The Pentagon has officially approved the establishment of their new Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), a unit tasked with investigating UFO encounters in order to improve the military’s understanding of “the nature and origins of UAPs,” according to Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough. “The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze, and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.”
Although the Pentagon’s little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) was formally closed in 2012, the task of investigating UFOs was continued by an unnamed, albeit similar, group of researchers, with the program simply having “changed name, changed location, [and] changed leadership,” according to Eric W. Davis, an astrophysicist that provided consulting services for AATIP’s successor.
After the 2017 unveiling of three gun-camera videos recorded during encounters between UFOs and U.S. Navy aviators, lawmakers in both Congress and the Senate called for high-level briefings from the Pentagon on the subject, an investigation that culminated in the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees ordering the Secretary of Defense to provide regular unclassified reports regarding what the UAPTF—specifically named in the text of Bill S. 3905—has discovered in their investigations.
Now approved by Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist, the UAPTF will be led by the Department of the Navy, “under the cognizance of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security,” according to a July 26 statement released to Popular Mechanics by Gough.
The task force was established to “improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs,” the statement continued. “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 safety of our personnel and the security of our operations are of paramount concern” according to the statement. “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. This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing.”