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The X-Files: U.S. Senate members on alert for ‘growing security threat’ of ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’

The office would be designed with a collaborative approach to improve data-sharing between federal agencies on the mysterious phenomena, akin to how the Department of Homeland Security facilitates the sharing of information regarding threats to national security.

The X-Files: U.S. Senate members on alert for ‘growing security threat’ of ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’
AP Photo/Marta Lavandier/Jeff Chiu
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Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have their sights set on beyond the horizon with the sponsorship of an amendment that will open a federal office dedicated to studying “unidentified aerial phenomena” or UAPs — or UFOs, in other words.

Gillibrand and the bipartisan bill’s Republican co-sponsor announced on Thursday that their proposed amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would establish a formal office to report and study UAPs to provide members of Congress with the scientific capabilities “to track and share data, investigate sightings, and develop a response to this growing security threat.”

In a move reminiscent of the hit TV series The X-Files, which featured an FBI office dedicated to the investigation of paranormal activity and extraterrestrials, the proposed office will be run entirely by the government overseen by the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence.

“My amendment will establish a formal office to report and respond to UAPs and give us the scientific capabilities needed to track and share data, investigate sightings, and develop a response to this growing security threat,” said Gillibrand, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“Staying ahead of UAP sightings is critical to keeping our strategic edge and keeping our nation safe,” Gillibrand continued.

The office is intended to replace the current Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, which was temporarily established to collect data on UAPs.

The office would be designed with a collaborative approach to improve data-sharing between federal agencies on the mysterious phenomena, akin to how the Department of Homeland Security facilitates the sharing of information regarding threats to national security.

“It is my hope that the creation of a new joint Defense Department and Intelligence Community office focused on UAPs will provide the resources, analytics and attention needed to determine what is loitering around our military training ranges,” Sen. Rubio said in the joint press release. Rubio serves as the vice chairman on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

“The DoD and IC need to ensure a more uniform collection strategy is in place and that we continue to destigmatize reporting on UAPs, particularly from military aviators,” Rubio added.

“This amendment ensures that we treat UAP as we would any potential national security threat that would enter U.S. restricted training or operational areas,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is also a co-sponsor of the amendment.

According to the press release for the bill, the office will be tasked with the following duties:

Collection & Analysis of Data into a Central Repository: The UAP office will supervise the development and execution of intelligence collection and analysis regarding UAPs in order to understand their technical and scientific characteristics. The UAP office will receive relevant data immediately from Intelligence Community agencies.

Establish a Science Plan: The UAP office will be responsible for implementing a science plan to test scientific theories related to UAP characteristics and performances.

Build a National Priorities Intelligence Framework: The DNI will be required to consult with the Secretary of Defense to assign a level or priority within the National Intelligence Priorities Framework related to UAPs.

Evaluate any links between UAPs and foreign governments or non-state actors: The UAP office will be tasked with evaluating threats that UAPs may pose to the United States. Additionally, the office will be responsible for coordinating with federal agencies, including the FAA and NASA, and international allies and partners on UAPs.

Report to Congress: The UAP office will be required to provide unclassified annual reports to Congress and classified semiannual briefings on intelligence analysis, reported incidents, health-related effects, the role of foreign governments, and nuclear security.

This amendment is also co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).

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