joke ufo towing company
© REUTERS/Gleb GaranichLong-awaited UFO report mentions no aliens, but asks for more money for US spies
An UFO flying saucer advertises a towing company in Kiev, Ukraine May 28, 2021.
The newly released US intelligence community report on unexplained aerial phenomena (UAP) offers more questions than answers. It doesn't mention aliens, says UAP might be a national security threat - and asks for more funding.

Released on Friday afternoon by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the entire unclassified report clocks in at only nine pages, including two pages of appendices with definitions of terms.

The dataset it is based on relies on US government reports of incidents between November 2004 and March 2021. However, no standardized reporting mechanism existed until the US Navy set one up in 2019, and the Air Force adopted it the following year.
We were able to identify one reported UAP with high confidence. In that case, we identified the object as a large, deflating balloon. The others remain unexplained.
The report mentions 144 reports, of which 80 "involved observation with multiple sensors." While some UAP "may be attributable to sensor anomalies," most "probably do represent physical objects" given they were "registered across multiple sensors, to include radar, infrared, electro-optical, weapon seekers, and visual observation."

If and when the incidents are resolved, the report said, the US intelligence community believes they will break down into five potential categories: "airborne clutter" such as birds, balloons, drones or plastic bags; natural atmospheric phenomena such as ice crystals; US government or industry research projects, foreign adversary systems, and "other."

ODNI was "unable to confirm" that classified research and development programs by the US government or industry "accounted for any of the UAP reports we collected." Some UAP sightings "may be" technologies developed by China, Russia or someone else.

If that is the case, UAPs would "represent a national security challenge" as well as a threat to flight safety, but US spies said they "currently lack data to indicate any UAP are part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary."

Of the 144 reports, there were 21 - referring to 18 incidents - that described "unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics," such as moving against the wind, sudden maneuvers, or moving at "considerable speed, without discernable [sic] means of propulsion." These reports "could be the result of sensor errors, spoofing, or observer misperception" and therefore "require additional rigorous analysis," ODNI noted.

The words "alien" or "extraterrestrial" do not appear anywhere in the report. Its recommendations amount to urging "additional investment" for the "resource-intensive" process of collecting, standardizing and streamlining reports across the US government that would "allow for a more sophisticated analysis of UAP that is likely to deepen our understanding."

The report was mandated by the 2020 bill funding the US intelligence community, and its release has been long-anticipated. Some of the data collected by the CIA, obtained through freedom of information requests by an enthusiast, was published in mid-January.

Earlier this month, Chinese media reported that the People's Liberation Army is keeping its own database of unexplained encounters, and has been "overwhelmed" by the number of reports in recent years.