Congress Public Hearings About UFO

Woolery

Banned
Banned
Still it turns out that this forum and the general sceptical community is light years ahead of the Navy on being able to id this stuff.
You, jarlrmai, in particular, do amazing image and data analysis, as does Mick West and many others here. There’s no disputing it. I’m thankful for it. I depend on it.

But the skeptical community has the luxury of saying a particular sighting is most likely a balloon or a commercial airliner or a commercial drone or a kite. I don’t think the Navy shares that luxury, given its mission of national defense. I might very well be wrong, but no one in this forum has definitively ID’d the objects in any of the Navy videos. Posters have made excellent arguments as to what types of objects they most likely are. These arguments are good enough to convince me of their likelihood. I think FLIR and GIMBAL are probably distant planes and GOFAST is probably a balloon. These arguments might even convince the Navy of their likelihood. It appears the Navy is aware of metabunk’s work to some degree.

But it also appears the Navy doesn’t find these arguments conclusive enough to end their investigation. You assert their hesitancy to reach a conclusion stems from ineptitude. It might. But it might be because metabunk’s analysis isn’t conclusive enough to satisfy national defense requirements. I can see them even agreeing that FLIR is probably a distant plane, but national defense requires a more specific explanation.

If the Navy believes something has a 90% chance of being a balloon, the 10% of the time they’re wrong could mean a breach of national security so severe that it wouldn’t be acceptable at that probability. So they deem a 90% accuracy rate as unacceptable while someone such as myself, or maybe yourself, deems it good enough to move on to the next post.

You might be right in your claim that you’re light years ahead of the Navy and the DoD (I agree 100% you’re light years ahead of congress based on some of their remarks) but it might be worth considering that the Navy & DoD simply don’t find metabunk’s analysis conclusive enough, particularly because in some instances the military might be privy to classified data (which they allude to in the hearings) that you or I unfortunately can’t consider.
 
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Charlie Wiser

Active Member
From the statements released by the Pentagon about the "leaked" videos, they have equivocated about whether those particular videos remain unidentified (to whatever standard they use) and in any case stated they do not tell the public whether a particular video that was once a UAP remains so. My feeling has always been they won't admit when a UAP in a publicly available video becomes identified because it would imply their personnel are incompetent - which is a national security issue, as well as a morale issue (if fighter pilots become laughingstocks for snapping pics of Batman balloons).

We were told (by Corbell?) at least one of those videos was used in a secret briefing, and we were meant to infer it was considered mysterious tech, but it's just as likely it was shown as an example of the sorts of things military personnel encounter and how they are subsequently identified (again, to whatever standard they use - presumably "This is not a threat.").
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
You, jarlrmai, in particular, do amazing image and data analysis, as does Mick West and many others here. There’s no disputing it. I’m thankful for it. I depend on it.

But the skeptical community has the luxury of saying a particular sighting is most likely a balloon or a commercial airliner or a commercial drone or a kite. I don’t think the Navy shares that luxury, given its mission of national defense. I might very well be wrong, but no one in this forum has definitively ID’d the objects in any of the Navy videos. Posters have made excellent arguments as to what types of objects they most likely are. These arguments are good enough to convince me of their likelihood. I think FLIR and GIMBAL are probably distant planes and GOFAST is probably a balloon. These arguments might even convince the Navy of their likelihood. It appears the Navy is aware of metabunk’s work to some degree.

But it also appears the Navy doesn’t find these arguments conclusive enough to end their investigation. You assert their hesitancy to reach a conclusion stems from ineptitude. It might. But it might be because metabunk’s analysis isn’t conclusive enough to satisfy national defense requirements. I can see them even agreeing that FLIR is probably a distant plane, but national defense requires a more specific explanation.

If the Navy believes something has a 90% chance of being a balloon, the 10% of the time they’re wrong could mean a breach of national security so severe that it wouldn’t be acceptable at that probability. So they deem a 90% accuracy rate as unacceptable while someone such as myself, or maybe yourself, deems it good enough to move on to the next post.

You might be right in your claim that you’re light years ahead of the Navy and the DoD (I agree 100% you’re light years ahead of congress based on some of their remarks) but it might be worth considering that the Navy & DoD simply don’t find metabunk’s analysis conclusive enough, particularly because in some instances the military might be privy to classified data (which they allude to in the hearings) that you or I unfortunately can’t consider.
I agree, they likely do have a greater requirement for identified, and we've seen that from the drone photo that was leaked.

I do think they should be a little clearer about that point though because at the moment it seems to be allowing certain senators and others to slip possible Chinese/Russian tech advances or at the far end of the stick time travellers and aliens into the gaps. However maybe they want that or don't care too much about that as it ensures funding?

It's interesting though, my point was really about the triangle video they saw one video with triangle lights and couldn't work it out, then they saw another photo from a different event and then apparently worked it out 2 years later, is what they intimated in the hearing.

So either

1. They didn't look into too much when the 1st one happened maybe someone thought it was probably just a camera thing and tossed it in a pile of don't knows, possible national security issues as what if it were a triangular Chinese anti ship drone? Don't they need to be 100% sure it isn't?

2. Could not work it out for a few years, so incompetent? As the internet worked it out from Corbels video in a few days, possible national security issue as they can't work out a camera artefact with (I assume) way more access to info than we had.

3. Other?

So I think my point is that the level of seriousness they talk about the issue with does not seemed to be backed up by a similar level of competence or urgency at least in the evidence we were shown at the public hearing and have seen so far.
 
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I agree, they likely do have a greater requirement for identified, and we've seen that from the drone photo that was leaked.

I do think they should be a little clearer about that point though because at the moment it seems to be allowing certain senators and others to slip possible Chinese/Russian tech advances or at the far end of the stick time travellers and aliens into the gaps. However maybe they want that or don't care too much about that as it ensures funding?

It's interesting though, my point was really about the triangle video they saw one video with triangle lights and couldn't work it out, then they saw another photo from a different event and then apparently worked it out 2 years later, is what they intimated in the hearing.

So either

1. They didn't look into too much when the 1st one happened maybe someone thought it was probably just a camera thing and tossed it in a pile of don't knows, possible national security issues as what if it were a triangular Chinese anti ship drone? Don't they need to be 100% sure it isn't?

