25 July 2021

ODNI Report on Unidentified Arial Phenomena

This video grab image obtained April 28, 2020 courtesy of the US Department of Defence shows part of an unclassified video taken by Navy pilots that have circulated for years showing interactions with "unidentified aerial phenomena". 

A little over a month ago the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena or UAP. Did the report live up to expectations and why did the government feel there was a need to come clean about UFOs. 

This starts with Florida Senator Marco Rubio; who felt the issue needed to be taken seriously, So, in 2020 as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he wrote a provision into the Intelligence Authorization Act requiring the report as part of the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government funding bill signed into law in December of 2020.  Senate Report 116-233, accompanying the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2021,  required the Director of National Intelligence to submit an assessment of the threat posed by unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) and the progress of the Department of Defense Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF - established in August of 2020*) has made in understanding this threat. 

ODNI prepared this report for the Congressional Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. UAPTF and the ODNI National Intelligence Manager for Aviation drafted this report, with input from USD(I&S), DIA, FBI, NRO, NGA, NSA, Air Force, Army, Navy, Navy/ONI, DARPA, FAA, NOAA, NGA, ODNI/NIM-Emerging and Disruptive Technology, ODNI/National Counterintelligence and Security Center, and ODNI/National Intelligence Council.

Scope of the report 

The ODNI decided early on to only look at reports submitted from US government sources, (People and equipment) only. Although there is no government-wide standards for collecting UAP data, there are some processes in place, especially in the military, for documenting events. Due to technical limitations, the report focused on events from November 2004 to March 2021. The report notes that data is still being collected, but they needed a cut-off to ensure the timely delivery of this report. 


·         144 Reports

·         80 involved observations with multiple sensors.

·           In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency (RF) energy associated with UAP sightings.

·         11 instances pilots reported near misses with a UAP

·         1 – the number of reported cases with a resolution. A deflating balloon.

·         UAP Collection Challenges:

o   Many are reluctant to report UAP’s due to social-cultural stigmas:

o   We have sensor limitations

·         18 incidents described in 21 reports involved unusual flight characteristics:

o   Remaining stationery in wind

o   Moving against the wind

o   Maneuvering abruptly

o   Moving at considerable speed, without a discernable means of propulsion

The challenges of collecting data were more difficult than intended due to inconsistent methods of cataloging events. No standardized reporting method existed until the Navy was established in March of 2019. Although not in place, the same methodology was applied to events prior to 2019. Since the collection was limited to US government sources, the events cataloged are clustered around military bases and military training events.

For future reporting, UAP’s to be placed into 5 categories:

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
 launched from Vandenberg
Air Force sparked UFO reports
throughout Southern California
on Dec. 22, 201

Airborne Clutter - These objects include birds, balloons, recreational unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or airborne debris like plastic bags that muddle a scene and affect an operator’s ability to identify true targets, such as enemy aircraft.

Natural Atmospheric Phenomena - Natural atmospheric phenomena include ice crystals, moisture, and thermal fluctuations that may register on some infrared and radar systems

USG or Industry Developmental Programs - Some UAP observations could be attributable to developments and classified programs by U.S. entities. We were unable to confirm, however, that these systems accounted for any of the UAP reports we collected

Foreign Adversary Systems - Some UAP may be technologies deployed by China, Russia, another nation, or a non-governmental entity.

Other - Although most of the UAP described in our dataset probably remain unidentified due to limited data or challenges to the collection, processing or analysis, we may require additional scientific knowledge to successfully collect on, analyze and characterize some of them. We would group such objects in this category pending scientific advances that allowed us to better understand them.


  • UAP are not a product of a US government or industry program.
  • UAP are not the work of China, Russia, another nation, or a non-government entity. 
  • We do not have the technical capability to confirm the nature of UAPs

So, what are the next steps?

The DOD created the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. The UAPTF will sit within the Department of the Navy, with a dotted line to the Director of National Intelligence. The agency’s short-term goals:

  • Standardize reporting across all government agenciesThe US Air Force is currently testing the Navy’s methodology and is evaluating how to normalize future collection, reporting, and analysis across the air force.
  • Mine FAA Data - The FAA captures UAP data during normal operations. Including data from pilots' observations.  Consolidate data from various agencies, including the vast amount of data passively collected by the FAA. Much of this will be handed off to artificial intelligence/machine learning, to look for patterns in data. Hopefully to rule out things like weather balloons or natural phenomena. In addition, The FAA has an effective outreach program that can help the UAPTF reach members of the aviation community to highlight the importance of reporting UAP.
  • Invest in R&D   The UAPTF has indicated that additional funding for research and development could further the future study of the topics laid out in this report. Such investments should be guided by a UAP Collection Strategy, UAP R&D Technical Roadmap, and a UAP Program Plan.

Unfortunately, if you were looking for confronting of alien visitations, down spacecraft, bodies or other artifacts, it's not in this report, but if you want proof of aliens, it gets us one step closer. 

Link to the full report

*UAPTF - On Aug. 4, 2020, Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist approved the establishment of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force (UAPTF).  The Department of the Navy, under the cognizance of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, will lead the UAPTF.