WASHINGTON - The signing of the massive $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief package by President Donald Trump triggered a 180-day countdown in which the director of National Intelligence and the secretary of defense must provide lawmakers a report on what is known about UFOs
According to a stipulation buried within the "Committee Comments" section of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, a report must be sent to senators on intelligence and armed services committees regarding any information surrounding UFO sightings and whether they present any potential threat.
According to the stipulation, the information is sought out by a government program known as the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP) Task Force.
"The Committee further directs that, within 180 days of enactment of this Act, such individual shall develop a strategy for security and counterintelligence collection that defines the capability requirements, responsibilities, and processes for security and counterintelligence for domestic military installations and other domestic military facilities," according to the legislation.
The Select Committee on Intelligence wrote that the report must include:
- "A detailed analysis of unidentified aerial phenomena data and intelligence reporting"
- "A detailed analysis of unidentified phenomena data"
- "A detailed analysis of data of the FBI, which was derived from investigations of intrusions of unidentified aerial phenomena data over restricted United States airspace"
Last year the U.S. government declassified and released videos which show encounters between UFOs and U.S. Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015.
In September, the U.S. Navy acknowledged that videos showing the 2004 and 2015 UFO encounters by U.S. Navy pilots were released by former Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge and published by The New York Times were of real "unidentified" objects.
"The Navy considers the phenomena contained/depicted in those three videos as unidentified," Navy spokesman Joseph Gradisher told The Black Vault, a website dedicated to declassified government documents.
After the release of the videos, reports surfaced of a top-secret Pentagon program conducting classified briefings for more than a decade, analyzing various encounters between military craft and unidentified aerial vehicles.
In July, the Pentagon stated that the program was disbanded, but a Senate committee report from June revealed spending on a program called the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force.
FOX TV Stations reported in June of last year that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio had requested a detailed analysis on the findings of the task force.
Meanwhile, local Japanese news agencies reported in September of 2020 that Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono requested the Self-Defense Forces follow new protocols regarding possible interactions or sightings of unidentified flying objects which might pose a threat national security.
In a statement obtained by Japan Times, Kono ordered members of the military beginning Sept. 14 to record, photograph and investigate any unknown objects that mysteriously enter Japanese airspace.
Orders include implementing "necessary analysis" of such sightings, including sightings by the public, according to Japan Times.
The outlet reported that in 2018, the Japanese government publicly stated its position on UFOs, saying, "No confirmation has been made of their existence."
Kono’s September announcement came after an April press briefing (https://www.mod.go.jp/j/press/kisha/2020/0428a.html) by the Japanese Ministry of Defense, which announced that it would implement guidelines to track and investigate UFO sightings.
During a September, 2020 press briefing, Kono said he has been in talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on UFO sightings in Guam.
An Aug. 29 news release by the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed the meeting between Esper and Kono in Guam, a meeting that was meant to discuss "views on their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region."
Astrophysicist and former consultant for the UFO program since 2007, Eric W. Davis, told the New York Times in July of last year that he gave a classified briefing to the Defense Department agency in March 2020 regarding "off-world vehicles not made on this Earth."
This story was reported from Los Angeles.