Originally posted on July 4, 2021
On 25 June 2021 the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report titled Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. It’s a modest 7 pages plus 2 appendices, taking the total number of pages to 9.
It has been called “disappointing” by the media, and it has been promptly ignored – probably because its contents suit a subtle mentality, and not one greedy for sensation. It does not ‘disclose’ anything about UFOs – or UAPs as the US military calls them.
The report confines itself to reports on UAPs from 2004 to 2021, “with the majority coming in the last two years…” This has the advantage of relying on reports from military [mostly air force] personnel using high tech tracking systems. This is important in the light of this comment from page 4 – “We were able to identify one reported UAP with high confidence. In that case, we identified the object as a large, deflating balloon. The others remain unexplained.”
The report notes “144 reports originated from USG sources. Of these, 80 reports involved observation with multiple sensors” and goes on to observe that “Most reports described UAP as objects that interrupted pre-planned training or other military activity.”
So, let’s unpack that. From 2019 to 2021up to 80 reports on UAPs were generated by witnesses using highly sophisticated US military sensors. And yet, only one of all reported sightings was identified – a large deflating balloon.
The report, under the heading And a Handful of UAP Appear to Demonstrate Advanced Technology observes that:
In 18 incidents, described in 21 reports, observers reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics.
Some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernable means of propulsion. In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency (RF) energy associated with UAP sightings.
The UAPTF [Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force – my note] holds a small amount of data that appear to show UAP demonstrating acceleration or a degree of signature management. Additional rigorous analysis are necessary by multiple teams or groups of technical experts to determine the nature and validity of these data. We are conducting further analysis to determine if breakthrough technologies were demonstrated.
The report says that UAPs probably lack a single explanation, which is fair enough, save that there is one glaring omission from the 5 options given. Several are worth noting:
- USG or Industry Developmental Programs: Some UAP observations could be attributable to developments and classified programs by U.S. entities. We were unable to confirm, however, that these systems accounted for any of the UAP reports we collected.
- Foreign Adversary Systems: Some UAP may be technologies deployed by China, Russia, another nation, or a non-governmental entity.
- Other: Although most of the UAP described in our dataset probably remain unidentified due to limited data or challenges to collection processing or analysis, we may require additional scientific knowledge to successfully collect on, analyze and characterize some of them. We would group such objects in this category pending scientific advances that allowed us to better understand them. The UAPTF intends to focus additional analysis on the small number of cases where a UAP appeared to display unusual flight characteristics or signature management.
So, what is going on here? In terms of what is known as definitely true on the evidence available, the report’s authors are not able to say ET is involved. It is a fair thing to say that such a conclusion might be reasonable drawn from that evidence – on the presumptive exclusion of known sources for what appears to be highly sophisticated craft. But that conclusion is not based on evidence – only inference.
There are observations by informed commentators that the idea that Russia or China might be responsible is silly. It would be impossible to maintain that level of secrecy. Something would leak. The difference between the US aircraft and the UAPs is so significant as to constitute a radical disparity in technological capacity. It is just not reasonable to allow that Russia or China have gotten that far ahead. The same can be said for a private venture.
The report does not cover the conduct of UAPs in this context in a specific way. The report is wary of drawing inference only from the data used to compile the report – predominantly military in the context of assessing threat. There are multiple reports that are not connected with the military. When they are factored in, the conduct of UAPs is not consistent with any comprehensible behaviour by a foreign power or private interest.
There is no doubt that the report’s authors do not raise the topic of ET simply because there is no evidence that allows ET to be more than speculation. It would not be responsible to include such speculation in the report.
We must see this report in its proper context. It concerns an assessment of the possible threat posed by UAPs to US national security. The ‘preliminary’ assessment is interesting:
Potential National Security Challenges
We currently lack data to indicate any UAP are part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary. We continue to monitor for evidence of such programs given the counter intelligence challenge they would pose, particularly as some UAP have been detected near military facilities or by aircraft carrying the USG’s most advanced sensor systems.
What the US plans to do tells us something important. The 2 final paragraphs of the report propose expanding data collection and investing more into figuring out WTF is going on.
