2023, the Year in Review

 

By George M. Eberhart

 

[Note: This is an excerpt from UFOs and Intelligence: A Timeline, which is kept up to date on the CUFOS website.]

January or February — US Air Force pilots on a test mission out of Eglin AFB, southwest of Valparaiso, Florida, encounter four objects in a diamond formation over the Gulf of Mexico. Upon approaching the objects, described as “orbs,” one of the pilots reports that his radar, video, infrared, and other aircraft security features are malfunctioning. He takes a photo of one of the objects. Later he contacts Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) about the incident. Gaetz is later shown the photo and briefed on the incident at Eglin. A report on the incident is eventually sent on to AARO. (Christopher Saul, “Members of Congress Lambast Eglin General over UFO Information,” Niceville (Fla.) Mid Bay News, July 21, 2023; Christopher Sharp, “U.S. Air Force Reports Mysterious Gulf of Mexico Incident to Pentagon’s UFO Office,” Liberation Times, September 20, 2023; Keith Basterfield, “What Do We Know about the Early 2023 Gulf of Mexico UAP Encounter?” Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena—Scientific Research, September 24, 2023; Rob Coppinger, “Eglin and the UFOs,” Combat Aircraft Journal 24, no. 11 (November 2023): 84–87)

Eminent Domain clause of UAP Disclosure ActJanuary 5 — The pilot of a 56th Fighter Wing F-35 conducting a training sortie in the Gladden Military Operations Area in Arizona makes radar contact with a UFO at 18,700 feet. (Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway, “Pilots Are Seeing Some Very Strange Things in Arizona’s Military Training Ranges,” The Drive: The War Zone, August 2, 2023)

January 12 — The Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases its second UAP report to the general public. It was originally due on October 31, 2022, but has been delayed. Among the most notable takeaways in the report, its authors tell us that “In addition to the 144 UAP reports covered during the 17 years of UAP reporting included in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) preliminary assessment, there have been 247 new reports and another 119 that were either since discovered or reported after the preliminary assessment’s time period. This totals 510 UAP reports as of 30 August 2022. Additional information is provided in the classified version of this report,” the authors state.” 510 total UAP reports, which includes 26 characterized as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or UAS-like entities, 163 characterized as balloon or balloon-like entities, and 6 attributed to clutter.” That leaves a grand total of 171 reports that remain “uncharacterized and unattributed,” and which “appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities and require further analysis.” Page 6 of the unclassified report features a short section addressing flight safety and health issues associated with UAP; although there have been no confirmed health issues, the report hints there may have been suspected issues.  (John Greenewald, “U.S. Government Releases 2nd UAP/UFO Report to the Public,” The Black Vault, January 12, 2023; Micah Hanks, “The 2022 Annual Report on UAP: Four Significant Takeaways You Probably Missed,” The DeBrief, January 19, 2023)

January 15 — Footage that shows an object with an apparent atmospheric wake or cavitation trailing it is taken on infrared film by an MQ-9 Reaper drone in an undisclosed location in South Asia. AARO’s Sean M. Kirkpatrick says that the object at first appeared anomalous, but after further study, AARO identified it as a commercial aircraft and the cavitation was a sensor artifact resulting from video compression. (John Greenewald, “DoD Releases New UFO/UAP Videos They Believe They Identified—South Asia—01/15/2023,” The Black Vault, April 19, 2023)

January 19 — An F-16 Viper fighter jet flying in the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range in Arizona collides in mid-air with an “orange-white UAS.” The supposed drone strikes the fighter’s canopy. (Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway, “Pilots Are Seeing Some Very Strange Things in Arizona’s Military Training Ranges,” The Drive: The War Zone, August 2, 2023)

January 20 — An F-35 flying out of Luke AFB is conducting a training sortie in restricted airspace above the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range in Arizona has three encounters with small unknown objects. The first is detected at 20,000 feet in the northeastern section of the Sells Military Operations Area traveling eastbound at 100 knots. The second is detected at 33,000 feet traveling westbound at 0.75 Mach. The third is detected at 26,000 feet, traveling eastbound at approximately 100 knots. (Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway, “Pilots Are Seeing Some Very Strange Things in Arizona’s Military Training Ranges,” The Drive: The War Zone, August 2, 2023)

January 29 — 11:15 p.m. A Canadian North air crew from Fort McMurray watches two unidentified yellow lights maneuvering east of the airfield at Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The lights then shift to 10 nautical miles northwest of the city. The air traffic controller can see nothing and has no radar targets. (“Canadian North Crew Reports ‘Lights in Sky’ over Yellowknife,” Cabin Radio, February 11, 2023)

 

February — Early morning. Pilots in two different aircraft observe a fast-moving, elongated white object in an undisclosed location in the US. The incident report states that the pilot “observed [the] unexplained phenomenon at my 2 o’clock at what appeared to be near my altitude or above. I am not sure the distance. At first I thought it to be a reflection in my windscreen, but after moving my head around and point of view, the object stayed steady.” “The object appeared rectangular or oblong and milky white,” the pilot states. “My First Officer (FO) returned from the forward [lavatory] and observed the object moving briskly southbound with me after I asked him ‘what is that’. It moved at steady speed southbound and disappeared.” “I regret not taking a video, but was taken by what I was seeing,” the pilot adds about the fleeting encounter. Within minutes, the pilot receives radio communication from a nearby ARTCC asking “if anyone had seen the light or object.” “Another flight captained by a friend also witnessed the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), along with numerous other aircraft,” the pilot writes. “I have never witnessed anything like it in almost 30 years of flying.” (Micah Hanks, “Pilot UFO Sightings Collected by NASA Reveal Serious Safety Concerns over Objects in US Airspace,” The Debrief, August 29, 2023)

February 1 —Eight or nine UAP are detected over the Arctic Circle, and NORAD fighter jets are scrambled in an unsuccessful attempt to intercept them. The objects maneuver away at high speed. (Ross Coulthart, “UAP Spotted over Arctic Circle Days before Chinese Spy Balloon,” NewsNation, November 2, 2023)

February 4 — The US Air Force shoots down a Chinese-operated high-altitude balloon over US territorial waters off the coast of South Carolina on the orders of US President Joe Biden. Debris from the wreckage is recovered and sent to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis. The balloon was first spotted in US airspace above the Aleutian Islands on January 28. The American and Canadian militaries announce that the balloon is for surveillance, while the Chinese government maintains it is a civilian (mainly meteorological) airship that has been blown off course. The US says that the balloon is capable of geolocating electronic communications and carries intelligence surveillance equipment inconsistent with that of a weather balloon. It adds that similar Chinese spy balloons have flown over more than 40 nations. Analysts say that its flight path and structural characteristics are unlike those of a typical weather balloon. American officials later disclose that they have been tracking the Chinese balloon since it was launched from Hainan. Its original destinations were likely Guam and Hawaii, but prevailing winds blew it off course and across North America. The balloon is able to communicate with Beijing using a US internet service provider. (Wikipedia, “2023 Chinese Balloon Incident”; Joseph Trevithick, “Our First Look at Chinese Spy Balloon Debris Being Recovered,” The Drive: The War Zone, February 7, 2023; Ron Drost, “The Chinese Balloon and Reflections from a MUFON Field Investigator as an Eyewitness, MUFON Journal, no. 660 (April 2023): 17; Debbie Ziegelmeyer, “My Personal Encounter with the Chinese Spy Balloon,MUFON Journal, no. 660 (April 2023): 18, 22; Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee, “U.S. Intelligence Officials Determined the Chinese Spy Balloon Used a U.S. Internet Provider to Communicate,” NBC News, December 28, 2023)

February 6 — Chris Rutkowski releases the Ufology Research report on 768 Canadian UFO sightings of 2022, an increase of about 6% over 2021. He notes that one person in Quebec had reported nearly 40 separate sightings, which may account for the higher number. About 8% of the Canadian reports for 2022 are classified as unexplained, while 14% are explained. Another 44% match the description of a conventional object and therefore have a probable explanation, while 34% lack sufficient evidence. Around the same time, UFO Sverige releases a summary report on the 241 cases the Swedish group received in 2022. Most are IFOs (86) or Insufficient information (62). Only one report, from Onsala, Sweden, on April 2, 2022, could be considered genuinely unexplained, in which a couple observed two flying triangles with lights on the bottom, flying silently west, much faster than an aircraft. (Chris Rutkowski, “The 2022 Canadian UFO Survey,” Ufology Research, February 6, 2023; Chris Rutkowski, “‘Closer Eye to the Skies’: Researcher Sees Uptick in Sightings of UFOs,” Canadian Press, February 16, 2023; UFO-Sverige, “Rapportstatistik 2022”)

