The above statement was obtained by Bryan Bender of Politico, who wrote an article about it. Bender also quoted two members of Tom DeLonge's "To The Stars Academy" (TTSA) whose job it is to promote the idea that UFOs are alien spaceships. Neither really did that in the article (Elizondo referring only to "extremely advanced Russian aircraft"), but they have both suggested as much before. And of course, it only takes a whiff of "official" talk about UFOs for people to get excited."There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years. For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the USAF take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report.
As part of this effort, the Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft. In response to requests for information from Congressional members and staff, Navy officials have provided a series of briefings by senior Naval Intelligence officials as well as aviators who reported hazards to aviation safety."
Joseph Gradisher, spokesperson for Deputy Chief of
Naval Operations for Information Warfare.
LT Andriana Genualdi USN
News Desk Officer
So there's a rush of media stories about this. The problem is they all seem to be conflating two things:
A) The statement from the Navy
B) The spin from TTSA
And then presenting B (the spin) as if it's something official. It's not. All we have that is official is a very reasonable statement about
1) Planned (but undescribed) new guidelines for reporting unauthorized and/or unidentified airspace incursions.
2) Some briefings on the dangers of these incursions by the Navy to some congressmen and/or their staff.
Note the first thing there: "unauthorized airspace incursions." That basically means a plane flies into a region that it should not be in. The Navy Document OPNAVINST 3770.2L calls it a "spill-in"
101. Spill-in. An incursion of an IFR or VFR aircraft, including remotely operated aircraft, into SAA [Special Activity Airspaceincurs] allocated to military using agencies without coordination or prior approval.
Guidelines for handling incursions are not new. I'm not sure what is current, but here are some rules of Engagement from the 1990s:
https://www.afjag.af.mil/Portals/77/documents/AFD-081204-035.pdf . (page 61)
Note in this new press release they say: "the Navy and the USAF take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report." So clearly the reports they talk about are not considered "career enders" (as some have suggested). These are reports that are already being made, and are being taken seriously, and investigated. All that seems to be happening now is an improvement to the way in which such incursions can be reported.A. Rules of Engagement in the Tactical Area of Responsibility on 14 April 1994
Rules of Engagement guidance for the TAOR were as follows:
a. Any unidentified airborne object in or approaching airspace within a U.S. air defense area of responsibility will be identified by any means available, including visual recognition, flight plan correlation, electronic interrogation, and track analysis.
b. When feasible, airborne objects in or approaching the airspace within a U.S. area of responsibility that have not been satisfactorily identified by communications, electronics, or any other means will be intercepted for visual identification purposes.
So until the Navy actually makes some statement about these new regulations, I'd suggestion caution in interpreting them as anything other than what they say they are.