Although the recently-signed $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill was important for getting much needed financial relief to Americans affected by the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic, the 5,600-page bill also included a committee comment that started a 180-day countdown for the deadline of a report on what the military knows about UFOs, that was originally ordered as part of this year’s Intelligence Authorization Act, drafted in June 2020.
Included as what is called a “committee comment” attached to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the comment “directs the [director of national intelligence], in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of such other agencies… to submit a report within 180 days of the date of enactment of the Act, to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees on unidentified aerial phenomena.”
The upcoming report is instructed to address “observed airborne objects that have not been identified” including a “detailed analysis of unidentified phenomena data collected by: a. geospatial intelligence; b. signals intelligence; c. human intelligence; and d. measurement and signals intelligence,” according to the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021, drafted last June.
Extending beyond the military, the report is also to include “[a] detailed analysis of data of the FBI, which was derived from investigations of intrusions of unidentified aerial phenomena data over restricted United States airspace… and an assessment of whether this unidentified aerial phenomena activity may be attributed to one or more foreign adversaries.”
“The newly enacted Intelligence Authorization Act incorporates the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report language calling for an unclassified, all-source report on the UAP phenomenon,” according to former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence Chris Mellon. “This was accomplished in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill.”
“Consequently, it’s now fair to say that the request for an unclassified report on the UAP phenomenon enjoys the support of both parties in both Houses of Congress,” continued Mellon, who is also a former staff director of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Assuming the Executive Branch honors this important request, the nation will at long last have an objective basis for assessing the validity of the issue and its national security implications. This is an extraordinary and long overdue opportunity.”
“I’m hopeful the new Administration will rigorously execute its oversight prerogatives because the concerns of the public and numerous U.S. military personnel have been ignored by a complacent national security bureaucracy for far too long,” Mellon added.
Current UFO investigator and former investigator for the UK Ministry of Defence’s UFO unit, Nick Pope, said that he welcomes this move, “which shows how seriously the phenomenon is being taken in the intelligence community.”
“The Pentagon’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force is probably already drafting the report for DNI to send to the Senate Intelligence Committee,” Pope added. But he also warns that the upcoming report might not be the landmark disclosure event that many in the UFO community have been waiting for.
“Questions remain about what the report will say and how much can ever be made public, given the highly classified nature of some of the material, but this is a step in the right direction,” according to Pope.