The term unidentified flying object or UFO was first used in 1953 by the U.S. Air Force to describe any airborne object that failed to be conclusively identified as a presently known aircraft or missile type. Since this time, large numbers of Americans have been captivated by the possibility that we’re not alone in the universe. Their views are gaining more widespread attention with the formation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) and its successor, the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG).
How the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force Was Created
The UAPTF was created on August 4, 2020, with approval from Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist. The UAPTF is led by the Department of the Navy, under the umbrella of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., spearheaded the bipartisan measure. She stated, “Our national security efforts rely on aerial supremacy, and these phenomena present a challenge to our dominance. The United States needs a coordinated effort to take control and understand whether these aerial phenomena belong to a foreign government or something else altogether.”
The official mission of the task force is to detect, analyze, and catalog unidentified aerial phenomena that could pose a threat to national security. Technically speaking, UAP refers to any type of unidentified flying object. However, the term has become synonymous with alien spacecraft in many circles.
The UAPTF released its preliminary findings on June 25, 2021. Astonishingly, they found more than 140 instances of UAPs that could not be explained away as airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, foreign adversary systems, or industry developmental programs. Some of these UAPs were able to remain move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed without a discernible means of propulsion.
In their report, officials stressed the need investing the appropriate resources into further study:
“UAP clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security. Safety concerns primarily center on aviators contending with an increasingly cluttered air domain. UAP would also represent a national security challenge if they are foreign adversary collection platforms or provide evidence a potential adversary has developed either a breakthrough or disruptive technology.
Consistent consolidation of reports from across the federal government, standardized reporting, increased collection and analysis, and a streamlined process for screening all such reports against a broad range of relevant USG data will allow for a more sophisticated analysis of UAP that is likely to deepen our understanding. Some of these steps are resource-intensive and would require additional investment.”
Understanding the Next Steps in the Government’s Exploration of UFOs
The Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG) is the official successor to the UAPTF. AOIMSG was formed on November 23, 2021, to detect, identify, and attribute objects of interest in Special Use Airspace (SUA) while assessing and mitigating any associated threats to flight and national security. It is organized under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, Ronald Moultrie.
AOIMSG will ensure UAP incidents are reported to a “centralized repository” while creating a scientific plan of study “to account for characteristics and performance of unidentified aerial phenomena that exceed the known state of the art in science or technology.” The organization will provide twice-yearly briefings to congressional panels.
Don’t let the wordy nature of the organization’s name and mission statement fool you. As Input pointed out, it’s essentially a “secret sky police that monitors top-secret airspace for mystery spycraft and potential ETs.”
While supporters of AOIMSG say it’s an important step forward after leaked video footage of UFOs flying around a navy ship near San Diego was released in May 2021, others are not convinced the organization’s intentions are in line with the full transparency such a vital topic demands. U.S. News and World Report called it an “attempt to stifle essential civilian contributions to a complex and potentially dangerous subject.”