Preliminary Assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Released

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released a preliminary report of the progress made in understanding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). The data used to create this report is based on U.S. government reports of incidents that occurred from November 2004 to March 2021, but data continues to be collected and analyzed.

This report, titled Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomenaexpands on the following claims:

  • The limited amount of high-quality reporting on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) hampers our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent of UAP.
  • In a limited number of incidents, UAP reportedly appeared to exhibit unusual flight characteristics. These observations could be the result of sensor errors, spoofing, or observer misperception and require additional rigorous analysis.
  • There are probably multiple types of UAP requiring different explanations based on the range of appearances and behaviors described in the available reporting.
  • UAP clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security.
  • Consistent consolidation of reports from across the federal government, standardized reporting, increased collection and analysis, and a streamlined process for screening all such reports against a broad range of relevant USG [United States Government] data will allow for a more sophisticated analysis of UAP that is likely to deepen our understanding.

For more information on topics related to this piece, visit the HSDL Featured Topic on Space Policy and National Security, or check out the HSDL for other documents released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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