Critics Target Pentagon's UFO Task Force, Fear Excessive Gov't Control Over Alien Investigations

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UFO - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.12.2021
The new US Defense Department task force was announced earlier in November, with its weirdly long name – the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronisation Group (AOIMSG) – causing some laughs in social media.
The Pentagon's agency tasked with overseeing investigations into so-called unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) has been blasted as an effort by the US government to establish more control and secrecy over information on UFOs.
Multiple American officials and analysts have voiced concern about how the government effort to investigate UFOs is organised.
In an interview with The Hill, the former head of an informal Defense Department unit that assessed military UFO reports – Luis Elizondo – underlined that UFOs are “not solely an intelligence issue."

"If we want 70 more years of secrecy on this topic, then OUSD(I&S) [the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security, which leads the government effort on UFOs] is the perfect place to put it. They’ve had four years so far, and we have little in the way of efforts serving the public interest," he said.

Elizondo lamented that the US had over 70 years "to try to figure [the UFO problem] out as a government", but did not come any close to any conclusion, keeping everything in the "halls of secrecy."
"Why are we going to repeat the same mistake all over again? Are we crazy? That’s the very definition of insanity. Have we not learned?” he wondered.
Christopher Mellon, former leader of a similar task force under former presidents Bush and Obama, shared the sentiment and expressed "shock" that the OUSD(I&S) is leading the efforts to look into the possible evidence of the extraterrestrial.
Calls for the newly-established body not to "follow this pattern of secrecy" have rung out in political circles as well, with Republican Representative Tim Burchett asserting straightforwardly that he does not trust the AOIMSG.
He referred to the June report by the Office of the Direction of National Intelligence (ODNI) on UAP, which did not provide much groundbreaking information and ended up being "largely inconclusive."
"The Pentagon's new office to collect information about UFOs cannot follow this pattern of secrecy. It needs to be transparent about its findings. Our country can handle the truth," Burchett tweeted, posting a video of his speech on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The lawmaker also revealed that he penned a letter to the Department of Defense seeking more clarity on the findings of the new UFO task force.
Even researchers from other countries weighed in to criticise the AOIMSG.
“It represents a brazen step towards completely stifling the burgeoning demand from both the public and Congress for increased UFO transparency,” says Peter Whitley, a researcher based in Japan and a member of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), cited by US News. “Clearly, the DOD is attempting to reverse course on this trend and shut the door on further disclosure of any kind.”
Another UFO researcher from the Sweden-based Archives for the Unexplained suggested that the Pentagon "does not want any civilian interference in this."
“This is a power struggle over who should have access to UAP information," said Clas Svahn, the organisation's chairman.
Many critics pointed out that it could help to keep the "spirit" of the proposal on the UFO task force rolled out earlier by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She advocated for an amendment to the 2022 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) that would ensure the creation of a bureau to oversee the UFO-related investigations but offered that it rolls out both classified and unclassified reports on its findings every six months.
UFO - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.11.2021
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In her view, such an agency would include experts from NASA and the relevant members of the academic community. Also, she offered a shorter name for the body, suggesting calling it the Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office (ASRO).
When it comes to the AOIMSG, its organisational structure, authorities, and resourcing are still to be clarified by the DoD. Currently, it was only revealed that the task force "will synchronise efforts across the Department and the broader U.S. government to detect, identify and attribute objects of interests in Special Use Airspace (SUA), and to assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security."
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