Is it a bird? Is it a plane? According to US Department of Defense (DoD) officials, it might just be drones and weather balloons.
US intelligence agencies are finally clamping down on unidentified flying objects (UFO) and unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) by analysing footage of hundreds of recent encounters. While this might put a damper on that cousin who insists that “aliens live among us, and he’s seen one”, at least we now walk a step closer to the truth.
According to anonymous DoD officials, most recent spottings are “relatively ordinary” foreign surveillance operations or airborne litter, such as weather balloons. They blame China and insist that the communist nation has been deploying drones to steal plans of advanced US fighter planes.
In fact, this new announcement builds upon a document released by the US last year that provided information describing 144 alleged UAP encounters with inconclusive explanations. However, the paper did more harm than good due to a lack of complete transparency.
Furthermore, most descriptions in the docket were just blanket statements categorising the encounters as “technologies deployed by China, Russia, another nation, or a non-governmental entity”. Officials explained that they could only offer as much explanation “without putting national security at risk”, which understandably spawned a hotbed of conspiracy theories on the internet.
Another reason why the officials couldn’t boil the matter down to the bones was because there simply wasn’t enough data to sufficiently explain the incidents.
“In many cases, observed phenomena are classified as ‘unidentified’ simply because sensors were not able to collect enough information to make a positive attribution,” explains Sue Gough, a DoD spokesperson. “We are working to mitigate these shortfalls for the future and to ensure we have sufficient data for our analysis.”
However, they did manage to hammer down some nails on some of the bizarre phenomena that were previously unexplained. For example, the leaked military-captured “GOFAST” video that showed a UAP blazing at unimaginable speeds was explained as just an optical illusion caused by the angle with which the recording was taken. The officials explained that the actual object was only moving at around 48 kilometres an hour.
And now, NASA has also entered the UFO search by establishing its own study team that will collect data on such phenomena to effectively classify future occurrences.
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