The US Senate Intelligence Committee has requested that the Pentagon and intelligence agencies unify their efforts in order to investigate all UFO encounters faced by the military so far, and then to make their findings public. The voting, which took place on 17 June but was only revealed recently, includes the request for an authorisation bill that is yet to be approved by the Senate. If passed, the Pentagon and intelligence community will have 180 days to draft a public report, which can still contain classified parts.
"The Committee understands that the relevant intelligence may be sensitive; nevertheless, the Committee finds that the information sharing and coordination across the Intelligence Community has been inconsistent, and this issue has lacked attention from senior leaders", the committee commented on the proposed bill.
The panel noted that so far government agencies and structures have been working on these UFO encounters separately, if even investigating them at all. The new bill seeks to change that, obligating the Pentagon, Office of Naval Intelligence, the FBI, and other structures to work together and share data on these sightings in order to find their origins and determine whether they pose a threat to US national security. The committee recalled that aside from the extraterrestrial explanation, the UFO might be the result of a technological breakthrough by another nation.
"The Committee remains concerned that there is no unified, comprehensive process within the federal government for collecting and analysing intelligence on unidentified aerial phenomena, despite the potential threat", the panel said.
US Military Reveals Details on Plethora of UFO Encounters
The committee's bill occurs at a time when the US Navy is becoming increasingly transparent about its pilots' UFO encounters. Last year, the military branch admitted that some of its pilots visually sighted an "unidentified aerial phenomena" that didn't pop up on radars during sea drills in 2013. Several videos of this encounter surfaced online in 2017, but the Navy only confirmed their authenticity in 2019.
On one of the videos an F/A-18F Super Hornet pilot flying at around a 6-kilometre altitude visually identifies an oblong-shaped object that seems to be hovering in the air and then starts moving immediately reaching "unprecedented" speeds in a mere second. In another video, one of the pilots taking part in the drills said that there is a "whole fleet" of the unidentified flying objects in sight.
Later, in May 2020 the US Navy released details about other UFO, or as the military calls them "UAP", encounters as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. According to the Navy's response, there have been at least eight such encounters since 2013 in areas restricted for civilian aircraft and used by the military for training and tests. The latest reported encounter took place on 13 February 2019, when an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft spotted what was later described as "a red weather balloon" at an altitude of approximately 27,000 feet or 8.2 kilometres.