by Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner:
A former top intelligence official raised expectations on Friday for a forthcoming U.S. government disclosure on what it knows about UFOs.
John Ratcliffe, who served as director of national intelligence under former President Donald Trump, was asked on Fox News by host Maria Bartiromo what he knows about unidentified flying objects that have captured people’s imaginations for generations.
“There are a lot more sightings than have been made public,” Ratcliffe said. “Some of those have been declassified. And when we talk about sightings, we are talking about objects that have seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain. Movements that are hard to replicate that we don’t have the technology for. Or traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom.”
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After saying that there have been sightings all around the world, Ratcliffe insisted that reports of “unidentified aerial phenomena” already in the public eye are only part of the bigger picture.
“When we talk about sightings, the other thing I will tell you is, it’s not just a pilot or just a satellite, or some intelligence collection,” Ratcliffe said. “Usually we have multiple sensors that are picking up these things, and … some of these are unexplained phenomenon, and there is actually quite a few more than have been made public.”
The disclosure is expected to happen sometime between now and June 1, according to Bartiromo. That is thanks to the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government funding bill that Trump signed into law in December, which contained the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 that had in it a “committee comment” section that addressed “unidentified aerial phenomena.”
The panel’s directive stipulates the report must identify, among other things, any threats posed by unidentified aerial phenomena and whether they may be attributed to foreign adversaries. “The report shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex,” the committee wrote.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed to Snopes that the COVID-19 relief legislation set in motion a 180-day countdown for the defense secretary and director of national intelligence to present to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees what the U.S. government knows about UFOs.
Ratcliffe, who as director of national intelligence from May 2020 to Jan. 20 oversaw the U.S. intelligence community, said officials always seek out a “plausible explanation” but sometimes there just isn’t one.
“Weather can cause disturbances, visual disturbances. Sometimes we wonder whether or not our adversaries have technologies that are a little bit further down the road than we thought or than we realized,” he said. “But there are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things that we have seen.”
Avril Haines is now the director of national intelligence in the Biden administration.
The Defense Department announced in September that then-Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist approved the creation of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force on Aug. 4, and the government group would be led by the Navy under the “cognizance” of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.
Videos from the Navy were released last year through the Freedom of Information Act that showed UFOs moving at incredible speeds and performing seemingly impossible aerial maneuvers. One of the videos was shot in November 2004; the other two were shot in January 2015. The three videos were code-named “FLIR1,” “Gimbal,” and “GoFast.”
In the 2015 videos, Navy pilots can be heard expressing disbelief. All three UFO videos were captured by Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets.
The videos were made public and published because of efforts by the New York Times, as well as through efforts by To The Stars Academy, which was founded by Tom Delonge, the founder and lead vocalist for the bands Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves.