Nearly 300 UAP Reports in Less Than a Year, DOD Tells Congress

Many of the unidentified anomalous phenomena incidents were near restricted military airspace.

Image of a screen capture of a UAP observed during a flyby captured by a U.S. Navy pilot in the cockpit of a Navy fighter jet. [Courtesy: U.S. Navy]

There were 291 reports of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) in an eight-month period, mostly in restricted military airspace, the Defense Department's All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) told Congress.

The Fiscal 2023 annual report, submitted to Congress on Wednesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Defense, spans incidents reported from August 31, 2022, to April 30, 2023. In 2021, the Department of Defense (DOD) expanded efforts to detect and identify unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP)—the government's term for UFOs—that could pose flight risks near military training ranges and installations.

The fact that restricted military airspace was a common theme is not a surprise, according to the report. The incidents recorded during that time reflect "a strong but shifting collection bias," toward restricted military airspace, which is a result of the presence of sensors and reporting by military personnel, the report said.

Most of the UPS reported during the time period—79 percent—had no lights, and about a quarter of them were orb or spherical in shape. Only a small percentage of the reported incidents display "interesting signatures," such as high-speed travel, and the majority "demonstrate ordinary characteristics of readily explainable sources," the report said.

"While the mere presence of UAP in the airspace represents a potential hazard to flight safety, none of these reports suggest the UAP maneuvered to an unsafe proximity to civil or military aircraft, positioned themselves in flight paths, or otherwise posed a direct threat to the flight safety of the observing aircraft,” the report said. "Although none of these UAP reports have been positively attributed to foreign activities, these cases continue to be investigated.

As of late April, the AARO is reviewing a total of more than 800 UAP cases. According to reporting trends released from the office, nearly half of all total UAPs were reported at altitudes between 20,000 to 25,000 feet and were round or spherical shaped. The typical characteristics reported were a size of 1-4 meters, a white or translucent color, and a velocity that ranged from stationary to Mach 2.

UAP hotspots reported from 1996 through 2023. [Credit: DOD]

The mandated report to lawmakers comes on the heels of allegations the government is concealing a program focused on recovering and reverse engineering UFOS.

"The safety of our service personnel, our bases and installations, and the protection of U.S. operations security on land, in the skies, seas, and space are paramount," Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Pat Ryder said. "We take reports of incursions into our designated space, land, sea, or airspaces seriously and examine each one."

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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