The Pentagon Forms New Department to Watch and Study UFOs

The new group will coordinate efforts across branches in an effort to figure out what, exactly, is flying around up there.
Image: U.S. Navy photo
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The Pentagon announced the formation of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG), a successor to the U.S. Navy’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. The group study Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP), the U.S. military’s name for UFOs.

According to the Pentagon’s press release, “the AOIMSG will synchronize efforts across the Department and the broader U.S. government to detect, identify and attribute objects of interests in Special Use Airspace (SUA), and to assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security.”

UFOs have been an obsession of the Pentagon (and broader society) for decades. In the 1950s and 60s, the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book studied the phenomenon. In the preceding years, tales of strange lights in the sky captivated the world. Interest in UFOs waxed and waned over the years but exploded again recently when U.S. Navy pilots began giving interviews on high profile programs like 60 Minutes about the strange things they’d seen in the sky.

The New York Times and former Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge’s UFO research group, The The Stars Academy, released videos of supposed UFOs taken by the Navy in 2017. Three years later, the Navy officially published the videos. Senator Harry Reid publicly said that the videos only scratched the surface of what the Pentagon knows and both Biden and Obama have mentioned the phenomenon.

In June, the Pentagon released a report detailing what it does and doesn’t know. Dubbed a preliminary assessment, the report detailed 144 sightings and explained that only a small number “appeared to display unusual flight characteristics or signature management" that can't be explained without "scientific advances that allowed us to better understand them."

The report concluded by saying the Pentagon needed more time and money to better understand what was happening in the sky. It looks like it’s going to get it. “Incursions by any airborne object into our SUA pose safety of flight and operations security concerns, and may pose national security challenges,” the press release about the AOIMSG said. “DOD takes reports of incursions—by any airborne object, identified or unidentified—very seriously, and investigates each one.”