If the legislation clears the Senate as is, the new office would investigate military reports of unexplained incidents—and whether they’re linked to foreign threats.
Tucked into the House of Representatives’ lengthy fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act proposal lawmakers passed Thursday evening is a provision to form a permanent office under the Defense secretary, where officials would investigate government- and military-provided reports of unexplained sights in the sky.
That office would “carry out, on a department-wide basis, the mission currently performed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force,” according to a less-than-five-page section in the House’s NDAA, which was put forth by Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., a Marine Corps combat veteran.
The U.S. government has a rocky history of grappling with “flying saucers” and other mysterious water and aircraft. Pre-dated by the hush-hush Advanced Aerial Threat Identification Program in the mid-aughts, the Defense Department’s UAP Task Force was formed more recently after mounting public pressure, and the release and authentication of videos depicting Navy pilots engaging with what appeared to be UFOs. An unclassified, 9-page preliminary assessment on the UAPTF released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in June confirmed that more than 140 reports of UAP-associated observations originated from government sources in recent years—80 of which were further validated via multiple sensors.