Coming-of-age tales cross so many familiar thresholds and genres, it’s hard to imagine one of those storylines breaking new ground. Yet, that’s sort of what happened last month, with the release of John Greenewald’s Inside the Black Vault: The Government’s UFO Secrets Revealed. It’s not written as a memoir – in fact, it has nothing to do with the bittersweet fuzzies of growing up – but it most definitely is about coming to terms with one of adulthood’s peculiar institutional mysteries. In this case, of course, that would be the enduring embargo of the greatest secret of our age.
If you’re reading De Void, then you’re already familiar with Greenewald’s story, about how he started bugging “the government” to declassify documents when he was a teenager more than 20 years ago, and how he turned his Black Vault website into one of the biggest repositories of federal paper in cyberspace. His first-person accounting compresses that that journey into 169 pages. Hopefully, for a new generation of readers, it’ll do for them what Clear Intent, by Lawrence Fawcett and Barry Greenwood, did for me 30 years ago. Which is to say, dispelling any doubt about the serious nature of The Great Taboo by relying exclusively on FOIA-obtained records to build the case. I remember what that awakening was like so long ago; sometimes, I wonder if I’d been better off if I’d stayed asleep.
Few researchers know as much about the FOIA process as Greenewald, and as a consequence, his expertise has been recruited by the likes of the National Geographic Channel, History, and Discovery. So when the 38-year-old Californian weighs in on new releases of federal records, it’s usually a good idea to pay attention. And a lot of people were doing just that a couple of weeks ago, after investigative reporter George Knapp of KLAS-TV in Las Vegas produced the long-awaited smoking gun. It was the Defense Department’s official imprimatur on the F-18 UFO videos that triggered this remarkable national conversation we’ve been having for the past 17 months.
KLAS-TV reporter George Knapp’s acquisition of a previously unreleased Pentagon document removed all doubt about the authenticity of the Navy’s F-18 UFO-pursuit footage/CREDIT: care2.com
When on 12/16/17 the NY Times broke the news about the Pentagon’s secret UFO study, one of the missing components was formal proof positive establishing the provenance of those gun-cam vids. Credible witnesses went on record, including pilots, the intelligence official who ran the program, even the former Senate Majority Leader who commissioned the initiative. But although the Times reporters vouched for its authenticity, there is no substitute for documentation.
On April 29, Knapp got his hands on the elusive DD Form 1910, channeled through the Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review. It was marked “Cleared For Open Publication,” with attached mpg files of the three UFO sequences – captured by Navy fighter pilots, and nicknamed “GoFast,” “Gimble,” and “FLIR” – that got such massive media play last year. Almost everyone paying attention applauded the breakthrough. But The Black Vault detective was more subdued.
Greenewald had been going after that same DD-1910 through FOIA for more than a year, without any success. Still empty-handed and understandably miffed when Knapp showcased the trophy, Greenewald gave it the white-glove treatment, spotted some red flags – which were not insignificant – and aired out his reservations in a series of posts at his website.
The ensuing dustup provoked a pointed rebuke from 12/16/17 co-author Leslie Kean, who called it “an unnecessary controversy,” and added, “If we at the Times did not have this document from a reliable source, we would not have stated that the videos were from the DOD.” Open Minds editor Alejandro Rojas put together a useful podcast overview — most definitely worth a listen — of the loosely sketched events leading up to Knapp’s acquisition of the DD-1910. After all, the rollout of these unprecedented revelations, initiated by the To The Stars Academy in October 2017, has been been flawed, erratic, and exasperating for the drive-thru point-and-click chip-or-swipe instant-gratification masses, which includes yours truly.
Greenewald would concede that the DD-1910 was “genuine,” but his skepticism was reserved for way it cleared the censors. Although the name of the official who prepared the document’s release on 8/24/17 was redacted, suspicion swung to the study’s former project manager Luis Elizondo. Greenewald floated the idea that Elizondo might have employed “false pretenses” to sneak the paper into the public domain. Why, he wondered, did the form’s subject-area entry only mention “UAV, Balloons, and other UAS”? In official Pentagon parlance, UAV means Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and UAS means Unmanned Aerial System. Nothing concerning “unidentified” is in either of those U-prefixed acronyms.
