Defense bill creates new office to study UFOs
The final version of the annual defense policy bill will create a new office to study UFOs, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced on Thursday.
An amendment introduced by Gillibrand and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators that will be included in the defense policy bill will replace the existing Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and create an office administered both by the Defense Secretary and Director of National Intelligence.
The office will be tasked with studying and responding to UFOs, or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) as referred to by the senators.
The office would have access to information regarding UFOs from the intelligence community and Defense Department so that it could help provide a “coordinated” response to these sightings, according to a release from Gillibrand’s office. It would also delve into health impacts and possible national security concerns related to UFOs.
Additionally, the office would be required to provide an annual unclassified report on its activity to Congress, as well as biannual briefings to lawmakers that would be classified.
Among the amendment’s co-sponsors are Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.). Gillibrand said she also worked with Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) on the inclusion of the amendment in the defense policy bill.
“Our national security efforts rely on aerial supremacy and these phenomena present a challenge to our dominance over the air. Staying ahead of UAP sightings is critical to keeping our strategic edge and keeping our nation safe,” Gillibrand said in a statement.
“The United States needs a coordinated effort to take control and understand whether these aerial phenomena belong to a foreign government or something else altogether,” she added.
The announcement comes as the annual defense policy bill awaits a vote in the Senate after being passed by the House on Tuesday.
A report released in June by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence prompted interest in studying UFOs, as it detailed that 144 UFOs had been detected by the U.S. government since 2004 and nearly all of the cases were still unexplained.
The possibility of life outside of Earth was not mentioned in the report, but that possibility was also not ruled out in it.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.