The U.S. Navy is changing rules regarding reporting unidentified flying objects after a number of incursions into military airspace by unknown aircraft.
“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years,” Joseph Gradisher, a spokesperson for Vice Admiral Matthew Kohler, the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told NBC News. He added that the Navy and the U.S. Air Force “take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report,” he added.
Gradisher did not reveal specifics, but a number of incidents, some including video, have been made public in recent years.
From 2007 to 2012, the Pentagon has a $22 million project called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program that secretly investigated UFO claims made by pilots and other military officials. Luis Elizondo, the former head of that program, told Politico that the new rules would encourage pilots to speak up.
“There’s always going to be a group of people that leaps to the more interesting conclusion,” Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, said. “But 90 percent of these sightings turn out to be a laundry list of things like birds, balloons or other aircraft.”
He added the new rules would ensure a UFO claim doesn’t stall someone’s career or make them the subject of ridicule.
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