Greenewald’s objections have been largely tossed off, but they do raise questions. Such as: Given the obfuscation, sloppiness, and downright falsehoods that often greet FOIA requests for UFO data, does it really matter if sympathetic insiders use a little subterfuge to get that stuff into public hands? Because it’s not unreasonable to wonder if the DD-1910 would’ve ever seen the light of day had UFO/UAP/AAO or some more exotic euphemism were posted in the subject field instead
Let’s just say, for the sake of future argument, that a little semantic sleight of hand is used to fool the censors — then what? How would that form of deception be significantly different from what Daniel Ellsberg did with the Pentagon Papers in 1971? Ellsberg was charged with theft, espionage and conspiracy.
If, in the past, some Deep Throat had wanted to drag classified UFO docs into the light, there was an implicit assumption of immunity because Uncle Sam’s longstanding party line was that the phenomenon was silly and frivolous. Prosecuting a leaker would’ve exposed official policy for the lie that it always was. Now that this story itself has ripened and the Navy has belatedly confirmed that UFOs do in fact embody legitimate national security issues, might this actually make it more difficult for whistleblowers to step up? There are stockpiles of related documents languishing out there somewhere. Who on the inside wants to test this radical new paradigm and see what, if anything, happens?
U.S. Navy pilots and sailors won't be considered crazy for reporting unidentified flying objects, under new rules meant to encourage them to keep track of what they see. Yet just a few years ago, the Pentagon reportedly shut down another official program that investigated UFO sightings. What has changed? Is the U.S. military finally coming around to the idea that alien spacecraft are visiting our planet?
The answer to that question is almost certainly no. Humans' misinterpretation of observations of natural phenomena are as old as time and include examples such as manatees being seen as mermaids and driftwood in a Scottish loch being interpreted as a monster. A more recent and relevant example is the strange luminescent structure in the sky caused by a SpaceX rocket launch. In these types of cases, incorrect interpretations occur because people have incomplete information or misunderstand what they're seeing.
Based on my prior experience as a science advisor to the Air Force, I believe that the Pentagon wants to avoid this type of confusion, so it needs to better understand flying objects that it can't now identify. During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, if a pilot or soldier can't identify an object, they have a serious problem: How should they react, without knowing if it is neutral, friendly or threatening? Fortunately, the military can use advanced technologies to try to identify strange things in the sky.
Taking the 'U' out of 'UFO'
"Situational awareness" is the military term for having complete understanding of the environment in which you are operating. A UFO represents a gap in situational awareness. At the moment, when a Navy pilot sees something strange during flight, just about the only thing he or she can do is ask other pilots and air traffic control what they saw in that place at that time. Globally, the number of UFO reportings in a year has peaked at more than 8,000. It's not known how many the military experiences.
Even the most heavily documented incidents end up unresolved, despite interviewing dozens of witnesses and reviewing many written documents, as well as lots of audio and video recordings.
UFOs represent an opportunity for the military to improve its identification processes. At least some of that work could be done in the future by automated systems, and potentially in real time as an incident unfolds. Military vehicles – Humvees, battleships, airplanes and satellites alike – are covered in sensors. It's not just passive devices like radio receivers, video cameras and infrared imagers, but active systems like radar, sonar and lidar. In addition, a military vehicle is rarely alone – vehicles travel in convoys, sail in fleets and fly in formations. Above them all are satellites watching from overhead.
Drawing a complete picture
Sensors can provide a wealth of information on UFOs including range, speed, heading, shape, size and temperature. With so many sensors and so much data, though, it is a challenge to merge the information into something useful. However, the military is stepping up its work on autonomy and artificial intelligence. One possible use of these new technologies could be to combine them to analyze all the many signals as they come in from sensors, separating any observations that it can't identify. In those cases, the system could even assign sensors on nearby vehicles or orbiting satellites to collect additional information in real time. Then it could assemble an even more complete picture.
For the moment, though, people will need to weigh in on what all the data reveal. That's because a key challenge for any successful use of artificial intelligence is building trust or confidence in the system. For example, in a famous experiment by Google scientists, an advanced image recognition algorithm based on artificial intelligence was fooled into wrongly identifying a photo of a panda as a gibbon simply by distorting a small number of the original pixels.
