuvers at speeds of nearly 1,000 miles per hour.
When our pilots report seeing objects up there demonstrating flight characteristics that do not exist in our fleets, we better listen.
The pilots of F/A 18F fighters, part of a carrier strike group, reported observing aircraft having no flight control surfaces or visible means of propulsion. Additionally, these UAPs could descend 80,000 feet in less than a second.
The government has moved away from suggesting, particularly with our pilots’ experiences, that every UAP observed is nothing more than illusions, drones or weather balloons. Shrugging these sightings off as such carries significant risk to our national security and to our already crowded airspace.
So, what’s in the report?
Not a lot, but far more than previous reports such as Project Blue Book’s Condon Report of 1969 that seemed to point to swamp gas and weather balloons as behind most sightings.
It was later rumored that Edward Condon, who edited the report, never actually read it. His summary of the report was erroneously a “nothing to see here folks” conclusion to years of research.
There is a little meat on the bone that the government tossed us with the new report if you read it carefully. It admits to identifying only one of the pilot sightings out of the 144 UAP reports studied– in this case, a large deflating balloon.
As well, it does not explicitly rule out that any of the remaining observed UAPs are extraterrestrial. Nor does it deny that these are solid objects. In fact, there is expressed concern that they may pose a threat to national security and suggest a standardized reporting system for UAPs.
The report places the UAP sightings in five categories:
• Airborne clutter and debris, radar system glitches, etc.
• Industrial or government research programs.
• Natural atmospheric phenomena.
• Unknown technology of foreign adversaries. (Russia and China would be on the shortlist for this category.)
So, could “Other” be coyly referring to non-terrestrial technology? Maybe you noticed how the “A” word was adroitly avoided.
Luis Elizondo is the former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). When interviewed on CBS 60 Minutes a few months ago about the threat potential of UAPs, he said, “Is it (UAPs) some sort of new type of cruise missile technology that China has developed?
“Is it some sort of high-altitude balloon that’s conducting reconnaissance? Ultimately when you have exhausted all those what-ifs, and you’re still left with the fact that this is in our airspace and it’s real, that’s when it becomes problematic.”
We seem to have arrived at the intersection with Mr. Elizondo’s final word in his statement. These objects are real, and they are in our airspace. Additionally, the report settles the question of whether the UAPs are secret U.S. technology – they are not. So, they must be “problematic.”
This article is intended to examine the topic of UAPs objectively; even writing about this subject often invites derision. There was a deliberate attempt to avoid plunging down the rabbit hole into conspiracy theory hell in favor of simply providing facts as I understand them.
I do hope that was accomplished.
For Your Consideration
This episode is dedicated to Steve Fisher, a friend and wildlife biologist extraordinaire. Steve’s life and untimely death made me realize how vastly underequipped we are to perceive the true breadth of reality.
* Pilots on both sides during World War II frequently reported seeing bright orbs that followed their aircraft and vastly outmaneuvered them. They were given the name Foo Fighters. One explanation of the phenomena offered by scientists was St. Elmo’s Fire.