Remember the Twilight Zone on television? Well, play that theme song in your head while you read this post…
The US Navy is drafting new guidelines for reporting Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) after a significant uptick in the number of sightings on (above?) American soil.
No, it doesn’t mean we’re being invaded by aliens (at least not yet). Nor does it mean that the US is about to live out the storyline from Colony, Netflix’s all-too-soon ended show about an Earth under alien control.
So what DOES it mean?
- First, “UFO” does not equal alien. A UFO is anything in the sky that cannot be accurately identified — an animal, a device, an aircraft, or even some kind of natural phenomenon. UFOs are a significant concern, but not because they spell doom for humans due to an oncoming onslaught of alien warriors.
- Instead, the risks are much more mundane. Flying devices can be used in attacks by foreign enemies, to import drugs across the border, and even to gather intel at America’s military bases.
- Studying UFOs is extremely important. Regardless of what the object is, or what discoveries are made along the way, the information gathered is almost always useful. In some cases, that info is even critically important to national security, as it can reveal an impending threat, such as an aircraft flying in to attack.
- UFOs may also indicate that a foreign entity or enemy has achieved a technological breakthrough, making them much more powerful, and thus, much more dangerous. In a world where tech is advancing more and more rapidly all across the world, this must be considered.
- Even when the phenomenon turns out to be natural, studying it can be remarkably insightful. In 2009, researchers received reports of an “alien spaceship” that turned out to be a strange type of lighting filled with “blue jets,” later theorizing that the phenomenon may impact ozone and the weather.
- The Navy’s statement announcing significant changes for reporting UFOs clarifies the issue further. “There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated airspace in recent years,” it reads. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.”
- One such report includes a release from To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences that showcases a declassified video of two Navy pilots coming into close contact with a UFO. “GO FAST,” which has been certified authentic by the DoD, is a remarkable watch:
- The UFO in the GoFast video was never identified, but that doesn’t mean studying it isn’t useful. The information within it can help our military better protect the country and improve tech equipment — far from a simple spooky alien story on television.
- In fact, former Pentagon intelligence official Chris Mellon believes we should retire the term UFO altogether. Instead, he proposes “unexplained aerial phenomena,” which demystifies the subject and encourages a more scientific and analytical approach.
- “Right now, we have a situation in which UFOs and UAPs are treated as anomalies to be ignored rather than anomalies to be explored,” he explains. “We have systems that exclude that information and dump it.”
- Mellon also cautions against the assumptive mindset that most UFOs should be ignored. “…in a lot of cases [military personnel] don’t know what to do with that information, like satellite data or a radar that sees something going Mach 3. They will dump [the data] because that is not a traditional aircraft or missile.”
The new Navy guidelines will encourage and require sightings to be reported “to cognizant authorities” depending on the specifics of the incident. This could very well lead to technological advancement, improved national defense — and yes, maybe the discovery of new life, too.
You just never know.