Pentagon Report Won't Link Mysterious Flying Objects to Aliens, Suggests Other Nations Responsible

A Pentagon report due to Congress this month indicates that the unidentified aerial objects seen by military pilots are not related to aliens. Two anonymous officials familiar with the report said that while the government can't provide a definite explanation for the objects, it believes the pilots might have seen new technology from other countries, the Associated Press reported.

Congress called for the director of National Intelligence to draft the report on government intelligence regarding unidentified aerial phenomena, more commonly known as UFOs, following a string of strange sightings across the past few years. One of the officials said that the public release of the report will serve as a status update rather than a final word on the subject.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough declined to comment Friday after findings about the report were first published Thursday by the New York Times but confirmed that the Pentagon was "actively working" on the report and would "provide the findings to Congress."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

In the image from video provided by the Department of Defense labeled Gimbal, from 2015, an unexplained object is seen at center as it is tracked while soaring high along the clouds against the wind. The Pentagon and CIA have for decades looked into reports of aircraft or other objects in the sky flying at inexplicable speeds or trajectories. Department of Defense via AP

The Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency have for decades looked into reports of aircraft or other objects in the sky flying at inexplicable speeds or trajectories.

The U.S. government takes unidentified aerial phenomena seriously given the potential national security risk of an adversary flying novel technology over a military base or another sensitive site, or the prospect of Russian or Chinese development exceeding current U.S. capabilities.

It also is seen by the U.S. military as a security and safety issue, given that in many cases the pilots who reported seeing unexplained aerial phenomena were conducting combat training flights.

The report's lack of firm conclusions will likely disappoint people anticipating the report given many Americans' long-standing fascination with UFOs and the prospect of aliens having reached humankind. A recent story on CBS' 60 Minutes further bolstered interest in the government report.

But skeptics caution that the videos and reported sightings have plausible Earth-bound explanations. Mick West, an author, investigator, and longtime skeptic of UFO sightings, said he supported the military looking into any possible incursion of U.S. airspace, especially by an adversary.

"People are conflating this issue with the idea that these UFOs demonstrate amazing physics and possibly even aliens," West said. "The idea that this is some kind of secret warp drive or it's defying physics as we know it, there really isn't any good evidence for that."

The Pentagon last year announced a task force to investigate the issue and the Navy in recent years created a protocol for its pilots to report any possible sightings. And lawmakers in recent years have pushed for more public disclosure.

"There's a stigma on Capitol Hill," Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told 60 Minutes in May. "I mean, some of my colleagues are very interested in this topic and some kind of, you know, giggle when you bring it up. But I don't think we can allow the stigma to keep us from having an answer to a very fundamental question."

The Pentagon is due to present a report to Congress this month regarding unidentified aerial objects and their likely origins. Getty Images