Washington is stepping up efforts to probe for possible extraterrestrial activity after officials admitted they couldn’t explain the phenomenon of UFO sightings.
The Defense Ministry is setting up a new group to find and identify UFOs in restricted airspace, officials said on Tuesday.
The new outfit comes after the intelligence community verified a series of sightings of unexplained aerial phenomena by the military earlier this year, but said it could not identify the mysterious vehicles, in a report to Congress detailing government knowledge of UFOs.
The Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group will succeed the Navy’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, a branch of the military launched last year to “improve understanding and better understand” UFOs , according to a press release.
“Incursions of any airborne object into our SUA pose flight and operational safety concerns, and can pose national security concerns,” the department wrote.
“The DOD takes reports of incursions – by any aerial object, identified or unidentified – very seriously and investigates each one.”
Earlier this year, officials confirmed they had investigated 144 UFO sightings reported by government sources since 2004, including unexplained vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 43,000 miles per hour and changed direction in no time.
Most of the incidents – such as the near-daily UFO sightings harassing a warship near San Diego in 2017 – were not part of U.S. programs they intended to keep secret, according to the task force’s Congressional report.
While the report offered little extraterrestrial information, it recommended that the government improve the policies, training and technology needed to further investigate and understand unexplained aerial phenomena.