Senate-Passed Defense Bill Includes Funds for New Agency Aimed at Probing UFO Sightings - Report
20:54 GMT 16.12.2021 (Updated: 19:46 GMT 17.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Department of DefenseThe image from video provided by the Department of Defense labelled Gimbal, from 2015, an unexplained object is seen at center as it is tracked as it soars high along the clouds, traveling against the wind.
© AP Photo / Department of Defense
A government report on UFO sightings released this June concluded that there was no "single explanation" for over 140 occurrences recorded by military personnel since 2004, but that they posed a threat to flight safety and national security.
A provision buried deep in the $770 billion yearly defense bill passed by the US Senate on Wednesday asks for the establishment of a new agency to investigate UFO sighting reports.
According to The New York Post's report, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines must establish an "office, organizational structure, and authorities to address unidentified aerial phenomena" within 180 days of President Joe Biden signing the bill into law, according to Section 1683 of the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2022.
The new agency would, among other things, "evaluate links between unidentified aerial phenomena and adversarial foreign governments, other foreign governments, or nonstate actors," and the risks these occurrences pose to the US.
According to the outlet, it will also be required to make annual reports to "the appropriate congressional committees" and provide confidential briefings to the committees twice a year.
Last week, Marik von Rennenkampff, a former analyst with the US Department of State's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, reportedly suggested that Congress has essentially revived the so-called "one-percent doctrine" (which implies if there is even a minimal chance that a threat exists, the government must act as if the threat is real).
11 December 2021, 19:12 GMT
But according to the expert, compared to the "catastrophic consequences" of the doctrine initiated by the Bush administration in 2001, "Congress’s bold approach to UFOs amounts to a comparatively minuscule, low-risk investment that may finally unravel an enduring mystery."