So, until humans understand UFOs better, we won't be able to teach computers about them. In my view, the Navy's new approach to reporting UFO encounters is a good first step. This may eventually lead to a comprehensive, fully integrated approach for object identification involving the fusion of data from many sensors through the application of artificial intelligence and autonomy. Only then will there be fewer and fewer UFOs in the sky – because they won't be unidentified anymore.
To the Stars Academy has drafted proposed legislation for congress to consider to ask for a report on making the Navy's UAP findings public.
Draft; Congressional Report Language
May 17, 2019
Sec. xxx Report on Advanced Aerial Threats
A. REPORT REQUIRED. – Recent briefings provided to Congress by US military and intelligence personnel raise the possibility that one or more potential US adversaries may have achieved breakthroughs in aerospace engineering that could place US forces at risk. Unfortunately, there is no coherent process within the Executive Branch for collating or analyzing pertinent information on this topic notwithstanding the potential gravity of the issue. Moreover, requests for relevant data to enable Congress to better assess the significance of the issue have not been responded to in a satisfactory manner by DoD or the Intelligence Community. Therefore the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence shall jointly submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the issue of Anomalous Airborne Threats.
B. ASSESSMENTS.- The report required under subsection (a) shall include the following:
1. A detailed analysis of NORAD’s unknown threat database from January 2004 to the present and correlation of that data with information collected by space-based infrared systems, human intelligence reporting; SIGINT, US Navy intelligence reporting on unidentified craft (both aerospace and undersea) and FBI data derived from investigations of intrusions over restricted US airspace.
2. Identification of a process and a senior official who can be held accountable in the future for ensuring the timely collection and centralized analysis of all Anomalous Airborne Threat reporting regardless of which service or agency acquired the information.
3. Identification of any incidents or patterns that indicate a potential adversary may have achieved breakthrough aerospace capabilities that significantly surpass US capabilities and could put US strategic or conventional forces at risk.
C. RECOMMENDATIONS – The report under subsection (a) above shall include any recommendation for increased collection or research and development deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence.
D. SUBMITTAL DATE- The report under subsection (a) shall be submitted not later than 18 months after enactment of this bill.
E. FORM- The report under subsection (a) may be submitted in either classified or unclassified form.
US Navy drafting new guidelines for reporting UFOs
The U.S. Navy is drafting new guidelines for pilots and other employees to report encounters with 'unidentified aircraft.'
The Pentagon has finally uttered the words it always avoided when discussing the possible existence of UFOs — “unidentified aerial phenomena” — and admits that it still investigates reports of them.
In a statement provided exclusively to The Post, a Department of Defense spokesman said a secret government initiative called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program “did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena.”
And while the DOD says it shut down the AATIP in 2012, spokesman Christopher Sherwood acknowledged that the department still investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft.
“The Department of Defense is always concerned about maintaining positive identification of all aircraft in our operating environment, as well as identifying any foreign capability that may be a threat to the homeland,” Sherwood said.
“The department will continue to investigate, through normal procedures, reports of unidentified aircraft encountered by US military aviators in order to ensure defense of the homeland and protection against strategic surprise by our nation’s adversaries.”
Nick Pope, who secretly investigated UFOs for the British government during the 1990s, called the DOD’s comments a “bombshell revelation.”
Pope, a former UK defense official-turned-author, said, “Previous official statements were ambiguous and left the door open to the possibility that AATIP was simply concerned with next-generation aviation threats from aircraft, missiles and drones — as skeptics claimed.
“This new admission makes it clear that they really did study what the public would call ‘UFOs,’ ” he said.
“It also shows the British influence, because UAP was the term we used in the Ministry of Defence to get away from the pop culture baggage that came with the term ‘UFO.’ ”
John Greenewald Jr. — whose website The Black Vault archives declassified government documents on UFO reports, “Bigfoot” sightings and other subjects — also called the Pentagon’s use of the term “unidentified aerial phenomena” unprecedented in its frankness.
“I’m shocked they said it that way, and the reason is, is they’ve seemingly worked very hard not to say that,” he said.
“So I think that’s a pretty powerful statement because now we have actual evidence — official evidence — that said, ‘Yes, AATIP did deal with UAP cases, phenomena, videos, photos, whatever.'”
Greenewald said he hopes that the Pentagon will release more information about the AATIP, either by voluntary disclosure or through requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
“But at least we’re one step closer to the truth,” he said.
