By S.T. Patrick
According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), roughly half of the 366 UFO reports received by the Defense Department since March 2021 can be attributed to balloons or drones. Of the 189 that were explained by the government agency, 26 were said to be unmanned aircraft that can be drones or drone-like devices, while 163 were balloons or “balloon-like entities.”
As the mainstream media has focused on the explained “unidentified aerial phenomena,” the description more commonly used now rather than “UFO,” the question, even if one believes the federal explanations, is about the other half that remain unexplained.
According to the newly unclassified report, the unexplained cases “appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities and require further analysis.”
More than half of the new cases come not from those in southern trailer parks who are calling police about lights in the sky, as the stereotype wrongly suggests. They come from Navy and Air Force operators and aviators, those who are professionally trained and skilled at identifying aerial phenomena. The ODNI is telling Navy and Air Force pilots and aviation personnel, always in hindsight, that they don’t know what they are seeing. The weight and the expertise of the federal bureaucracy is required to define it for them.
Comically, the federal government explained away six of these sightings—in investigations done well after the sightings—as birds, floating debris such as bags or paper, or weather. With little to no clear visual evidence, the ODNI can positively identify floating trash bags and paper bags like you would use at your local retail store in a way that aviation professionals cannot. That’s what the public is led to believe. Yet, it is not the first time in recent memory that the public has been misled about UFO sightings.
President Bill Clinton in 2022 told talk show host James Corden that he and former chief of staff John Podesta “made every attempt to find out everything about Roswell,” the site of the New Mexico crash and discovery of debris that still today remains the most famous case in American UFO lore. Clinton continued, stating that he “also sent people to Area 51 to make sure there were no aliens.” When Corden asked who went, Clinton admitted that it was then-national security adviser Sandy Berger. Clinton concluded, “But there’s no aliens, as far as I know.”
It was during Clinton’s administration in 1994 that the first of two official reports on Roswell was released. The first concluded that the material discovered in 1947 was debris from Project Mogul, a high-altitude military surveillance balloon program. The second report was released in 1997 and was much more egregious and insulting, simultaneously. In that report, the federal government claimed that all of the more than 50 witnesses from 1947 mis- remembered the events and were suffering from confused memories. What they remembered as 1947, the government claimed, was actually the early 1950s, and what some claimed were alien bodies were anthropomorphic dummies from programs in the 1950s such as Operation High Drive. Other aspects of what they remembered were hoaxes perpetrated by UFO advocates and the naïve masses who they had duped, said the government.
Former Presidents Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump have all been asked extensively about UFOs. Clinton showed the highest interest, yet also did the most damage to those advocating for true disclosure by directing the above explanations for Roswell. Obama was vague in his explanation, telling Corden that “what is true, and I’m actually being serious here, is that there is footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are.”
“We can’t explain how they move, their trajectory,” he continued. “They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so I think that people still take seriously, trying to investigate and figure out what that is.”
President Trump was asked about Navy UFO reports in 2019, to which he responded, “We’re watching.” When pushed, he explained further, “I did have one very brief meeting on it. But people are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly.”
In 2022, the Pentagon set up its own office to investigate, document, and analyze further UFO reports. Its office is known as the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office. The official answer of history has been to deny. With Clinton brought the era of admitting that secret aerial programs existed, but the UFO hunters and those who saw things decades ago were just confused citizens who are struggling with the failing memories of their elder years. There has been more congressional openness in the Obama, Trump, and Joe Biden eras, yet we are still unsure as to what they are being open about.
It is possible—maybe likely—that accepting and admitting aerial phenomena exist places in the hands of the Pentagon the ultimate power to control the information as it goes public. When denial was the strategy du jour, they could not control what they didn’t admit existed. There is also a likelihood that what is being seen are advanced military maneuvers and experimentations that may not be declassified for another 20 years.
Whether there are extraterrestrial aliens that exist “out there” is something the federal government has yet to take seriously—at least in the public sphere. But these may also be classified reports that we won’t see for decades.