A highly-classified AI system used to analyze intelligence data spotted a UAP fitting the description of the ‘Tic-Tac’ object in May 2021, according to a series of National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Aside from reporting on what appears to be a genuinely unidentified object, the documents illustrate the coordination being facilitated between the UAP Task Force and other intelligence agencies, and the type of information being collected.

The information regarding the UAP detection was obtained through a FOIA request issued by researcher Kyle Warfel, who brought the results to the attention of The Black Vault’s John Greenwald Jr. It was comprised of two NRO PowerPoint presentations, titled “Recent Sentient Highlights” and “Sentient Operations Highlight: Detection of Possible UAP Near [REDACTED] 6 May 2021”; these presentations document the detection of a “possible airborne object” less than 10 meters (32.8 feet) long that “did not match the visual signature of typical aircraft detections;” these detections were “shared with the UAP Task Force” and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency [NGA], “for further analysis and coordination.”

“The object did, however, vaguely resemble similar detections of airborne objects by US Navy aircraft and surface vessels” with “a rough similarity to the previously-reported “tic tac” shape,” according to the documents; although the specific locations of the previous sightings are redacted, this is presumably referring to the “Tic-Tac” UFO encountered by the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group off of the coast of California in 2004. The document goes on to say that “the object was also detected / visible in a second overwater image shot in the same area ~15 sec later,” implying that the object was imaged by multiple sensors.

The documents state that “the object was likely not a sensor artifact or focal plane anomaly” and that “there were no correlating air or maritime tracks present in [REDACTED] reporting, nor were there any correlating ELINT/SIGINT detections in reporting, despite time-coincident [REDACTED] access/collection,” meaning that the object appearing in the images cannot be attributed to known air or sea traffic being tracked by other means such as radar or radio transponders.

Although the documents don’t mention the source of the images depicting the object, a section speculating on possible mundane explanations for the object includes “space debris much closer to the imaging vehicle,” implying that the images were recorded by an imaging satellite. Unfortunately, the majority of the pages of both documents were omitted, with 24 of the 30 pages obtained emblazoned with the words “PAGE DENIED”.

This analysis was conducted by a classified NRO initiative called “Sentient”, an AI system that the NRO has been developing since 2010, described as “an omnivorous analysis tool, capable of devouring data of all sorts, making sense of the past and present, anticipating the future, and pointing satellites toward what it determines will be the most interesting parts of that future” by The Verge’s Sarah Scoles.

“Sentient catalogs normal patterns, detects anomalies, and helps forecast and model adversaries’ potential courses of action,” according to the Deputy Director of NRO’s Office of Public Affairs, Karen Furgerson, offering proactive, real-time analysis of intelligence data from a multitude of sources. Although much about what Sentient is and how it operates remains secret, these documents offer a glimpse into the powerful analysis tools that appear to be providing the UAP Task Force (now known as the All-domain Resolution Office (AARO)) with UAP data.

A third document, again highly redacted, documents the email exchanges regarding the detection event between what appears to be the NRO, UAPTF and at least one unidentified government contractor, and implies that Sentient may have a built-in function for detecting UAP.

“NRO’s Sentient R&D [h]as a UAP model to look for UAP [REDACTED] in imagery, but we need an external customer to ask for it to be turned on,” according to a June 29, 2021, email that included the subject line “Sentient R&D support to UAPTF.” Once again, the majority of the responses in the ensuing emails were heavily redacted, leaving no indication as to whether or not this UAP function had been activated.

“The Black Vault has filed additional FOIA requests with the hopes to reveal more details and imagery of the above sighting,” according to The Black Vault’s article featuring the documents, along with additional requests for any further UAP detections that might be made by the enigmatic Sentient system.

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  1. That’s a really fascinating photo! Interesting the water being displaced below it unless that’s from the wind from something else? Makes me wonder where the photo came from if that was taken from a jet or some other kind of a airborne vehicle? Really interesting to use AI to Crunch a huge amount of data and come up with some of the stuff

    1. I think it would be more likely that the “photo” is an altered item, such as a CGI-made image of the ‘Tic-Tac’ craft being added in, since it’s unlikely the military would give us such a clear image at this point.

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