The existence of the AATIP was revealed in 2017, along with a 33-second DOD video that shows an airborne object being chased by two Navy jets off the coast of San Diego in 2004.
At the time, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took credit for arranging $22 million in annual funding for the AATIP, telling the New York Times that it was “one of the good things I did in my congressional service.”
Reid’s home state of Nevada hosts the top-secret military installation known as “Area 51,” long rumored to be the storehouse for an alien craft that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
Why the UFO story is far more interesting than you think
by Tom Rogan
May 28, 2019 03:41 PM
The New York Times has made waves with a new report on sightings by U.S. Navy aviators of unidentified flying objects between 2014 and 2015. But the UFO issue, which follows a similar 2017 story, is far more interesting than the reporters let on.
The U.S. government does not know what these UFOs actually are. The report focuses on witnesses of so-called "Tic Tacs," but other shapes and sizes of UFOs have also been credibly recorded by the U.S., British, Chinese, Russian, and other governments for the past 65 years. But what are these strange things?
Most informed individuals I have talked to believe that the Tic Tac-like UFOs are unmanned vehicles operating under direction from either a manned or larger unmanned vessel. A particularly interesting evidentiary point here is the witness testimony by Cmdr. David Fravor during his time as commanding officer for a naval fighter squadron assigned to the Nimitz carrier strike group. In the November 2004 Nimitz incident, Fravor describes seeing both the Tic Tacs and "something in the water... looks like waves are going to crash over the top and you're going to get this white-water."
Some discredit these witness reports. The New York Times report, for example, interviews astrophysicist Leon Golub. Golub suggests that the aircrew testimony is a result of "bugs in the code for the imaging and display systems, atmospheric effects and reflections, neurological overload from multiple inputs during high-speed flight."
I strongly disagree, because the credible witness statements are numerous, matched to data recordings, and associated with a far larger set of similar incidents currently not public. But while natural phenomena such as that under the theoretical phenomena of ball lightning is a strong possibility in some UFO cases, I strongly believe other UFOs reported by naval aviators and other military professionals are not natural phenomena.
First, UFOs have repeatedly shown what seems to be intelligence in their operation and behavior-response to manned aircraft and monitoring systems in their vicinity. I am led to believe that the Russians (including in the Soviet era) have repeatedly tried and failed to shoot down UFOs, which have practiced evasive techniques.
In addition, UFOs have shown an ability to travel at supersonic speeds with anti-gravity characteristics. Some underwater phenomena are also capable of supercavitation speeds of hundreds of miles per hour underwater. Note that when it comes to underwater objects, the recorded size indicates they are not torpedoes or vessels of any known type.
Third, UFOs manifest a continuing and special interest in military-nuclear technology (I believe it is notable that credible sightings began following the first use of atomic weapons). Former nuclear forces officers have testified that UFOs have, on occasion, even deactivated U.S. nuclear missiles during test operations.
Fourth, UFOs often show evidence of plasma manipulation, possibly in relation to manifested cloaking capabilities.
I am also extraordinarily confident these UFOs are not the creation of any current government or private interest. They are definitely not U.S. in origin, and they are far in advance of Chinese and Russian capabilities — including in the field of hypersonic weaponry (which the Russians lead in).
So where does this leave us?
With many questions and the need to do more research. Fortunately, albeit secretly, the U.S. government continues to do just that, as do private interests. But the key here is for the collected data to be central in our analysis.
You should, for example, listen to credible individuals such as Luis Elizondo — former head of the Pentagon's former UFO research agency, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. Elizondo does not talk about aliens. But you should not listen to Elizondo's To The Stars Academy colleague, Tom DeLonge (the musician is overexcited and says things that are unbound from analytical credibility).
Still, this is an interesting issue in many areas. Take the research by NASA into space-time manipulation, for example. Or the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program-contracted study into faster than light travel. Take a guess why the study was authorized.
Keep in mind, these guys are in the business of selling books....
Ha! During the first video. at the 21 minute mark, Dr. Sarfatti says the Tic Tac UFO HAS room temperature super-conductivity!
Dr. Jack Sarfatti on the Physics of the ‘Tic Tac’ UFO
Sarfatti: "We know exactly what’s going on here and who is behind it and how these damn things fly and how we can begin to build them ourselves for the US SPACE FORCE. Wake up guys before it is too late.
UFO enthusiasts have argued for decades that the U.S. government has been covering up the existence of unidentified craft containing alien visitors. The idea that a hush-hush government outfit was investigating sightings and other bizarre phenomena famously provided the basis for TV drama series “The X-Files.” Now, it seems the cult series wasn’t such a flight of fancy after all.
The shadowy Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program’s existence was intentionally buried in the defense department’s $600 billion annual budget, as were its headquarters, deep within the labyrinthine Pentagon building? Based on the 5th floor of C Ring, the secret department has spent years investigating reports of unidentified flying objects. It is still operating. And, more tantalizingly, intelligence experts who ran it, and politicians who backed it, insist its research has not been fruitless. Having investigated myriad reports from U.S. servicemen of encounters between unknown objects and military planes, they are convinced that nothing in this world can explain them.
The Stardrive Report
This video is about new physics discoveries on how UFOs like the “Tic Tac’ are able to fly using very small amounts of energy. We discuss the political and military ramifications of this disruptive technological surprise in the light of Trump’s replacement of General Mattis by Patrick Shanahan, the former student of his uncle, MIT Professor John Trump. Shanahan is allegedly the man who released the information we discuss and he has also championed the creation of the US Space Force.
Friend, foe or unknown force flying overhead? Congress should find out
By Christopher Mellon, Opinion Contributor — 05/19/19
Since 2015, dozens of Navy F-18 fighter jets have encountered unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAPs) — once commonly referred to as UFOs — off the East Coast of the United States, some not far from the nation’s capital. Encounters have been reported by other military aircraft and civilian airliners elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad, too, including videos shot by airline passengers.
What these UAPs were and who was flying them — whether friends, foes or unknown forces — remains a mystery. Yet careful examination of the data inevitably leads to one possible, disturbing conclusion: A potential adversary of the United States has mastered technologies we do not yet understand to achieve capabilities we cannot yet match.
It is long past time for Congress to discover the answers to those questions and to share at least some of its conclusions with the public.
The U.S. government came a large step closer to confirming the reality of UAPs when the U.S. Navy acknowledged in late April that “there have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated airspace in recent years.”
But first, members of Congress and the public need to become familiar with the facts.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to gauge the overall level of UAP activity since military personnel rarely report their encounters for fear of damage to their careers. Even when reports are filed, the information generally is ignored because nobody “owns” the UAP issue and the various commands and agencies involved have not shared information on UAPs.
It remains to be seen whether the Navy’s new UAP reporting process will be emulated throughout our massive, almost feudal security apparatus in which the barons sometimes spend more time protecting bureaucratic turf from rivals than protecting U.S. territory from adversaries. Thus, any genuine solution to the UAP issue must address the issue of interagency coordination and collaboration.
The good news is that America already possesses vast sensor networks, ranging from the depths of the oceans to the harsh bleakness of space, capable of collecting the requisite information. All that Congress need do at this juncture is require the secretary of Defense and the director of national intelligence to review the UAP issue and deliver a report providing a comprehensive assessment. This report should include not only an estimate of the situation but a description of the structure and processes required to ensure effective collection and analysis going forward.
The Trump administration should be free to provide the report at whatever level of classification it deems appropriate. One entity with which I am involved — To the Stars Academy (TTSA), an organization of former U.S. intelligence and national security experts analyzing the UAP phenomenon — has placed notional legislative language on its website to facilitate this discussion. While some modest manpower costs might be incurred, the TTSA proposal does not require new Defense Department funding. It also averts the spectacle of public hearings and the attendant risk of injecting partisanship or grandstanding into the process.
Why should Congress act? In the first instance because it is Congress’s job to raise, organize and fund the military. It can hardly do so without being fully aware of the threats we face. Indeed, that is why we have a law requiring written notice to Congress of serious intelligence failures. Most Americans would no doubt agree that our inability to identify scores of mysterious aircraft repeatedly violating restricted U.S. military airspace in recent years is a shocking failure. But there is no need to wrangle over compliance with intelligence oversight laws. The Navy’s recent admissions regarding UAP intrusions provide more than adequate grounds for requiring a written report to Congress.
