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The US Navy is Setting Up New Guidelines for UFO Reports: ‘Disclosure’ or More of the Same?

Last night Politico released an article penned by Bryan Bender, which seemed to echo the mainstream repercussions with regards to a broader acceptance of the UFO phenomenon than the 2017 bombshells published by that same online news outlet, as well as the New York Times.

The news broke by Bender was that the United States Navy is currently updating their reporting protocols for pilots or other enlisted personnel who observe “unidentified aircraft,” in an effort to “creating a formal process to collect and analyze the unexplained sightings — and destigmatize them.”

This seemingly unprecedented move was evidently triggered by the recent public interest surrounding military UFO encounters like the ones between F-18 pilots and a group of white objects nicknamed “the Tic-Tacs” during a Navy exercise with the USS Nimitz in 2004. An interest that, according to Politico’s article, has also transcended into the power corridors of Washington and Congress, where unnamed lawmakers have been “briefed by senior Naval Intelligence officials as well as aviators” who have been involved in such encounters.

“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated airspace in recent years,” the Navy said in a statement in response to questions from POLITICO. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.

“As part of this effort,” it added, “the Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft.”

Pro-Disclosure advocates are lauding the news as vindication of their movement, and see this new development as ‘proof’ the US Navy is acknowledging the existence of UFOs –even though the article makes it perfectly clear the Navy does not consider the mysterious objects its personnel has reported as “alien craft”; and part of the new guidelines particularly involves changing the culturally charged acronym UFO with the more antiseptic UAP (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena). The irony here is that it was the US Air Force the ones who started promoting the term UFOs in replacement for ‘flying saucers’ back in the days of Project Blue Book, a move many investigators of the time –like Canadian Wilbert Smith— saw as a way to make the phenomenon more vague and ambiguous in the eyes of the American public.

And there’s also the fact of what the article leaves out: What about the other branches of the Military, like the Air Force and the Army? And more importantly, to whom are the Navy men supposed to contact if they happen to see a UFO/UAP? If this is merely an ‘update’ to a (presumably) already-existing protocol to file and study the reports –something alluded by the Politico article with their quote of an anonymous Navy spokesperson– does that mean the JANAP 146 directive is no longer in effect?

The JANAP acronym (Joint Army, Navy, Air Force Publication) entered the UFOlogical lexicon due to a document signed by USAF Deputy Director of Development Brigadier General C.H. Bolender in 1969, in which he outlined the reasons why the Air Force’s Project Blue Book should be closed –this happening as a consequence to the conclusions reached by the controversial Condon Report which was commissioned by the Air Force, which deemed UFOs as being “of no scientific merit.” In his 1969 memo, Bolender writes:

“[R]eports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system (Atch 10).”

JANAP 146 details the “Communication Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings [aka CIRVIS]” which was intended to be followed by US (and also Canadian) military personnel, as well as civilian aircraft and vessels’ crews; according to an unclassified copy of this document found at the NSA website, these ‘Intelligence sightings’ would also include unidentified flying objects. The document specifies the technical way in which the report should be elaborated and transmitted via “radiotelephone or radiotelegraph” –which shows how old these rules are– along with the pertaining information it should contain.

In other words, by the time the Air Force was all but fed up with the PR nuisance of Blue Book, a system to collect extremely sensible UFO reports that had no reason to be shared with the public at large was already in full effect. So what makes all the pro-Disclosure pundits believe this new update of the Navy protocols will be a move toward more openness, when it could be the exact opposite? Has Luis Elizondo or other TTSA members ever mentioned JANAP 146, or acknowledge if it’s still under effect?

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that JANAP 146 specifies the very severe penalties that would befall on any person who were to reveal one of these ultra-sensitive Intelligence reports:

Transmission of CIRVIS reports are subject to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the Canadian Radio Act of 1938, as amended. Any person who violates the provisions of these acts may be liable to prosecution thereunder. These reports contain information affecting the National Defense of the United States and Canada. Any person who makes an unauthorized transmission or disclosure of such a report may be liable to prosecution under Title 18 of the US Code, Chapter 37, or the Canadian Official Secrets Act of 1939, as amended [Emphasis mine].

So it could very well be that under these new protocols, the Navy could actually ensure that cases like the 2004 USS Nimitz encounters never see the light of day again, and would be kept classified under the blanket of ‘National Security’. Oh but it doesn’t matter, right? Because we got a mainstream news outlet to publish another positive article about UFOs, stating what everybody in UFOlogy already knew –that the US government, contrary to what they kept telling us, do take sightings of unidentified objects seriously due to their potential security risk or hostile nature.

Well, so freaking what? The government of Chile has kept a department (CEFAA) attached to their Civil Aviation Directorate which officially studies UFO sightings, and has been analyzing reports from both military personnel and private citizens for decades. An example of those cases was the Coyahuasi photos, which we covered back in 2014. And the same goes for France and GEIPAN, which is linked to their National Center for Space Studies (CNES). At least with these two nationally-funded UFO studies that openly admit unexplained aerial phenomena demand rigorous investigation we have a better guarantee that their reports will see the light of day; not so much with the reports filed my US military personnel, and yet all the buzz caused by the Politico article goes to show that Disclosure is a particularly American obsession, and that if it didn’t happen in America, it doesn’t really matter –just ask the Chileans about their 9/11

At the end of the day, the fact that this news re. the future protocols for reporting UFOs broke a bit over a month before History’s new TV series Unacknowledged is to be premiered seems more than just a little coincidence. No doubt the series will attract great attention and the former members of the Pentagon program that are now working for TTSA will use it to position their organization as the go-to place for the collection of all non-classified UFO reports –the way the FAA used to direct civilian pilots who wanted to file a UFO sighting to Robert Bigelow back when the AATIP program was still active (sorry, MUFON).

Will other branches of the government follow the Navy’s initiative? It’s hard to say. Whether these new protocols would ensure more openness toward the UFO phenomenon or just more of the same secrecy BS remains to be seen; but one thing is for sure. and is that to encourage their personnel to file in a report of something really weird they saw in the sky, the Military will have to do a whole lot more to fight against the ridicule factor they themselves encouraged than merely swapping one acronym for another –remember the attitude onboard the USS Nimitz immediately after Commander Fravor and his men returned, with their fellow servicemen playing the X-Files music and making fun of them.

And if Disclosure is a mainly American obsession, in the meantime the new US presidential election cycle is already upon us, with one pre-candidate (Andrew Yang) already admitting to be interested in the public. Will History’s Unacknowledged trigger more potential candidates to jump on the UFO bandwagon, or will they stay safely away? Stay tuned.

  1. Look. The primary mission of all branches of the US military is to protect the US from foreign invasions. Therefore, a standardized form of reporting of UFOs (as in unidentified aircraft) is an integral part of that mission. There have recently been reports of high speed, exotic aircraft over the US (the latest over the Pacific NW). That incident might very well have been an airspace incursion by a Chinese or Russian spy plane.

    It’s long been my belief that many US UFO reports (of the fast moving or lights in the sky variety) might be incursions by military/intelligence aircraft belonging to other countries. After all if the US does overflights, why shouldn’t others?

    Besides the days when the US aerospace industry could claim it had the most sophisticated machines on Earth are over. Anyone who believes that is living in the middle of the last century (at least in their own minds).

    So, the Navy’s program is a good start for monitory US skies. The reporting system should be standardized and expanded to the other services as well.

    Is it about disclosure? I would say … not just no, but very likely hell no.

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