I Want To Believe
January 11, 2021 12:32 PM   Subscribe

In less than six months, US intelligence agencies must report what they know about UFOs to Congress. December's coronavirus relief and government funding bill began a 180-day countdown for providing the information. This follows the Pentagon's acknowledgement last year of its Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, the existence of which they had previously denied.
posted by showbiz_liz (64 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
Of course, the term "UFO" is not synonymous with "aliens." In fact, if a previously unidentified flying object were definitely established to be an alien ship, it would no longer be a UFO. This will probably not be the year we learn about intelligent alien life forms.

But oh, what if!
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:33 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


1) We haven't identified them
2) They fly
3) White some are clearly artifacts, others appear to be actual objects
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 12:37 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


1. Weather Balloons.
2. Really Large Ducks.
3. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:42 PM on January 11 [17 favorites]


It's gonna be drones. But if someone's flying drones that the USAF can't catch over American bases, that too is fascinating.
posted by dazed_one at 12:43 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


It's just Greg up in the bedroom window with a flashlight and a whistle.
posted by bondcliff at 12:48 PM on January 11 [38 favorites]


Pie plates being used as Frisbees and that weirdo down the block playing his theremin with the window open.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:02 PM on January 11 [15 favorites]


Sometimes the whole "bury a pet project deep in an unrelated bill" bullshit really pisses me off. This time, though, I'm willing to let it slide.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:04 PM on January 11 [21 favorites]


I WANT TO BELIEVE
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:09 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


deep-deep state chuckles: "Nice try, kid"
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 1:09 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Ugh, no. This is another avoidable intelligence self-own by the Qoupists. It's another methods and capabilities leak, like the debacle in May 2017.
posted by Horkus at 1:10 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


If UFOs were due to "swamp gas" there should be mass UFO sightings over every Taco Bell in the country.
posted by Quasimike at 1:11 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


If UFOs were due to "swamp gas" there should be mass UFO sightings over every Taco Bell in the country.

In that context, I’m not sure if the F stands for “flying”.
posted by notoriety public at 1:16 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


fix our climate with fancy space tech or gtfh
posted by gwint at 1:20 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]


tempature inversion, funny radar readings.
It's 1952
The bomber was vectored several times by National Airport over unknown targets on the airport's radarscopes, yet the crew could see nothing unusual. Finally, as a crew member related, "the radar had a target which turned out to be the Wilson Lines steamboat trip to Mount Vernon... the radar was sure as hell picking up the steamboat.

so something faster the steam locomotion.

How much speed could a drone drone need if a drone would need mach speed.

posted by clavdivs at 1:37 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


DoD official release, Aug. 14, 2020, Establishment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force

What does the Pentagon's new UFO task force mean? (Space.com, Aug. 17, 2020) w/ background, the Navy video clips, a section titled "Reasons for the DoD to care," and a reminder that a task force is usually a temporary organization.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:40 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


3) White some are clearly artifacts, others appear to be actual objects

Or they're actually all video artifacts.
posted by GuyZero at 1:42 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


...the other two from 2015...

“According to our remote analysis, the humans on Earth are about to elect a Keter-class cognitohazard as a political leader.”

“Oh, those poor hairless primates. Can we at least get some cameras there?”
posted by XMLicious at 1:45 PM on January 11 [13 favorites]


Make a note to stock up on black printer ink well before the due date because there will be So. Many. Redactions.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 1:50 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I salute our fully-functional national government as it takes care of the most pressing concern of all Americans.
posted by tommasz at 1:51 PM on January 11 [19 favorites]


It turns out aliens are buying drones and flying them over our military bases.

Sometimes they even register the drones in accordance with Part 107 of the FAA regulations. Most often the registrations are incomplete, but sometimes the address of an residential lot in New Mexico is listed. Agents dispatched to this address have described an empty field that's occasionally enveloped by a gaping portal. Those unluckly enough to have been consumed by this portal emerge 4.874 hours later with no memory of what transpired and a deep dissatisfaction with Hershey's chocolate.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 2:01 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


[ whistles ]
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:20 PM on January 11


I salute our fully-functional national government as it takes care of the most pressing concern of all Americans.

Don't forget the society & culture behind it! :D
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:22 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I WANT TO BELIEVE

No, the difference between Mulder and Scully is that Scully's the one who believes in unidentified flying objects. Mulder believes in aliens - with, without, or against evidence.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:27 PM on January 11


I assume they're all going to turn out to be streetlights
posted by Merus at 2:32 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Surely this will be the thing that unites a divided country.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:32 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Of course, if such a forced disclosure would threaten a treaty with the Zeta Reticulans allowing them to conduct mind-control experiments on a handful of humans and/or harvest all the cow anuses they need in return for technical assistance with antigravity weapons or other research*, surely the deeper-than-deep state will have thought of that and have a layer of plausible-looking cover story to reveal without compromising the secret underground tunnels.