February 10 — Another high-altitude object is shot down in the vicinity of Deadhorse, Alaska, over the Beaufort Sea. The Department of Defense says it is the size of a small car and flying northeast at approximately 40,000 feet, posing a risk to civilian flights. The pilots say the object looks metallic and breaks into pieces. They lose sight of the material as it falls into the clouds. Recovery efforts by the Alaska National Guard flying Chinooks and Black Hawks over the sea ice fail to turn up any debris. (Wikipedia, “2023 Alaska High-Altitude Object”; Howard Altman and Joseph Trevithick, “F-22 Shoots Down ‘Object’ Flying High over Alaskan Waters (Updated),” The Drive: The War Zone, February 10, 2023; Katie Rogers, “Inside the Hunt for U.F.O.s at the End of the World,New York Times, February 20, 2023; Seth H. Feinstein, “Sleight of Hand: An Analysis to Identify the Three Objects Shot Down in February,MUFON Journal, no. 660 (April 2023): 10–12; “Read ‘Secret’ Memo for Trudeau on Unidentified Object Shot Down over Yukon,” CTV News, September 5, 2023; Howard Altman and Tyler Rogoway, “Secret Memo Raises More Questions about UFO Shootdowns over Alaska, Canada,” The Drive: The War Zone, September 6, 2023)

February 11 — On previous orders of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a “small, cylindrical object” is shot down over the Yukon Territory for violating Canadian air space. Both Canadian and US aircraft are scrambled, and a US F-22 jet fighter makes the kill with an AIM-9X missile. (Wikipedia, “2023 Yukon High-Altitude Object”; Stetson Payne, “F-22 Shoots Down Another Object, This Time over Canada (Updated),” The Drive: The War Zone, February 11, 2023; Howard Altman and Tyler Rogoway, “Secret Memo Raises More Questions about UFO Shootdowns over Alaska, Canada,” The Drive: The War Zone, September 6, 2023)

February 11 — R. Chase Cockrell, Linda Murphy, and Mark Rodeghier publish a study showing that there was no significant increase in the number of UFO reports in 2020, as compared to 2019. They suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic, during which many people were staying at home and experiencing more anxiety and stress, did not result in an increase of reported UFOs, especially when the number of sightings involving Starlink satellite launches were factored out. (R. Chase Cockrell, Linda Murphy, and Mark Rodeghier, “Social Factors and UFO Reports: Was the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Associated with an Increase in UFO Reporting?Journal of Scientific Exploration 36, no. 4 (2023): 641–656)

February 12 — The US Air Force and National Guard shoot down a third small object above Lake Huron within the maritime territory of Michigan. It is octagonal with strings hanging down from it and is first detected on February 11 northern Montana, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at 20,000 feet. Airspace is temporarily closed in the Lake Huron area where the object is shot down, falling into Canadian waters. (Wikipedia, “2023 Lake Huron High-Altitude Object”; Howard Altman and Tyler Rogoway, “F-16 Shoots Down ‘Octagonal Object’ over Lake Huron (Updated),” The Drive: The War Zone, February 12, 2023; Thomas Newdick, “Listen to F-16 Pilots Intercept the Octagon Object over Lake Huron,” The Drive: The War Zone, February 13, 2023)

February 14 — The US government announces that the three high-altitude objects that were shot down are likely private enterprises with no relation to China. Further analysis and debris collection are suspended on February 17, and the Pentagon announces it has no plans to release any images of the high-altitude objects it shot down. One US intelligence official reveals that the objects all behaved like balloons and that RF and VHF signals were also detected from the objects during daylight hours, which is consistent with transmissions from small payloads carried by some hobbyist balloons. (Tyler Rogoway, “Why Wreckage of the Three Shot Down Objects Is So Hard to Find,” The Drive: The War Zone, February 15, 2023; Katie Rogers, “Inside the Hunt for U.F.O.s at the End of the World,New York Times, February 20, 2023; Tim McMillan, “Pentagon: No Plans to Release Images of Unidentified Objects from Recent Shootdowns,” The DeBrief, February 24, 2023)

February 21 — US Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), and Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) meet with USAF Brig. Gen. Jeffrey T. Geraghty at Eglin Air Force Base on February 21 to talk about intelligence collection threats. When they switch the topic to UAPs, Geraghty cannot brief them because Burchett and Luna lack the proper clearances. (Christopher Saul, “Members of Congress Lambaste Eglin General over UFO Information,” Mid Bay News (Niceville, Florida), July 21, 2023)

February 28 — Former Navy pilot Ryan Graves says that stray research balloons are not the real UAP problem and launches a new group, Americans for Safe Aerospace, that will support pilots and other aerospace professionals who are reporting UAP. (Ryan Graves, “We Have a Real UFO Problem. And It’s Not Balloons,” Politico: Magazine, February 28, 2023)

 

March 1 — The Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada announces that it has launched a study, called Sky Canada Project, to examine how UFO reports are gathered in the country and recommend improvements, if necessary. The project plans to collect information this winter and spring before preparing an internal draft report in the fall, and a final public report in the winter or spring of 2024. The last time the Canadian government was involved with UFO reports was in 1995 when the National Research Council of Canada stopped collecting reports. (“Document Reveals First Known Canadian UFO Study in Nearly 30 Years Now Underway,” CTVNews, March 1, 2023)

March 1 — Eamonn J. Ansbro of the Kingsland Observatory in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland, says the facility has recorded about 40 instances of “balls of light” in the vicinity of Lough Key since the year 2000. The observatory’s camera tracking system has recorded them numerous times, but the images are usually fuzzy. He speculates that this is “because we are dealing with a … new space-time situation within the objects as they are casting their light. The whole time dilation is different … that’s why we get the fuzzy images.” (“UFO Hotspot Ireland Identified As Astronomer Says 40 Incidents Reported at Observatory,” Galway (Ireland) Beo, February 28, 2023)

March 1 — Seven US intelligence agencies release a report, following an extensive investigation, stating that they can find no evidence supporting the use of a directed weapon by a foreign adversary in the Havana syndrome cases. Nor can they find a pattern or common set of conditions that link individual cases. One official says that analysts spent months churning data, looking for patterns and inventing new analytic methodologies, only to come up with no single plausible explanation. (Shane Harris and John Hudson, “’Havana Syndrome’ Not Caused by Energy Weapon or Foreign Adversary, Intelligence Review Finds,Washington Post, March 1, 2023)

March 4 — 8:00 p.m. Billy Hallmon and his family observe a boomerang-shaped object at the Marfa Lights Viewing Area near Alpine, Texas, in addition to a traditional ghost light earlier, just after dark. The object is the size of a jumbo jet and is bounded by rows of steady white lights with a pulsing red light in the center. They watch it for several minutes as it slowly disappears to the west-northwest about 30 miles beyond Marfa. (Billy Hallmon, “Marfa Lights and UFOs: We Saw Them Both,” Medium, March 12, 2023)

March 7 — Harvard Astronomer Avi Loeb and AARO Director Sean M. Kirkpatrick publish a paper in which they speculate that if there are any extraterrestrial space probes in the earth’s atmosphere, they likely do not contain any biological entities and are more likely piloted by artificial intelligence. (Abraham (Avi) Loeb and Sean M. Kirkpatrick, “Physical Constraints on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, March 7, 2023)

March 21 — A Scientific Coalition of UAP Studies paper by Larry J. Hancock, Ian M. Porritt, and others suggests that the reported UFO activities at US nuclear facilities from 1945 to 1975 “were not random, but rather focused and indicative of intelligent activity.” Moderately elevated UAP activity was associated with bases where atomic weapons were operationally deployed (Air Force and Navy). Distinctive patterns of UAP activity were noted in conjunction with the deployment of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles, and other individual and distinctive patterns of UAP incident reports were noted for different types of atomic weapons complex sites. (Larry J. Hancock, Ian M. Porritt, et al., “UAP Pattern Recognition Study 1945–1975 US Military Atomic Warfare Complex,” Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies, March 21, 2023)

