NEW YORK, NY — UFO sightings never really left the news, but they’ve arguably never been more prevalent. Navy pilots recently spoke of seeing mysterious objects — with no discernible engine or exhaust fumes — flying at hypersonic speeds.
President Donald Trump recently said he was briefed on UFOs. A group of Senate lawmakers received a classified briefing this week about such objects. And let’s not get started on that strange Facebook video that seems to show a creepy-looking alien doing some sort of jig down someone’s driveway.
Virginia Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Warner wants answers on UFOs, whether it’s “weather balloons, little green men, or something else entirely,” Rachel Cohen, his spokeswoman, told CNN. And the Navy has drafted guidelines to allow pilots to report UFOs, and so that the military can track them, though the military branch prefers not to use the term “UFO.”
“So, we don’t actually use that term,” Joseph Gradisher, a spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told Patch this week. “We use ‘Unmanned Aerial System.'”
The term, shortened to UAS, refers to things like recreational flying drones people can buy at a store. For the “other” things, the Navy uses the term UAP, meaning “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon.”
“We constitute anything unknown or unidentified in the airspace as an ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon,’ no matter what it is,” he said
See also: ‘Oumuamua’ Space Debris Might Be Alien Tech: Harvard Scientists
According to data compiled by the Center, there were nearly 500 sightings across the country in May and more than 300 in January, March and April. In that spirit, Patch took a peek at the most recent UFO sighting logged in the United States — or UAP, if you prefer — using a database compiled by the National UFO Reporting Center.
Spoiler alert: So far, no little green men have been seen running around.
The most recent tracked sighting was June 6 in Roseville, Minnesota, just east of Minneapolis and north of St. Paul. In that encounter — which lasted all of four seconds — a resident looked to the stars from a deck around 3:10 a.m. and asked the sky for answers.
“I talked really quiet out-loud saying, ‘If there are any aliens up there please show me your space ship; do something,'” the person said, according to the incident report.
Sure enough, an object lit up for two seconds to the east and zoomed north, according to the account.
“I said, ‘Thank you; please do it again,'” the person reported.
And roughly one minute later, the witness saw the same thing, this time to the northeast, and moving in the same direction. The person described it as “what people who see UFOs call a power-up,” but noted it was for a very brief amount of time, almost as if “they only wanted me to see them.” The light was described as being in an oval shape and located about a mile away.
And if that sounds strange, get this — a day earlier, two people reported seeing a stationary disc shape with pulsing green, red, yellow and white lights moving back and forth over San Jose, California. The object was high in the sky and moved with the horizon, according to the incident report. The lights were in a straight horizontal line.
“Looked like five of these lights, which were square-shaped, tilted slightly up so it gave the appearance of a saucer,” the report said.
The Navy seems convinced of the existence of UFOs, telling POLITICO in a statement there were reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft “entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years.”
“For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report,” the statement said.
And Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress, told The New York Times last month he was one of multiple pilots who saw UFOs. The pilots began seeing the objects in 2014 and 2015 after receiving upgraded equipment.
Initially they believed they were getting bad readings.But the sightings kept happening, showing up at 30,000 feet, 20,000 feet and even at sea level. The objects could speed up, slow down and then reach hypersonic speeds.
“These things would be out there all day,” he said. “Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.”