Pentagon to release official report on UFO sightings by end of June
There was a time when reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFO's) were often dismissed as unreliable or outright exaggerations, but in recent years numerous military officials have reported seeing and even captured footage of unrecognizable objects speeding across the sky.
As a result, Congress has demanded that the government investigate and release an official report on UFO sightings by the end of June, according to BBC News.
This led the Pentagon to found the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force in 2020, a group responsible for analyzing incidents of UFO sightings.
The Pentagon said the Task Force would "detect, analyze and catalog" these events, and "gain insight" into the "nature and origins" of UFOs.
Lawmakers were provided with a classified version of the group's report earlier this month.
According to the BBC, unnamed officials told reporters the document says an analysis revealed no evidence of extraterrestrial activity, but has not completely ruled out the possibility.
The report is also said to have confirmed that the 120 UFO sightings mentioned in the document were not observations of secret U.S. military technology.
Included in the report are three videos the Pentagon declassified in 2020 and described as footage of "unexplained aerial phenomena," according to the BBC.
The Pentagon's establishment of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force does not mark the start of the government's interest in UFO sightings.
According to the BBC, the Pentagon has been surreptitiously collecting data since 2007 as part of the government's military-led Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.
Nevada Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat who represents the region that encompasses Area 51, requested funding for the little-known program.
In addition to these behind-the-scenes actions in relation to UFO sightings, public speculation was triggered when President Donald Trump broached the topic during a 2020 interview, saying he would not disclose, even to his family, what he'd learned about aliens.
"I won't talk to you about what I know about it, but it's very interesting," Trump said.
However, President Obama appeared to clear up any speculation on extraterrestrial life in connection with UFO sightings during a May 2021 interview with Late-Night Television host James Corden.
During the interview, Obama said, "When I came into office, I asked... is there the lab somewhere where we're keeping the alien specimens and spaceship? And you know, they did a little bit of research and the answer was no."
After clarifying this point, he then went on to acknowledge that UFO sightings were confirmed, saying, "What is true, and I'm actually being serious here, is that there are, there's footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don't know exactly what they are."
"We can't explain how they moved, their trajectory... And so, you know, I think that people still take seriously trying to investigate and figure out what that is."
Some military leaders warn that the technology seen during the reported UFO sightings, if not alien, may belong to US adversaries such as Russia or China.
The information in the much-anticipated official report on UFO sightings is not expected to shed earth-shattering light on the origins of the unidentified objects, but to clarify what the government has learned and is doing to learn more about the incidents.