What 2021s UFO News Taught Us About Gov. Disclosure

how to interpret the latest government ufo report

2021 has been called the year of the UFO, with UFO news seemingly breaking every month, and it hasn’t stopped yet.

The Pentagon recently announced the formation of the “Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group” to replace the UAP Task Force, on the heels of the much-anticipated UAP report from the US government that came earlier the year.

To break down the events of the past year and provide context, Nick Pope, who worked for the UK’s Ministry of Defence on the UFO phenomenon, weighed in.

“2021 has been a huge year for the UFO topic, the big story, of course, was the preliminary assessment of unidentified aerial phenomena produced by the Office of Director of National Intelligence,” Pope said.

“It said that a lot of these sightings could not be explained even after a rigorous investigation by the military. It said that some of these cases appeared to display the hallmarks of advanced technology examples. Two examples of that are signature management and a degree of radiofrequency energy. So it was big and of course, work is continuing, there will be all sorts of follow-up.”

This year saw a number of senior government officials, some former, some in office, speak out on the issue of UFOs and potential extraterrestrial life.

“2021 absolutely saw an uptick in the number of senior people speaking out on this,” Pope said. “We had former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, we had former CIA Director James Woolsey, DNI Avril Haines, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Jeff Bezos spoke, and a number of others. Again, it’s unprecedented I think, when we’ve had people like Luis Elizondo of course, speaking out on this for some time now. What we’re seeing now is a validation of a lot of that when the senior folks pile in and say ‘Yes, there is something to all this, and who am I to rule out the extraterrestrial hypothesis?’”

We’ve recently reported on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s amendment to the national defense authorization act which included multiple groundbreaking UFO-related topics. That amendment was taken up in the National Defense Authorization Act and in an increasingly rare moment of bipartisanship, featured several republican co-sponsors and a call for open reporting.

“Senator Gillibrand and Senator Marco Rubio, who subsequently endorsed her amendment and put his name on it too, have said ‘Yes, whatever Congress gets,’ which will be classified, ‘there must be at least an annual report for the public and the media,’ which will be unclassified of course, as with the June 2021 preliminary assessment. But at least people will get something, that’s probably more than the Pentagon wanted to do,” Pope said. 

Pope started studying the UFO phenomenon for the UK’s ministry in 1991. We asked if he’s seen a societal shift when it comes to UFO phenomena over the past 30 years.

“A critical mass has built upon this issue. Now certainly, I don’t know how it plays into the wider public, but in the circles in which I move, there’s an absolute acceptance now that this is something that was overlooked or stigmatized for too long,” Pope said. “The realization now I think, from within the government, from within Congress, that this is a safety of flight issue, a defense issue, and a potential national security challenge. The key takeaway is that folks are going to be taking this more seriously than they have before.”

How can we sum up 2021 and what can we look forward to in 2022 and beyond?

“As I look back on 2021 I think it’s a year of very solid progress. 2022 we’ll doubtless see a ramping up of the official research and investigation program. I mean we’ve got a lot of fabulous resources and capabilities that sit within the US. The problem is they’re no good if you don’t use them. What has been lacking is the will to use these resources, these capabilities, this expertise; to use all that to solve the UFO mystery. There’s a lot going on, a lot happened in 2021, but a lot to look forward to in 2022,” Pope said.

New Legislation Could Open Floodgates of Government UFO Reports

Congress Ufo Reports Floodgates

The US government just made it easier to report UFOs, possibly releasing people from non-disclosure agreements. Will this open the floodgates of information?

As part of the annual defense spending bill, within the National Defense Authorization Act for 2023, the House just approved an amendment that would make it easier for current or former members of the military, government-employed civilians, and contractors to report UFOs or UAPs as the government now calls them.

The measure was sponsored by Reps. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Ruben Gallego of Arizona, who have been among those in Congress calling for more transparency into UFOs.

The amendment would create a secure system for reporting any UFO phenomena and protect those who come forward from any repercussions.

Gallagher told Politico, “I believe it’s possible that folks may be precluded from being fully transparent with congress due to their being bound by non-disclosure agreements… if that’s true, I want to make sure that there’s no technical reason preventing them from speaking to us.”

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