The US Navy has sensationally admitted that UFOs have been spotted near military facilities.
It has received ‘a number of reports’ of unidentified aircraft travelling into protected airspace over military ranges, which means land owned by the American armed forces.
Defence chiefs are so concerned that they have ordered the development of a new process to report and record mysterious sightings of ‘unauthorised’ and ‘unidentified aircraft’.
The announcement comes after details of a secret research drive called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) have slowly leaked into the public domain over the past two years.
As well as investigating advanced technology like wormholes, anti-gravity and laser weapons, the project probed ‘unexplained aerial phenomena’.
One of the most famous incidents revealed during the exposure of AATIP took place in 2004 when pilots on the USS Nimitz Carrier Group were outmanoeuvred by ‘Tic Tac’ crafts moving so quickly they did not appear to obey the laws of physics.
In a statement given to Politico, the Navy said: ‘There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years.
‘For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.
‘As part of this effort, the Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft.’
The UFOs which are likely to have been investigated by the Navy are not necessarily sent by aliens.
Luis Elizondo, the ex-Pentagon staffer who headed up AATIP, told Politico the aircraft ‘don’t have a tail number or a flag — in some cases not even a tail’.
‘What happens in five years if it turns out these are extremely advanced Russian aircraft?’ he asked.
Nick Pope, former UFO investigator for the Ministry of Defence, told Metro that the move was ‘bold and long overdue’.
‘As I know only too well from my experience having investigated UFOs for the Ministry of Defence, there’s chronic under-reporting of UFOs in the military pilot community, as well as in the commercial airline pilot community,’ he continued.
‘That’s because people fear they won’t be believed, they worry about ridicule, and – above all – they’re scared that some psychologist might question their state of mind, resulting in them being grounded. Whatever one believes about the true nature of the UFO phenomenon, they’re being seen by pilots, tracked on radar systems and sometimes captured on film.
‘Whether you’re a sceptic or a believer, whether you think these things are Russian or Martian, it’s time to lose the pop culture baggage associated with UFOs.
‘It’s time to have a mature, informed debate about the phenomenon and acknowledge what those of us who’ve looked at this from within government already know, namely that there are important defence, national security and air safety issues at stake here.’
We asked Pope why the US Navy is involved rather than the Airforce.
He replied: ‘The UFO issue can be toxic and the US Navy may well face criticism for this move. There may be political fallout, and this new initiative is likely to spark all sorts of bizarre conspiracy theories. Interestingly, this might just be one of those rare instances where the conspiracy theories turn out to be true.
‘For years, there have been rumours that it’s the Navy and not the Air Force that has the policy lead on UFOs. It sounds counter-intuitive. The US government’s old UFO program, Project Blue Book, was run by the United States Air Force. In the UK, the MoD’s UFO project had lots of cases involving the Royal Air Force, but very little from the Royal Navy.
‘But the rumours persist, and when the story broke about the Pentagon’s AATIP program, it was three videos of US Navy jets chasing UFOs that made headlines all around the world. So it doesn’t surprise me to see the US Navy leading the way here. There’s always been inter-service rivalry, and President Trump’s Space Force aspirations have added a new dimension to this.
‘A new space race is underway, and the US Navy clearly wants to be at the heart of it.’