In addition to the Navy videos, the reason U.F.O.s are getting their big moment is due to a bombshell 2017 article in this paper. The piece exposed a secret program inside the Department of Defense searching for the truth about U.F.O.s. The combined evidence has engendered the government’s imminent report.
But for me, the report on U.F.O.s is already D.O.A. Advance word is that the report, ordered up by a bipartisan group of legislators during the Trump administration, will reveal nothing conclusive about U.F.O.s or their extraterrestrial origins. And the portions that remain classified will only fuel more conspiracy theories.
This is X-Files territory if there ever was any. But it’s also cause for some important questions.
How did the Defense Department keep a budgeted project — sponsored principally by Senator Harry Reid in 2007 — secret for 10 years? Why, when Mr. Reid sought even higher security — and asked to see physical evidence of U.F.O.s — was he denied? And why only a $22 million budget when looking for answers about sentient life visiting us from worlds far away? (That’s roughly the cost of three episodes of the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”)
Ardent disbelievers have explained the latest Navy videos as tricks of the eye — even though the fighter pilots describe the U.A.P. in great detail as having no flight surfaces, no exhaust plumes, with the ability to perform impossible maneuvers at hypersonic speeds. This opposition, scientific and not, dates back to the 1940s, when pilot Kenneth Arnold saw nine “flying disks” over Mount Rainier.
But the prosecution raises a good question: Where is the Deep Throat of the U.F.O. world? Why no credible deathbed confessions? As Nobelist Enrico Fermi’s famous paradox asked, if aliens are out there, why haven’t we seen them? Could the government actually be telling the truth? That it really doesn’t know what to make of the phenomena? Or is the truth above top secret?
Curiously, Barack Obama, who once joked sarcastically about U.F.O.s on late night TV, is now admitting there are objects in the sky that can’t be explained. Even Donald Trump, under whose aegis the latest study was cooked up, admits there may be something to it.
I think in all likelihood this report will come and go, and with it the mainstream chatter around U.F.O.s, until definitive proof is exposed. A planet that can’t come together on climate change or a global pandemic might not pay much attention even if wreckage or an alien corpse is discovered. The culture wars alone might eclipse it, so rabidly are we in their grips.