New Pentagon Office Slammed for Efforts to Control UFO Investigations and End Transparency | national news

U.S. officials and analysts around the world are sounding the alarm bells about a new Defense Department office that will handle the U.S. government’s review of unidentified flying objects, warning that the move indicates that the The military wants to end a brief period of transparency and put UFO reports back in a locked cupboard.

The Pentagon quietly announced on the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving that it had formed the Esoteric-Sounding Airborne Objects Synchronization and Identification Group. In collaboration with intelligence agencies, it follows up on a whole-of-government effort earlier this year document and analyze reports of encounters with unidentified objects – “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” or UAP in Pentagon jargon – primarily by military pilots.

The new office, which reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, will now oversee the government’s entire UFO study, focusing on sightings in restricted military airspace and ” assess and mitigate any threats associated with flight safety and national security. “said a spokesperson.

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The MoD has since justified the composition of the bureau as necessary to ensure consistency in the reporting process and subsequent analysis.

But some researchers are calling the Pentagon’s latest move an “insulting” attempt to bypass specific efforts by civil organizations and congressional leaders to exercise greater oversight over the government’s UFO study.

“This represents a cheeky step toward completely quelling the growing public and congressional demand for increased UFO transparency,” says Peter Whitley, a Japan-based researcher and member of the Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON, who considers himself one of the largest and oldest of its kind. “Clearly, the DOD is trying to turn the tide of this trend and shut the door on any further disclosure of any kind. “

Others who follow the problem closely see it as nothing more than a Pentagon play to control a subject that should belong in the arena of scientific study – to the detriment of proper oversight.

“It is clear that the Pentagon does not want any civil interference in this,” said Clas Svahn, chairman of the Swedish Archives for the Unexplainable, among the most comprehensive digital libraries for UFO sightings and investigations into them by governments around the world. “This is a power struggle over who should have access to UAP information.”

So-called “ufologists” around the world have expressed optimism this summer over the effort mandated by Congress led by the Civilian Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the government’s handling of UFO sightings. It resulted in a report published in June it offered few exciting conclusions – no documentation on the “little green men”, for example – but raised a reputation from an oft-derided subject to one deserving serious consideration among the most powerful countries in the world.

The Pentagon, through the formation of the new office, has begun to dash those hopes with what some see as a one-sided takeover. And, indeed, even some lawmakers have expressed their own concerns.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sponsored a pending bipartisan amendment to this year’s military budget bill that would speed up the government’s study of the matter and add more layers of oversight, in addition to determining whether an observation poses a threat unknown technologies deployed from Russia, China – or elsewhere. He calls for the creation of a new advisory committee made up of experts from civilian agencies such as NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration as well as universities to strengthen public discourse on the results.

“While we appreciate the DOD’s attention to the matter, the AOIMSG does not go far enough to help us better understand the data we collect on PSUs,” a spokeswoman for the New York Democrat said. , Lizzie Landau, at US News. The framework she proposed “does much more to address the UAP problem while maintaining public oversight.”

The Defense Department, however, has pushed back against the idea that its supremacy on the issue amounts to something nefarious and says it can practice transparency on its own.

“It’s a chance for us to be a lot more organized in the way we handle these reports,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters this week. “And we will certainly continue to be as transparent as possible about these phenomena and the impact they may or may not have on our ability to function.”

Kirby then tempered expectations about what the public might learn from the newly formed office’s findings.

“I don’t want to leave you with the impression that there’s going to be some kind of regular drumbeat, you know, some kind of report that’ll be posted on a website, you know, every two months,” he said. -he adds.

The Pentagon’s approach has deeply frustrated those who have followed the matter closely, especially after finally acknowledging that for years it had neglected to adequately analyze its encounters with unknown objects in US airspace.

“This is an end to cutting off Senator Gillibrand’s legs in her amendment to the next defense spending bill,” said Robert Spearing, director of international investigations for Costa Rica-based MUFON. “She wants a government office that uses input from civil organizations. In essence, the Pentagon doesn’t want that.

Two former defense officials who previously worked on UFO assessments said The hill in an interview that the latest initiative is woefully ill-prepared to deal with the problem.

“If we want 70 more years of secrecy on this subject, then [the undersecretary for intelligence’s office] is the perfect place to put it. They have had four years so far, and we have little effort to serve the public interest, ”Luis Elizondo, the former head of an informal Defense Ministry unit that assessed the reports, told the newspaper. military personnel on UFOs.

Elizondo is not the only expert to question Defense Department claims that only he can determine what documents to release.

“Being ‘as transparent as possible’ doesn’t mean much,” Svahn says. The Army’s approach is particularly frustrating “when it comes to observations and reports made by Air Force and Navy pilots within restricted airspace, because they will be most certainly seen as something that could threaten national security ”.

“Now,” he adds, “NAPs will only be seen as a threat – and treated like that. “

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