Perhaps we’ll learn that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not idly boasting when he bragged, more than a decade ago, that Russia’s “newest technical systems will be capable of destroying targets at an intercontinental distance with hypersonic speed and extreme maneuverability.” While it seems unlikely that Russia — or China — has pulled that far ahead of the U.S., there is no reason to leave this to chance. And while the Navy’s announcement seems to eliminate the prospect that these vehicles are secret U.S. military aircraft, perhaps we’ll find that Elon Musk has some amazing new toys.
It is not just that the UAPs that military pilots are encountering are strange — no paint, rivets, wings, antenna, safety lights, transponders or exhaust — but they sometimes are so fast and maneuverable that they defy our understanding of physics. For example, some of these vehicles appear to withstand forces of acceleration far greater than maximum design limits of any man-made aircraft. No wonder some military witnesses — often pilots who are scientists or engineers themselves — actually lean toward the hypothesis that they are not from this world. Like all good scientists, these pilots recognize that our theories must adjust to facts and new information, however daunting, not the other way around.
If our best minds were brought to bear to study the technology confronting us, much as the Japanese did in the 1850s when confronted by Admiral Perry’s fleet, then unprecedented technological breakthroughs could occur in short order. For example, the fact that these craft do not seem to produce exhaust yet fly vast distances at immense speeds could provide technical solutions to our energy crisis.
Some of America’s finest aviators and air defense personnel are trying to get our attention. They are not panicked — but they are right to be concerned. It seems clear the facts demand further action. In light of the facts, a mere report requirement seems a very modest response to potentially disturbing new national security information.
If UAPs turn out to be toys of Elon Musk’s making, we’ll all breathe a sigh of relief. If they are Russian, we’ll be glad we took action now rather than kicking the can down the road. If we learn that someone else’s more advanced version of our Voyager spacecraft has reached Earth, then this humble measure will forever transform our understanding of the universe and man’s place within it.
By any measure, the effort required to prepare a report for Congress seems to be a bargain.
Christopher Mellon served 20 years in the federal government and was deputy assistant Defense secretary for intelligence from 1999 to 2002, and for security and information operations from 1998 to 1999. From 2002 to 2004, he was minority staff director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). He is a national security affairs adviser for To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science and a consultant to HISTORY’s nonfiction series, “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation,” which premieres May 31.
Three more U.S. senators received a classified Pentagon briefing on Wednesday about a series of reported encounters by the Navy with unidentified aircraft, according to congressional and government officials — part of a growing number of requests from members of key oversight committees.
One of them was Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, whose office confirmed the briefing to POLITICO.
“If naval pilots are running into unexplained interference in the air, that’s a safety concern Senator Warner believes we need to get to the bottom of,” his spokesperson, Rachel Cohen, said in a statement.
The interest in “unidentified aerial phenomenon” has grown since revelations in late 2017 that the Pentagon had set up a program to study the issue at the request of then-Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Officials interviewed multiple current and former sailors and aviators who claim to have encountered highly advanced aircraft that appeared to defy the laws of aerodynamics when they intruded on protected military airspace — some of which were captured on video and made public.
The Navy has played a prominent role in light of the testimony of F/A-18 pilots and other personnel operating with the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier battle group off California in 2004 and the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Atlantic in 2015 and 2016.
The growing congressional interest is credited for playing a major role in the service’s recent decision to update the procedures for pilots and other personnel to report such unexplained sightings, which POLITICO first reported in April.
“In response to requests for information from Congressional members and staff, Navy officials have provided a series of briefings by senior Naval Intelligence officials as well as aviators who reported hazards to aviation safety,” the service said in a statement to POLITICO at the time.
The Navy had no immediate comment on Wednesday, and few details of the latest secret sessions were available.
They come several days after President Donald Trump told ABC News that he, too, had been briefed on the reports. “I did have one very brief meeting on it,” he said. “But people are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly.”
But several current and former officials with direct knowledge describe the Capitol Hill briefing as the latest for members of Congress and their staff representing the Intelligence, Armed Services and Defense Appropriations panels.
“There are people coming out of the woodwork,” said one former government official who has participated in some of the meetings.
A current intelligence official added: “More requests for briefings are coming in.”
The sessions have been organized by the Navy but have also included staff from the under secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the sources said. Both were not authorized to talk publicly about the briefings.
Advocates for giving the mystery greater attention say they hope Congress will take more formal steps, such as requiring the Department of Defense to collect and complete a detailed analysis of data collected by satellites and other means of unidentified craft intruding into military airspace or operating under the sea.