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UFO sightings are mostly flying trash or spying from abroad, report says

The Department of Defense released 3 unclassified Navy videos from 2004 and 2015 showing “unidentified aerial phenomena” on April 27, 2020. (DOD/Released)

A new report by the New York Times — citing interviews with mostly unnamed American officials familiar with the classified work — said that officials believe many recent UFO incidents actually have earthly origins.

While listed officially as “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” or UAP, these incidents, which can be fodder for conspiracy, can often be explained as either weather balloons, surveillance by foreign governments — particularly China — or simply clutter that has gone airborne, according to the Times.

The Times’ report comes ahead of an expected update early next week by intelligence agencies who will deliver a classified document to Congress revisiting a government report released last year detailing the inexplicability of most of these incidents, it said.

In that declassified government report, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence could not provide explanation for more than 140 encounters between United States military and UAPs over the past 17 years.

In 2020, the Pentagon authorized the official release of three videos showing incidents with UFOs recorded by the Navy on infrared cameras, two of which were captured in January 2015 and one in November 2004.

Those three videos, known as “FLIR,” “GIMBAL,” and “GOFAST” were not mentioned in the 2021 UAP government report, nor any other specific cases.

However, the report did detail that “a handful of UAP appear to demonstrate advanced technology” and a Pentagon UAP task force acknowledged at the time that it could find no evidence the objects in the incidents were either secret U.S. drone technology nor that of any other country.

The Times added that, officially, many older incidents involving unidentified objects remain unexplained — with intelligence and Pentagon officials having “too little data” to come to final conclusions and that officials tend to be “reluctant” to offer alternative theories to chatter about extraterrestrials so as not to clue in adversaries about surveillance knowledge — which could cause them to conceal their habits better.

Still, intrigue and wonder about UFOs and life beyond our planet remains. Harvard University Professor Avi Loeb seeks to take high-resolution photos of UAPs in Earth’s atmosphere through telescopes as a part of the Galileo Project and groups like SETI — or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — scan the cosmos for possible detections of alien civilizations.

Whether you believe UFOs are tied to alien life or not, Massachusetts has had close to 1,900 sightings and ranks as the state with the 17th highest prevalence of sightings.


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