March 22 — Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon–Souris, Manitoba, writes a letter to Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand suggesting that the country has participated in a secret multi-nation program with the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand that is devoted to “the recovery and exploitation” of material from UFOs. Citing meetings with unnamed American officials, Maguire suggests Defence Research and Development Canada “is in possession of recovered UAP material” and that it is “essential” that Canada’s chief science advisor be informed of the program. (“Manitoba MP Suggests Canada, Allies Aware of ‘Recovered UAP’ or UFO Materials in Note to Defence Minister,” CBC News, June 25, 2023)

March 26 — After 11:00 p.m. Several residents of Castrop-Rauxel, North Rhine–Westphalia, Germany, observe a point of light against the clouds. A cellphone video taken of the phenomenon seems to show another sphere leaving a trail of light in the air and through the clouds. The duration of 3 hours hints at a searchlight, with the video an artifact of the camera. (Andreas Müller, “Kurioses Lichterschauspiel am Himmel über Castrop-Rauxel,” grenzWissenschaft-aktuell.de, April 3, 2023)

March 28 — The US Navy denies a FOIA request by The Black Vault to provide financial records for its UAP Task Force, a group that was replaced in 2021 by the forerunner of AARO. The Navy claims exemptions on the basis of national security and because some existing records are only in draft form. (John Greenewald, “UAP Task Force Budget Details Denied,” The Black Vault, March 28, 2023)

March 28 — During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) questions senior Pentagon officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, about the budget request for the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office—specifically why it appears to be underfunded for the second year in a row. Austin pledges to fully fund the office in the future and says the Pentagon has requested $11 million for its research in the fiscal year 2024 budget, although this figure is disputed at another point in the hearing. (Zamone Perez, “Congress Calls for More Funding of Pentagon UFO Office,” Observation Post: Military Times, March 31, 2023)

 

April — Morning. A pilot flying an air carrier out of an undisclosed airfield in New York State encounters a dark-colored object potentially “as large as a small business-type jet aircraft” that is also detected on the radar of the nearest air traffic control center. “During climb out on departure,” a portion of the pilot’s report reads, “we encountered an unidentified flying object or phenomena of some sort,” which reportedly occurs between the MSLIN and STOMP FIX geographical positions. “The object was brought to our attention by ATC when they advised us of a primary radar target that was at our 9 o’clock position within a half-mile distance,” the pilot states in the report. “The close proximity of the traffic advisory raised our attention to the threat.” The pilot states that the object is observed close to the 8 o’clock position on the captain’s side of the aircraft flying at the same altitude of 25,000 feet above mean sea level at the time the first visual contact is made. The object or aircraft seems to maintain its track, moving to the 7 o’clock position relative to the reporter’s aircraft, at which time it is no longer deemed a potential threat. The object, which cannot be identified by the pilot, is described as potentially being some kind of large unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or possibly “a single ship military fighter/trainer aircraft,” which the pilot judges to have been traveling at least 200 knots. (Micah Hanks, “Pilot UFO Sightings Collected by NASA Reveal Serious Safety Concerns over Objects in US Airspace,” The Debrief, August 29, 2023)

April 4? — A UAP (possible balloon) is spotted near the Leningradskaya AES, a nuclear plant in Sosnovy Bor, west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. The object is said to be moving “at the speed of wind”—although another estimate gives 124 mph—at an altitude of 33,000 feet. The alert triggers a “special response status” by the Russian military. (Tass, April 5, 2023; “UFO Spotted Flying near Russian Nuclear Plant Spooks Local Authorities,Newsweek, April 6, 2023)

April 5 — Ash Ellis’s “UK UFO Report 2022” suggests there were 497 sightings in total for the UK in 2022, with the vast majority (411) reported from England. This is an increase of 20% over the previous year’s total of 413. (Ash Ellis, “UK UFO Report 2022,” April 2023)

April 19 — Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the US All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, testifies before a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee on the progress his group has made in investigating UAP. By now it has logged some 650 incidents, with half of them prioritized for further study. However, only 20–30 cases are halfway through a rigorous identification process, and only a handful are closed. He cautions that many will probably be regarded as lacking sufficient evidence and, despite speculation in his recent article with Avi Loeb, he has not yet found any evidence of extraterrestrial technology. Kirkpatrick shares AARO data collected about the most common characteristics of the UAPs sighted, statistical patterns that the US military has declined to share in the past. UAPs, he says, are “mostly round, mostly one to four meters, white, silver, translucent metallic.” They are observed “at between 10,000 to 30,000 feet with apparent velocities from stationary to Mach 2 (about 1,535mph). No thermal exhausts usually detected. We get intermittent radar returns. We get intermittent radio returns and we get their thermal signatures. That’s what we’re looking for. And trying to understand what that is.” Although he says that there is “no credible” evidence to indicate UAP are extraterrestrial, that may just be an indication that the group is employing cautious, objective methodology to assess cases. Kirkpatrick gives some hints that his group is experiencing pushback by other US intelligence agencies as well as administrative obstacles. The open hearing is preceded by a closed-door hearing by the Senate committee. (Connor O’Brien, “UFO Sightings Are Up, But No Proof of Aliens Yet, Pentagon Official Says,” Politico, April 19, 2023; Howard Altman, “Pentagon UFO Czar Says Nothing Indicates Objects Are ET, Some May Be Chinese,” The Drive: The War Zone, April 19, 2023; Tim McMillan, “Here Are the Major Takeaways You Missed from the Recent Senate Hearing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” The Debrief, April 26, 2023)

April 20 — German professor of space technology Hakan Kayal launches a series of summer-semester lectures at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg on “Fundamentals and Methods of UAP Research.” Kayal has founded the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Extraterrestrial Studies (IFEX) at the University of Würzburg, a cross-institutional scientific institution of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. (“First Lecture on Sky Phenomena,” Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, March 10, 2023)

April 26 — 9:00 a.m. A witness is driving east on Killam Drive near the Wheeler Boulevard overpass in Moncton, New Brunswick, when he sees a white object with two windows hovering about 500 feet above the Moncton Coliseum. It fades out of sight or into the clouds by the time he reaches Millennium Drive. He estimates it is 70 feet wide with extensions that might be wings. (Bob Spearing, “Were MUFON Cases #130602 & 130105 a Stealth B-21 Raider?” Mutual UFO Network news, November 13, 2023)

 

May — The Turin, Italy–based UFO Phenomena International Annual Review (UPIAR) publishes The Reliability of UFO Witness Testimony, edited by Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos and Richard W. Heiden, which covers UFO case studies, psychological perspectives, empirical research, and epistemological issues. (Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos, The Reliability of UFO Witness Testimony, May 2023; Nigel Watson, “Reliable Witnesses: A Guide to the Evidence: Part One and Two,” Magonia, July 2023)

May 13 — Galileo Project scientists publish an article in the Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation that outlines a plan to detect UAP using ground-based cameras, radar, radio spectrum analyzers, microphones, and environmental sensors. (Wesley Andrés Watters, et al., “The Scientific Investigation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Using Multimodal Ground-Based Observatories,Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation, May 13, 2023)

May 20 — At least 18 flights are suspended at Gaziantep Oğuzeli International Airport in Gaziantep, Turkey, after a commercial aircraft reports an alleged UFO on its radar at 9,000 feet. Air traffic control is also said to have detected the target. Flights resume 12 hours later. (“Report: Turkish Airport Suspends Flights for 12 Hours Following ‘UFO Sighting,’New Straits Times (Malaysia), May 20, 2023)

May 20 — 9:22 p.m. Airport cameras in Cairns, Queensland, record a rare occurrence of a green bolide that gives off a brilliant flash of light that can be seen for miles and a loud bang that stuns local residents. (Harry Baker, “Rare Green Fireball Explodes over Australia, Creating Bright Flash Visible for Hundreds of Miles,” Space.com, May 25, 2023)

May 22 — Some 19% of 1,460 respondents to a survey of academics report that they or someone they know have witnessed unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) and 37% report some degree of interest in conducting research into UAP. Marissa Yingling and Charlton Yingling from the University of Louisville, and Bethany A. Bell from the University of Virginia surveyed professors, associate professors, and assistant professors from 144 US universities across 14 academic disciplines in 2022. The survey was sent to 39,984 academics and the response rate was 4%. (Marissa E. Yingling, Charlton W. Yingling, and Bethany A. Bell, “Faculty Perceptions of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 10 (May 23, 2023).

