UAP was included in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's (SSCI) recently passed Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022. Included in the appropriations for intelligence activities was a provision that mandated agencies under the ODNI and the Department of Defense to provide UAP-related data to both the UAPTF and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the Air Force's primary agency for analyzing foreign air and space threats.
It's worth noting that the bill includes the Air Force, which has been absent in previous UAP-related dialogue. Prior to this, it's the Navy that has taken the lead on issues pertaining to UAP, and a recent episode of 60 Minutes interviewed two former Navy pilots who encountered "multiple anomalous aerial vehicles" while flying over the Pacific Ocean in November 2004.
It's not just the government that has shown an increased interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. While popular media has long captured the fascination of Americans with UAP, the recent ODNI report, together with recent news coverage on the matter, has set both believers and skeptics abuzz with anticipation.
In fact, this renewed interest in UAP isn't limited to the U.S. – its popularity and pervasiveness have reached even people from Europe to China and from Russia to Australia. For Martijn Lampert, an Amsterdam-based researcher who authored the "first-ever global study on alien life," the popularity that UAP enjoy is primarily driven by the need to find the truth behind them.
"Immediately, it made me think of the research we conducted earlier … because it is something that fascinates billions around the world. And I think that's also quite logical that people are fascinated by the unknown, because curiosity is one of the highest values of humanity that propels us forward," he added.
Even with the increased popularity of UAP, the government remains even-keeled on the matter. In the ODNI report, which was released on June 25, the words "alien" or "extraterrestrial" don't appear even once. They did, however, acknowledge that 143 of the 144 sightings studied by the government "remain unexplained."
"Although most of the UAP described in our dataset probably remain unidentified due to limited data or challenges to collection processing or analysis, we may require additional scientific knowledge to successfully collect on, analyze and characterize some of them," the report concludes. "We would group such objects in this category pending scientific advances that allowed us to better understand them."
The fact that it is open to learning, investigating and even sharing is already a major shift for the Pentagon, even if the report did not give definitive answers, according to Lampert.
The U.S., in fact, isn't alone when it comes to opening up to life beyond Earth. A recent survey revealed that people from China and Russia -- which the ODNI namechecks as possible sources of UAP -- are even more likely to believe in intelligent alien civilizations than Americans. In the same survey, nearly 50 percent of the 26,000 respondents said they believe in intelligent alien civilization, and 61 percent said some form of life exists on other planets. (Related: F-18 fighter plane captures stunning UFO on video… government admits UFO research is real.)
For its part, the SSCI says that the report is the first in understanding how UAP can impact national security. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who also chairs the committee, says that both the defense department and the intelligence community "have a lot of work to do" to determine whether UAP are a national security concern.
Learn more about UAP and its potential link to extraterrestrial life at UFOs.news.