2023: The year UFOs descended on Washington, DC (but not like you'd expect)

2023: The year UFOs descended on Washington, DC (but not like you’d expect)

science, technology By Dec 27, 2023 No Comments

2023: The year UFOs descended on Washington, DC (but not like you’d expect)

For those who follow news related to anomalous flying objects, 2023 will be remembered as the year UFOs came to Washington, D.C. Not in the way we’d all like, though. No, there were no Tic-Tac-shaped UFOs landing on the White House lawn or big black triangles hovering silently in the air above it.

Instead, there were new bureaucratic offices and government websites created, pieces of dense legislation deliberated over, and hearings. Lots of hearings.

The Pentagon’s Report and Beyond

The big UFO year began on Jan. 12, when the Pentagon’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its long-awaited “2022 Annual Report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.”

The report, produced by the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) that was established in July 2022, included over 500 reports of unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAP, a new term that describes unidentified objects or phenomena in the air, under water, in space or that appear to travel between them.

The much-anticipated report analyzed the reports, finding only 171 that remained “uncharacterized,” or unidentified.

The Chinese Balloon Incident

Just a few weeks later, on Feb. 1, UFOs took center stage in both Washington D.C. and the news cycle when a large white orb was spotted floating over Montana.

The object turned out to be a massive high-altitude balloon operated by China. The appearance of such a brazen intelligence-gathering aircraft caused an international stir, and China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs eventually issued an apology.

The balloon was eventually shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 5 and recovered by the U.S. military.

The Pentagon and NASA’s Involvement

Soon after, The New York Times reported that similar balloons had intruded in American airspace between 2017 and 2021 and that military and governmental leaders were unaware of them in some cases because they were initially mischaracterized as UAP.

As the Pentagon and intelligence agencies stepped up efforts over the past two years to find explanations for many of those incidents, officials reclassified some events as Chinese spy balloons.

The furor over the Chinese spy events continued through the early spring, leading up to the first public testimony of the director of the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office on April 19, 2023.

During that testimony, Sean Kirkpatrick, AARO’s first director, told members of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services at a hearing in Washington, D.C. that his office found “no credible evidence thus far of extraterrestrial activity, off-world technology or objects that defy the known laws of physics.”

The next month, NASA held the first public meeting of its independent UAP study group at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. NASA commissioned the group in 2022 to help examine data related to unidentified anomalous phenomena and make recommendations on how the agency might better contribute to the topic.

During the meeting held on May 31, group members laid out a roadmap for how U.S. government agencies can “use the tools of science to evaluate and categorize the nature of UAPs going forward,” said Nicki Fox, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

The Push for Disclosure

Undoubtedly, the most out-of-this world UFO event of 2023 came two months after NASA’s UAP study group meeting when, on July 26, three former U.S. military personnel testified to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on National Security at the Border and Foreign Affairs.

Two of the witnesses, Ryan Graves and David Fravor, are former U.S. Navy aviators who had previously reported highly publicized encounters with unknown objects in military training airspace that have become touchstones for the UFO community in terms of credible sightings from reputable, trained witnesses.

But it was the third witness at the July hearing that caused the biggest stir. That witness, David Grusch, a decorated U.S. military combat veteran and former Pentagon intelligence officer, told the subcommittee that the U.S. government has operated a “multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program,” along with a disinformation campaign to keep the public in the dark.

A month later, on Aug. 31, the Pentagon’s AARO office quietly unveiled an official government website through which U.S. government personnel can report UFO/UAP sightings “in the vicinity of national security areas” such as military bases or other U.S. government sites.

Government’s Response and Legislation

The year in UFOs would ultimately end not with a bang, but with a whimper, when in December the U.S. Congress approved legislation containing a portion of the Schumer-Rounds language that ordered that some government records related to UAP must be released.

However, many UFO disclosure proponents felt that the final version of the Schumer-Rounds amendment was far weaker than what was originally proposed.

For those who have followed the UFO topic for a significant amount of time, none of these developments should feel new. The U.S. government has commissioned and/or conducted several UFO studies in the past, many of which reached similar conclusions as those reported by federal studies and agencies in 2023.

So, yes, while UFOs came to Washington in 2023, ultimately they left the same way they came: Shrouded in mystery, tainted by sensationalism, and wrapped in the jingoistic and sometimes paranoid language of national security.

The U.S. government, at least outwardly, appears no closer to solving the UFO enigma or revealing what it may know about these phenomena to the American public. Yet, anyway.

Many of those behind the current disclosure movement assure us that despite the legislative setbacks, the fight for the truth — if it’s out there — is just beginning. Here’s hoping we see that big black triangle over the White House in 2024.

Source: space

No Comments

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *