Pentagon launches new UFO-hunting agency to assess threat to military aircraft

After the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) was officially disbanded in 2012, it seemed as if the American military had given up trying to find out who or what was behind mysterious UAPs that had been buzzing US warships.

But now a new organisation, the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronisation (AOIMS) Group, is expected to take over responsibility for UFO research.

Its mission will be to "synchronise" Washington's efforts to "detect, identify and attribute objects of interests in Special Use Airspace," and "assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security."

"Incursions by any airborne object into our [Special Use Airspace] pose safety of flight and operations security concerns, and may pose national security challenges," the US Department of Defence said in a press release.

"DOD takes reports of incursions — by any airborne object, identified or unidentified — very seriously, and investigates each one."

The AOIMS Group will fall under the control of the Under Secretary Of Defence for Intelligence, the director of the Joint Staff and officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Deputy Secretary of Defence Kathleen Hicks said in a separate statement that “the presence of unidentified aerial phenomena… represents a potential safety of flight risk to air crews and raises potential national security concerns.”

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The new group directly replaces the US Navy's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force which released a report on its findings in June this year.

With the exception of one object – which turned out to be a balloon – the task force had been unable to conclusively identify any of the 150 or so aerial phenomena it had investigated.

However, an official said that the reports from military personnel did appear to be genuine: “from a safety of flight issue,” the government spokesperson said, “we absolutely do believe that what we are seeing are not simply sensor artefacts. These are things that physically exist.”

But they played down any speculation that the UAPs were visitors from outer space: "Of the 144 reports that we are dealing with here, we have no clear indications that there's any non-terrestrial explanation for them," they said. "But again, we will go wherever the data takes us on this."

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