May 22 — 9:30 a.m. After China Airlines Flight CI152 reports a suspected drone-like object about 1,000 feet above a runway at Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan, the airport suspends takeoffs and landings for about 40 minutes. (“‘Unidentified Flying Object’ Forces Closure of Taiwan Taoyuan Airport,Taiwan News, May 22, 2023)

May 29 — 7:53 p.m. A Morningstar Aircraft is flying above Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, when the flight crew observes an object about 6 feet in height with a white dome and a red device underneath it. It is less than half a mile from the airplane. (Chris Rutkowski, “Mining the Transport Canada Incident Reports for UFOs,” Ufology Research, July 25, 2023)

May 31 — 10:30 a.m. Members of a NASA independent study team hold a public briefing on its efforts to categorize and evaluate data related to UAP in a meeting that includes participation from Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration officials. During opening statements, Daniel Evans, assistant deputy associate administrator for research with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, expresses concern that several of the study members have been subjected to online abuse for serving on the panel. AARO Director Sean Kirkpatrick adds that he and members of his team have experienced similar issues. Team leader David Spergel makes the point repeatedly that their efforts have been hampered by data that has not been collected by properly calibrated instrumentation and that eyewitness testimony alone is insufficient for analysis. Kirkpatrick offers an update on AARO’s findings, which now encompass some 800 cases due to recently acquired FAA information. He notes that only a small number (perhaps 2–5%) demonstrate any anomalous characteristics, and he makes several recommendations for UAP studies that NASA could address. Kirkpatrick also reveals that AARO has developed “purpose-built” sensors to investigate key areas of UAP activity and improve the data that can be collected. Michael Freie, technical advisor at the FAA’s Air Traffic Surveillance Services Office, speaks about his agency’s surveillance systems and the 3–5 UAP reports per month that it collects. Paula Bontempi, dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, speaks about NASA’s focus on transparency and the availability of information the agency produces, adding that NASA’s experience with long-term missions makes it well-equipped to study UAP. David Grinspoon, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, addresses the potential relevance of several existing NASA efforts to the study of UAP, despite there being no evidence study members have found that could link such aerial phenomena with extraterrestrial technologies. Joshua Semeter, director of the Center for Space Physics at Boston University, notes that cases involving infrared and other sensory detections of UAP collected with advanced tracking systems in use by the US military allow for direct calculations of parameters that include altitude and velocity. Based on such information, Semeter says that the object in the 2015 “Go Fast” video footage is not moving as quickly as the footage seems to convey, a conclusion consistent with a previous analysis that concludes the parallax effect could account for the apparent speed of the object. Offering reflections from his experience in space, former astronaut Scott Kelly notes that the space environment is “conducive to optical illusions,” adding a few of his own observations that initially caused him to consider whether he had been observing UFOs. Mike Gold, former NASA associate administrator for space policy and partnerships, recommends a permanent office within NASA to collect and archive UAP information. Asked if there is any evidence that NASA has come across indicating that UAPs may result from non-human intelligence, Anamaria Berea, associate professor of computational and data science at George Mason University, responds that it was “not a question you can answer very quickly with yes or no.” A public report detailing the findings of NASA’s UAP study is expected to be made available by the end of July. (Micah Hanks, “NASA Study Team on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Calls for Better Data, Ending Harassment and Stigmas,” The Debrief, May 31, 2023; John Greenewald, “NASA’s Public UAP Meeting Held May 31, 2023,” The Black Vault, June 1, 2023; Howard Altman, “Pentagon Now Actively Hunting for UFOs with Purpose-Built Sensors,” TheDrive: TheWarZone, June 1, 2023; Brent Tingley, “UFOs Worth Investigating Despite Lack of ‘Real Evidence,’ Former Astronaut Scott Kelly Says,” Space.com, June 2, 2023)

 

June 3 — Frank Kimbler and Chuck Zukowski find, with a metal detector, several small pieces of metal at the site of the Roswell debris field near Corona, New Mexico. Testing by a metallurgical lab in Denver, Colorado, finds that the metal is a non-registered aluminum alloy in the 6000 series. (Chuck Zukowski, “More Metal Found at the Famed Roswell Debris Site, As Recent As June 3rd, 2023!” UFOnut, June 16, 2023; Chuck Zukowski, “Press Release: Piece of Metal Found at the 1947 Roswell Debris Site on 06/03/23, Is Aluminum Alloy!” UFOnut, June 23, 2023; Chuck Zukowski, “Anomalous Metal Alloy Found at 1947 Roswell Crash Debris Site!” UFOnut, August 4, 2023)

June 3 — 10:00 a.m. Four witnesses in a parking lot across from the Meijer’s grocery store in Bad Axe, Michigan, hear a loud noise and see two military airplanes flying together. They appear to be interested in a white, metallic disc that overtakes the jets, hovers, spins, and outmaneuvers them. The jets apparently shoot some type of flares at it. The witnesses describe the maneuvers as a dogfight. After three attempts, the jets move away. The disc silently shoots off in the opposite direction. (“Fighter Jets Circle UAP in Michigan on June 3,” National UFO Reporting Center, June 6, 2023; Mark Birdsall, “Something Happened in the Skies over Bad Axe on June 3—But What?Huron (Mich.) Daily Tribune, June 16, 2023)

June 3 — Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Christopher Mellon writes that he has referred to AARO four witnesses who claim to have knowledge of a secret government program “involving the analysis and exploitation of materials recovered from off-world craft.” He says that AARO did not find any “verifiable information to substantiate” these claims, and insists that it is time for disclosure. (Christopher Mellon, “If the Government Has UFO Crash Materials, It’s Time to Reveal Them,” Politico Magazine, June 3, 2023)

June 5 — Journalists Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal release a report on former Air Force officer David Charles Grusch’s claims that the US intelligence community has recovered both intact and partially intact versions of vehicles “of exotic origin (non-human intelligence, whether extraterrestrial or unknown origin)” for several decades. His assessment is “based on the vehicle morphologies and material science testing and the possession of unique atomic arrangements and radiological signatures.” Grusch has not seen any of this material, thus his allegations only concern secondhand information relayed to him from other sources. He also hints that there has been a terrestrial arms race “for the past 80 years focused on reverse engineering technologies of unknown origin.” At the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Grusch served as a senior intelligence capabilities integration officer, cleared at the Top Secret/Secret Compartmented Information level, and was the agency’s senior technical advisor for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena analysis/Trans-Medium issues. From 2016 to 2021, he served with the National Reconnaissance Office as senior intelligence officer and led the production of the NRO director’s daily briefing. Grusch was a GS-15 civilian, the military equivalent of a colonel. Grusch has prepared many briefs on UAP for Congress while in government and helped draft the language on UAP for the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act, spearheaded by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and signed into law by President Joe Biden in December 2022. The provision states that any person with relevant UAP information can inform Congress without retaliation, regardless of any previous non-disclosure agreements. Although Grusch’s background supports the knowledge he claims to have, his revelations are treated with some degree of skepticism by ufologists and the media, the key point being that he has publicly offered no documentation or tangible evidence to support his claims. In an interview with NewsNation, Grusch adds the claim that the US government also has alien bodies in its possession. (Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal, “Intelligence Officials Say U.S. Has Retrieved Craft of Non-Human Origin,” The Debrief, June 5, 2023; “Military Whistleblower Claims US Has UFO Retrieval Program | Elizabeth Vargas Reports,” NewsNation YouTube channel, June 6, 2023; Marina Koren, “Why Everyone Is Suddenly Talking about Aliens,The Atlantic, June 7, 2023; John Greenewald, “Exploring the ‘UFO Whistleblower’ Story,” The Black Vault Originals YouTube channel, June 7, 2023; Kevin D. Randle, “David D. Grusch and the Latest Crash Retrieval Story,” A Different Perspective, June 8, 2023)

June 8 — Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) announces that the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on David Grusch’s claims of retrieved non-human technology. (“House of Representatives to Hold Hearing on Whistleblower’s UFO Claims,The Guardian, June 8, 2023)

June 9 — The FAA Reauthorization Bill is introduced by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. It includes language that will task the Federal Aviation Administration with tracking objects deemed to be a risk resulting from airborne debris. (Micah Hanks, “New Bill Directs FAA to Track Airborne Objects That May Pose Collision Threat to Aviators,” The Debrief, June 14, 2023)

June 12–16 — The Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies presents three papers on UAP at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aviation Forum in San Diego, California. (Kevin Wright, “SCU Papers Presented at AIAA 2023 Aviation Forum Now Available to the Public,” Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies, August 11, 2023)

June 14 — The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence unanimously approves, in a closed-door session, legislation containing language that appears intended to dig out any UAP-associated technology that is or ever was controlled by the federal government. The provisions are part of the FY 2024 Intelligence Authorization Act (S. 2103). The language requires “any person currently or formerly under contract with the Federal Government that has in their possession material or information provided by or derived from the Federal Government relating to unidentified anomalous phenomena that formerly or currently is protected by any form of special access or restricted access” to notify the director of AARO within 60 days of enactment, and to provide within 6 months “a comprehensive list of all non-earth origin or exotic unidentified anomalous phenomena material” possessed and to make it available to the AARO director for “assessment, analysis, and inspection.” (Douglas Dean Johnson, “Senate Intelligence Bill Gives Holders of ‘Non-Earth Origin or Exotic UAP Material’ Six Months to Make It Available to AARO,” Mirador, June 24, 2023)

June 15–23 — Harvard University Astronomer Avi Loeb’s Galileo Project Expedition to the Pacific Ocean off Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, to find debris from the 2014 interstellar meteor CNEOS 2014-01-08 (or IM1) turns up more than 50 odd, sub-millimeter-sized spherules on the ocean floor. The composition analysis implies 84% iron, 8% silicon, 4% magnesium, and 2% titanium, plus trace elements. They show evidence for a rapid heating event consistent with a meteoritic fall. A preliminary analysis also indicates an age of 14 billion years ago for two of the spherules. Some scientists respond with skepticism. Matthew Genge, a planetary scientist at Imperial College London who specializes in meteorites, said that connecting the spheres with the 2014 fireball—or any meteorite fragments with any other meteor—is impossible. “Meteorite ablation debris has been found, but not from an instrumentally observed fireball,” he writes. “There never has been a micrometeorite derived from a specific fireball event, and never will be, since it is an impossibility.” However, University of Chicago astronomer Patricio A. Gallardo thinks the debris is coal ash, others blame industrial pollutants, while planetary and space scientist Monica Grady suspects the spherules might be from nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. (Wikipedia, “CNEOS 2014-01-08”; Becky Ferreira, “Scientists Are Hunting for Alien Objects in the Ocean, and They’ve Just Found Something,” Vice: Motherboard, June 21, 2023; Avi Loeb, “Summary of the Successful Interstellar Expedition,” Medium: Avi Loeb, July 3, 2023; Brett Tingley, “Interstellar Meteor Fragments Found? Harvard Astronomer’s Claim Sparks Debate, Criticism,” Space.com, July 20, 2023; Ethan Siegel, “Harvard Astronomer’s ‘Alien Spherules’ Are Industrial Pollutants,” Big Think, November 14, 2023; Katherine Fidler, “Shocking New Twist in Harvard UFO Hunter’s Search for Aliens,Metro (UK), November 15, 2023; Avi Loeb, “New Knowledge Must Be Learned, Not Preached,” Medium: Avi Loeb, November 16, 2023 )

June 16 — The French Aeronautical and Astronautical Association’s UAP technical committee, “Sigma 2,” holds its first international conference in Paris on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. Designed to give an overview of ongoing scientific research, the day-long event centers around optical observables, the different ways and methods to record UAP, and specific optical signatures that can be used to help identify them. Speakers include Alain Juillet, former senior economic intelligence officer to the French Prime Minister; Beatriz Villarroel, astronomer at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics in Stockholm, Sweden; Massimo Teodorani, an astrophysicist collaborating with the Society for UAP Studies; and Jacques Vallée, who talked about the estimation of optical power output by UAP. (Baptiste Friscourt, “Astronomers, Scientists, and Experts Convene in Paris, France, to Study Aerial Mysteries,” The Debrief, June 21, 2023)

June 26 — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence, states that “There are people who have come forward to share information [on UAP] with our committee over the last couple of years. I would imagine some of them are potentially some of the same people perhaps [Grusch is] referring to.” (Aleks Phillips, “Marco Rubio Claims Top US Officials Coming Forward with UFO Claims,Newsweek, June 27, 2023)

June 29 — Researcher Chuck Zukowski finds more small metallic fragments at the Roswell debris field near Corona, New Mexico. Tests at a metallurgical lab in Denver, Colorado, under a Scanning Electron Microscope show that this debris is a 3000 series aluminum alloy. (Chuck Zukowski, “More Debris Found on 06/29/23 at Roswell’s 1947 Crash Site!” UFOnut, July 3, 2023; Chuck Zukowski, “Anomalous Metal Alloy Found at 1947 Roswell Crash Debris Site!” UFOnut, August 4, 2023)

 

July 6 — A Redfield and Wilton Strategies poll of US eligible voters finds that 57% of the respondents believe that the US government has more information on UFOs and alien life than it publicly shares, with 21% not sharing that opinion and 22% uncertain. (“UFO Suspicions High as Ex-intelligence Officer’s Claims to Be Investigated,Newsweek, July 10, 2023)

July 13 — Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), along with a bipartisan group of five other senators, introduces the UAP Disclosure Act that would establish an independent, nine-member agency to collect, review, and declassify UAP records. The law would mandate that all government UFO documents “carry a presumption of immediate [public] disclosure.” Following a recommendation from the review board, the legislation establishes the President as the “sole and nondelegable authority to disclose” UFO-related records to the public. A provision in the amendment declares that “any and all recovered [UFOs] and biological evidence of non-human intelligence that may be controlled by private persons or entities” shall be transferred to the US government “in the interests of the public good.” The legislation also refers to “non-human intelligence” two dozen times and defines “legacy programs” as UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering efforts. (Micah Hanks, “The ‘UAP Disclosure Act of 2023’: What We Know about Chuck Schumer and the Senate’s New push for UAP Transparency,” The Debrief, July 14, 2023; Andrew Stuttaford, “UFOs and Eminent Domain,National Review, July 16, 2023; Marik von Rennenkampff, “‘Non-Human Intelligence’: Schumer Proposes Stunning New UFO Legislation,” The Hill, July 18, 2023; Dustin Slaughter, “UAP Disclosure Act Challenges Department of Energy Secrecy,” The UAP Register, September 18, 2023)

July 13 — The US House approves its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with only one minor UAP provision. (Douglas Dean Johnson, “Congress Update: U.S. Senate Passes Multiple UAP/UFO Measures,” @ddeanjohnson Twitter thread, July 27, 2023; Douglas Dean Johnson, “UAP-Related Provisions Currently under Consideration in Congress,” Mirador, September 3, 2023)

July 14 — Australian astro-photographer Ari Rex captures an odd oblong light on a time-lapse image near Gundaroo, New South Wales. However, he later determines that “the mysterious object is actually the fumes from the Chandrayaan-3 rocket launched by India to explore the Moon.” (Georgia Curry, “Canberra Astro-Photographer Captures Incredible Image in Our Night Sky,Canberra Weekly, August 2, 2023; James Coleman, “Canberra Astro-Photographer ’99.99% Sure’ UFO Mystery Is Solved,” Riotact, August 8, 2023)

July 25 — The RAND Corporation issues a 62-page report titled Not the X-Files: Mapping Public Reports of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Across America, in which it presents a “geographic analysis of 101,151 public reports of UAP sightings in 12,783 US Census Bureau” designated places. (“Not the X-Files,” RAND Research Reports)

July 26 — Enigma Labs releases an augmented reality UFO-related app, a camera lens tool that identifies known objects in the sky, both in the air and in space. The app taps into satellite telemetry published by governments and private space companies, and it calculates where these objects are and their positions relative to the observer. It is designed for the iPad. (“Shazam for the Skies,” Enigma Labs, July 26, 2023)

