CNET reports that the United States Navy is drafting new guidelines for pilots logging UFO sightings. The new guidelines are a response to multiple sightings of highly advanced aircraft trespassing on military formations, and pilots believe that a streamlined system will make it easier for people to report UFOs without feeling embarrassed, due to the stigma surrounding them.
According to Navy spokesman Joseph Gradisher, the U.S. Navy and Air Force are helping to reduce this stigma by committing to take each report seriously,
“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years. For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.”
Although the Navy probably isn’t going to commit to a belief in aliens anytime soon, it is committing to “updating and formalizing” how pilots report unidentified aircraft to authorities. And given the increase in information requests that the Navy receives from congressional members and staff, Gradisher claims that representatives from the service are holding briefings with senior Navy intelligence officials — and pilots who reported flight safety hazards.
But the Navy is remaining quiet as to which congressional members have been briefed. The Navy has also decided not to share the new guidelines for reporting that are being tested for the fleet.
Chris Mellon, a former Pentagon intelligence official and ex-staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee, believes that the U.S. Navy’s move is the right one. Mellon remarked that the military calling UFO’s “unexplained aerial phenomena” as opposed to “unidentified flying objects” is a significant change.
“Right now, we have situation in which UFOs and UAPs are treated as anomalies to be ignored rather than anomalies to be explored. We have systems that exclude that information and dump it.”
Per Politico, Mellon suggests that, in many cases, military personnel don’t know what to do with this kind of information. These personnel often end up discarding the information if it’s not something that they recognize.
Luis Elizondo, the former Pentagon official who ran the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) office, previously complained that the Pentagon didn’t give reports of UFO sightings enough attention.
The U.S. Navy isn’t the only military service to make changes to their approach to UFO sightings — in March of 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration released radio traffic from two commercial pilots that said they spotted a UFO. In November, Irish authorities began an investigation into UFO sightings by commercial pilots in western Ireland.