* where did you think those self-balancing ride-on bro-wheels came from?
posted by acb at 3:03 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


White some are clearly artifacts, others appear to be actual objects
With all respect to the resolving power of an F/A-18's sensors, and their ability to identify things at distance, differentiating between 'artefact' and 'object' and 'wedding in Afghanistan' doesn't seem to be in the engineering scope, so
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:05 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


[tapes an "X" to her living room window pane using strips of masking tape]
posted by orange swan at 3:25 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


Merus: "I assume they're all going to turn out to be streetlights"

Streetlights, people
Livin' just to find emotion
Hidin' somewhere in the night

posted by chavenet at 3:29 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]



the difference between Mulder and Scully is that Scully's the one who believes in unidentified flying objects. Mulder believes in aliens

And it's certainly not a coincidence that Scully is immortal and Mulder dies of autoerotic asphyxiation.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:30 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


If there was anything really worth knowing, Trump would've blabbed it by now just to impress people. Incoherently and inaccurately, but he'd have said something.
I realize this has been said a million times, but it remains true.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:07 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Visitors from the future, checking up on us?... Just wondering if any were spotted over the Capitol recently
posted by Dub at 4:11 PM on January 11


If there was anything really worth knowing, Trump would've blabbed it by now just to impress people. Incoherently and inaccurately, but he'd have said something.

You're ascribing to him curiosity about things not immediately applicable to grift. I think he'd be too busy looting the public purse and insulting celebrities who he felt didn't give him sufficient respect to start probing deeply in the military's files.

Or, to put it another way: that Bill Hicks routine, where every incoming president is taken to a secret auditorium and shown a video of the JFK assassination filmed from the Grassy Knoll? They probably wouldn't have needed to bother in his case.
posted by acb at 4:16 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]



If there was anything really worth knowing, Trump would've blabbed it by now just to impress people. Incoherently and inaccurately, but he'd have said something.


You think they would tell him? Hahhaaaa.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:19 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


And it's certainly not a coincidence that Scully is immortal and Mulder dies of autoerotic asphyxiation.
Best episode! "Mister, you really need to work on your closing technique."
posted by thelonius at 4:21 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Or they're actually all video artifacts.

Not likely. Especially the ones people see with their own eyeballs.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:24 PM on January 11




US intelligence agencies must report what they know about UFOs to Congress

And that’s the problem - the law is designed to divert attention. Intelligence Agencies. Pfffttt. That’s not where the real information is! Everyone knows it’s being held by the U.S Commission for Fine Arts, who hold the data encoded in several fake Jackson Pollock paintings, and the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (textile is the code name for extra-terrestrials, and the agreement they deal with is for Earth’s surrender - think about it!!)
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:03 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


YEAH! We haven't got enough *known* shit for government to worry about ... like vaccine going to waste while thousands die, oops ... let's give them some more non-productive work to do, on a subject with about as much *real* evidence as election fraud.

Or dot dot dot Maybe it's time to focus on *clear threats* ... oh I dunno, maybe terrorists, poverty, joblessness, financial crisis, climate, infrastructure, Covid.

There'll be plenty of time six months from now when we've got all that stuff beat.
posted by Twang at 5:06 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


So, if US intelligence agencies know what UFOs are, technically they aren’t UFOs, are they? I see a single-page report coming Congress’ way stating “There are no UFOs”
posted by Thorzdad at 5:18 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I WANT TO LEAVE

no seriously pick me up i'm totally cool with getting probed let's go party
posted by loquacious at 5:18 PM on January 11 [16 favorites]


What if they’re sentient video artifacts?
posted by condour75 at 5:19 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]




If there was anything really worth knowing, Trump would've blabbed it by now just to impress people. Incoherently and inaccurately, but he'd have said something.

