U.S. Navy Not Expected to Release Information Regarding 'Unidentified Aircraft'
The United States Navy is not expected to release any information gleaned from the implementation of new reporting guidelines regarding “unidentified aircraft” spotted by its pilots, reported the Washington Post.
The Navy cited the privileged and classified information included in the reports as reasons why they are not likely to be made public.
“Military aviation safety organizations always retain reporting of hazards to aviation as privileged information in order to preserve the free and honest prioritization and discussion of safety among aircrew,” said Joe Gradisher, a spokesman for the office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare. “Furthermore, any report generated as a result of these investigations will, by necessity, include classified information on military operations.”
“Therefore, no release of information to the general public is expected," he added.
Many are hopeful that the recent announcements by the Navy represent progress towards UFO disclosure, since the new reporting guidelines—and general acknowledgment of the issue—could represent increased public acceptance by government agencies of what they refer to as "unexplained aerial phenomena” (UAPs), and may come, at least in part, as a result of the frustration felt by pilots who have witnessed the seemingly impossible aircraft.
“Imagine you see highly advanced vehicles, they appear on radar systems, they look bizarre, no one knows where they’re from. This happens on a recurring basis, and no one does anything,” said Chris Mellon, a former Pentagon intelligence official and ex-staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee; currently employed by To the Stars…Academy of Arts & Science. “Pilots are upset, and they’re trying to help wake up a slumbering system.”
To the Stars…Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA) is a public benefit corporation created in 2017 to study UFOs.
Those involved with TTSA have slowly disseminated information on UFOs since news of the Pentagon’s secret UFO program broke in December of 2017, but the speed at which information has so far been released has met with doubt and impatience from many in the UFO community.
Representatives for TTSA say that the delays in UFO disclosure are due to the government’s hesitancy to publicly acknowledge the issue.
“Right now, we have a situation in which UFOs and UAPs are treated as anomalies to be ignored rather than anomalies to be explored. We have systems that exclude that information and dump it," Mellon said. "In 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.”
However, recent statements by Luis Elizondo, former Department of Defense (DoD) intelligence officer and program head for the secret Pentagon UFO project named the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), were more optimistic.
On December 14th, 2018, Elizondo said in an interview with journalist George Knapp that "people would be surprised to know just how frequent and the volume at which [UFOs] are apparently recorded and observed by active duty military people on missions," and hinted at "new information" about which, if it got out, people would be "very, very surprised."
The accumulated UFO-related releases of the last two years have many assuming that the “unidentified aircraft” mentioned in the Navy’s statement regarding new guidelines includes UFOs; something supported by the statements of Mellon and Elizondo.
“If I came to you and said, ‘There are these things that can fly over our country with impunity, defying the laws of physics, and within moments could deploy a nuclear device at will,’ that would be a matter of national security,” Elizondo said. “This type of activity is very alarming, and people are recognizing there are things in our aerospace that lie beyond our understanding.”
The former head of the AATIP described the Navy's apparent new-found respect for UFO sightings as “the single greatest decision the Navy has made in decades.”
Elizondo believes that, despite the Navy's statement regarding the release of information, it is possible that unclassified portions of the reports or broad overviews of their findings may be made available—if not to the general public, then at least to members of Congress. Broad statistics about the number of sightings and the results of follow-up investigations could be released without disclosing any classified information.
“If it remains strictly within classified channels, then the ‘right person’ may not actually get the information. The right person doesn’t necessarily mean a military leader. It can be a lawmaker. It can be a whole host of different individuals,” he said.
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