Besproken in TPO Podcast 249: 1 juni komt het Pentagon met een disclosure document over het bestaan van UFO's. Verwacht wordt dat hierin, voor het eerst zwart op wit, zal worden toegegeven dat UFO's bestaan en dat militaire installaties in de V.S. geregeld worden bezocht door luchtvoertuigen die kennelijk gebruik maken van een superieure technologie die niemand op aarde bezit. Maar niemand weet door wie de voertuigen worden bestuurd of waar ze vandaan komen. Feitelijk staan de VS machteloos tegenover onbekende indringers in hun luchtruim.
Wie wil weten hoe het Pentagon tot deze beslissing is gekomen en hoe het onderwerp UFO's is geëvolueerd van het uitlachen van gekkies die praten over 'vliegende schotels' en 'groene mannetjes' naar een door het Pentagon en Amerikaanse senatoren zeer serieus genomen onderwerp dat in 2017 de voorpagina van de New York Times haalde moet beslist deze informatieve en zorgvuldig gedocumenteerde longread in The New Yorker lezen.
“The government may not have been in regular touch with exotic civilizations, but it had been keeping something from its citizens. By 2017, Kean was the author of a best-selling U.F.O. book and was known for what she has termed, borrowing from the political scientist Alexander Wendt, a “militantly agnostic” approach to the phenomenon. On December 16th of that year, in a front-page story in the Times, Kean, together with two Times journalists, revealed that the Pentagon had been running a surreptitious U.F.O. program for ten years. The article included two videos, recorded by the Navy, of what were being described in official channels as “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or U.A.P. In blogs and on podcasts, ufologists began referring to “December, 2017” as shorthand for the moment the taboo began to lift. Joe Rogan, the popular podcast host, has often mentioned the article, praising Kean’s work as having precipitated a cultural shift. “It’s a dangerous subject for someone, because you’re open to ridicule,” he said, in an episode this spring. But now “you could say, ‘Listen, this is not something to be mocked anymore—there’s something to this.’ ”
Since then, high-level officials have publicly conceded their bewilderment about U.A.P. without shame or apology. Last July, Senator Marco Rubio, the former acting chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke on CBS News about mysterious flying objects in restricted airspace. “We don’t know what it is,” he said, “and it isn’t ours.” In December, in a video interview with the economist Tyler Cowen, the former C.I.A. director John Brennan admitted, somewhat tortuously, that he didn’t quite know what to think: “Some of the phenomena we’re going to be seeing continues to be unexplained and might, in fact, be some type of phenomenon that is the result of something that we don’t yet understand and that could involve some type of activity that some might say constitutes a different form of life.”
Last summer, David Norquist, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, announced the formal existence of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. The 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act, signed this past December, stipulated that the government had a hundred and eighty days to gather and analyze data from disparate agencies. Its report is expected in June. In a recent interview with Fox News, John Ratcliffe, the former director of National Intelligence, emphasized that the issue was no longer to be taken lightly. “When we talk about sightings,” he said, “we are talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery, that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain, movements that are hard to replicate, that we don’t have the technology for, or are travelling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom.””