July 26 — 10:00 a.m. The House Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs holds a hearing on UFOs titled “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency.” The hearing has been spearheaded by Reps. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.). Three witnesses testify: whistleblower David Grusch, who served for 14 years as an intelligence officer in the Air Force and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and fighter pilots Ryan Graves and David Fravor. Grusch says that he “was informed in the course of my official duties of a multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse engineering program to which I was denied access” and that he believes that the US government is in possession of UAP based on his interviews with 40 witnesses over four years. He claims in response to congressional questions that the US has also retrieved “nonhuman” biological matter from the pilots of the crafts and that this “was the assessment of people with direct knowledge on the [UAP] program I talked to, that are currently still on the program.” When asked by Rep. Burchett if Grusch had “personal knowledge of people who’ve been harmed or injured in efforts to cover up or conceal” the government’s possession of “extraterrestrial technology,” Grusch says yes but that he is not able to provide details except within a (sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF). Asked by Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) how such a program is funded, Grusch claims that the effort is “above congressional oversight” and bankrolled by a “misappropriation of funds.” Asked by Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Mo.) to substantiate the crashed UAPs claim, the former intelligence official said he could not divulge specific details, once again claiming the information was too sensitive to share with the public. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) asks the three witnesses, “If you were me, where would you look?” regarding answers to UAP questions and evidence to validate his claims. Grusch replies, “I’d be happy to give you that in a closed environment. I can tell you specifically.” Grusch also testifies that he has been the  subject of retaliation for his decision to go public with his claims, adding that he is aware of “active planned reprisal” coming from leadership “at my previous organization” amounting to “administrative terrorism.” Graves, a former Navy pilot, tells the panel that military pilots do not feel adequately briefed on UAPs, which he said leaves them unprepared to respond to UAP encounters. He also testifies that UAP stigma silences pilots who fear “professional repercussions,” which he says is “compounded by recent government claims questioning the credibility of eyewitness testimony.” Graves was an F-18 pilot stationed in Virginia Beach in 2014 when his squadron first began detecting unknown objects. He describes them as “dark grey or black cubes … inside of a clear sphere, where the apex or tips of the cubes were touching the inside of that sphere.” He adds, “If everyone could see the sensor and video data I witnessed, our national conversation would change.” Fravor, a former Navy commander, says he and three fellow military pilots spotted a white Tic-Tac–shaped object on November 14, 2004, hovering below their jets and just above the Pacific Ocean off California before it rapidly climbed about 12,000 feet into the air. Fravor tells the committee that the technology he and his team encountered defies logical explanation. “The technology that we faced is far superior to anything that we had,” Fravor testifies. “And there’s nothing we can do about it, nothing.” Lawmakers on the committee, baffled by some of the testimony, repeatedly noted that UAP sightings are an issue of bipartisan concern and raise national security questions. Burchett states, “We’re going to uncover the cover-up, and I hope this is just the beginning of many more hearings and many more people coming forward about this.” (John Greenewald, “July 26, 2023, House UAP Hearing Archive—Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency,” The Black Vault, July 26, 2023; Tyler Rogoway, “Skeptics and Believers Alike Should Support a Congressional UFO Investigation,” The Drive: The War Zone, July 26, 2023; Micah Hanks, “Whistleblowers Testify under Oath Regarding ‘Craft of Non-Human Origin’ and Military Encounters with UAP,” The Debrief, July 26, 2023; “UFO Hearings: Whistleblower David Grusch Says ‘Non-Human Biologics’ Found at Alleged Crash Sites—As It Happened,The Guardian (UK), July 26, 2023; Michael Mitsanas, “Here Are the 5 Most Memorable Moments from Congress’ UFO Hearing,” NBC News, July 26, 2023; Graig Graziosi, “Congressman Asks UFO Whistleblower If Anyone Has Been ‘Murdered’ to Maintain Alleged Coverup,The Independent (UK), July 27, 2023; Stefan Becket, “UFO Hearing Key Takeaways: What a Whistleblower Told Congress about UAPs,” CBS News, July 28, 2023; Adam Frank, “Here’s What a Scientist Makes of Congress’ UFO Hearing,” Big Think, August 2, 2023; Tim Gallaudet, “UFOs Are the Story of the Century: Wake Up, America!” The Hill, August 2, 2023; Nick Robertson, “Bipartisan House Group Pushes for Select Committee, Classified Hearings into UFOs,” The Hill, August 17, 2023; Art Levine, “UFO Tales and Witness Credibility Falling Apart after Congressional Hearings,Washington Examiner, September 8, 2023; Alan Hawgood, “Behind the Scenes of a UFO Whistleblower’s Odd Visit to Capitol Hill,Washington Post, October 5, 2023)

July 27 — AARO Director Sean M. Kirkpatrick issues a statement on LinkedIn disputing several claims made during the previous day’s hearing portraying AARO and its employees as uncooperative. Without specifically naming Grusch, Kirkpatrick seemingly conveys doubt over the former intelligence officer-turned-whistleblower’s claims of reprisals and extrajudicial violence, suggesting David Grusch has refused to speak with AARO investigators. (Tim McMillan and Micah Hanks, “Director of Pentagon’s UAP Investigations Challenges Claims Made in Recent UAP Hearing,” The Debrief, July 28, 2023)

July 27 — The US Senate passes a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 86-11, that contains multiple and far-reaching provisions related to UAP. The Senate has added the entire Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) to the FY 2024 NDAA, including UAP-related provisions approved on June 22 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (with some revisions). After approving the final NDAA-IAA package under the bill number H.R. 2670, the Senate sends it to a conference committee with the House of Representatives. Included in the Senate-passed package is the UAP Disclosure Act, legislation proposed by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.) that would establish an agency to gather UAP records from throughout the government with a “presumption of immediate disclosure,” but with such delays and exceptions as a presidentially appointed review board and the President would determine. The Schumer-Rounds legislation also states, “The Federal Government shall exercise eminent domain [ownership] over any and all recovered technologies of unknown origin and biological evidence of non-human intelligence that may be controlled by private persons or entities.” The Senate-passed NDAA-IAA also contains two overlapping versions of a proposal by Sens. Kirstin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). These provisions seek to identify any UAP-related technology or information that may be hidden in government-linked programs that have not been properly reported to Congress. These provisions also would cut off funding for non-reported UAP-related programs. The Senate-passed bill also carries an increase of $27 million for the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), although the total authorized funding level remains classified. Gillibrand sponsored this funding boost in the Armed Services Committee. The Intelligence Authorization Act part of the package contains new protections for whistleblowers from the Intelligence Community. The new provisions were modified shortly before final action by the Senate. A provision in the Armed Services Committee report on the NDAA requires an evaluation of NORAD “aerospace warning and control mission and procedures” by the Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress. Once a House-Senate conference committee produces a final agreed-on version of the NDAA-IAA, after many weeks, it must receive final approval from the House and then the Senate, before being sent to the President. (Douglas Dean Johnson, “Senate Intelligence Bill Gives Holders of ‘Non-Earth Origin or Exotic UAP Material’ Six Months to Make It Available to AARO,” Mirador, June 24, 2023; Douglas Dean Johnson, “Senate Armed Services Committee Orders Review of NORAD Procedures,” @ddeanjohnson tweet, July 17, 2023; Marik von Rennenkampff, “‘Non-Human Intelligence’: Schumer Proposes Stunning New UFO Legislation,” The Hill, July 18, 2023; Douglas Dean Johnson, “Congress Update: U.S. Senate Passes Multiple UAP/UFO Measures,” @ddeanjohnson Twitter thread, July 27, 2023; Douglas Dean Johnson, “UAP-Related Provisions Currently under Consideration in Congress,” Mirador, September 3, 2023; Dustin Slaughter, “UAP Disclosure Act Challenges Department of Energy Secrecy,” The UAP Register, September 18, 2023)

July 28 — Early evening. Two people walking along a river trail in Greene County, Pennsylvania, observe two beachball-sized balls of light about 20 feet apart flying in a diagonal formation. The spheres blink orange and white and are estimated as moving through the sky at less than 200 feet altitude. The silent objects move steadily off in the direction of Fredericktown. (Stan Gordon, “A Weekend Surge of UFO/UAP Sightings and Other Anomalies in Southwest Pennsylvania (July 28–30, 2023),” Stan Gordon’s UFO Anomalies Zone, August 4, 2023)

July 29 — Sunset. A witness near Scottdale, Pennsylvania, observes in the northern sky a round object that is bright white and possibly bluish in color. The object seems to be slowly moving south. It is about the size of the star Vega and at approximately 60° altitude. While under observation, it emits a white puff ring extending 10–20 times diameter outwards and has a width of about 3–7 times the diameter of the object that looks similar to smoke or a contrail. The witness goes into the house to obtain a pair of high-quality binoculars. Through the binoculars he can clearly see the ring. He also notices several smaller bright objects near the spherical object that seem to be quickly moving around it. The witness also observes a smaller, less luminous, object that is red in color. This object is about half the apparent size of the original sphere. That red object is moving directly downward and possibly falling. (Stan Gordon, “A Weekend Surge of UFO/UAP Sightings and Other Anomalies in Southwest Pennsylvania (July 28–30, 2023),” Stan Gordon’s UFO Anomalies Zone, August 4, 2023)

