The U. S. Navy is looking to curb fake alien sightings among its ranks by formalizing its reporting system for unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
The military has had to deal with a growing number of UFO sightings from several of its personnel over the past few years.
Such reports are often regarded as alien hoaxes by the public. However, defense officials still have to review each one as they may involve foreign military aircraft encroaching on U.S. territories.
"There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated airspace in recent years," a Navy spokesperson told news website Politico.
"For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report."
To help streamline UFO reporting, the Navy said it is implementing new guidelines for personnel to follow in case of any suspected incursions. A draft is already in the works that will detail the steps on how to document such sightings.
Spotting The Real From The Fake
While the Navy is not endorsing alien reportings from its sailors, it does recognize the importance of examining strange aerial sightings, especially when made by reputable and highly trained military personnel.
Instead of dismissing them as mere flights of fancy by some highly imaginative soldiers, these incidents need to be documented and studied carefully for the sake of national security.
Chris Mellon, an ex-intelligence official at the Pentagon, explained how the Navy's formalization of UFO reporting would serve as a "sea change" for the military branch.
He said most unexplained aerial phenomena (UAPs) and UFO sightings are regarded as anomalies to be ignored rather than something that needs to be explored. He noted how such information are often excluded and dumped by the military.
Mellon described an example where military personnel would not even know what to do with information, such as satellite or radar data referring to an object moving at Mach 3. Since most traditional missiles or aircraft do not move at such speeds, the data would simply be dismissed.
Analyzing UFO Sightings
Several members of the U.S. Congress have recently become aware of a supposed covert branch of the Defense Intelligence Agency dedicated to examining UAP and UFO reports.
The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was believed to be the brainchild of former-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who secured initial funding for the project along with Senators Daniel Inouye from Hawaii and Ted Stevens from Alaska in 2009.
All three lawmakers were said to have been concerned about the possible national security implications of UAPs reaching American soil.
A former congressional staffer said the program might have been launched to monitor the potential of foreign powers, such as China or Russia, developing next-generation technologies that could one day threaten the United States.
The office had reportedly spent $25 million carrying out a series of technical studies and evaluations on several UAP incursions.
One of such incident involved a sighting near the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in 2004. The Navy deployed its fighter jets to intercept the unidentified aircraft, but they were said to have been outmaneuvered when the target suddenly flew in ways that defied normal laws of physics.
Data from the encounter has since been used to fine tune the military's radar systems to capture such phenomena.
In 2012, the UAP threat identification program was officially wound down after congressional funding for the project ended.