UFOs in storage? Findings about alien technology from exhaustive Pentagon review

The review looked at UFO sightings and reports dating back decades.

A wide-ranging Pentagon review of decades of U.S. government investigations into UFO sightings has found no evidence that any of the sightings were extraterrestrial in origin and also found no evidence that the U.S. government or private companies have ever possessed extraterrestrial technology that has been secretly reverse-engineered.

The review of U.S. government records dating back to 1945 was conducted by the Pentagon's All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) which over the past two years has integrated the U.S. government's investigations into UFO or Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) incidents, as required by Congress because of renewed interest as to whether they are extraterrestrial in origin.

"AARO has found no verifiable evidence that any UAP sighting has represented extraterrestrial activity," Tim Phillips, AARO's acting director, told reporters ahead of the 63-page unclassified report's public release on Friday.

"AARO has found no verifiable evidence that the U.S. government or private industry has ever had access to extraterrestrial technology,' he added. "AARO has found no indications that any information was illegally or inappropriately withheld from Congress."

"AARO assesses that alleged hidden UAP programs either do not exist, or were misidentified authentic national security programs unrelated to extraterrestrial technology exploitation," said Phillips. "We assess that claims of such hidden programs are largely the result of circular reporting in which a small group of individuals have repeated inaccurate claims they have heard from others over a period of several decades."

Phillips emphasized that individuals with previous links to the U.S. military or the U.S. government who have stepped forward with some of these claims discounted by the review did so "without malice or any effort to mislead the public."

"Many have sincerely misinterpreted real events, or mistaken sensitive U.S. programs for which they were not cleared as having been related to UAP or extraterrestrial exploitation," he said.

The report highlights several incidents where individuals named authentic classified programs but "the interviewees mistakenly associated these authentic USG programs with alien and extraterrestrial activity."

For example, AARO reviewed a report of a person "overhearing a conversation about a technology test at a military base where "aliens" allegedly were observing, and AARO judges that the interviewee misunderstood the conversation."

The report also details the testing of a sample from an alleged extraterrestrial crash that AARO acquired from a private UAP investigating organization and the U.S. Army that was determined to be "a manufactured, terrestrial alloy" of magnesium, zinc, bismuth, with trace elements of lead that "does not represent off-world technology or possess any exceptional qualities.

The historical review was described by Phillips as the most comprehensive government-wide review ever of classified and unclassified U.S. government records related to UFO incidents.

"Nobody got in our way and said no," said Phillips of how even secretive government agencies provided their historic information to AARO. "When we had people who were slow to agree, the door was eventually opened."

Overall, he said that about half of AARO's 40-person staff were involved in the effort to gather historical information from all federal agencies that had conducted previous reviews of UAP incidents, interviews of witnesses referred by Congress, as well as put together the report that in some cases involved reviewing physical documents held by the National Archives.

The report includes a summary of every major U.S. government investigation of UFO incidents dating back to 1945 well beyond the well-known Project Blue Book and includes some whose existence was declassified for the first time so they could be included in the report.

One of those investigations was "Kona Blue" a proposed program within the Department of Homeland Security that was never fully approved because it was found to lack merit. Advocates for establishing the program "were convinced that the USG (U.S. Government) was hiding UAP technologies" and that Kona Blue would provide a structure where they could be monitored by congressional committees.

"It is critical to note that no extraterrestrial craft or bodies were ever collected," said the report. "This material was only assumed to exist by KONA BLUE advocates and its anticipated contract performers. "

The report assessed that the majority of UAP sightings in earlier decades could be blamed "on the misidentification of ordinary phenomena and objects" and that some were almost certainly were a result of the surge in new technologies that observers would have understandably reported as UFOs."

One of those new technologies that was misidentified in the 1950s was the then secret and newly developed U-2 spy plane that flew at an altitude of 60,000 feet at a time when most planes flew at 20,000 feet. It's high-altitude flights and the sun's reflection at certain points in the horizon "would illuminate the U2" said the report.

The U2 was among the two dozen new airplane and space technologies listed in the report that may have been misidentified as UAP's because their existence was in some cases classified.

Phillips recounted a personal experience he had as an active duty Marine during a training exercise in Arizona that was later determined to have been an encounter with a secret classified military technology under development at that ti.

Phillips said that he and members of his unit could see and hear an object flying overhead, but it did not appear on the radar of the air defense systems they were working on. Yet, they were able to see an object on the system's optical tracker that did not resemble anything they had ever seen before.

They all learned much later that what they had seen was a flight test of the F-117 Nighthawk, the first fighter aircraft to incorporate stealth technology that prevented it from appearing on radar.

"The stealth worked because the radar didn't pick it out" said Phillips. "But to us, we didn't know what that what that was" which he said was a similar experience to what they found in the interviews with UAP witnesses referred to AARO by Congress.

He explained that AARO investigators interviewed witnesses, referred to them by Congress, who provided details of their experiences which in some cases they could cross reference with technological testing at a nearby range that matched what they had described.

"I would have thought it would have been a UAP myself when I actually saw the picture of it," said Phillips. "So these are rational people making observations that just relating to what they know. "

The report describes the interest in UFO's in popular culture "is more pervasive now than ever" and that "the speed of discovery, and the ubiquity of information available through the internet on the topic is unprecedented."

"Aside from hoaxes and forgeries, misinformation and disinformation is more prevalent and easier to disseminate now than ever before, especially with today's advanced photo, video, and computer generated imagery tools," said the report which also cited Internet search and content recommendation algorithms as reinforcing "individuals' preconceptions and confirmation biases."

AARO continues to review new reports of UAP incidents being made by military personnel, as well as by the FAA and NASA. Phillips said that the number of incidents that have been forwarded to AARO now numbers more than 1,200, but that they are able to resolve a good number of them quickly, with 122 resolved in February.

Phillips said that if his office ever determined that a UAP incident was actually determined to be extraterrestrial in origin that information would not become classified because that is not within his office's purview.

"The fact that we don't understand something, it's not necessarily classified," he said.

Phillips told reporters that as part of his office's effort to quickly resolve UAP incidents AARO was working to develop a new portable real time UAP sensor technology known as Gremlin that could be deployed on short notice to national security sites where UAP incidents were reported to have taken place.

"We need to understand what that is," said Phillips. "And so that's why we're developing sensor capability that we can deploy in reaction to reports."

"We already have specified what type of sensors they need to have to capture this in real time and then how that information will be relayed back to us and our mission partners we can analyze it, help them mediate whatever that particular incident is," he said.

Phillips said the new system is currently undergoing range testing to detect profiles for drones, as well as birds and bats, and has provided new insights into other natural occurrences.

"We're learning a lot about solar flaring," said Phillips. "We're really starting to understand what's in orbit around our planet and how we can eliminate those as anomalous objects."