The UAPTF is looking for novel ways to increase collection of UAP cluster areas when U.S. forces are not present as a way to baseline “standard” UAP activity and mitigate the collection bias in the dataset. One proposal is to use advanced algorithms to search historical data captured and stored by radars. The UAPTF also plans to update its current interagency UAP collection strategy in order bring to bear relevant collection platforms and methods from the DoD and the IC.
Increase Investment in Research and Development
The UAPTF has indicated that additional funding for research and development could further the future study of the topics laid out in this report. Such investments should be guided by a UAP Collection Strategy, UAP R&D Technical Roadmap, and a UAP Program Plan.
There are indications that the number of encounters with UAPs is significantly increasing, and with social media the chances of containing news of these encounters have dropped to zero.
In the past the US government has been able to bluff the public with nonsense claims that ‘UFO’s are weather balloons or swamp gas fires. A Gallup poll from September 2019 observes that:
- Two-thirds in U.S. say government knows more than it’s saying on UFOs
- One-third thinks some UFOs are actual sightings of alien spacecraft
If we keep in mind the purpose of the report and the fact that it is drawing on evidence only from 2004, it is what is not said that is compelling. The US Airforce has probably the most sophisticated array of sensors on the planet. That tech has not dispelled the UAP illusion. It allows a reasonable conclusion that there are craft under intelligent control performing in ways that far exceed the US’s technological capacity – or immediately foreseeable potential.
The fact that the question as to who or what is operating these craft is unanswered; and seems to be presently unanswerable means that the US is not ruling out, or in, sources for which it has evidence. It has evidence that Russia, China and private enterprises exist. The authors of the report do not [apparently] have evidence that ET exists.
The UAPTF wants more data and more investment in solving the problem. It is not known whether the UAP that seem to exhibit unusual “movement patterns or flight characteristics”constitute a national security threat. At present this assessment can only be in relation to the behaviour of the UAPs, because the relative technological superiority is plain enough.
It takes a wider appreciation of the theme to understand that there must be a significant degree of powerlessness felt by the most powerful military on the planet to be left flatfooted by apparent craft whose performance is far beyond anything imagined outside science fiction. And yet our collective curiosity is seemingly weak.
There are ‘contactee’ reports that assert ET’s intent is benign. Witnesses are saying that UAP behaviour is getting bolder. One might say that it is seeking to get our attention. The fact that this report has been declassified and made public demonstrates that we are starting to pay attention. It is a pity that we have hopeless attention spans. That’s potentially a perilous flaw.
Of course, there is an alternative explanation. We have been fed UFO/ET stories since the 1950s. Perhaps we are so conditioned to accept the notion we are not excited at all. But that does not mean that bringing that relatively unconscious acceptance to consciousness is not a valuable piece of work.
It seems likely that we will collectively become consciously aware of agents not from here in the not-too-distant future. That will have a transformational impact on our individual and shared psyches. That impact can be traumatic or revelatory. How do you want it to be for you?
Why does this matter in the context of this blog? I have watched YouTube videos since posting this in which seemingly senior members of the military are still pushing the “It could be China or Russia.” line. I don’t buy this for the simple reason that the UAP performance plus behaviour does not add up to the conduct of an adversary of any known nature. Besides, the report is an acknowledgement of ignorance, and would not have been released if there was any serious belief the UAPs were from a known adversary.
The fact that the US government was pushed into releasing this report suggests that people are talking openly. Plainly, highly trained pilots do not think what they are encountering are known adversaries. It should be unthinkable that US military personnel would expose the nation to the risk of admitting it does not have the means to defend against Chinese or Russian potential threats.
What nobody is saying frankly is that there is compelling evidence that an unknown agency is engaging with us. It is demonstrating that we do not have the means to confront it – or control that engagement – in a technological sense at least.
I am with the report in that there is no evidence that agency is ET. It is unknown. However, it is entirely reasonable to allow that that agency could be ET. It would therefore be a rational and prudent thing to imagine it is – and think about how we might feel about that – if it turns out to be the case. Here I mean beyond the flip bravado – and down to the essential existential level of individual and shared reaction. This is one thing we can control – or screw up.
Confronting the prospect of engagement with ET is not fundamentally different from engaging with Spirit or spirits. Either way we redefine who we are, where we are, and what we are when we engage with agents who are not from our sense of how things ought to be.