‘Remove the stigma’: Navy changing its guidelines for reporting UFOs

For decades, the military has been reluctant to talk about UFOs, but now the Navy says it is working up new guidelines for pilots to report unidentified flying objects.

The change, first reported by POLITICO, follows several highly publicized reports in recent years of military pilots seeing and even interacting with things that move at incredible speeds, or in inexplicable ways.

“We are currently updating guidelines to be more aircraft specific in order to facilitate reports of unidentified aircraft/unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that support an objective data driven analysis,” Joseph Gradisher, spokesperson for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, wrote in a statement to WTOP.

The statement goes on to say that the reports are not expected to be made public, but will be investigated. Gradisher said “multiple Department of Defense and Intelligence Community organizations” could be involved.

“The information obtained in these reports will be catalogued and analyzed for the purpose of identifying any hazard to our aviators,” Gradisher’s statement continues. ” … Furthermore, any report generated as a result of these investigations will, by necessity, include classified information on military operations. Therefore, no release of information to the general public is expected.”

WTOP’s National Security Correspondent J. J. Green weighed in on the policy change, and what it would mean.

“We shouldn’t forget that these guys have top secret clearances,” Green said of Navy pilots. “So anything that they see or don’t see, they’re reluctant to talk about it for a number of reasons and that all has to do with the clearances. But if this makes it easier for them to communicate to the appropriate people who have a need to know, then that’s a good thing.”

Green doesn’t necessarily think the strange sightings by pilots are alien craft from other planets.

“Just because we don’t know about it doesn’t mean that it’s something that’s out of the ordinary,” said Green. “There may be an explanation for it, there may not be, but I think what this whole exercise is designed to do is to remove the stigma from seeing things that aren’t explained, and maybe to help explain some things that people see.”

Asked if some of the sightings could be advanced aircraft secretly developed by other countries, Green said it’s not likely.

“I don’t know that there’s anybody in the world that has any aircraft that are more sophisticated than ours, and more importantly, I don’t know that there’s anybody on the planet that has the ability to detect flying objects better than the U.S.,” said Green. “I would be hard pressed to see some other country being able to sneak something into our airspace without us knowing about it.”

Green said he believes some of the sightings could be aircraft created by our government, or private companies.

“Radically aggressive and progressive technology has existed in this country for many decades,” he said. For instance, in the 1970s, the CIA tested a tiny craft it hoped to use for spying purposes called an Insectothopter.

“It was a jet fuel powered, laser-guided dragonfly,” Green said.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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