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UFO Investigators

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    Someone added an alien spaceship to this street sign in San Francisco, California. But unidentified flying objects aren’t necessarily flying saucers. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
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    This image was taken in 2015 by a U.S. Navy pilot who encountered an unidentified flying object. (Department of Defense)
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    The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office is a new office of the Department of Defense. (AP/Patrick Semansky)
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    Officials speak in front of a screen displaying an unidentified aerial phenomenon at a House Intelligence, Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C. (AP/Alex Brandon)
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Grab your tinfoil hats! UFO reports are on the rise in the United States—and the government takes it seriously.

The U.S. government has collected over 510 reports of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. These reports don’t come from conspiracy theorists and pranksters. Many come from military pilots.

In 2022, members of the U.S. Department of Defense presented information on UFOs in a congressional hearing. They showed once-classified photos and videos of unidentified objects in American airspace.

History was made! Real flying saucers! Aliens officially exist—right?

Let’s take a step back.

When people hear “UFO,” they often think “space aliens.” But a UFO could be anything unknown in the atmosphere. That’s the point—it’s unidentified. To shed the sci-fi stigma, many people now use the term “UAP”: unidentified aerial phenomena. (Not as catchy as UFO, but a little less silly).

U.S. officials don’t think aliens have visited Earth. But when something unexplained shows up in military airspace, they pay attention.

That’s where the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office comes in.

Formed last year, this office services one purpose: investigating all those mysterious reports. These officials are America’s UFO detectives. It’s hard to imagine a more boring name paired with a more interesting job.

What have these investigators found so far? They have determined that most reported objects feature “unremarkable characteristics.” (Okay, maybe the job isn’t that interesting). Many of the sightings could be balloons or drones. Still—where did these objects come from? They might not be remarkable, but if they come America’s enemies, they could be dangerous.

The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office also looks out for new technology. If another country has a spiffy new aircraft, the United States wants to know—especially if that new technology is already flying in American airspace.

But these officials don’t just watch the skies. They also investigate unidentified objects underwater and in space. Hence the “all-domain” in All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office.

Sometimes telling the truth might make you look silly. People might even make fun of you for it. That’s what some pilots likely feared when they saw unidentified objects in the skies. If they reported their sightings, people might call them crazy. People might say, “Hey, this guy believes in aliens!”

But the government has worked to destigmatize (make normal) UFO reporting. Officials emphasize the potential danger of unknown objects in restricted airspace. Since then, more people have been willing to report strange sightings. By telling the truth, they help keep the United States safe.

Why? “Unidentified” doesn’t automatically mean “alien.” And we don’t need to fear the unknown, because nothing is “unidentified” to our all-knowing God.