July 29 — 10:13 p.m. A witness near Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, sees a massive triangular object perhaps 300 feet in length emitting a bright, greenish-orange glow. At the bottom of the object is a large, round, non-blinking green light. A smaller round, white light is on each corner of the triangle. It initially hovers, then suddenly vanishes and reappears in a slightly forward location. An electric hum seems to emanate from it. At 10:18, the object shoots off toward the southwest. Shortly afterward, three military jets approach the area, then turn toward the direction where the object has vanished. (Stan Gordon, “A Weekend Surge of UFO/UAP Sightings and Other Anomalies in Southwest Pennsylvania (July 28–30, 2023),” Stan Gordon’s UFO Anomalies Zone, August 4, 2023)

 

August 15 — The US Department of Defense Office of Inspector General releases a classified report on its “Evaluation of the DoD’s Actions Regarding Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP).” It plans to release an unclassified overview at a later time. (“Evaluation of the DoD’s Actions Regarding Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (DODIG-2023-109),” Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, August 15, 2023)

August 21 — US Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), after forming an informal congressional UAP caucus, sends a letter to Thomas Monheim, inspector general of the intelligence community, asking for details about a crash/retrieval program. (“Rep. Burchett Launches UAP Caucus, Leads Letter to Intelligence Community Inspector General about UAP Retrieval Programs,” Congressman Tim Burchett, August 22, 2023)

August 31 — The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) launches a website that will include updates on AARO’s unclassified work and a secure portal for reporting UAP sightings. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks takes direct oversight of the AARO agency. (“Hicks Takes Direct Oversight of Pentagon’s UAP Office; New Reporting Website to be Launched,” DefenseScoop, August 30, 2023; Micah Hanks, “The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office Has Finally Launched Its Official Website: Here’s What’s Missing,” The Debrief, August 31, 2023)

 

September 3 — 9:00 p.m. A woman is walking her dog a few blocks from the Susquehanna River in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Her dog, which is deaf, looks up into the sky and she sees a bright flash of light similar to a starburst. Hovering about 300 feet above her building is a massive, solid black, triangular object with rounded corners. The surface of the object has a flat-matte black color. It has no individual lights, but it has two circular protuberances on the back section that are possible vents, which have an orange color that she assumes is metal cooling down from an intense heat. Other indentations or protrusions are visible on the underside. She detects a barely audible humming sound, then a click as the object begins to move slowly away. Suddenly it takes off in a blur of speed and disappears. (Stan Gordon, “Solid Black Triangular UFO/UAP Hovers Low over Pennsylvania Building,” Stan Gordon’s UFO Anomalies Zone, October 9, 2023)

September 12 — Journalist Jaime Maussan unveils two allegedly “nonhuman beings” to Mexico’s Congress of the Union during a public hearing on UFOs. Maussan claims that these are mummified corpses found in a diatom mine in the city of Cusco, Peru, near Nasca, and are believed to be more than 1,000 years old. Maussan claims that scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico have concluded that the corpses are not “part of our terrestrial evolution” and that almost a third of their DNA is of “unknown origin.” However, Julieta Fierro, physics researcher at UNAM, states that the university does not endorse such claims and that Maussan’s data “made no sense.”  (“Three-Fingered ‘Alien Bodies’ Unveiled in Mexico,” London Metro, September 13, 2023; Anna Lagos, “No, This Is Not an Alien: Here’s Why,Wired, September 14, 2023; Aja Romano, “The True Story of the Fake Unboxed Aliens Is Wilder Than Actual Aliens,” Vox, September 16, 2023; Kevin D. Randle, “Jaime Maussan and the Latest Round of Alien Creatures,” A Different Perspective, September 28, 2023; “La Histórica Audencia Pública de los Fénomenos Anómalos no Identificados,” Maussan TV YouTube channel, October 2023)

September 13 — Andre de Guerin watches a large black triangle, perhaps 130 feet long, hovering above the east coast of the Channel Island of Guernsey about one-half mile away. He takes a distant photograph of the object with his mobile phone. (“‘Large Triangle’ in the Sky Remains a Mystery,Guernsey Press, October 27, 2023)

September 14 — 10:00 a.m. NASA releases a report by its independent UAP study team one hour before a media briefing on the topic. It calls for better data about mysterious aerial phenomena and reveals the American space agency’s appointment of a NASA Director of UAP Research, later disclosed to be meteorologist Mark McInerney. Offering guidance on what kinds of information would be most useful in helping determine the nature and origin of UAP, the team’s report does not provide findings related to past UAP sightings. The report’s authors emphasize the importance of detecting UAP “with multiple, well-calibrated sensors,” adding that the space agency “could potentially leverage its considerable expertise in this domain to utilize multispectral or hyperspectral data as part of a rigorous data acquisition campaign.” During the briefing, NASA administrator Bill Nelson says that “We will use NASA’s expertise to work with other agencies to analyze UAP,” adding that the agency “will use AI and machine learning to search the skies for anomalies, as we have been searching the heavens.” Nelson also emphasizes the purpose of the UAP Independent Study Team to help shift the UAP dialogue “from sensationalism to science, and to make sure that whatever we find, or whatever we recommend, to make sure that information is shared around the world.” Team leader David Spergel summarizes the study team’s approach, emphasizing that they are not focusing on repeating the work of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, but instead applying scientific methodology toward how reports of UAP can be better evaluated. (NASA Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Independent Study Team Report, September 14, 2023; Micah Hanks, “NASA’s UAP Independent Study Team Publishes Its Findings, As the Agency Appoints a New Director of UAP Research,” The Debrief, September 14, 2023; Matt Berg and Olivia Alafriz, “NASA Names Its New UFO Boss: After Initially Saying It Wouldn’t,” Politico, September 14, 2023; Keith Basterfield, “NASA’s UAP Independent Study Team Produces Its Report,” Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena—Scientific Research, September 17, 2023; Kevin D. Randle, “The NASA Report: A Personal Commentary,” A Different Perspective, September 17, 2023; Chris Rutkowski, “Darn That NASA!” Ufology Research, September 21, 2023; John Greenewald, “Just Released Memorandum of Agreement Sheds Light on NASA’s Liaison Role in DoD’s UFO Office AARO,” The Black Vault, September 29, 2023)

September 15 — In a response to a letter from Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Thomas Monheim admits that his office “has not conducted any audit, inspection, evaluation, or review of alleged UAP programs” within its area of authority. (Nick Robertson, “GOP Rep Renews UFO ‘Cover-Up’ Claim after Intel Watchdog Response,” The Hill, September 15, 2023; Stephanie Whiteside, “Intelligence Community Has Not Investigated Alleged UFO Programs,” NewsNation, September 20, 2023)

September 20 — The Department of Defense confirms that the US Air Force has submitted to AARO a report about an incident from Eglin AFB in Florida involving a large UFO earlier in 2023. The incident centered around a USAF pilot whose radar and FLIR systems suddenly malfunctioned as his aircraft approached a UAP over the Gulf of Mexico. (Christopher Sharp, “U.S. Air Force Reports Mysterious Gulf of Mexico Incident to Pentagon’s UFO Office,” Liberation Times, September 20, 2023)

September 21 — 9:00 a.m. NASA briefs the US House Committee on Oversight and Accountability on the report by its Independent Study Team on UAP. (US House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, “Full Committee Member Briefing Notice,” September 18, 2023)

September 28 — US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks sends an urgent request to Richard Revesz, an administrator in the Office of Management and Budget, to process a proposed information collection initiative titled “AARO Contact Form for Authorized Reporting.” The collection initiative is critical for creating a pathway for authorized reporting of UAP through the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office by October 31. (John Greenewald, “Emergency Clearance Sought by DoD for UFO Reporting on AARO Website,” The Black Vault, September 29, 2023)

 

October 6 — Peter Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center shares some statistics with USA Today that NUFORC has collected for the year 2022. Descriptions of UFOs from the center’s data range from common shapes like circles, ovals, triangles, and diamonds to images like a light, orb, flash, disk, or fireball. The most common description is an unidentified light in the sky. He says that NUFORC receives about 100 reports every month; the most reports come from California, the most populated state in the US. (Anthony Robledo, “‘We Have No Explanation’: See List of US States with the Most Reported UFO Sightings,USA Today, October 6, 2023)

