U.S. intelligence agencies received 366 reports of unidentified airborne objects between March 2021 and August 2022, according to the newly revealed unclassified version of a report provided to Congress in 2022.
A majority of the new reports — totaling 510 over a 17-year period — originated from U.S. military pilots and operators, who say they observed strange flying objects while on duty, according to the report, which the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released in unclassified form Thursday. Just over half of the 366 new sightings were marked down as everyday objects after a first pass, but government agencies tasked with investigating the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) said 171 required further analysis.
Of the new UAP reported, six were attributed to airborne clutter, 26 appeared to be drones and 163 were characterized as balloons or similar objects, according to the report. The rest “demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities.”
“Regardless of the collection or reporting method, many reports lack enough detailed data to enable attribution of with high certainty,” the report stated.
That echoes remarks from Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough, who told The New York Times in October that many of the cases remain unsolved because “sensors were not able to collect enough information to make a positive attribution.”
Intelligence officials in October attributed many of the objects to Chinese surveillance efforts, the NYT reported, citing Pentagon officials familiar with the contents of the classified document. Using commercial drones, Beijing can spy on U.S. military bases to observe the training tactics of U.S. pilots, the officials said.
Pentagon officials insist none of the objects so far appear to have extraterrestrial origins, according to the NYT.
ODNI attributed the increase in the number of UAP reports since 2021 to a better understanding of the threat, such as surveillance, such objects present, as well as to decreased stigma against claiming a sighting, according to the report.
This increased reporting allows more opportunities to apply rigorous analysis and resolve events,” the report stated.
ODNI’s preliminary assessment, completed in June 2021, reported 144 UAP sightings between November 2004 and March 2021. Limited data available at the time left the agency unable to attribute most of the sightings, although 18 of the incidents appeared to demonstrate advanced technology, according to the assessment.
That year, Congress instructed intelligence agencies to deliver a classified report on UAPs as part of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, CNBC reported. That report was delivered in October 2022.
Three videos declassified in April 2020 appear to show unidentified flying objects. In one video from 2015, the Navy pilots who captured the footage remark on the objects’ speed against the wind, and one man suggests the object could be a drone.
ODNI and the National Security Council did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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