2. Could not work it out for a few years, so incompetent? As the internet worked it out from Corbels video in a few days, possible national security issue as they can't work out a camera artefact with (I assume) way more access to info than we had.

3. Other?

So I think my point is that the level of seriousness they talk about the issue with does not seemed to be backed up by a similar level of competence or urgency at least in the evidence we were shown at the public hearing and have seen so far.
Yes, they do have a higher requirement for "identified.
All of the modern programs have been part of Intelligence Community functions. As such, they use the IC analytical standards for analysis.
These follow various levels of source reliability, likelihood/probability, confidence and a myriad of other factors.

So, lets say it's a balloon right, we know it's a balloon from a picture. The picture was taken from an employee of the govt who has no flags and a track record of providing reliable information to their superiors. The source reliability here could differ based off a lot of factors but just contextually lets say that person is assessed as reliable. Likelihood and confidence is where we start to run into an issue. All we have is a picture of this balloon in the air. We cannot pinpoint where it was released, we cannot talk to people on the ground about it, we cannot ask the person who released it about it, we cannot source what specific materials the balloon was made from (although we could at broad like re identifying mylar balloons), we cannot source where the balloon was bought.
All those factors would have an impact on a low level of probability and confidence in the assessment, as such, it'd still remain classed as unidentified even if the object itself has literally been identified.
Small caveat being they probably have their own internal guidelines also, so there is probably an extra layer impacting some of that assessment that's more viable for their work.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Yes, they do have a higher requirement for "identified.
All of the modern programs have been part of Intelligence Community functions. As such, they use the IC analytical standards for analysis.
These follow various levels of source reliability, likelihood/probability, confidence and a myriad of other factors.

So, lets say it's a balloon right, we know it's a balloon from a picture. The picture was taken from an employee of the govt who has no flags and a track record of providing reliable information to their superiors. The source reliability here could differ based off a lot of factors but just contextually lets say that person is assessed as reliable. Likelihood and confidence is where we start to run into an issue. All we have is a picture of this balloon in the air. We cannot pinpoint where it was released, we cannot talk to people on the ground about it, we cannot ask the person who released it about it, we cannot source what specific materials the balloon was made from (although we could at broad like re identifying mylar balloons), we cannot source where the balloon was bought.
All those factors would have an impact on a low level of probability and confidence in the assessment, as such, it'd still remain classed as unidentified even if the object itself has literally been identified.
Small caveat being they probably have their own internal guidelines also, so there is probably an extra layer impacting some of that assessment that's more viable for their work.

Agreed, I think this all needs clarifying for congress/public

Because at the moment

For the US Navy

Unidentified means = can't give you the serial number of the balloon.

For some of the public, media and some senators

Unidentified means = alien spaceship from the future, because how the hell can the US Navy not know it s a balloon.
 
Agreed, I think this all needs clarifying for congress/public

Because at the moment

For the US Navy

Unidentified means = can't give you the serial number of the balloon.

For some of the public, media and some senators

Unidentified means = alien spaceship from the future, because how the hell can the US Navy not know it s a balloon.
This is one of those things where at least I personally think they should stray carefully. Honestly it's as simple as just taking the context of the groups and what they do into consideration (they're part of the IC and carrying out a collection and analytical function). It adds a lot of specifics that conversations here even tend to confuse themselves around or ignore, and box the participants into not understanding something. It's the same with any topic of the matter, not just related to UAPs. Want to know about some set of declassified documents, or some disaster relief monitoring proram? They're not going to make some big national press release, although the materials will still be posted for those interested to look for and go over.
I do think they've slipped up a lot there but I also think its a bit of a farce to expect them to put more stress on providing stuff that we can already access if we take the time. Like in the context mentioned, all that information is extremely easily accessible. Though, if you don't consider it or don't look for it, well, you box yourself in. It shouldn't be on the gov to get people out of that self box.

If they showcase something, they should indicate why, but only to the extent it does not expose sources and methods. As much as people love to joke about it, that is a serious consideration when dealing with materials that could possibly be related to countering foreign threats. Funnily enough it equally exists even here. Yeah, a lot of stuff gets debunked, but lets say there's a case where some actual adversarial object is identified. Well, you just showed your adversary exactly how you found out and they now know how to try and limit or obfuscate those observables.
Those things *do* get clarified to congress too, they well know about all those guidelines and processes, especially the few folks literally on the designated committees for those matters, with that said, they're politicians, public hearings are as much show for them as it is functional. The closed sessions are where a lot of what you mention there goes down.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This is one of those things where at least I personally think they should stray carefully.
The closest they came in the hearing was the usage of the word "characterize"



Schiff: The larger effort that is being undertaken to study and characterize UAP reports is an important step towards understanding these phenomenon what we know and don't know

Moultrie: What are UAP? Put simply UAP are airborne objects that when encountered cannot be immediately identified. However, it is the department's contention that by combining appropriately structured collected data with rigorous scientific analysis, any object that we encounter can likely be isolated, characterized, identified and, if necessary, mitigated.

Bray: We've also made progress in resolving the character of a limited number of UAP encounters.
Content from External Source
Bray then went on to describe how they eventually resolved that the triangle video showed camera artifacts, not triangles.

What we do here is sometimes "resolve the character" or "characterize" an event - i.e. figure out what type of thing is it is without actually identifying it.

Moultrie kind of gives a hierarchy: "isolated, characterized, identified, and, if necessary, mitigated" Now "isolated" might be as simple as "get instruments pointing at it" - like locking on with a camera. Something that gets more data from it. "Characterize" is putting it into a category or type (bird, plane, drifter, signal, etc). Identified is a definitive identification. Mitigated is shooting it down or disabling it.

