A lot of news came out of that massive COVID relief bill with bazillions of dollars in other spending wrapped up in it. One item that didn’t draw nearly as much attention was the fact that the annual Intelligence Authorization Act was rolled in as part of that mess. The IAA is obviously a necessary bit of housekeeping that Congress has to take care of on a regular basis, but this year’s version was of particular interest to people in the ufology community. I wrote about this when the measure was drafted back in June, specifically focusing on the provisions from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that made it so interesting to the saucerheads. It dealt with internal communications challenges for the UAP Task Force (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) and directed the UAPTF to produce an unclassified report on their progress within 180 days of when the measure was enacted. Well, now it’s enacted. And as The Debrief pointed out this week, that means that the clock is ticking. But what should we really expect to receive when that clock strikes midnight?
Now, with the recent passing of the Omnibus, the clock has officially started ticking, and The Pentagon’s UAP Task Force has 180 days to provide the Senate Intelligence Committee with their unclassified report detailing The Pentagon’s current investigations into UFOs.
“The newly enacted Intelligence Authorization Act incorporates the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report language calling for an unclassified, all-source report on the UAP phenomenon. This was accomplished in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill,” says Christopher Mellon, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and former staff Director of the United States Senate Intelligence Committee, who played an integral role in the development of the legislation.
“Consequently, it’s now fair to say that the request for an unclassified report on the UAP phenomenon enjoys the support of both parties in both Houses of Congress,” Mellon told The Debrief in an email.
I would concur with Ryan Sprague and Tim McMillan (the authors of the linked article) that there does indeed appear to be bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress for an unclassified report on what the UAPTF has been up to and what, if any conclusions they have reached. I will also go so far as to say that there probably will be some sort of report that’s released… eventually. But any expectations of revelations of incidents our military and intelligence agencies have been investigating or specific things they have discovered or concluded are highly unlikely to be in such a report, at least as I read the tea leaves.
First of all, just having Congress tell the Pentagon that they’d like a report in 180 days doesn’t mean anything will happen. The Pentagon can easily respond by basically saying that they’re not being given enough time to round up such a thorough examination and they’ll need to postpone it. And they can postpone things for a very long time indeed when their backs are against the wall.
Also, the original Senate request stated that the report was to be unclassified, but there could be an addendum that is classified to protect sensitive information. Even if the UAPTF is considering putting out any details that we’d really like to hear, I will be completely flabbergasted if it doesn’t all wind up in the classified addendum. Beyond that, the Pentagon has already been telegraphing their punches in terms of what they plan to talk about when it comes to the UAP phenomenon. I wrote about this back in September when an increasing number of reporters (including yours truly) were contacting the Pentagon’s one and only spokesperson to handle UAP questions, Susan Gough. Starting in late summer, Gough began issuing a boilerplate refusal to any and all questions regarding details of UAP incidents under investigation. Every one of us has gotten this answer and the wording never changes. (Emphasis added)
“Thorough examinations of any incursion into our training ranges or designated airspace often involves assessments from across the department, and, as appropriate, consultation with other U.S. government departments and agencies. To maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to our adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examination of reported incursions into our training ranges or designated airspace, including those incursions initially designated as UAP.”
That’s the key phrase right there. “DOD does not discuss publicly.” And you can rest assured that they have zero intention of starting to discuss it publicly now. Short of the President ordering specific documents from the UAPTF declassified (and he or she would have to already be aware of the specific documents before such an order could be issued), it seems blatantly obvious that the Pentagon is going to be keeping a lid on all of this. I’m honestly not sure how much, if anything, they will even tell the Senators.
As I’ve said to some ufology pals on Twitter this week, I really hope I’m entirely wrong about this. But I simply can’t see those channels in our government sweeping away a more than 70-year history of obfuscation and deception with one sweep of a new broom. The military and our intelligence community overclassify information all the time, covering virtually every area of interest, not just UFOs. And once they lock something down it requires a herculean effort to bring it back to light. I will remain cautiously hopeful about the pending release of this report, but I’m definitely not getting my hopes up.