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Do UFO’s exist?  Of course they do.  The questions are: what are they? What’s their origin?  We may be a bit closer to getting some answers, as The NY Post reports:

The Pentagon has finally uttered the words it always avoided when discussing the possible existence of UFOs — ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ — and admits that it still investigates reports of them.

In a statement provided exclusively to The Post, a Department of Defense spokesman said a secret government initiative called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program ‘did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena.’

And while the DOD says it shut down the AATIP in 2012, spokesman Christopher Sherwood acknowledged that the department still investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft.

‘The Department of Defense is always concerned about maintaining positive identification of all aircraft in our operating environment, as well as identifying any foreign capability that may be a threat to the homeland,’ Sherwood said.

‘The department will continue to investigate, through normal procedures, reports of unidentified aircraft encountered by US military aviators in order to ensure defense of the homeland and protection against strategic surprise by our nation’s adversaries.

One would hope so.  It appears, however, we’re beyond that issue.  We know, for example, China’s aviation technology has reached its contemporary level of sophistication only because of its successful espionage, which has stolen a great many of our secrets.  That, and the Clintons have sold a great many secrets. The Russians are behind us in primary ways, including the funds necessary to build large numbers of advanced weapons, though they talk a good and threatening game.  I should note these observations are based on what I’ve seen in the media.  It does appear that the major world powers continue to struggle with perfecting hypersonic flight, and directed energy weapons.

Nick Pope, who secretly investigated UFOs for the British government during the 1990s, called the DOD’s comments a ‘bombshell revelation:

Pope, a former UK defense official-turned-author, said, ‘Previous official statements were ambiguous and left the door open to the possibility that AATIP was simply concerned with next-generation aviation threats from aircraft, missiles and drones — as skeptics claimed.

“This new admission makes it clear that they really did study what the public would call ‘UFOs,’ he said.

“It also shows the British influence, because UAP was the term we used in the Ministry of Defence to get away from the pop culture baggage that came with the term ‘UFO.

And there is video from military fighters pursuing UFOs:

The existence of the AATIP was revealed in 2017, along with a 33-second DOD video that shows an airborne object being chased by two Navy jets off the coast of San Diego in 2004.

Legal Insurrection adds detail:

An investigation is underway after five Navy pilots have come forward to report strange unidentified flying objects spotted in the sky.

The pilots say they have had multiple mid-air encounters with high-flying, fast-moving objects that defy human capabilities.

The New York Times spoke with the pilots, who say they’ve all encountered UFOs during training missions up and down the east coast and noted the objects were ‘accelerating to hypersonic speed, making sudden stops and instantaneous turns, something beyond the physical limits of a human crew.’

‘Clearly this is nothing that we’re used to seeing out there,’ former Navy pilot Ryan Graves said. ‘So we submitted a safety report, saying that there was an unidentified object in our working space, and we don’t know what to do.’

The encounters reported were quite detailed.

‘These things would be out there all day,” said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years, and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. ‘Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.’

In late 2014, a Super Hornet pilot had a near collision with one of the objects, and an official mishap report was filed. Some of the incidents were videotaped, including one taken by a plane’s camera in early 2015 that shows an object zooming over the ocean waves as pilots question what they are watching.

We’re potentially about to gain more information than ever before, as Fox News reports:

After a bombshell report detailing near-daily interactions with unidentified flying objects by Navy pilots in 2014 and 2015, Christopher Mellon has argued that this information is nothing new, and the government needs to do something about it.

Mellon, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, is involved with a new History Channel series, ‘Unidentified,’ which will expand on topics discussed in a recent New York Times article. In numerous interviews, Navy pilots revealed that they saw UFOs moving at hypersonic speeds, performing acts ‘beyond the physical limits of a human crew,’ and emitting ‘no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes.’

Mellon makes some important technological points.  More on this shortly.

We know that UFOs exist. This is no longer an issue,’ he said. ‘The issue is why are they here? Where are they coming from and what is the technology behind these devices that we are observing?’

There are indications, Mellon said, that the objects reported by Navy pilots in 2014 and 2015 were doing things that aren’t possible in this physical realm.

The speeds being reported (about 5,000 miles per hour, according to Mellon) were only sustainable for about an hour by an aircraft in the air, and these objects would be flying around all day long, the pilots said.

‘Pilots observing these craft are absolutely mystified and that comes through clearly in their public statements,’ Mellon continued.

credit: space.com

Star Trek fans will recall, I’m sure, the “intertial dampeners” in use on Federation vehicles.  They are necessary to explain how ships can more or less instantly jump to warp speeds, and decelerate back to “normal” space without killing their crews.