Maybe UFO should be "Uncharacterized Flying Object"
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Aspects of the military "isolate, characterize, identify, mitigate" structure is found in this DARPA publication regarding addressing unidentified thread radar signals:

Article:
  • Isolate unknown radar signals in the presence of other hostile, friendly and neutral signals.
  • Deduce the threat posed by that radar. [characterize/identify]
  • Synthesize and transmit countermeasure signals to achieve a desired effect on the threat radar. [mitigate]
  • Assess the effectiveness of countermeasures based on over-the-air observable threat behaviors.


and this airforce publication on risk management:
Article:
Real-Time Risk Management is a less formal risk assessment using basic
RM process steps to identify and mitigate hazards in a new or changing situation.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Moultrie kind of gives a hierarchy: "isolated, characterized, identified, and, if necessary, mitigated"
That's a good point. It therefore might be useful if they were better at communicating that what they are doing is not just a dichotomy of identified or not, where unidentified could be anything, and instead they are using a range that includes exactly identified (it was flight UA 376), characterized (it was a distant plane made to look like a triangle by bokeh) and isolated (we have this video showing green triangles, not yet sure what it might be.) Now, if they say "We have 400 reports, 50 are identified" the public impression is that they 350 possible flying saucers, whereas saying "We have 400 reports, 50 identified, 300 characterized to the level of planes/balloons/etc." there is at least a more accurate sense of the scale of the possible number of cases that could be something previously unknown, without giving away anything in terms of procedures or capabillities.

Would it be possibly helpful in drawing that distinction more clearly, and in helping folks to understand that there is an intermediate step where they/we know it was a bird, but don't know if it was a duck or an albatross, if MB adopted that same terminology and scale of "identifiedness?"
 
The closest they came in the hearing was the usage of the word "characterize"



Schiff: The larger effort that is being undertaken to study and characterize UAP reports is an important step towards understanding these phenomenon what we know and don't know

Moultrie: What are UAP? Put simply UAP are airborne objects that when encountered cannot be immediately identified. However, it is the department's contention that by combining appropriately structured collected data with rigorous scientific analysis, any object that we encounter can likely be isolated, characterized, identified and, if necessary, mitigated.

Bray: We've also made progress in resolving the character of a limited number of UAP encounters.
Content from External Source
Bray then went on to describe how they eventually resolved that the triangle video showed camera artifacts, not triangles.

What we do here is sometimes "resolve the character" or "characterize" an event - i.e. figure out what type of thing is it is without actually identifying it.

Moultrie kind of gives a hierarchy: "isolated, characterized, identified, and, if necessary, mitigated" Now "isolated" might be as simple as "get instruments pointing at it" - like locking on with a camera. Something that gets more data from it. "Characterize" is putting it into a category or type (bird, plane, drifter, signal, etc). Identified is a definitive identification. Mitigated is shooting it down or disabling it.

Maybe UFO should be "Uncharacterized Flying Object"
Perhaps although I think it still kind of feeds into it not meeting what *they* consider identification (following IC guidelines and good practices) and would still make sense to use "UFO" (ie as in the example, it *was* characterized, just not identified. So uncharacterized would be inaccurate for their process). The issue there morein becomes voicing it to the public rather than just internal documentation, since the connotation to wider audiences isn't as intimate in the context they'd be using it. And well, that's its own problem with its own level of notoriety.
One thing I hope they do and, from what we know publicly maybe could (considering stuff we don't know also), is release their actual analytical process behind the rough hierarchy mentioned. That wouldn't really provide much that could hit the sources & methods box unless they're also trying to limit people being able to identify and possibly run back the process against them, although given the fields context don't think that's a relevant consideration. In the same hand it helps the public understand *their* process and how they see it, which could help mitigate some issues related to showcasing their content publicly.
 

dimebag2

Active Member
If the Navy believes something has a 90% chance of being a balloon, the 10% of the time they’re wrong could mean a breach of national security so severe that it wouldn’t be acceptable at that probability. So they deem a 90% accuracy rate as unacceptable while someone such as myself, or maybe yourself, deems it good enough to move on to the next post.
You realize that for the Navy pilots that filmed Gimbal, and their squadron, there is no way Gimbal was a plane, right? It's not that they consider 90% confidence is not high enough...

Same with Nimitz 2004 that is still unexplained despite additional data we don't have (as mentioned in congress).

So sure there are balloons in these reports, probably a lot, but there is clearly more.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I've expressed elsewhere that, in a military threat context, "identification" includes knowing the operator. Example:
Article:
Identification, friend or foe (IFF) is an identification system designed for command and control. It uses a transponder that listens for an interrogation signal and then sends a response that identifies the broadcaster.

If you see a SU 24 above Ukraine, knowing the type of the aircraft is not enough to assess if it's a threat because it could be Russian or Ukrainian. The country that operates it must be part of the complete identification. That's how e.g. a clear picture of a commercial drone gets labeled as "unidentified".

If they're now using "characterized" in the sense that UFOlogists use "identified", that's a step forward, but we'll still need to remember there's a translation issue.
 

Ulrich

Member
When Scott Bray was asked by Schiff whether there are multiple sensor data about the flyby-object, he answered something like: “Well we will discuss multiple sensor issues in the later (secret?) session, in this case (flyby) we have AT LEAST that.“

So in the flyby cockpit, the pilot/WSO was obviously expecting an object on the right side. Otherwise he would not film. Why could he expect this object there? Seen coincidentally by himself And then second engagement? Radar data?

Can mylar balloons be seen by radar? They were used as decoys, right? So yes?
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
When Scott Bray was asked by Schiff whether there are multiple sensor data about the flyby-object, he answered something like: “Well we will discuss multiple sensor issues in the later (secret?) session, in this case (flyby) we have AT LEAST that.“

So in the flyby cockpit, the pilot/WSO was obviously expecting an object on the right side. Otherwise he would not film. Why could he expect this object there? Seen coincidentally by himself And then second engagement? Radar data?

Can mylar balloons be seen by radar? They were used as decoys, right? So yes?

Yeah or they saw it and then turned around and did another flyby. We saw them most likely do something similar with the batman balloon photos that were taken in iPhones. Maybe the Navy needs some high frame 120fps rate 360 degree camera pod with a dashcam function to save the last 10 minutes or so if they trigger it. Problem is that the resolution will still be pretty poor. They'd need a high-performance high-resolution sensor to go with it, so likely custom.

But if it reflected radar enough then they could track it with ATFLIR but I imagine not every flight has an ATFLIR fitted.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.

Transcript part 1: Opening Statements


This transcript is based on the auto-generated subtitles. Any errors are mine.

Open C3 Subcommittee Hearing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
HVC-210
May 17 2022 09:00

Mr. Carson (D-IN): The subcommittee will come to order. Without objection, the chair may declare recess at any time. Before we get started, I want to recognize a moment of silence for the victims of the white supremacist hate crime in Buffalo, new york. the subcommittee has focused intently on that threat in both open and closed hearings. it is utterly devastating to see more victims of this violence. buffalo, our heart breaks for you.

with that, i ask my colleagues to join— pardon me. we will now turn to the business of this hearing.

more than 50 years ago, the u.s government ended project blue book, an effort to catalog and understand sightings of objects in the air that could not otherwise be explained. for more than 20 years that project had treated unidentified anomalies in our airspace as a national security threat to be monitored and investigated. in 2017, we learned for the first time that the department of defense had quietly restarted a similar organization tracking what we now call unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs. last year congress, rewrote the charter for that organization now called the airborne object identification and management synchronization group, or AOIMSG for short. today, we will bring that organization out of the shadows. this hearing and oversight work has a simple idea at its core: unidentified aerial phenomena are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way. for too long, the stigma associated with uaps has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis. pilots avoided reporting or were laughed at when they did. dod officials relegated the issue to the back room, or swept it under the rug entirely, fearful of a skeptical national security community. today we know better. uaps are unexplained, it's true, but they are real, they need to be investigated, and many threats they pose need to be mitigated.

Undersecretary Moultrie, Mr. Bray, thank you for coming today.
first we need you to update us on the status of AOIMSG. the legislation creating it was passed in december. the deadline for implementation is fast approaching, but the group does not even have a named director. we need to know, sirs, the status of the organization, and the obstacles to getting it up and running.
secondly, you have to convince the audience today (and most especially our military and civilian aviators) the culture has changed, that those who report uaps will be treated as witnesses, not as kooks.
Thirdly, you need to show us, congress, and the american public whose imaginations you have captured, you are willing to follow the facts where they lead. you know we fear sometimes that the dod is focused more on emphasizing what it can explain, not investigating what it can't. i'm looking for you to assure us today that all conclusions are on the table.

one final note: we are mindful today that AOIMSG is not starting from scratch. this is the third version of this task force in dod, and civil society groups like the mutual ufo network [MUFON], mr corbell and others have been collecting data on this issue for years. i hope you'll explain how you can leverage the knowledge and experience of our prior work on this matter to move the AOIMSG along. the last time congress had a hearing on uaps was half a century ago. i hope that it does not take 50 more years for congress to hold another, because transparency is desperately needed. i now turn to ranking member Crawford for comments you'd like to make.

11:50
Mr. Crawford (R-AR): thank you, mr chairman, um, honorable Moultrie, Mr Bray, thank you for coming here today, we appreciate it, to begin the open dialogue between congress and the executive branch on this important topic. while this topic evokes creative imaginations of many, aside from all the hype and speculation there are important underlying issues posed by uaps. despite the serious nature of this topic, i have to say i'm more interested in our understanding of chinese and russian hypersonic weapon development or understanding why this administration was so slow to share actionable intelligence with the ukrainians. however, as much as this topic may help us better understand unknown activities of russia and china, i am on board. the intelligence community has a serious duty to our taxpayers to prevent potential adversaries such as china and russia from surprising us with unforeseen new technologies. as overseers of the intelligence community, this committee has an obligation to understand what you are doing to determine whether any uaps are new technologies or not, and if they are, where they're coming from. in general, the IC spends much of its time and resources trying to understand what we call "known unknowns". when it comes to foreign nations, weapons systems, and sensors, "known unknowns" are those features that we don't fully understand yet. the challenge associated with uap is that they are completely unknown, and require a more expansive collection analysis effort. the intelligence community must balance addressing known threats to our national security with preventing technical surprise. we must continue to follow the facts where they lead us, and ensure that there are no technical surprises. the IC must take it seriously when there are credible observations of phenomena that seem to perform in ways that could pose a threat to safe flight operations, or they could be signs of a foreign adversary's attempt to develop a strategic technological surprise against the united states. it's also essential that our pilots and others feel they can report uaps they observe without any stigma for doing so. this is the open unclassified portion of our hearing, we'll have a closed, classified part later. it's important for the public to know that the classification of information exists to protect national security, not to try to hide the truth. when we're trying to determine if any uaps are new technologies being developed by foreign governments, we are inevitably going to run into classified information about what new systems and technologies we do know or are in the works here or abroad. but where information does not risk national security, it should be shared with our allies and the public when feasible. i hope that we can have your assurance to this end today. it's my hope that the intelligence community will continue to try to determine the nature of uaps we've observed, and will keep congress fully apprised of all developments, i look forward to this hearing and continued dialogue and oversight with the intelligence community on this topic. and with that, I yield back.

Mr. Carson: gentlemen yields back. and now we turn to our distinguished chairman Adam Schiff for any comments he wishes to make.

14:33
Mr. Schiff (D-CA): thank you, chairman Carson, for holding this open hearing on unidentified aerial phenomenon, and for your leadership on this issue. holding a portion of our discussion today in open session is critical to the cause of transparency and openness, which was congress's intent in authorizing and funding this new task force. the larger effort that is being undertaken to study and characterize uap reports is an important step towards understanding these phenomenon, what we know and don't know, and i look forward to hearing more during both the open session and the closed setting about how DoD and the IC are undertaking that task. uap reports have been around for decades, and yet we haven't had an orderly way for them to be reported without stigma and to be investigated. that needs to change. uap reports need to be understood as a national security matter, and that message needs to go out across DoD, the IC, and the whole of the US government. when we spot something we don't understand or can't identify in our airspace, it's the job of those we entrust with our national security to investigate and to report back. that is why it's important that we hold this open hearing for the public to hear directly from the department of defense on the steps it's taking to track, analyze, and transparently communicate the work that is being done on this issue. it is also the responsibility of our government and this panel to share as much as we can with the american people, since excessive secrecy only breeds distrust and speculation. i look forward to hearing how the uap task force is being stood up, what challenges they still face, and how this committee can make sure the task force is able to shed light on one of the world's most enduring mysteries. i thank you, gentlemen, for your work, and i'll be very interested to hear what you have to say. to me, among the most fascinating questions are these phenomenon that we can measure: that is, instruments report there is something there. it is not the human eye confusing objects in the sky, there is something there, measurable by multiple instruments, and yet it seems to move in directions that are inconsistent with what we know of physics, or science, more broadly, and that to me poses questions of of tremendous interest and as well as potential national security significance. so we look forward to hearing what you're able to report to us today in open session. and i want to thank chairman carson again for his extraordinary leadership on this issue, and i yield back.

Mr Carson: chairman yields back, thank you. with that we will start our hearing. Undersecretary Moultrie, the floor is yours, Sir.

17:10
Mr Moultrie: thank you, chairman schiff, committee chairman carson, ranking member crawford, distinguished members of the subcommitte, it's a privilege to be here with you today to address your questions regarding unidentified aerial phenomenon or uap. i'm pleased to be joined by mr Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence, who will speak to the navy's unidentified aerial phenomenon task force, which laid the foundation for the efforts we will discuss today. first, i'd like to thank congress for supporting the department's uap efforts. the NDAA for fiscal year 2022 has helped us to establish a dedicated office to oversee processes and procedures for the timely collection, processing, analysis and reporting of uap related data.

what are uap? put simply, uap are airborne objects that, when encountered, cannot be immediately identified. however, it is the department's contention that, by combining appropriately structured collected data with rigorous scientific analysis, any object that we encounter can likely be isolated, characterized, identified, and (if necessary) mitigated. we know that our service members have encountered unidentified aerial phenomenon, and because uaps pose potential flight safety and general security risk, we are committed to a focused effort to determine their origins. our effort will include the thorough examination of adversarial platforms and potential breakthrough technologies, US government or commercial platforms, allied or partner systems, and other natural phenomenon.

we also understand that there has been a cultural stigma surrounding uap. our goal is to eliminate the stigma by fully incorporating our operators and mission personnel into a standardized data gathering process. we believe that making uap reporting a mission imperative will be instrumental to the effort's success. the defense intelligence and security enterprise provides real-time support to our warfighters and mission personnel across all domains.

to optimize the department's uap work, we are establishing an office within the office of the secretary of defense. that office's function is clear: to facilitate the identification of previously unknown or unidentified airborne objects in a methodical, logical, and standardized manner. these goals will ensure that we are working closely with operational personnel on training and reporting requirements, developing data and intelligence requirements, standardizing and integrating processes and procedures for collection, operational surveillance, analysis, and reporting, leveraging our research and development capabilities to improve detection, characterization and identification of uaps, developing mitigating solutions and procedures, and identifying strategy and policy solutions. this effort will maximize collaboration and build upon already existing relationships with the office of the director of national intelligence, the faa, dhs, and the fbi. we are also committed to strong partnerships with the department of energy, noaa, the dea, nasa, and the national labs, and (just as importantly) our international partners and allies. with regard to the importance of transparency, the department is fully committed to the principle of openness and accountability to the american people. however, we are also mindful of our obligation to protect sensitive sources and methods. our goal is to strike that delicate balance, one that enables us to maintain the public's trust while preserving those capabilities that are vital to the support of our service personnel. in closing, the department is committed to this effort and welcomes the challenge. we thank you for your committed support, and look forward to your questions.

21:20
Mr Bray: chairman Schiff, chairman carson, ranking member crawford and committee members, thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today to highlight the ongoing work of the department of defense regarding unidentified aerial phenomena. since the early 2000s we have seen an increasing number of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft or objects in military-controlled training areas and training ranges and other designated airspace. reports of sightings are frequent and continuing. we attribute this increase in reporting to a number of factors, including our work to destigmatize reporting, an increase in the number of new systems, such as quadcopters and unmanned aerial systems that are in our airspace, identification of what we can classify as clutter (mylar balloons and other types of air trash), and improvements in the capabilities of our various sensors to detect things in our airspace.

almost two years ago in august of 2020, deputy secretary of defense Nordquist directed the establishment of the unidentified aerial phenomena task force within the department of the navy. the uap task force was built on the foundation of the navy's initial efforts to respond to the reports from our aviators on unidentified objects observed in our training ranges. the basic issues then and now are twofold: first, incursions in our training ranges by unidentified objects represent serious hazards to safety of flight. in every aspect of naval aviation, safety of our air crews is paramount. second, intrusions by unknown aircraft or objects pose potential threats to the security of our operations. our aviators train as they would fight, so any intrusions that may compromise the security of our operations by revealing our capabilities, our tactics, techniques, or procedures are of great concern to the navy and the department of defense. from the very beginning, we took these reports very seriously. we instituted a data-driven approach to the investigations, where we could collect as much data as possible, and use all available resources to analyze and make informed decisions on the best ways to address our findings. our main objective was to transition uap efforts from an anecdotal or narrative based approach to a rigorous science and technology engineering focus study. this data-driven approach requires input from a wide variety of sources. in the early stages, the task force worked to standardize the reporting mechanisms and processes to make it as easy as possible for personnel to report any engagement, so that we were getting that wide range of reporting that we needed. we also spent considerable efforts engaging directly with our naval aviators, and building relationships to help destigmatize the act of reporting sightings or encounters, and we work with naval aviation leadership to provide additional equipment to record any encounter. navy and air force crews now have step-by-step procedures for reporting any uap on their knee board in there in the cockpit and in their post flight debrief procedures. the direct result of those efforts has been increased reporting, with increased opportunities to focus a number of sensors on any objects. the message is now clear: if you see something, you need to report it, and the message has been received. in fact, recently i received a call from a senior naval aviator with over 2000 flight hours. he called me personally from the flight line after landing to talk about an encounter that he had just experienced.

those were just the initial steps. we also made a concerted effort to assemble subject matter experts from across the department of defense and the intelligence community and other us government agencies and departments. we forged partnerships with the research, development, and acquisition communities, with industry partners and with academic research labs, and we've brought many allies and international partners into our discussions on uap. additionally, subject matter experts from a wide variety of fields, including physics, optics, metallurgy, meteorology ( just to name a few) have been brought in to to expand our understanding in areas where we may not have organic expertise. in short we've endeavored to bring an all hands on deck approach to better understand this phenomena.

so what have we learned so far? any given observation may be fleeting or longer, it may be recorded or not, it may be observable by one or multiple assets, in short, there's rarely an easy answer. for example, let me share with you the first video that we have here today, which shows an observation in real time.
[25:57 Video 1 2021 Flyby.mov]
there it was. that's—in many cases, that's all that a report may include, and in many other cases we have far less than this. as we detailed in both the unclassified and classified versions of the preliminary assessment released by the office of the director of national intelligence last june, this often limited amount of high quality data and reporting hampers our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent of uap. as detailed in the odni report, if and when individual uap incidents are resolved, they likely fall into one of five potential explanatory categories: airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, US government or US industry developmental programs, foreign adversary systems, or another bin that allows for a holding bin of difficult cases and for the possibility of surprise and potential scientific discovery. we stand by those initial results. since the release of that preliminary report, the uap task force database has now grown to contain approximately 400 reports. the stigma has been reduced. we've also made progress in resolving the character of a limited number of uap encounters. for example, let me show you a couple of— another video and image taken years apart in different areas.
[27:22 Video 2 2019 West Coast.wmv]
in this video u.s navy personnel recorded what appears to be triangles, some flashing, recorded several years ago off the coast of the united states. this was recorded while the u.s navy ship observed a number of small unmanned aerial systems in the area. importantly, the video was taken through night vision goggles with a single lens reflex camera. these remained unresolved for several years.

several years later and off a different coast u.s navy personnel again in a swarm of unmanned aerial systems and again through night vision goggles and an slr camera recorded this image,
[28:27]
but this time other u.s navy assets also observed unmanned aerial systems nearby, and we're now reasonably confident that these triangles correlate to unmanned aerial systems in the area. the triangular appearance is a result of light passing through the night vision goggles and then being recorded by an slr camera. i don't mean to suggest that everything that we observe is is identifiable, but this is a great example of how it takes considerable effort to understand what we're seeing in the examples that we are able to collect. in this example, we accumulated sufficient data from two similar encounters from two different time periods in two different geographic areas to help us draw these conclusions. that's not always the case, though.

we recognize that that can be unsatisfying or insufficient in the eyes of many. this is a popular topic in our nation with various theories as to what these objects may be, and where they originate. by nature, we are all curious, and we seek to understand the unknown, and as a lifelong intelligence professional, i'm impatient: i want immediate explanations for this as much as anyone else. however, understanding can take significant time and effort. it's why we've endeavored to concentrate on this data-driven process to drive fact-based results, and given the nature of our business, national defense, we've had to sometimes be less forthcoming with information in open forums than many would hope. if uap do indeed represent a potential threat to our security, then the capabilities, systems, processes, and sources we use to observe, record, study, or analyze these phenomena need to be classified at appropriate levels. we do not want—we do not want—potential adversaries to know exactly what we are able to see or understand, or how we come to the conclusions we make. therefore, public disclosures must be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.

so, what's next? we're concentrating on a seamless transition to the new organization. future analysis of complicated issues of uap issues will greatly benefit from the infrastructure of the process and the procedures that we've developed to date. i'm confident that the task force under navy leadership has forged a path forward that will allow us to anchor assessments in science and engineering vice anecdotal evidence. we remain committed to that goal as i know the usdi [Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence] organization does as well.

so thank you very much for your interest in continuing support for the uap task force. the team's made a lot of progress, but we really are just establishing the foundation for the more detailed analysis that's yet to be done. and with your continued support we can sustain that momentum necessary to produce data-centric analysis and understanding the phenomena. i look forward to your questions. thank you.
Content from External Source
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I'd like to highlight a bit in Moultrie's opening statement.
This effort will maximize collaboration and build upon already existing relationships with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence [ODNI], the FAA, DHS, and the FBI. We are also committed to strong partnerships with the Department of Energy, NOAA, the DEA, NASA, and the National Labs, and (just as importantly) our international partners and allies.
Content from External Source
Moultrie put the FAA in the first group, which hints at stronger ties than to the other "civilian" agencies. I expect they've negotiated broad access to air traffic control data and cooperation to warrant moving them up on this list.

I was surprised at Bray saying this:
... a path forward that will allow us to anchor assessments in science and engineering vice anecdotal evidence.
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"vice" means "in the place of". I understand this to mean that they're going to rely on data, and the collation of data from multiple incidents, more than singular eyewitness reports that are still the norm in the UFO community.

The overall message (they'd like to collect and process much more data) echoes what I took from the UAPTF report last June.
What they really want to communicate is that if they collect more reports, including some kind of global radar data feed, they hope to be able to explain some of these incidents, and they hope to be able to find some instances of unknown foreign technology that would otherwise have gone undetected.
However, clearly there's a lack of evidence that would show that this hope will ever materialise; there's no precedent for it, and neither AATIP nor UAPTF have been able to establish any, though clearly they've tried.

To gain knowledge of foreign technology, traditional methods of intelligence and espionage look to be more effective.

The report obfuscates all of this because its audience is Congress, and they want to keep getting funded by Congress; so they're using an unfounded fear of the unknown (presumed superior tech) combined with an unfounded claim that too little is being done (not enough reports) to drive home the "need" to keep funding this organization.

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd speculate that the US government is trying to build a surveillance system that can identify anything in the air, and UFOlogists are the sheep that are going to drive popular support for it.
 
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That's a good point. It therefore might be useful if they were better at communicating that what they are doing is not just a dichotomy of identified or not, where unidentified could be anything, and instead they are using a range that includes exactly identified (it was flight UA 376), characterized (it was a distant plane made to look like a triangle by bokeh) and isolated (we have this video showing green triangles, not yet sure what it might be.) Now, if they say "We have 400 reports, 50 are identified" the public impression is that they 350 possible flying saucers, whereas saying "We have 400 reports, 50 identified, 300 characterized to the level of planes/balloons/etc." there is at least a more accurate sense of the scale of the possible number of cases that could be something previously unknown, without giving away anything in terms of procedures or capabillities.

Would it be possibly helpful in drawing that distinction more clearly, and in helping folks to understand that there is an intermediate step where they/we know it was a bird, but don't know if it was a duck or an albatross, if MB adopted that same terminology and scale of "identifiedness?"
Noting I'm clearly not Mick but on the bottom, yes. We see pretty much everyday arguments and debates where the root in reality just lies in a difference in terminology and process. We as the public have the grace of being able to do and say whatever, the government does not, they have very rigid and defined processes they *have* to use (give or take some leeway). We set ourselves up in a corner when we don't match them, but we expect them to voice it to us without us taking into account *their* terminology and processes, and then we get confused or upset about that.
Not that either or is "bad", we just need to recognize we have leeway they do not, and its a bit unrealistic to expect them to match up to us rather than us match up to them in this context. Once things like the hierarchy there is identified and becomes larger public knowledge, there is less debate and confusion over exactly that (which we see a lot of), and we can expend our resources back on the productive track.
 

AmberRobot

Active Member
Yeah or they saw it and then turned around and did another flyby. We saw them most likely do something similar with the batman balloon photos that were taken in iPhones. Maybe the Navy needs some high frame 120fps rate 360 degree camera pod with a dashcam function to save the last 10 minutes or so if they trigger it. Problem is that the resolution will still be pretty poor. They'd need a high-performance high-resolution sensor to go with it, so likely custom.

But if it reflected radar enough then they could track it with ATFLIR but I imagine not every flight has an ATFLIR fitted.
If it were an official reconnaissance flyby for national security reasons would it make sense for the recording tool to be the pilot’s iPhone?
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
If it were an official reconnaissance flyby for national security reasons would it make sense for the recording tool to be the pilot’s iPhone?
It might make sense for that to be what they showed in public, since iPhone optics are not classified so you dont inadvertently give anything away.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It might make sense for that to be what they showed in public, since iPhone optics are not classified so you dont inadvertently give anything away.
Yeah, I think that factored strongly into their choice. ATFLIR (and other military camera and targeting pods) are sensitive equipment.

Although this is all speculation. Maybe it's actually pretty typical of what they have.
 

Rocky

Active Member
The secret hearing afterwards will be the carte blanche for guys like Lou Elizondo and other grifters to keep making wild claims, hinting at the "secret alien discussions you dont know about".

even if they publicly state that they have zero evidence of aliens or retrieved ET technology, they will use this closed hearing as a way out "of course they have to say this publicly, to prevent a mass panic duh..!"
Yeah that seems to be the go to excuse for no disclosure. The "panic" excuse. I don’t think people would panic at all? For what reason? I think there should be a study on this. Would people actually panic and would chaos ensue? I think that would actually destroy their own UFO belief system. That they have found no evidence of aliens. But they would never buy that anyway. If you destroy that panic excuse then they have nothing else to stand on.
 

Rocky

Active Member
Hmmmmmmmm mr Scott Bray claims the "green triangles" are undetermined. Well, ehrrrrr no? Is he missing the facts we presented or what? Is this the level we are now at? Is this the state of the art we expect?
Agreed. When I see people ignoring the science that the triangles obviously is bokeh than they lose all credibility with me. Just like the whole Phoenix lights fiasco. When they show that video of flares being dropped from a military plane.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Yeah that seems to be the go to excuse for no disclosure. The "panic" excuse. I don’t think people would panic at all? For what reason? I think there should be a study on this. Would people actually panic and would chaos ensue? I think that would actually destroy their own UFO belief system. That they have found no evidence of aliens. But they would never buy that anyway. If you destroy that panic excuse then they have nothing else to stand on.
I think there are very few of them for which solid evidence of their suggested panic argument "would actually destroy their own UFO belief system", at least among the civilian "UFOlogists". Goodness knows they've had years of evidence already presented about the birds and flares and drones and balloons, yet many of the same much-debunked sightings keep showing up and referenced as "unexplained". I suspect the excitement, the mystery, and yes, the panic, are things that keep the true believers hooked.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
I don’t think people would panic at all?
For about half of us, the response would be 'Well, yeah, I already knew that."

Capture.JPG
Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/350096/americans-believe-ufos.aspx

I can think of two examples of what people might do if convinced aliens had been proven on/near Earth. One is the "panic" of the Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast. Last time I looked into it, my sense was that the degree of panic was overstated to make a story that would sell more papers, but still, at least some folks didn't take it well.

The other example was the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, which did not feature aliens arriving on Earth but being found next door, on the moon. A series of articles in the Sun in NYC claimed that John Herscell, the famous astronomer, had observed aliens living on the moon, and included illustrations of the moon critters going about their affairs. The reaction was fascination.

Picture from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Moon_Hoax
Great-Moon-Hoax-1835-New-York-Sun-lithograph-298px.jpg

Hard to plot a curve from two points, but there is at least some suggestion there that, barring "They are crawling out of the pit, they are using some sort of heat ray to kill everybody!", there might not be all that much panic to an announcement about aliens in the neighborhood. I suppose we could add to that the fact that few of the UFO believers seem to be terrified, but are rather hopeful and/or intrigued.
 

Rocky

Active Member
I can think of two examples of what people might do if convinced aliens had been proven on/near Earth. One is the "panic" of the Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast. Last time I looked into it, my sense was that the degree of panic was overstated to make a story that would sell more papers, but still, at least some folks didn't take it well.
Ah the great Myth of the War of the Worlds Panic. Too bad it never happened.
The 1938 War of the Worlds radio show panic was definitely overstated and not even close to what the papers have said. At the time the newspaper industry feared that radio would take over and kill their media. So they fabricated panic stories trying to prove to people that radio was not a reliable source for news.

source: Myth of the War of the Worlds Panic
 

AmberRobot

Active Member
It might make sense for that to be what they showed in public, since iPhone optics are not classified so you dont inadvertently give anything away.
Fair enough but I’m just thinking if they were actually investigating something meant to remain classified they wouldn’t want people going in with phone cameras filming. I have a relative who works in the intelligence field and has to leave his phone in his car when he goes into his office.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Fair enough but I’m just thinking if they were actually investigating something meant to remain classified they wouldn’t want people going in with phone cameras filming. I have a relative who works in the intelligence field and has to leave his phone in his car when he goes into his office.
I seem to recall pilots were specifically asked to do this by the Navy.. Not sure I can find an actual source though..
 

AmberRobot

Active Member
I seem to recall pilots were specifically asked to do this by the Navy.. Not sure I can find an actual source though..
That may be true, but my point is that that fact brings into question the seriousness of the security threat these objects were treated as.

If it's more like "hey, we saw something weird out there", "Ok.. next time you see one just take a video with your phone and we'll take a look", then that may make sense. But if it's more like "there's an object out there exhibiting maneuvers that defy the laws of physics and we think it's a serious threat to our nation's security, be it from a foreign country or even an alien threat", "Ok.. next time you see one just take a video with your phone and we'll take a look", then it makes a little less sense.

I am arguing that the fact that these are phone videos like this suggest that it may be more on former's side of the continuum than the latter's. But I am admitting to have no special knowledge about how the military handles its reconnaissance.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
brings into question the seriousness of the security threat these objects were treated as.
why?

sure, it's a couple of levels less serious than "bogey headed for Air Force 1", and part of the problem is that it's unclear whether a UAP sighting represents a threat at all: remember, "airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, US government or US industry developmental programs" are on the table as well.

But they're still going to want to find out if another country has found a new way to spy on the USA.
 

Rocky

Active Member
Were these the only options given? They kind of pigeon hole you here. Like the 2nd answer. All explained by human activity/natural phenomenon. Should be more like Most are explained with some just being unknown for lack of data. As it is stated currently it's too cut and dry. You are forced into an all or nothing answer. We know that not all are explained. But that doesn't mean it's alien.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
In polling, you do have to try and collapse down the range of answers or you risk winding up with as many answers as you have respondents, and can't do anything useful with statistical analysis. (OK, that's overstated for emphasis.) They're trying to ask "Some are aliens, y/n?" They got a little wordy, I'd agree. But if you are comparing answers over time, you don't want to change the question as how you ask might impact the answer -- so they're stuck with it now.
 

AmberRobot

Active Member
In polling, you do have to try and collapse down the range of answers or you risk winding up with as many answers as you have respondents, and can't do anything useful with statistical analysis. (OK, that's overstated for emphasis.) They're trying to ask "Some are aliens, y/n?" They got a little wordy, I'd agree. But if you are comparing answers over time, you don't want to change the question as how you ask might impact the answer -- so they're stuck with it now.
If you ask meaningless questions you get meaningless answers.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
It's not a meaningless question. They are NOT trying to discover if UFOs might be aliens, they are trying to get an idea of how many people believe that they are. Asking members of the public if they think some UFOs are aliens, or do they think they are all explainable as normal non-alien stuff seems a decent way to check public opinion on that.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Asking members of the public if they think some UFOs are aliens, or do they think they are all explainable as normal non-alien stuff seems a decent way to check public opinion on that.
But ...and this is significant... they didn't ask if they're all explainable. They asked if they were all explained. That leaves a massive door open for misinterpretation (perhaps deliberate), the door between "are" and "could be". I get it, there are reasons to keep the questions the same so successive surveys can be compared, but it was a really poor wording.
 

AmberRobot

Active Member
It's not a meaningless question. They are NOT trying to discover if UFOs might be aliens, they are trying to get an idea of how many people believe that they are. Asking members of the public if they think some UFOs are aliens, or do they think they are all explainable as normal non-alien stuff seems a decent way to check public opinion on that.
It is meaningless in That the options do not allow for reasonable alternatives. Either one is forced to answer in a way that does not represent their true thoughts or not answer at all. Either way, this skews the value of the answers to the question. Perhaps “meaningless” was too harsh a word. Maybe it’s more like “garbage in, garbage out”.

I see that in your response you changes the word “explained” to “explainable”. That small semantic difference could have helped the question a bit. As it stands there is no option available that represents my true opinion of the question.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
But ...and this is significant... they didn't ask if they're all explainable. They asked if they were all explained. That leaves a massive door open for misinterpretation (perhaps deliberate), the door between "are" and "could be". I get it, there are reasons to keep the questions the same so successive surveys can be compared, but it was a really poor wording.
Their words were "can be explained." That is not thae same as "were all explained," to my ear

As it stands there is no option available that represents my true opinion of the question.
Nor mine, but I can answer what they asked -- 'Which comes closer to your view?" Given two positions, which is closer to yours, they ask: Are some of the aliens, or are they all explainable by more mundane goings-on?
 

AmberRobot

Active Member
Their words were "can be explained." That is not thae same as "were all explained," to my ear


Nor mine, but I can answer what they asked -- 'Which comes closer to your view?" Given two positions, which is closer to yours, they ask: Are some of the aliens, or are they all explainable by more mundane goings-on?
I missed the “which comes closer” part of the question, oops. I guess in that sense I could answer which is closer.
 

KilliK

Member
I'd call that ~17years,
not exactly. you ignore this important part from the document:
krH97nY[1].jpeg
they had to focus on official reports, most of them coming for the reporting system Navy established in 2020, so that they could ensure as much reliable data as possible. they emphasize this point here as well:


Y4C8bnn[1].jpeg

in other words, most of the cases come from the Navy and between the period 2019 and 2021. The cases before 2019 were picked not because they were the only ones that existed, but because they were the only ones with official first hand witnesses' reports and multisensory data. They met their criteria for their research. And they started from 2004, because of the Nimitz case, for which we know sensor data and witnesses exist. same goes for the 2015 Gimbal and the 2019 Kidd cases. So when they say they have 18 anomalous UAPs, most of them come from the 2019-2021 period. How many exactly? Remove the 3 known case, that makes it 15. make it 10 cases. still a significant number for a time period of 17 months.

and remember. you only need 1 case to be genuine.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
and remember. you only need 1 case to be genuine.
They are all genuine*. Whether genuine aliens, or genuine Batman balloons, or genuine jets aircraft, or genuine Chinese secret tech, or genuine radar glitches -- nonetheless genuine SOMETHING. Thinking that only, say, alien spaceships are "genuine" runs the risk of prejudicing an investigation by looking for alianness whether it is there or not. I also dont think that the military is interested particularly in alien hunting -- they are attempting to identify potential hazards or threats to their people and hardware. Glitchy radar or Chinese super drones or any of the rest of it could be a hazard if not identified and where appropriate excluded from controlled airspace.

*I'm assuming intentional hoaxes are less likely in internal military reporting, which I hope is justified...
 
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