Pentagon Forms Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force

Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

The Pentagon has convened a task force to study unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), historically referred to as unidentified flying objects (UFO).

Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist formed the task force Aug. 4 and directed the Navy under the purview of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security to spearhead the effort.

The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) is charged with improving the U.S. military’s understanding of the nature and origins of UAPs, according to an Aug. 14 Pentagon statement. 

Additionally, the new body is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could threaten U.S. national security.

“The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report,” the statement reads. “This includes examination of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing.”

In June, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted that the Pentagon and intelligence community leaders should provide a public analysis of the encounters. 

Previously, the Pentagon was tight-lipped on the existence of UAPs. However, in April, the Pentagon declassified three videos, one from November 2004 and two from January 2015, recorded by Navy F/A-18 pilots that appear to show UAPs. Two of the videos include pilots commenting on how quickly the UAP moves while another reveals that a service member believes it could be an unmanned aerial system.

“Dude, this is a f—ing drone, bro,” one pilot said. A second service member said, “There’s a whole fleet of them.”

“They’re all going against the wind. The wind’s 120 kt. to the west. Look at that thing, dude!” the first person said. “It’s rotating!”