Article Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2019/06/20/washington-but-not-trump-suddenly-taking-ufos-more-seriously/#eb28a0635d53
Topline: Washington lawmakers—but not President Trump—are abruptly taking reports of UFO sightings seriously, with senators ”coming out of the woodwork” to receive classified briefings, the result of a growing acknowledgment, destigmatization and revamped record-keeping of mysterious reports from U.S. Navy pilots.
•“I did have one very brief meeting on it,” the president said in an ABC News interview. “But people are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly.”
•The sightings were by members of the U.S. Navy. The mysterious aircraft were largely reported to be the same color and shape as white Tic-Tacs, emitted no exhaust or didn’t display visual evidence of having engines, and defied the laws of physics in both speed and flight duration.
•Such sightings have happened since the 1950s and ’60s, according to Politico, but more recent ones were reported to the Pentagon after it launched a new UFO reporting program in 2007.
•According to CNN, the Navy does not believe aliens have been flying around in U.S. airspace. But, “[f]or safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report,” the Navy said in a statement.
Key background: The U.S. Navy refers to a sighting as an “unidentified aerial phenomenon.” In April, the Navy updated their UFO reporting guidelines, which created a formal and destigmatizing process for service members. More recent sightings, like the Tic-Tac-shaped aircraft, were reported to the Pentagon, according to the New York Times, via the small, relatively obscure Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which mostly shuttered in 2012 due to lack of funding. (Some classified parts continue to operate.) Senior astrophysicist Leon Golub told the Times that aliens being the cause was “unlikely” and that “more mundane explanations,” like bugs in the Navy’s imaging software or aerial weather patterns, were more probable.
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