U.S. Navy Leads New Task Force on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena
The Department of Defense has approved the creation of a Navy-led task force to examine unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). The development follows the release of Navy fighter targeting camera footage which appears to depict airborne objects with exceptional maneuvering characteristics.
"The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security," the Pentagon said in a statement. "The safety of our personnel and the security of our operations are of paramount concern. The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report."
Last September, the Navy confirmed the detection of fast-moving unidentified objects in restricted training airspace. Three videos from Navy fighter camera footage that were leaked to media in 2017-2018 appear to show oddly-shaped objects moving in ways that exceed the capabilities of known aerospace technology. The video's audio tracks include exchanges between the pilots, who expressed surprise at the objects' speed and movement. According to the Navy, the videos are authentic, and they were taken about 11 years apart - the first in 2004 and the second and third in 2015.
Luis Elizondo, the ex-director of the Defense Department's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, told media last June that the encounter depicted in one of the videos was confirmed by an observation from a ship-mounted Aegis AN/SPY-1 radar system, the advanced air defense radar carried by Arleighe Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.
According to Elizondo's non-profit organization, To The Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences, the objects share five unusual characteristics, all of which are beyond the capabilities of publicly-known technology:
- Sudden and instantaneous acceleration: Objects moving in such a manner that they are capable of maneuvering suddenly, deliberately and sometimes in the opposite direction. In some cases, these maneuvers involve a change in direction and acceleration that is well beyond the healthy limitations of any biological system.
- Hypersonic velocities without signatures: Objects that are traveling well above supersonic speeds and yet leave no obvious signature behind.
- Low observability: Regardless if the object is being viewed electro-optically, electromagnetically, or through the naked eye, the inability to gain a clear target picture remains elusive.
- Trans-medium travel: Objects that have the ability to travel easily in air and underwater without any change in performance capabilities.
- Positive lift: Objects that are apparently resisting the natural effects of Earth's gravity, yet without the normally associated aerodynamic means for lift and thrust.