“[T]here have been a certain percentage of this volume of reports that have been made by credible observers of relatively incredible things. It is this group of observations that we now are attempting to resolve.” That was how a US Air Force general — Major General John Samford — addressed the issue of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) following a July 1952 UFO sighting in Washington, DC.
Sixty-nine years later, America’s capital city is again abuzz with talk about UFOs, or what the US government refers to as “unidentified aerial phenomena.” No, this is not a case of collective insanity. Instead, the chatter reflects a now-established fact that some UFOs are real and true unknowns.
The US government assesses that some UFOs — those few that are not misidentified weather phenomena, aircraft, or balloons — are real. So real, in fact, that the Pentagon’s Inspector General is now investigating the ongoing Navy-led investigation into UFOs. The investigation-of-the-investigation is designed to ensure that all that can be done to gather more information is being done. And that’s not all. Responding to an explicit request from the Senate Intelligence Committee, the US intelligence community will deliver a public assessment report on UFOs this summer.
As General Samford’s statement suggests, the American government has known UFOs are a real concern since at least the Second World War. But two things have changed in the last few years.
First, Lue Elizondo went public. Elizondo, who headed up the Pentagon’s UFO research program under President Obama and during the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, came forward to suggest the government’s investigation of UFOs wasn’t been adequately resourced. His comments informed a December 2017 New York Times report which included three videos showing US Navy fighter jet intercepts of UFOs in 2004 and 2015.
What’s also changed is that we now have highly reliable data and witness recordings of escalated frequency of UFO sightings in proximity to sensitive US military sites.
That bears note in light of a couple of other things General Samford said in 1952. For one, what Samford described as the military’s “basic difficulty in dealing with [the true UFOs] is that there is no measurement of them that makes it possible for us to put them in any pattern that would be profitable for a deliberate, custom sort of analysis to take the next step.” Modern military radar, satellite, sonar, video, and other sensor capabilities mean that this is no longer a problem. Samford also suggested that “we have as of date come to only one firm conclusion with respect to this remaining percentage and that is that it does not contain any pattern of purpose, or of consistency, that we can relate to any conceivable threat to the United States.”
This statement was likely true at the time, but it is manifestly inaccurate today.
Consider, for example, that there is an established synergy between US military nuclear reactors and weapons and UFO sightings. Classified Navy assessments suggest that this is at least one of the reasons its aircraft carriers and submarines (nuclear-powered and in some cases, nuclear-armed) keep coming across UFOs. Then there’s the increased scale and quality of data collected during these UFO sightings. The top line: trained military observers including pilots, radar, sonar, and satellite sensor operators have repeatedly seen – and continue to see – UFOs that perform in extraordinary ways that seem to defy our understanding of physics.
Every informed active and former government official I have talked to suggests that these most compelling, true-unknown UFOs are not from Area 51 or some other secret US “black project.” Many government officials also believe it is also exceptionally unlikely that these UFOs are operated by China, Russia, or a tech genius such as Elon Musk.
Last year, The Debrief’s Tim McMillan and myself separately confirmed that Navy aviators flying an F-18 fighter jet photographed a triangle-shaped UFO rising out of the ocean and accelerating at high speed to altitude. No nation is known to have aerial platforms anything similar to these. When we consider the most advanced American, Chinese, and Russian hypersonic vehicle platforms, for example, these cannot go underwater, have considerably lower speed limits, and rely on jet fuel propulsion.
Put simply, something very interesting is going on. Perhaps there are countries or individuals who live on our planet who have achieved technological feats that we previously couldn’t have even imagined. Or perhaps we have witnessed a phenomenon that comes from elsewhere. Either way, the US government is taking such investigations seriously — so why shouldn’t we?
Tom Rogan writes on national security and foreign policy issues for the Washington Examiner