The August 2022 Unclassified Annual Report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) has surfaced, revealing a number of unexplained UFO sightings. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 required the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on UAPs to Congress. The renewed interest in UAPs comes on the heels of the May 2022 House Intelligence Committee hearing requiring transparency on UAPs and their potential threats to national security. A classified version of the report has also been presented to Congress. UncoverDC reported on the 9-page preliminary report that was released in June 2021. 

A Department of Defense news report from December 17, 2022, detailed the formation of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). Established in July 2022, the Office is tasked with identifying and analyzing UAPs that might pose a threat to the military and other federal agencies. It is an “interagency” effort “to document, collect, analyze and, when possible, resolve reports of any unidentified anomalous phenomena,” said Sean M. Kirkpatrick, the Director of AARO.

According to a memo from Ronald Moultrie, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, AARO will “leverage” DoD capabilities in coordination with the Intelligence Community to “tackle the unique challenges posed by the presence of anomalous objects across all domains…following along [6] lines primary lines of effort.”

Moultrie Memo/https://media.defense.gov/2022/Jul/20/2003039081/-1/-1/1/ESTABLISHMENT-RESOURCING-AND-LEADERSHIP-OF-THE-ALL-DOMAIN-ANOMALY-RESOLUTION-OFFICE.PDF

AARO is in the process of reviewing historic records as well as more recent reports. The UAP reports are encouraged from all military service members, not just aviators, in the hopes of constructing a more accurate and fulsome picture of what is going on. AARO must also keep Congress abreast of its findings with regular reports. According to a DoD press release, a UAP Task Force (UAPTF) was established in 2020.

Findings from the Unclassified 2022 Annual UAP Report

The report found that the sightings continue to happen “in restricted or sensitive airspace, highlighting possible concerns for the safety of flight or adversary collection activity.” A primary focus is investigating whether foreign powers are involved in the UAP events for reasons of national defense.

During the first 17 years of UAP reporting, there were 144 UAP reports. However, according to the August report, “247 new reports and another 119 were either since discovered or reported after the preliminary assessment’s time period. This totals 510 UAP reports as of August 30, 2022.”

Factored in the analysis are the impacts of weather, lighting, atmospheric effects, and the accurate interpretation of sensor data” when available. The reports also rely partly upon the observers’ recollections to round out the data captured by sensors and other detection equipment.

The additional 119 UAP reports occurred before March 2021 but were not included in the preliminary 2021 assessment. Roughly half of the 366 newly-identified reports were judged to be “exhibiting unremarkable characteristics.” Analysis of the unremarkable reports shows 26 were characterized as “Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or UAS-like entities. 163 were balloon or balloon-like entities, and 6 were attributed to clutter.” The remaining 171 were uncharacterized, but some appeared to “have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities and require further analysis.” While there have been no reported collisions with UAPs, they continue to pose a danger to aviators and “pose a possible adversary collection threat.”

Former DNI John Ratcliffe expressed his concern over the weekend about some of the report’s findings, saying the unexplained findings defy natural laws and may indicate unknown national security threats that must be further defined.

“I know everyone gets caught up on the alien life and all of that, but my concern as the director of national intelligence was, if anyone, foreign adversary, regardless of how you define foreign adversary, have technologies that the United States don’t have, we need to find out more about that.

There’s no visual disturbance, it’s not clutter, or debris, or birds or anything else, but objects that demonstrate technologies that seem to defy the law of physics and capabilities that we don’t have as the world’s superpower, you know, our role in the federal government is to provide for the common defense. And we can’t do that if someone else has technologies that are better than we have.”

Ratcliffe also mentioned the historic reluctance of Air Force pilots to report UAPs for fear of jeopardizing their jobs. Ratcliffe believes the sightings from pilots are increasing partly because he and others have called for greater transparency concerning the documentation of UAPs. “We need to have information if there are technologies out there,” said Ratcliffe, “And very clearly, as this most recent report reveals, the sightings are increasing, which is a good thing, because that means we’re getting more honest reporting from our Navy and Air Force pilots.”

Notably, the report does not contain the word “alien.” During a December 16, 2022, press conference, reporters asked Under Secretary Ronald Moultrie and AARO Director Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick whether they thought any reports indicated that beings from other worlds were involved in the sightings. Moultrie’s answer was “No.” Moultrie clarified:

“At this time, the answer’s no; we have nothing. We’re committed, and I have to say this because I talked with the Secretary and I talked with the Deputy Secretary about this, about openness and objectivity, and transparency that we have committed to the Congress, the American people, to you in the press corps. We have not seen anything that would—but we’re certainly very early on—that would lead us to believe that any of the objects that we have seen are of alien origin if you will.” 

Moultrie also reported no credible reports of “trans-medium” objects, meaning objects that can travel through water to air to space. Kirkpatrick added:

“We are structuring our analysis to be very thorough and rigorous. We will go through it all. And as a physicist, I have to adhere to the scientific method, and I will follow that data and science wherever it goes.”

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