The U.S. Navy is working on new reporting procedures for military personnel, most notably pilots, to follow in the event that they encounter an “unidentified aircraft,” POLITICO reports. The effort to create a formal process to document and examine unexplained sightings serves to destigmatize reporting them.
The move comes in the wake of a string of encounters with highly advanced, unknown aircrafts with Navy carrier strike groups and other military facilities, the U.S. Navy says. In a statement to Politico, the Navy said, "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.”
The Navy spokesperson continued, “As part of this effort, the Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft."
The efforts to formalize a reporting process does not mean that the Navy believes that military personnel have made contact with an alien spacecraft—only that highly credible and trained people have seen enough strange aerial phenomena that warrant official documentation.
Former Pentagon intelligence official Chris Mellon said that the effort to report what the military now refers to as "unexplained aerial phenomena"—instead of the sensationalized term “unidentified flying objects”—would be a “sea change.”
“Right now, we have a situation in which UFOs and UAPs are treated as anomalies to be ignored rather than anomalies to be explored,” Mellon said. “We have systems that exclude that information and dump it.”
He said that “in a lot of cases [military personnel] don’t know what to do with that information — like satellite data or a radar that sees something going Mach 3. They will dump [the data] because that is not a traditional aircraft or missile.”