On the other hand, if it was known that the aliens were prosecuting some plan to gradually welcome us into their enlightened, post-scarcity, galactic federation where individuals find enrichment in bettering themselves instead of pursuing material goods, we could expect Trump to take it personally and assemble the military into some kind of force which could operate in space....
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:07 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


Now might be a good time to remember that the USA is not the only nation that could afford to set up a Skunkworks, and that there may be novel aircraft right now on flight paths meant to signal that a new Monroe Doctrine is to be established in the Pacific Ocean, in which the western rim of the ocean is no longer a play space for the US Navy.
posted by ocschwar at 6:48 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I'm honestly kinda excited by this? A while back, I read the full Airforce report on the Roswell crash (spoiler: it was a weather balloon designed to detect Soviet nuclear tests). It was interesting not because aliens, but because secret military operations are often time capsules of science, and the military's tendency to overclassify often pushes amazing resesrch out of the public consciousness. Case in point: the achievements made at Bletchley Park during WWII (breaking Enigma, building the first electronic computer two years before ENIAC, among other things). I'm sure people out there have done amazing work on drones that far surpass anything publicly known today. I want to hear their stories.
posted by lock robster at 7:30 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Not that I expect anything to come of this, um, corona virus funding bill UFO information demand thing, but I find it interesting how people's perception of UFOs changes over time. Right now, UFOs are a joke (see most of above comments). Back in the days of the fake 'Alien Autopsy' (1995) people talked about this stuff all the time by the water cooler, and pretty much everyone had their UFO encounter story. Further back in time, my folks told me that in the 60s they would sit on the porch at night and watch colored lights zip around in the sky doing impossible things, then zoom off. The neighbors would too. One neighbor, retired Air Force, said he had an entire film canister of UFO footage in his basement that he kept when he retired. My mom had a huge triangular UFO buzz her car while driving (this was before the B2). And, I could go into crazy stuff I've seen, but I guess my point is that, like many other things, the perceived "reality" of these things seems to wax and wane over time.
posted by jabah at 7:49 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


My money is on time travellers.

Gathering samples.

From before a significant milestone.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:53 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Not sure the human race could handle complex time loops right now.
posted by Pouteria at 8:18 PM on January 11




Yeah, I have to admit, that Arial School video of all the kid’s stories kind of got to me...
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:50 PM on January 11


Six months??? That’s like 5 years from now
posted by oulipian at 8:52 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


And, I could go into crazy stuff I've seen, but I guess my point is that, like many other things, the perceived "reality" of these things seems to wax and wane over time.

It's interesting, but I think the expectation from millennials is that if it was that common, with everyone having a video camera in their pocket, we'd have lots of video examples.
posted by Merus at 12:50 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."
"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."
"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."
"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."
"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat."
posted by zaelic at 1:17 AM on January 12 [13 favorites]


I'm paraphrasing something I heard on the Benjamin Dixon show, it was sometime within the last month, but the dude streams hours a day and I can't for the life of me remember the episode or timestamp, but:

"This is the year white people tried everything. There were people of color out in the streets and white people tried militias, Feds with white vans, cops, a pandemic, lockdowns, and none of it worked. People were still out there demanding justice, so white people got desperate, and they tried UFO's. The government basically announced that extraterrestrial life exists. But people in the streets didn't care. Aliens don't change police brutality, or at least they haven't yet. If the aliens are real, they're still racists, and that doesn't change what we have to do, which is change this racist system."

...Can't say I disagree.
posted by saysthis at 1:34 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


The cell phone camera rebuttal is all well and good until you realize that the aliens stopped buzzing us because they observed that we had we developed omnipresent video camera technology. Which implies the aliens really were joyriding teenagers all along, and didn't want to get in trouble with the Galaxy Cops for disrupting a pre-warp world.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:23 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


In our age of conspiracy theorists, anything less that a working flying saucer, a couple of green corpses, and a ghost town where the aliens disintegrated the entire population before dying of athlete's foot will be taken as just another government cover-up.
posted by pracowity at 8:21 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Agreed. Pre-pandemic, I was once seated in a diner the next booth over from Bill Murray and a bunch of aliens. Everyone in the restaurant was pretty chill about it because we all knew no one would ever believe our story. At one point the aliens asked if they could borrow the ketchup container from my table as their was empty.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 8:37 AM on January 12 [5 favorites]


"UFO" articles at The War Zone.
posted by cenoxo at 3:50 PM on January 12


If Special Circumstances hasn't intervened by now, I'm not sure they're going to.
Was really looking forward to living on a GSV, too.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:08 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


I hope our alien overlords come bearing anti-gravity scooters.
posted by Pouteria at 12:25 AM on January 13


You Can Now Easily Download All CIA UFO Documents to Date [Vice]

Download searchable PDFs at The Black Vault.
posted by Kabanos at 11:43 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


If the government knew about extraterrestrial aliens IMPOTUSx2 would've tweeted about it the instant he found out.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:59 PM on January 13


I guess my point is that, like many other things, the perceived "reality" of these things seems to wax and wane over time.

Maybe I'm optimistic, but I feel like belief in UFOs has waned at least partly due to a broader understanding of the fact that the laws of physics preclude the possibility of truly interstellar civilizations, at least in the usual sense of "civilization."
posted by nosewings at 11:49 AM on January 14


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