To say that this caught the attention of ufologists is an understaatement akin to saying that Donald Trump is mildly interested in being elected to a second term. DISCLOSURE AT LAST!!!! they screamed. But, as this blog reported at the time, there was no indication that the Navy or its pilots favored an extraterrestrial origin for these phenomena, and in any case the whole program had been de-funded and shut down in 2012, having reached no conclusions.
Now Blumenthal and Kean have published again, in an article headlined No Longer in Shadows, Pentagon's U.F.O. Unit Will Make Some Findings Public which ran in yesterday's editions. They reveal that AATI was shut down in name only, and in essence was simply renamed and made part of the Office of Naval Intelligence.
« Despite Pentagon statements that it disbanded a once-covert program to investigate unidentified flying objects, the effort remains underway — renamed and tucked inside the Office of Naval Intelligence, where officials continue to study mystifying encounters between military pilots and unidentified aerial vehicles.The Russians are coming?
Pentagon officials will not discuss the program, which is not classified but deals with classified matters. Yet it appeared last month in a Senate committee report outlining spending on the nation’s intelligence agencies for the coming year. The report said the program, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, was “to standardize collection and reporting” on sightings of unexplained aerial vehicles, and was to report at least some of its findings to the public every six months.»
Yesterday's piece will doubtless be a major disappointment to the UFO crowd, as it documents the fact that Navy Intelligence is not very interested in extraterrestrials.What concerns them far more is the possibility that these artifacts are advanced aviation developed by a hostile foreign power, representing a real threat to US defenses.
« While retired officials involved with the effort — including Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader — hope the program will seek evidence of vehicles from other worlds, its main focus is on discovering whether another nation, especially any potential adversary, is using breakout aviation technology that could threaten the United States.Of course, nothing will curb the enthusiasm of MUFON — not even the arrest of one of its executive directors on a charge of soliciting sex from a minor — but at least the rest of us can take comfort from Blumenthal and Kean's report that no extraterrestrial attack is imminent.
Senator Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who is the acting chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told a CBS affiliate in Miami this month that he was primarily concerned about reports of unidentified aircraft over American military bases — and that it was in the government’s interest to find out who was responsible.
He expressed concerns that China or Russia or some other adversary had made “some technological leap” that “allows them to conduct this sort of activity.” »
In a related blog, Jason Colavito comes to similar conclusions about Marco Rubio's recent UFO comments.
Thanks to James Oberg for monitoring