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The Navy is setting up a new process for documenting UFO sightings

By Benjamin Bullard
UFO over New Mexico in 1957

The next time someone uses a Tesseract to open a portal into distant space, we’ll probably be as powerless as ever to fight whatever advanced alien horrors might warp through the door. But at least we’ll have a sweet, sweet way to write it all down.

The U.S. Navy is reportedly working to develop an official, step-by-step procedure for reporting and documenting UFO sightings, after years of making do with a less formal, case-by-case reporting process.

Via Politico, the Navy is crafting the new guidelines for use by pilots and others in the field, who routinely are among the first — or only — humans to see all those mysterious lights in the sky and unknown radar signatures.

Why are we just now taking UFOs this seriously? According to the report, a recent wave of sightings in a relatively short span of time, coupled with public interest in learning whatever truth is out there, compelled the Navy to develop a standardized way to handle future sightings of “unexplained aerial phenomena.”

“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years,” the service said in a statement prompted by Politico’s prodding. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.”

The idea is to treat UFO sightings as something to investigate, rather than as something to ignore, according to a former Pentagon intelligence officer. “[I]n a lot of cases [military personnel] don’t know what to do with that information — like satellite data or a radar that sees something going Mach 3. They will dump [the data] because that is not a traditional aircraft or missile,” ex-intelligence official Chris Mellon told Politico.

Does that mean the government is ready to go public and acknowledge it's officially in the UFO-hunting business — a business that some conspiracy theorists are convinced it’s covertly been in for decades already? Not quite. Part of the goal, says the report, is to “destigmatize” UFO sightings by offering a way of getting all the conspiracy-busting facts it expects to find down in one place.

While that doesn’t sound like much fun, we’re still hoping the Navy is willing to share what it finds. It might just help a screenwriter somewhere make that next space invasion movie all the more believable.

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