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New federal UFO office worries ufologists

The new UFO office, meant to bring more resources and legitimacy to the study of UFOs, is worrying experts in the community

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The image from video provided by the Department of Defense shows an unexplained object.

The image from video provided by the Department of Defense labeled Gimbal, from 2015, an unexplained object is seen at center as it is tracked as it soars high along the clouds, traveling against the wind.

Department of Defense via Associated Press

A new office was recently signed into law to study “unidentified aerial phenomenon” but it has divided the ufology community.

The new legislation, buried in section 1683 of the National Defense Authorization act, brings more resources and rigor.

  • “Our national security efforts rely on aerial supremacy and these phenomena present a challenge to our dominance,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who spearheaded the measure, per NBC News.
  • “The United States needs a coordinated effort to take control and understand whether these aerial phenomena belong to a foreign government or something else altogether.”

Why is the new office a point of contention?

  • “This is a subject with a provable history of secrecy, and anything that lacks a new openness about the information is subject to more, possibly inappropriate control,” said Ron James, a spokesperson for the Mutual UFO Network, which bills itself as “the oldest and largest UFO organization in the world,” per the report.
  • “We don’t see that this means new resources will be dedicated to the matter. We believe that considerable resources have always been dedicated to the matter at some level inside deep government and industry,” James added.

Luis Elizondo, a former government insider who sparked renewed interest in unidentified aerial phenomena by publicizing video from military aircraft, wrote in an op-ed in the Hill that he is “not convinced (that) burying this (issue) in the deep, dark bowels of the Pentagon under an intelligence organization is the best way to shed light on a topic that needs a whole-of-government approach.” Instead, the government should bring in and rely on outside experts, similar to the problem of climate change.