in photo: A UFO capable of diving. Credit: Jeremy Corbell / Youtube

Friday 25 Juneintelligence americana delivered to Congress the highly anticipated report on UFOs, or rather, on unidentified aerial phenomena (STEAM) detected in the airspace of United States over the past twenty years. Gods 144 accidents analyzed in the document, only for one the origin was identified with certainty, that is a deflated balloon; for all the others, underline the experts of the Task Force UAP Department of Defense, an explanation could not be provided due to lack of data and detection methods. Among the hypotheses on the table to explain these mysterious UAP, a term introduced to remove the negative and popular meaning that surrounds that of UFO, there are experimental technologies of the Americans themselves (not known to observers) or sophisticated spy drones of foreign countries. The report does not exclude a priori the possibility that it may be extraterrestrial technology, but this does not at all mean that we are in front of the aliens, as many have imaginatively deduced from reading the report. To find out more about this document we contacted Giuseppe Stilo, member of the CICAP (Italian Committee for the Control of Claims on Pseudoscience) and author of several books dedicated to ufology. Here’s what he told us.

Mr. Stilo, you have been following the subject of UFOs for many years; what amazed you the most about the new report published in the US?

As a skeptic I didn’t expect much, but I have to say it’s still less than I thought. It is extremely concise, it is what the Americans call an executive summary. It is not what was expected in terms of considerations, conclusions etc etc, whether they were of one type or another. In reality it is a type of text of a bureaucratic nature that gives indications for the future and above all asks for one thing to do one’s job better: money, funds, appropriations. And he asks Congress for them in this way: “Look, we think the Defense Department should allocate more money to this investigation, because in this way we can better explain the phenomena.” The result is that at the end of the same day in which this summary was presented and made public, the Undersecretary of Defense authorized the planning of the new initiative and therefore of the expenditure. So there is a whole very concrete bureaucratic procedure and it tells us why this document is like this. It is less simple than it seems, but in a nutshell, the mountain has given birth to a mouse.

The report refers to 143 unexplained phenomena. Government officials indicate that its propulsion system is not understood and that it cannot be explained even with experimental technologies. Furthermore, for several cases we would not even be faced with instrumentation anomalies, since the UAPs have been intercepted by several sensors. What can you tell us about it?

This document appears to have been compiled by several people and in fact contains contradictions. Regarding what is said about the more extreme aspects of the relationship, together with my dear friend Sofia Lincos I have published a more extensive analysis on the CICAP queryonline site. Allow me to read a few lines of two passages that I have translated and which in my opinion make one thing understood and then its opposite. At one point this report says: “In a limited number of accidents, UAP descriptions report unusual flight characteristics.” But later it is emphasized that “these observations could be the result of errors made by the sensors, of data transmission problems or of perceptive errors of the observer”, therefore they require “further analysis”. “Our data analysis – continues the report – supports the theory that if and when individual UAP accidents are resolved, they will fall into one of these five potential explanatory categories: various types of conventional flying objects, natural atmospheric phenomena, research programs US government or private individuals, potentially hostile foreign systems and a host of other causes ”. In this language I don’t see references to all of these UFOs, to say the least. They say that they have not been able to explain the cases because the method by which the data have been collected so far and their insufficiency has not allowed to formulate explanations. In practice, more funds and more means are needed to better understand the phenomena. So he doesn’t say crazy things, from my point of view, he says reasonable things. But to say that this document indicates that Americans admit the existence of UFOs takes a lot, a lot of goodwill. Let’s put it this way.

However, several obscure aspects of these sightings remain

The report is a summary of something, of a larger part that is classified, secret, therefore not accessible to everyone. Which of course gives the opportunity to those who believe in UFOs or who knows what else to say that it is in there that there are the real data, the exceptional and incredible things. Of course without having it in hand we cannot say anything, for a matter of logic, but it has been clearly stated that the reason why this part is reserved – and it is a problem for evaluation, of course – is due to the fact that it contains relative indications to the methods, systems and sensors that were used to detect the phenomena. So, if I say in the full analysis that a certain type of radar or other type of sensors was used, it is obvious that it is undisclosed news. As recently as yesterday, the body that produced the report on the confidential part was questioned. The entity has confirmed that this is undisclosed information but, verbatim, the public part – that is the summary – is consistent with the content of the classified one. It goes without saying that those who believe in UFOs see a link and there is nothing to be done about this. Those who truly have conspiracy beliefs do not trust anything or anyone, including myself, and there is nothing to be done.

The report specifies that the incidents are concentrated around areas under the control of the military, for the simple fact that it is there that the sensors capable of detecting them are present. So UAPs could be much more common than people think.

This too is a point touched upon by this summary. They say that indeed the cases that have been collected, from 2004 onwards, are mainly concentrated around large polygons and military bases that the United States has thanks to the geographical extension. They indicate that they have detected this aspect, but of course the intense presence in these areas is due to the quantity of highly sophisticated sensors capable of detecting the phenomena. In practice, a consequence of having the right tools. Without a telescope I can’t see the distant stars. This doesn’t mean much, but it certainly would take the case data. As was to be expected, fakes are already beginning to circulate on the net in which photos and videos of what would be contained in the classified part of the document are presented. So let’s expect everything in the coming weeks and months on the network, on social media, because they will bring out all the colors.

Should we also expect further reports that give more in-depth and concrete explanations on the nature of these UAPs?

As we said at the beginning, the report communicated the need for money to Congress. And that is what happened, because the Undersecretariat of Defense immediately announced that it will move to the implementation of a larger structure to deal with the matter. Perhaps for the first time in the long history of the US military’s interest in UFOs it will be directly under the Department of Defense, while other entities were previously involved. So the answer is yes, certainly this is the beginning of a new phase in the history of the UFO myth, which in the coming months, years, will reserve us some good ones. So there is a great future for ufology and there is the great return of the military’s interest in UFOs, a classic at the beginning of this story, one of the great engines to drive public interest in affair. So there are all sorts of developments ahead.

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