Most non-pilots experience the effects of g forces only in car accidents, where we get a sense of what can happen when a vehicle traveling at speed suddenly decelerates to a stop.  Fighter pilots have to be able to withstand 9-10 Gs for more than a few seconds, but they have extensive training and G suits to help keep them conscious.  We know human beings can survive much greater G forces, but only for a few seconds. 

Without Star Trek inertial dampeners, the occupants of the Enterprise would have been instantly turned to red jelly and splattered all over the nearest bulkhead. We, of course, have no such technology, so fighter pilots have to carefully manage their speed in dogfights. Modern fighters can easily exceed a pilot’s ability to handle the Gs they can generate, and can even exceed their structural limits.

credit: stripes.com

Contemporary aircraft are limited in atmospheric flight. They cannot make right angle turns, nor can they jump up or down in the same manner. The faster an aircraft is flying, the greater distance is required for a turn.  The SR-71, for example, at speed, would require a hundred miles or more  to make a significant change of direction, particularly at the speeds and altitudes for which it was designed.  High performance jet aircraft are fuel hungry. Fighters can only fly for limited times without refueling.  Our current flight technology also produces considerable heat, not just from the exhaust plumes of jet engines, but from atmospheric friction on the surfaces of the aircraft.  And, of course, we need airfoils–wings–to produce lift.

This is one of the physical glitches of the Star Wars universe.  X-wing fighters have wings and can fly in atmosphere, but apparently have no control surfaces.  And in space combat, they bank and roll like fighters in atmosphere.  This is nonsense, but is more familiar and dramatic than using the multiple thrusters our current technology would require.

In short, as far as most people know, we do not have the technology to make the kinds of maneuvers military pilots, and others, have observed in UFO flight.

Why then, is the government making these disclosures now?  If we ascribe to a popular theory, the government knows a very great deal more than it is saying, which is, of course, believable.  They even have, and are testing, perhaps reverse engineering, alien spacecraft.  They may even be allied with alien species.  If so, they’d possibly be along the lines of The Day The Earth Stood Still, rather than Independence Day.

If so, why wouldn’t they reveal this?  There are enormous military/technological advantages to having such capabilities, something kept for a surprise in case of all-out war.  But if that’s so, wouldn’t such things be a great deterrent?

Another possible explanation is our alien allies won’t allow us, if we wish to continue receiving the benefits of their knowledge, to acknowledge their existence.  Or, as science fiction commonly postulates, the cultural disruption of such knowledge would be too great, hence the Star Trek Prime Directive.  Can we easily travel to Mars and beyond, and NASA is either out of the loop entirely, or exists to maintain the charade?

Putting aside possible terrestrial explanations for the observed technology, we’re left with few options.  If we’re dealing with extraterrestrials, their technology far exceeds our own.  Keep in mind I’m speaking from the background of commonly understood science, even science fiction.  They would have to be capable of faster than light travel–a lot faster than light–or capable of dimensional jumps, perhaps both.  Or perhaps they can, as in the Star Gate universe, exploit wormholes for essentially instantaneous travel from point to point over many light years.

credit: hyperphysicsconcepts

A light year is the distance light travels in a year at the speed of light, which is about 186,000 miles per second.  If Einstein is right, we can never exceed that speed, indeed, we’ll only ever be able to attain a tiny fraction of that velocity.  If that’s the case, we’re essentially never getting off our metaphorical block.  Even at light speed, a journey to the nearest star would take 4.2 years one way.  We don’t have the means to build a ship large enough to store all the supplies necessary to sustain a crew there and back.  We won’t even be able to make it to the cosmic grocery store.  Our sun is about 8 light minutes from us–1 astronomical unit, or about 93 million miles.  If it suddenly blinked out, we wouldn’t know for about 8 minutes, the time it took the last bit of light to travel to us.

So what’s the point of releasing this information, and video evidence of our fighters being hopelessly outclassed by aircraft with no wings, no IR signature, no exhaust plumes and apparently inexhaustible energy supplies?  Why now?

I’m just guessing, of course, but wouldn’t it be interesting if this were a step toward conditioning the public for greater revelations in the future?  As the X Files used to say, the truth is out there.  Are aliens living among us?  That would explain many of the Democrats.  I know getting the truth from the government is a stretch, but wouldn’t that be something?