A new office will seek to track and assess unidentified aerial phenomena—the possibly-alien things formerly known as UFOs—that enter military training airspace, the Pentagon announced late Tuesday.
The Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group, or AOIMSG, will be tucked into the office of the defense undersecretary for intelligence and security and tasked with coordinating with other federal agencies to “detect, identify and attribute” unidentified objects of interest, and “to assess, and as appropriate, mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks directed in the Tuesday memo.
Earlier this year, the Director of National Intelligence released a report on more than 140 known sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, that Navy pilots and others have reported for years. The report could neither prove nor disprove that extraterrestrial technology was behind the video and first-hand accounts of flying objects maneuvering in ways beyond known U.S. and competitor capabilities.
The establishment of the office is important; for years, reports by Navy pilots were dismissed and those aviators were reluctant to discuss the encounters. Bringing the office into the mainstream, where it will coordinate with ODNI and have high-level Joint Staff input, signals that amid new technologies being rapidly fielded by China and Russia, whatever it is that the pilots are seeing out there, the Pentagon wants to know about it.