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On Thursday, the Director of National Intelligence released a new report on UFOs in 2022, something it is now required to do by law. According to the report, the new Pentagon agency studying the phenomenon of strange things seen in the sky processed 247 fresh UFO sightings last year.After a surge of public interest in UFOs—what the Pentagon now calls unidentified aerial phenomenon, or UAPs—and a wave of high profile witness reports from credible sources like Navy fighter pilots, the Pentagon established the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). The goal of the AARO is to study the phenomenon of UFOs. The same governmental acts that created the AARO required the Pentagon to report to congress and the public about its activities.
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This new report is a high-level summary of the U.S. military’s investigation into UFOs since its initial report on the matter in 2021. “In addition to the 144 UAP reports covered during the 17 years of UAP reporting included in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) preliminary assessment, there have been 247 new reports and another 119 that were either since discovered or reported after the preliminary assessment’s time period,” the report said. “This totals 510 UAP reports as of 30 August 2022.”According to the report, the Pentagon has been fielding more reports about UAPs in the last year and that most of these reports have come from U.S. Navy and Air Force pilots. “The observed increase in the UAP reporting rate is partially due to a better understanding of the possible threats that UAP may represent, either as safety of flight hazards or as potential adversary collection platforms, and partially due to reduced stigma surrounding UAP reporting,” the report said. “This increased reporting allows more opportunities to apply rigorous analysis and resolve events.”The report also acknowledged that some of these 247 sightings, when chased down, had reasonable explanations. “Multiple factors affect the observation or detection of UAP, such as weather, illumination, atmospheric effects, or the accurate interpretation of sensor data,” it said. “Regarding review or analysis of UAP events, ODNI and AARO operate under the assumption that UAP reports are derived from the observer’s accurate recollection of the event and/or sensors that generally operate correctly and capture enough real data to allow initial assessments. However, ODNI and AARO acknowledge that a select number of UAP incidents may be attributable to sensor irregularities or variances, such as operator or equipment error.”In addition to the 247 new reports, the AARO also investigated an additional 144 reports of sightings that occurred before the Pentagon got so interested in the topic. When it started to chase down these events, most of them turned out to be balloons or “balloon-like entities.”Of the 366 total new reports, 26 looked to be drones of some kind, 163 were balloons, and 6 were clutter, which the report defined as “birds, weather events, or airborne debris like plastic bags.” The remaining 171 reports “uncharacterized and unattributed UAP reports” defy easy explanation, the report said: “Some of these uncharacterized UAP appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities, and require further analysis.”