Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force

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Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force
PredecessorAdvanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program
TypeUnited States governmental study
Legal statusActive
PurposeStudy of unidentified flying objects
Brennan McKernan[1]
Key people
David Norquist[2]
Parent organization
Office of Naval Intelligence
United States Department of Defense

The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) is a program within the United States Office of Naval Intelligence used to "standardize collection and reporting" on sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), sometimes termed UFOs. The program was detailed in a June 2020 hearing of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.[3][4][5]


"FLIR" video
"GIMBAL" video
"GOFAST" video

In December 2017, the United States Department of Defense confirmed the existence of a defense program used to collect data on military UFO sightings, despite the disbandment of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program in 2012. Like its predecessor program, the UAP Task Force is managed by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence in collaboration with the Office of Naval Intelligence.

After the June 2020 Senate hearing, Senator Marco Rubio requested the release of video footage of unexplained aerial vehicles collected by the United States Navy, including the Pentagon UFO videos.[6][7]

On June 24, 2020, the Intelligence Committee voted to require United States Intelligence Community and the United States Department of Defense to publicly track and analyze data collected on unexplained aerial vehicles.[8] A report from the task force will be issued to the Intelligence Committee 180 days after the passage of the intelligence authorization act.[9][10]

Writing for Politico, Bryan Bender quoted Christopher Mellon, the advisor to the company To the Stars, as saying "It further legitimizes the issue", adding "That in itself is extremely important. People can talk about it without fear of embarrassment." Mellon also said "We are talking dozens of incidents in restricted military airspace over years."[11]

In July 2020, Rubio stated that he was worried that an adversary country had achieved "some technological leap" that "allows them to conduct this sort of activity", while also saying that there might be a conventional explanation that was "boring".[10]

On April 12, 2021, the Pentagon confirmed the authenticity of pictures and videos gathered by the Task Force, purportedly showing "pyramid shaped objects" hovering above USS Russell in 2019, off the coast of California, with spokeswoman Susan Gough saying "I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel. The UAPTF has included these incidents in their ongoing examinations."[12][13][14][15] Science writer Mick West demonstrated that the pyramids were most likely an airplane, Jupiter, and stars, distorted because of the lens was out of focus.[16]

The following month, Gough further confirmed a second video had been recorded by Navy personnel and is under review by the Task Force. The video, recorded on July 15, 2019, in the combat information center of USS Omaha, purportedly shows a spherical object flying over the ocean as seen through an infrared (IR) camera at night, moving across the screen before stopping and easing down into the water.[17][18][19][20]

Preliminary assesment[edit]

On June 25, 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report on UAPs, commonly known as the Pentagon UFO Report.[21] The report found that the UAPTF was unable to identify 143 objects spotted between 2004 and 2021. The report said that 18 of these featured unusual movement patterns or flight characteristics, and that more analysis was needed to determine if those sightings represented breakthrough technology. The report said that some of these steps are resource-intensive and would require additional investment.[22] The report did not link the sightings to extraterrestrial life, with officials saying "We have no clear indications that there is any nonterrestrial explanation for them — but we will go wherever the data takes us".[23][24]

Program announcement[edit]

The program was officially approved on August 4, 2020, by the Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, and announced on August 14, 2020. "The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security." On June 25, 2021, the preliminary assessment was delivered.[25][22]


  1. ^ "'We've got to get an answer': UFOs catch Congress' interest". POLITICO.
  2. ^ Browne, Ryan (August 14, 2020) Pentagon to launch task force to investigate UFO sightings. CNN
  3. ^ Cooper, Helene; Blumenthal, Ralph; Kean, Leslie (December 16, 2017). "Glowing Auras and 'Black Money': The Pentagon's Mysterious U.F.O. Program". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Rogoway, Joseph Trevithick and Tyler. "Here Are The Air Force's Reports On Aircrew Encounters With Unidentified Flying Craft". The Drive. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Science, To the Stars Academy of Arts &. "TTSA Announces Support for UAP Task Force Inclusion in Intelligence Authorization Act for 2021". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  6. ^ "Senators want public to see Pentagon UFO reports, citing "inconsistent" information sharing". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  7. ^ "Senate Intelligence Committee Confirms the US Navy Has a UFO Task Force". www.vice.com. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  8. ^ Williams, Erika (June 24, 2020). "Senate Panel Votes to Let Public Access UFO Records". Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  9. ^ Spocchia, Gino (June 24, 2020). "Pentagon UFO unit to publicly release some findings after ex-official says 'off-world vehicle' found". The Independent. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Blumenthal, Ralph (July 23, 2020). "No longer in the shadows, Pentagon's UFO unit will make some findings public". The New York Times/The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Bender, Bryan (June 23, 2020). "Senators want the public to see the government's UFO reports". Politico.com. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  12. ^ "Pentagon confirms leaked video of UFO 'buzzing' Navy warships is genuine". The Independent. April 13, 2021.
  13. ^ "Leaked footage shows UFOs flying around navy vessels". in.news.yahoo.com.
  14. ^ "Pentagon Confirms That Leaked Video Is Part of UFO Investigation". Futurism.
  15. ^ Steinbuch, Yaron (April 12, 2021). "Navy ships capture video of pyramid-shaped UFOs, orbs flying above". New York Post.
  16. ^ Lewis-Kraus, Gideon (April 30, 2021). "How the Pentagon Started Taking UFOs Seriously". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  17. ^ "Leaked video appears to show UFO plunging under water off California". Global News.
  18. ^ "Leaked Navy video appears to show UFO off California". NBC News.
  19. ^ Hanks, Micah (May 14, 2021). "Pentagon Confirms Leaked Video Showing "Transmedium" UFO is Authentic". The Debrief.
  20. ^ "Newly leaked video shows a UFO disappear into the water - CNN Video" – via edition.cnn.com.
  21. ^ Gabbatt, Adam (June 25, 2021). "It came out of the sky: US releases highly anticipated UFO report". The Guardian.
  22. ^ a b "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (PDF). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. June 25, 2021. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  23. ^ Merchant, Nomaan (June 25, 2021). "No ET, no answers: Intel report is inconclusive about UFOs". apnews.com. Associated Press. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  24. ^ Kube, Courtney; Edelman, Adam (June 25, 2021). "UFO report: Government can't explain 143 of 144 mysterious flying objects, blames limited data". NBC News.
  25. ^ "Establishment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force". U.S. Department of Defense. August 14, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2021.

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