The United States government has received 510 new reports of Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings from across the country, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is investigating the new logs. The figures were released as part of the 2022 Annual report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).
Sightings have tripled in number since 2021, and the US government attributes the increase to a greater awareness of airspace and an increased opportunity to resolve UAP events. The report maintains that there have been 247 new sightings and another 119 that were either discovered or reported after the preliminary assessment’s time period.
ODNI says that the increase in the number of sightings is partially due to a better understanding of the possible threats that UAP may represent, either as safety of flight hazards or as potential adversary collection platforms. Additionally, there has been a reduction in the stigma surrounding UAP reporting.
The sightings were mostly logged by United States Navy and Air Force pilots and the report said that most UAP events continue to occur in restricted or sensitive airspace, highlighting possible concerns for the safety of flight or adversary collection activity. The report also adds that “We continue to assess that this may result from a collection bias due to the number of active aircraft and sensors, combined with focused attention and guidance to report anomalies.”
The analysis of 366 newly-identified reports revealed that 26 were of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, 163 characterized as balloon or balloon-like entities, and six were attributed to clutter, which consists of birds, weather events, or airborne debris like plastic bags.
With more and more such sightings coming to light, NASA has formed a 16-member team that will find answers to these decades-old questions. The nine-month study will begin in October. A top US defense official has also told lawmakers that an increasing number of unidentified flying objects have been reported in the sky over the past 20 years during the first public hearing on UFOs in half a century.
The US Department of Defence has stated that the investigation of such reports yielded no results. However, it led to hundreds of new reports around anomalous, unidentified objects — whether they are in space, the skies, or even underwater.
Despite the lack of conclusive evidence, the government is taking these sightings seriously and continues to investigate new reports to determine the potential risks and threats they may pose. It’s clear that the topic of UFOs and UAPs continue to generate interest and intrigue among the general public and the government.