The world's largest military says it's serious about investigating unexplained objects in America's skies and will ask service members "- and eventually ordinary people "- to submit what they think might be alien sightings.
That reporting feature will be included on a new a website "- www.aaro.mil "- that the Pentagon is launching as part of efforts to detail its work to get to the bottom of a slew of incidents in recent years. Those encounters have confounded the national security establishment and provoked accusations that the government is covering up what it knows.
The website will document the Defense Department's unclassified work on what it describes as "unidentified anomalous phenomena" and will offer links to reports, frequently asked questions and other data for alien hunters.
It will include a secure way to submit sightings "for consideration and review," Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday. That feature is aimed at dispelling what some fighter pilots have said was a stigma against reporting what they believe could be encounters with extraterrestrial life.
Initially, only service members and civilian Pentagon employees will be able to submit reports. As for regular Americans? "That is something that we will look to do in the future but I don't have an estimate right now in terms of when the public will be able to submit reports," Ryder said.
Interest in the alien sightings exploded into the mainstream in 2020 when the Pentagon released videos taken by naval aviators that showed unexplained objects flying at high speed and moving in ways that defied explanations. During congressional hearings in July, three former military officers described encounters with what they called high-tech, unexplained flying objects. One accused the US of secretly holding onto extraterrestrial wreckage.
Close encounters with UFOs described to Congressional panel
At those hearings, retired Navy commander David Fravor described an encounter with a "white Tic Tac shaped object" during one flight. "There were no rotors, no rotor wash, or any visible flight control surfaces like wings," he testified. He said the device maneuvered abruptly, changed direction rapidly and "defied material science."
Another witness, David Grusch, who has claimed whistleblower status, said he knows of the "exact locations" of some recoveries, which included what he called non-human biological matter.
The US military says it has no evidence that interstellar travelers have visited Earth. But in a further sign of the Pentagon's seriousness, Ryder said Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks has been appointed to lead the team that oversees the tracking and reporting of such unexplained encounters, known as the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office.