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Have we seen aliens? U.S. Defense hints at ‘unidentified’ phenomena in upcoming UFO report

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Jun 4, 2021, 4:36 PM EDT

Does the government think we’ve been visited by aliens? Insider previews of a hugely-anticipated Congressional report seem to hint at an answer that all comes down to one big, noncommittal “maybe.” But for the first time, it looks as though the U.S. Department of Defense is prepared to officially acknowledge that some of the strange phenomena footage it’s been sitting on doesn’t have a clear and ready explanation.

A pair of anonymous “U.S. officials” with access to the upcoming report have shared with NBC News that the Defense Department is more confident about ruling out, rather than settling on, explanations for recent aerial sightings collected over the past several years. Due before Congress later this month, the “government report sheds little light on the mystery, finding no evidence of extraterrestrial activity but not ruling it out either,” NBC’s report states.

Compounding the growing public buzz over what the government might reveal in the weeks ahead, the Defense Department’s report to Congress may not even be made public once it’s been presented to lawmakers. But the two unnamed sources clarified that there are, at least, some explanations for recent sightings that the government probably doesn’t buy into.

For one thing, U.S. officials reportedly don’t think that the strange flying objects — some of which were observed by Naval pilots appearing to defy the known laws of physics with super-speed and the ability to stop and turn on a dime — are the products of covert, U.S.-sponsored tech. The Defense report doesn’t attribute the phenomena to “evidence of secret U.S. technology” — but though one official confessed that none of the aircraft looks like anything the U.S. is known to possess, even that comes with the caveat that it’s a possibility that can’t be ruled out. Similarly, the report “does not rule out the possibility that the flying objects seen by U.S. military planes are highly advanced aircraft developed by other nations.”

Much of the Defense Department’s new information will be presented based on a trio of high-profile video clips (excerpted above) that created tons of internet buzz after releasing last year. The clips, taken from Navy pilots in 2004 and again in 2015, show high-speed unidentified objects behaving in air-bending ways that even shocked the pilots commenting in real time on what they observed. For what it's worth, SYFY WIRE's own Phil Plait thnks there's probably a more down-to-earth explantation for the footage. More recently, a separate leaked Navy clip from 2019 showed a strange, spherical object flying off the California coast, ending with its apparent disappearance into the ocean.

Announcing its aim to verify the authenticity of leaked footage (while not speculating on what any of it actually shows), the DOD created the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force last summer as a new division devoted to investigating the origin of documented unidentified flying objects. The Defense Department has not disclosed a specific date for its report to appear before Congress later this month.