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Pentagon launches task force to study UFO sightings

Pentagon launches task force to study UFO sightings
© Defense Department

The Pentagon announced Friday that it is launching a task force to study unidentified flying objects (UFOs) after reports of sightings from service members.

The Pentagon said in a statement that Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist approved the establishment of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), which will fall under the Navy.

"The Department of Defense established the UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs," the Pentagon said. "The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security."

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"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," the Pentagon added. 

The agency first confirmed that it operated a program working to identify UFOs in 2017.

The task force’s formation follows the release of videos from the Department of Defense of encounters between U.S. pilots and UFOs in April, noting that explanations for the flying objects or aircraft remain unclear.

Bipartisan lawmakers have long pushed for the creation of a body to study UFOs, with former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidFeinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee Bottom line MORE (D-Nev.) emerging as a chief proponent.

“The U.S. needs to take a serious, scientific look at this and any potential national security implications. The American people deserve to be informed,” he tweeted in April after the footage of the UFOs was released.