An expert’s point of view on a current event.
June 6, 2021, 7:00 a.m.
The U.S. Senate is currently awaiting an official report that will contain everything the government knows about unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). The report is the result of a provision in the $ 2.3 trillion permitting bill for 2020 that offered Americans coronavirus remedies and prevented a government shutdown. Among other things, it is intended to address the now infamous Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which became known through reporting at the end of 2017.
The current UFO mania is centered on a series of sightings made by US Navy pilots or shown on their sensors in 2004, 2014 and 2015, the videos and reports of which were provided by former US Department of Defense officer Luis Elizondo, leaked. Elizondo’s alleged credibility comes from his claim to have served as director of AATIP. He described the program as “understandably overused” and devoid of “the resources that the increasing evidence deserved”. His effort to spark interest in unreported military sightings was aided by the establishment of To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTSA), a research institute co-founded by UFO True believer and former Blink-182 front man Tom DeLonge . and former CIA officer Jim Semivan. Elizondo is now working with TTSA accompanied by another former US intelligence official, Christopher Mellon. The credentials of both Navy pilots and former government officials involved in TTSA kept these sightings and the controversy associated with them public for more than three years.
In the midst of breathless media coverage and demands for transparency, accountability and the “right of the American people to know”, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and mystery. Why is the Pentagon and related branches of the US military investigating UFO / UAP sightings? Will we finally get confirmation that aliens are real and are visiting us? Or that we are being monitored by some advanced Big Brother air technology? What is the government hiding from us?
But while Elizondo’s 2017 leaks may have been a revelation to some, the U.S. military complex has been investigating reports of strange aerial phenomena for nearly 75 years. Understanding UFOs and UAPs as historically embedded in the global air war and US national security concerns explains why they are the subject of investigation and investigation, why that investigation continues, and why sightings and witnesses retain an enduring power to the US public to occupy and question. like several times in the past.
The US military involvement in the “UFO question” (What are they? Where do they come from?) Dates back to the summer of 1947 and the birth of the modern UFO. We can follow the modern UFO or the “flying saucer” up to the original sighting of the pilot and UFO godfather Kenneth Arnold at the end of June 1947. While helping locate a missing military transport aircraft over the Cascade Mountains in Washington state, Arnold reported that he had nine discrete flying objects whiz over the mountain tops. He described them as silvery or metallic, fast and apparently intelligently controlled. Arnold noted the weather, the time and used objects in his cockpit to estimate size and speed. When he landed, he told his colleagues. Then he told the press.
Arnold’s sighting was followed by a series of copycat sightings. The sightings were localized first in the Pacific Northwest, but quickly spread across the continental United States and then around the world. The US Air Force, then the US Army Air Forces, took a serious interest in the sightings, given the descriptions it received – that it was air technology, metallic, intelligently controlled, and terrestrial.
That Arnold’s sighting is taking place and receiving the attention it deserves is not a coincidence in history, but a deeply contingent event that depends on his post-war moment. The modern UFO combined and embodied three specific features of the 1947 tensions.
First, the 1947 flying saucers represented the technological and scientific developments of World War II, taken to extremes. The world wars, and the second in particular, had led to unprecedented developments and advances in the technology and science of warfare. Major breakthroughs were made in submarine technology, in air technology (manned and unmanned), in cybernetic leadership technology, in computer technology, in medical technology, in monitoring and sensor technology, and in weapons technology. The appearance of strange and potentially deadly objects in the sky was a resonant idea after the V2 rocket attacks on London and the unleashing of the atomic bomb. These flying disks, many believed, could just be the next step in bomber technology.
1947 was also a crucial year in the development of the Cold War. Although they were once allies, the spring of 1947 broke the American-Soviet friendship, articulated in the Truman Doctrine of March 1947, which presented communism as a threat to the American way of life and called for the need to geopolitically contain that threat. The Americans, as they saw it, were faced with a new and alien challenger.
In the summer of 1947, the Air Force was also established as an independent branch of the US military. The Allies had won World War II in large part thanks to US military support, thanks in particular to the superior US Air Force. As a result, the US Army Air Force saw itself not only as the crucial element in the Allied victory over fascism, but also as the main offensive power and first line of defense in future wars that would surely be in the air.
The Army Air Forces used their military achievements and philosophy of aerial warfare to advocate for their existence as an independent branch of the U.S. military (successful July 1947) and for the ongoing support of a sizeable research budget designed to help cut it – cutting-edge research and -Development necessary to keep the newly created U.S. Air Force off the air as the global leader in offensive and defense capabilities.
The next war to be fought between the United States and the Soviet Union would be airborne, thanks to the newfound power of nuclear weapons and advances in air combat technology, and its threat would be existential.
Humanity had seen strange things in the sky since the beginning of recorded history, but these developments turned the UFO into a national security threat – and gave it a catchy acronym. In its earliest days, it was believed to be of earthly origin and most likely Soviet. It worried the Air Force Command very much that the Soviets would have technology so far beyond their own; Not only would this pose an existential threat to the American public, but it also showed that the Air Force was no longer the world’s premier air force. The Air Force set out to identify (and one day, it was hoped, would catch) those unknown aircraft that invaded the American skies.
Over the next two decades, the Air Force would conduct a number of research projects to respond to sighting reports and identify the potential dangers posed by these objects. When the Blue Book Project, the longest and best-known of these projects, was completed in 1969, the Air Force continued to investigate the sightings of its personnel. It simply condensed these investigations into normal secret service procedures. It can be assumed that investigations into credible sightings by its pilots and other personnel continue to this day.
The U.S. Defense Complex’s concern about UFOs has always been national security. Given the sustained pace of development in air technology – surveillance, weapons, aircraft, etc. – it should come as no surprise that the Navy, Air Force, Pentagon, and US Intelligence Services of the 21st their staff.
Indeed, even the current centering of Navy pilots as highly reliable witnesses has historical precedent. Many of the cases investigated in the Air Force’s early projects came from pilots and other military personnel. And reports coming from pilots were treated with an increased degree of seriousness: pilots were men, professionals who were experts in their skills, serious, sober, calm, balanced, and not prone to exaggeration or imaginative storytelling. Pilots have been treated as the most credible witnesses in the past. That standard remains and supports the ongoing controversy today.
As the release of the new report approaches, the public should lower their expectations of the content. Similar reports have already been organized and published. Judging by the past, the report will list the number of cases over the years, their location and frequency, who made them, and what evidence is there. Where cases can be “solved” and the phenomena identified, we should expect detailed accounts; where there is insufficient data to make a positive or “very likely” confirmation, we should expect these phenomena to remain “unknown” or “unidentified”. This is not a confirmation of any theory as to its origins, alien or earthly – simply an admission of the lack of clear evidence.
And the American public shouldn’t expect to see a full, unedited version. US military investigations have always been a matter of national security. If objects or phenomena have been identified as belonging to foreign nations or opponents, the defense establishment will keep these cases hidden.
Historians are fans of Nietzsche’s principle of eternal return – more clearly formulated by Rust Cohle of True Detective: “Time is a flat circle. Everything we have ever done or will do, we will do over and over again. ”The pattern of public excitement over UFOs certainly repeats itself. But regardless of what the upcoming report contains, the US Defense and Intelligence Complex has always understood UFOs and UAPs as a national security matter. In a world of aerial surveillance and drone warfare, that won’t change anytime soon.