Wading through 10 pages of flab
The ODNI's tardy UAP report makes it ripe for political exploitation
I feel confident that the next report on UFOs from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will be waaaaaay better than what it gave us last week.
Oh, for shit’s sake – really? More than two months overdue, and when the Office of the Director of National Intelligence finally does get around to releasing its unclassified 2022 UFO report, it takes 11 whole pages to tell us what we already know, that the number of UFO reports is rising? But without giving us one single solitary case-file example of the kind of evidence it takes to qualify as a true unknown? Do they think we’re all coconut monkeys?
OK wait. Get a grip. I know. Right – these official statements on UFOs, from official, government-certified authorities, are officially historic. Remember, kids, this didn’t used to happen at all. Once upon a time, if you tried to ask the suits and uniforms about this stuff, you’d be lucky to get an eyeroll and a patronizing pat on the head, with reassurances that this little green men thing is just a phase you’ll outgrow. So yes, I’m thankful for any and all breadcrumbs. Had a report like the one that dropped on Thursday been published five years ago I would’ve peed my pants.
But that was five years ago. OK? Five years.
What, exactly, did the “2022 Annual Report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” tell us? Well, for one thing, unlike NASA (which calls them “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena”) and Congress, the ODNI isn’t on board with the space agency’s adjective, and still calls UFOs Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. But no matter what the A stands for, we were told (again, as we were last year), that UAP “pose a safety of flight and collision hazard to air assets,” especially their “unauthorized presence in the airspace” outside of “air traffic control standards and instruction.” No examples are given, but they’re unnecessary. Everything’s under control, because no mid-air collisions have been reported (yet). And more good news — nobody experiencing CE-3 has suffered “adverse health related effects.”
Tell us more about those Range Foulers
They also gave us numbers that were considerably more upbeat than the last time ODNI put out data, in June 2021. Back then, of the 144 cases in the UAP Task Force files dating back to 2004, 143 were unresolved. That looks bad on the resume. The current database, stewarded now by the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, lists 510 cases total, including the initial 144. And now, thanks to a “more robust analytic process” than in 2021, those unknown percentages are plummeting:
Of the new 366 cases added to AARO’s archives since last year, 6 were “attributed to clutter,” 26 were linked to drones, and an outstanding 163 were “characterized as balloon or balloon-like entities.” In other words, within the course of a year or thereabouts, on account of better screening, Uncle Sam has gone from being able to identify less than 1 percent of the anomalies to nearly 50 percent. Most of the witnesses were on-duty USAF and Navy personnel who felt secure enough to log their UFO reports through “official channels,” due largely to “a concentrated effort to destigmatize the topic of UAP.”
Still, not even designated insiders appear to have a handle on all the details. In a Pentagon press conference dominated by other matters on Friday, Air Force brigadier general and DoD Press Secretary Pat Ryder took a UFO question from a reporter. It concerned the zero (0) number of incidents cited in the report’s “adverse health related effects” category.
“Congress pushed you guys and mandated ODNI and the Pentagon to look into that, which means there were reports from military aviators about those anomalous health incidents,” she said. “Is there anything you guys can share about what those health incidents ended up being if they were not UAP?”
“Yeah, I don't, I don't have any information to provide, I encourage you to take a look at the report,” Ryder replied. “I would say broadly speaking, I think one of the key points in this report, you know, given -- given the potential hazard that UAPs do present, notably, there's been no reported collisions of, of military aircraft or U.S. aircraft rather, and UAPs. But in terms of those specifics, I'd refer you back to the report. Let me go to (another reporter) . . .”
Geez Louise, somebody pull the fire alarm for the general.
So just how did a one-page numbers update get inflated to 10 pages of excess bone and fat, as they say in the meat market? Well, two pages serve up a verbatim rehash of legal obligations congressionally imposed on the ODNI and the Secretary of Defense. A third page reprints the language that authorized AARO last year. There’s a table of contents. There’s a half-page glossary whose coolest term is “Range Fouler,” for UFOs that bust up military exercises. But no details on Range Fouler activity.
Annnnnnd where’s DHS?
The rest of it is a word-salad snoozer about how the acronyms interact with each other, plus a list of all the federal agencies that provided “input” into this ODNI report. But the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Customs and Border Protection, is conspicuously absent. Wonder why? In 2013, airborne CBP agents captured the best-known video in the public domain of UAP transmedium capabilities, off Puerto Rico. A sanitized vid was leaked to independent researchers, but CBP refuses to release the raw footage, with audio, for “national security” reasons. Now that whistleblower protections for federal employees reporting UFO activity have been enshrined for 2023, a congressional invitation for the CBP crew to step forward with sworn testimony is a no-brainer.
For the ODNI’s report to have had even a modicum of credibility, it needed to cite one example from the AARO files – just one – that illustrates the level of professional effort and diligence required to categorize something as unknown. Details could be limited to the Joe Friday stuff, the time, location, the assets involved (yeah, you really can discuss assets without jeopardizing national security), event duration, a description of the suspect, which way it went, etc. But we get nothing from these people, nada, bugger-all.
As Black Vault researcher John Greenewald discovered through FOIA in 2022, the Director of National Intelligence has even decided to keep UFO description categories — “Common Shapes” and “Less Common/Irregular Shapes” — locked in the dark. Who thought that was good PR? We already know what UFOs look like. Sort of. And remember that cruddy UAP Navy video shown to a congressional audience during the open hearing back in May? Thanks to another Greenewald FOIA, the Navy declared just five months later that no additional UFO footage would be released because doing so would “harm national security.”
A sop to the bomb throwers
The bureaucracy is clearly stalling for time. But to what end? Are they counting on the UAP provisions in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act to be unenforceable? We’ll give you name, rank and serial number, but anything above and beyond that damages national security? Well, the U.S. House of Representatives is under new management now, busily creating ad hoc teams like the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to hound the Biden administration at every corner. Let’s see how this works.
Two Friday nights ago, we watched Tim Burchett (R-TN), one of 139 House Republicans who voted to reject the presidential election results in 2021, trying to get bomb-throwers Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert to reverse their “no” votes in the 15-round Kevin McCarthy circus. We know how that turned out, so this guy is due for a reward. Could this be good news for the UFO transparency crowd? In multiple public comments, Burchett sounds at least conversationally informed about the controversy and seriously pissed about the institutional obfuscation. Furthermore, he’s so over the social stigma, he even worked flying saucer themes into his re-election campaign T-shirts.
If the GOP is serious about going on offense against the “deep state” on so many fronts, maybe they’ll appoint the Tennessee bulldog to a Gang of Eight position. Or maybe they’ll create an entirely new committee for him to chair, giving Burchett subpoena power to learn how it came to be that military intelligence has held Capitol Hill’s nuts in escrow over UFO secrecy for so long now, nobody even knows when it started. And at a moment when bipartisan legislators are only now beginning to realize they’ve been had.
What could be more destabilizing than that?
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