The U.S. Navy is updating its protocols for pilots and other officials to report sightings of "unidentified aircraft."
"There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years," Joseph Gradisher, spokesperson for Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, told The Hill in a statement on Wednesday. "For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report."
"As part of this effort," it continued, "the Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft."
Politico, which first reported on the new protocol, noted that the protocol is not an indication that the Navy believes its officers are seeing evidence of alien life but rather that there have been unusual sightings in the air that should be investigated.
Gradisher also told The Hill that the Navy has provided briefings on the matter in response to inquiries from members of Congress and their staffs.
"In response to requests for information from Congressional members and staff, Navy officials have provided a series of briefings by senior Naval Intelligence officials as well as aviators who reported hazards to aviation safety," he said.
Updated April 24 at 4:49 p.m.