The Unidentified Whatevers striptease

UFOs are now called UAPs, unidentified aerial phenomenon.

In the past couple of years the U.S. federal government and military have been dancing a long, slow striptease regarding UFOs.

Excuse me. UAPs.

In finally acknowledging there’s something up there that pilots and civilians keep seeing, which no one can explain, the government first decided to first rebrand the issue.

Yes, the federal government is taking a close look, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, declared in the spring of 2021. (There goes the left lace glove.)

They’re not unidentified flying objects anymore. We’re calling them unidentified aerial phenomenon, the military told CBS’ “60 Minutes” show a few months later. (There goes the other glove.)

Yes, military and commercial aviation pilots and civilians and others elsewhere have been seeing them for many decades, the military said in the unclassified Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena report issued later in 2021. (Left leg garter.)

Such witnesses need to be believed and debriefed, not ridiculed, the report urged. (Right leg garter.)

More study is needed, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced. (Buttons being undone.)

Then last May, in the first congressional briefing on the subject in 50 years, Ronald Moultrie, U.S. Defense Department undersecretary for intelligence and security, told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee that the American military and intelligence community now consider UAPs to be “potential national security risks.” (Dancer turns back to audience and removes top.)

But after 90 minutes of televised, teasing, open-session testimony, Moultrie, other expert witnesses, and members of the committee went into closed-door session to discuss the matter in detail.

The strip tease music is still playing.

But the lights are out.

There’ve been promises of more releases to follow up on the 2021 report and to answer the many questions committee members had asked that had resulted in “Let’s talk about that behind closed doors” answers.

In June, NASA announced it would conduct its own study.

In July, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the establishment of its “Anomaly Resolution Office.”

A second declassified intelligence report was to be released last month, but it has been delayed without any clear explanation.

Then in early November, a private group calling itself UAPx gave a closed-door briefing to the staff of another congressional subcommittee in early November.

Our friends in places like The Black Vault and various UFO investigation groups have inundated the government with new rounds of freedom of information requests and are eagerly awaiting the new report and any more public hearings by Congress. They should be followed closely.

So where does that leave us? Sci-fi writers must recognize that the landscape (aerialscape?) is changing rapidly, right now. 

Government officials may not be saying much, but they are no longer in denial. 

UFOs—damn it, I keep doing that, UAPs—are being seen as national security threats. Presumably, more data is coming in, quickly.  Pilots and others are being encouraged to monitor and report strange sightings, not play Sgt. Schultz.

And yet there always will be back currents of denial. Careers are probably on the line.

Plenty of room in there to work up plots on new sightings, and whole new ways the government responds to them and the people who experienced them.

You’re welcome.

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