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June 4, 2021

A soon-to-be-released federal report into “unidentified aerial phenomena” did not identify hundreds of mysterious objects spotted by military pilots, but it concludes there’s no evidence the objects were alien craft or U.S. military planes, the New York Times reported Thursday, amid mounting interest in footage of fast, unexplained airborne objects.

U.S. intelligence agencies are slated to send Congress a report later this month looking into recent sightings of unidentified objects in the sky.

The report concludes these objects weren’t part of a secret U.S. military program, and it won’t present any evidence to support fringe theories about aliens operating spacecraft near Earth’s surface, according to the Times, citing unnamed sources.

Many of these sightings probably weren’t stray weather balloons or research instruments either, the Times says, rejecting a common explanation for unidentified objects.

Beyond that, it’s reportedly still unclear where these objects came from, though some experts say they could be advanced aircraft from U.S. adversaries like Russia or China. 
Unidentified flying objects were once associated with conspiracy cranks and sci-fi writers, but they’ve attracted the American public’s fascination in recent years, and some politicians and experts have called for more transparency on the topic. The Pentagon released several videos in April of fast-moving objects flying through the sky, footage taken by military pilots that was originally published by the Times in 2017. Last month, a Navy pilot told 60 Minutes he spotted similar objects off the East Coast “every day for at least a couple years.” The military investigated some of these sightings via a previously undisclosed program between 2007 and 2012, and late last year, Congress asked intelligence agencies to produce a report by June.

UFOs aren’t necessarily evidence of anything secretive or nefarious. For years, experts have cautioned some unexplained sightings could just be optical illusions.

“I want us to take [UFO sightings] seriously and have a process to take it seriously. I want us to have a process to analyze the data every time it comes in,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told 60 Minutes, acknowledging some of his colleagues in Congress laugh at UFO discussions. “Maybe it has a very simple answer. Maybe it doesn't.”

Source: Forbes
Image Source: Getty Images