The Pentagon’s U.F.O. Program has been using unclassified slides like this to brief government officials on threats from Advanced Aerospace Vehicles — “including off-world” — and materials retrieved from crashes of unidentified phenomena.Credit...Leslie Kean
When asked about the words "off-world" in the above slide, writer Ralph Blumenthal said:
Contributor, former Times reporter
@leadingfrombehind Off-world means not of this earth. We and our sources refrain from speculating on other questions beyond that.
But what does "not of this earth" mean? Regardless of the meaning, where does this definition come from? If we search the .gov and .mil domains for usages of the term "off-world" the most common usage seems to be, essentially "not on this Earth".
For example, NASA described a trek by the Mars rover (a human-made vehicle) as an "Off-World Driving Record." NOAA talks about satellite images as being "Returned from off-world." Military documents talk about "a Space Development Agency focused on all matters off-world, from procuring military satellites to defending U.S. spacecraft in orbit from attacks."
The most famous use of the term is in the 1982 dystopia Science Fiction film Bladerunner where giant screens advertise "a new life awaits you on the off-world colonies"
But here again, off-world simply means off the planet earth, but of human origin.
Why would the military be concerned about unusual off-world craft - it's pretty simple: space warfare. Not war with aliens, but war carried out partially in space, i.e. off-world. The simplest form of this being anti-satellite technology, then space-based weapons, and then actually space-to-space warfare (like one spaceship attacking another). This is obviously something that is very likely to come to pass, and so something the military (now with a space-force) is very interested in.
Of course, we don't know who made that slide, or what they were believe, but the phrase "off-world" does not seem to indicate the military is interested in flying craft from other planets, just flying craft from this planet that operate in space, off-world.