No aliens here, nothing to see, move along

US Defence Department creates new body to keep track of UFOs

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The US Department of Defence (DoD) has announced the creation of a new group that will keep track of UFOs in restricted air space.

Under the snappy title of Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronisation Group (AOIMSG), the body will investigate reports of airborne objects that enter US ‘special use airspace’ (SUA) in a way that could be deemed a threat to national security.

Areas designated SUA are typically used for military operations and come with strict limitations of when and what aircraft can fly through them.

“Incursions by any airborne object into our SUA pose safety of flight and operations security concerns, and may pose national security challenges,” AOIMSG said in a post announcing its creation.

“DoD takes reports of incursions – by any airborne object, identified or unidentified – very seriously, and investigates each one.”

The DoD said it wanted a better understanding of "unidentified aerial phenomena" that have been detected near its training ranges and installations and has “identified the need to make improvements in processes, policies, technologies, and training” to improve its ability to understand the origin of the phenomena.

Further details on the exact structure of the new body will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The US military has been regularly debunking claims from members of the public who have reported UFO sightings ever since interest in the subject exploded in science-fiction media in the 1940s.

Historically, the vast majority of sightings have been easily debunked with logical explanations ranging from atmospheric phenomena to aircraft obscured by cloud cover.

But a Pentagon report released in June admitted that there had been 144 reports of UFOs since 2004 that did not have an easy explanation. The highly anticipated report generated a lot of media coverage at the time due to the popularity of UFOs among enthusiasts.

Some proposed explanations for the unaccounted-for sightings included technologies from other nations like China or Russia or natural atmospheric phenomena like ice crystals that could register on radar systems. The report also suggested some could be "attributable to developments and classified programs by US entities".

A survey from March found that 11 per cent of the British public think they have actually seen a UFO, 26 per cent believe that aliens exist and more than half agree that intelligent life exists somewhere else in the universe.

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