October 13 — James T. Lacatski, Colm Kelleher, and George Knapp are interviewed on a podcast hosted by Knapp and Jeremy Corbell about their new book, Inside the U.S. Government Covert UFO Program: Initial Revelations, and the activities of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP). (Jeremy Corbell and George Knapp, “Weaponized: Episode #38,” Weaponized, October 16, 2023; Keith Basterfield, “Lacatski’s New Book and Podcast Interview,” Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena—Scientific Research, October 23, 2023)

October 18 — The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issues its unclassified annual report on UAP written by the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office. The report mentions AARO has received 274 new reports in the last eight months, suggesting a rate of more than 30 reports per month. It summarizes its review of a total of 291 cases by saying that none were “positively attributable” to foreign adversaries and that a high percentage of them lack sufficient detail to identify or resolve. It mentions only one maritime case and no UAP space cases, and it refers to a ”strong but shifting collection bias” in “restricted military airspace.” (US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Fiscal Year 2023 Consolidated Annual Report on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, October 2023, October 17, 2023; Chris Rutkowski, “AARO and CUS and UAP,” Ufology Research, October 19, 2023; Christopher Mellon, “Takeaways & Questions Regarding the October 23 AARO/DNI UAP Report,” Christopher’s Substack, October 21, 2023)

October 20 — 1:50 a.m.–2:20 a.m. A bright light appears and disappears from the southeast off the coast of Necochea, Buenos Aires province, Argentina, and is replaced by two or three additional objects in a clear sky. Odd lights have regularly been seen in this location since September 29. (“Bizarre Lights over Necochea Show No Signs of Disappearing,” Inexplicata: The Journal of Hispanic Ufology, October 26, 2023)

October 25 — UK Astronomer Royal Martin Rees suggests that any intelligent aliens we come in contact with are likely to be non-organic artificial intelligences. (Martis Rees, “If Alien Life Is Artificially Intelligent, It May Be Stranger Than We Can Imagine,” BBC Future, October 25, 2023)

October 27 — US Reps. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), and Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) meet with representatives of the Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in order to obtain confirmation of the information provided by David Grusch, but they return without learning anything new. Burchett thinks that the representatives themselves are unaware of the information sought by Congress. (Baptiste Friscourt, “Classified Briefing: Congressional Frustration over Lack of UFO Disclosure,” UAP Check, October 27, 2023)

October 31 — The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office adds a secure portal for current or former US government, military, and contractor personal to report UAP sightings. AARO emphasizes that information should only be provided by those who have personal knowledge of US government programs related to UAP: “These reports will be used to inform AARO’s congressionally directed Historical Record Report.” At a press conference announcing the new UAP reporting portal, AARO director Sean Kirkpatrick says that his office has access to surveillance satellite footage, but he has not “seen any of them that have collected [imagery] of a UAP,” although they have detected balloons. The agency is working to declassify the imagery collected during the shootdowns of three balloons in February 2023. (Micah Hanks, “Pentagon Launches Secure Reporting Mechanism for U.S. Personnel with Knowledge of Government UAP Programs,” The Debrief, October 31, 2023; Howard Altman, “Balloons, No UFOs, Found by Satellites, Shoot Down Video Coming Says AARO Chief,” The Drive: The War Zone, October 31, 2023; John Greenewald, “AARO Director Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick Holds an Off-Camera Media Roundtable,” The Black Vault, November 1, 2023)

 

November — The US Space Force’s Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM), tasked with educating and training US Space Force personnel, releases a document titled Space Doctrine Publication 3-100, Space Domain Awareness that outlines what space domain awareness is. The document describes the need to maintain a safe environment by monitoring and tracking such objects as space debris, the ever-growing number of commercial satellites, spacecraft operated by adversaries, and “the hazards posed by the space environment and natural debris,” such as meteoroids or solar flares. (US Space Force, Space Domain Awareness: Doctrine for Space Forces, Space Doctrine Publication 3-100, November 2023; Brett Tingley, “US Space Force Wants to Track ‘Abnormal Observables’ with Unknown Origins in Earth’s Orbit,” Space.com, November 22, 2023)

November 2 — UFO disclosure advocates and a group of film directors, writers, and effects artists officially launch a nonprofit Hollywood Disclosure Alliance to promote the release of UFO information by the US government. The group is founded by Dan Harary, a veteran film publicist, and Stephen Bassett, director of the Washington, D.C.–based Paradigm Research Group. It plans to provide a “limitless amount” of original story content to American cinema. (Bruce Haring, “UFO Nonprofit Brings Together Hollywood Storytellers with Phenomena’s Researchers,” Deadline, October 31, 2023)

November 7 — Mexico’s Congress of the Union holds another public hearing on UFOs to address a proposed law to require the government to publish UFO information openly in the future. However, it is quickly taken over by journalist Jaime Maussan, who presents unverified videos of supposed UAP sightings from around the world and quickly shifts to a new discussion of the “Nazca mummies” that dominated the first hearing on September 12. (“Segunda Audencia Pública en el Congreso de México para regular el Fenómeno Anómalo no Identificado,” in English translation, Maussan TV YouTube channel, November 8, 2023; “Mexican Congress Holds Second UFO Session Featuring Peruvian Mummies,” Reuters, November 7, 2023; Andreas Müller, “Die zweite ‘UFO-Anhörung’ am mexikanischen Kongress: Eine kritische Nachbetragung,” grenzWissenschaft-aktuelle.de, November 11, 2023)

November 7 — AARO Director Sean M. Kirkpatrick announces that he will be stepping down from the agency in December after he completes the first volume of a historical review of UAP. (Lara Seligman, “Pentagon UFO Boss to Step Down Next Month,” Politico, November 7, 2023; Marik Von Rennenkampff, “‘Aliens,’ or a Foreign Power? Pentagon UFO Chief Says Someone Is in Our Backyard,” The Hill, November 10, 2023; Lara Seligman, “Are Aliens Real? We Asked the Pentagon’s Outgoing UFO Chief,” Politico, November 12, 2023)

November 8 — The Department of Defense announces that Timothy A. Phillips, a member of the Senior National Intelligence Service since 2006, has been selected to serve as AARO’s deputy director. (“Department of Defense Announces the Deputy Director, All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office,” US Department of Defense, November 8, 2023)

November 9 — During a Security Committee meeting of the Japanese House of Representatives, MP Yoshiharu Asakawa inquires about the government’s official involvement with UFOs.  Defense Minister Minoru Kihara confirms that Japan is cooperating with AARO in the United States by collecting and analyzing relevant information and that Japan treats the phenomenon as a matter of national security. He also said there is an area over the Sea of Japan where UAP observations frequently occur. (Baptiste Friscourt, “Representative Asakawa Questions Japan’s Minister of Defense on UAPs,” UAP Check, November 12, 2023)

November 13 — NewsNation signs Australian investigative journalist Ross Coulthart as a special correspondent and producer of documentaries on UFOs and national defense topics. (“Ross Coulthart Joins NewsNation as Special Correspondent and Investigative Journalist,” Adweek: TV Newser, November 14, 2023)

November 17–18 — The Sol Foundation hosts a symposium on UAP research and policy at Stanford University, sponsored by the Garry Nolan Laboratory (Department of Pathology). (Sol Foundation, “Nolan Laboratory (Department of Pathology) and the Stanford School of Medicine Present: The Sol Foundation Initiative for UAP Research and Policy”)

November 18 — 7:00 p.m. A large, whitish ball of light is seen in southwestern France, northern Spain, Portugal, and Italy. It rises into the sky then disappears, leaving a dense halo of milky smoke. The official explanation arrives more than an hour later when the French Minister of the Armed Forces explains that the reports are due to the test launch of an M51.3 submarine-launched ballistic missile from the Bay of Biscay. Paolo Toselli notes that although the online media continue to report people attributing the display to UFOs and aliens, “this isn’t reflected in the visual first-hand testimonies.” (Paolo Toselli, “About Missiles and UFOs,” UAP Check, December 22, 2023)

November 19 — 2:30 p.m. Flights are suspended for nearly 4 hours at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal, Manipur, India, after many people report an unidentified white object slowly moving southward then hovering at a high altitude above the facility. Airport manager Chipemmi Keishing says he doesn’t know whether the object is a drone, a UFO, or something else. The object moves away to the west at 4:05 p.m., just before sunset. The Indian Air Force dispatches two Dassault Rafale fighters to investigate, but they find nothing. (“Unidentified Object Flies above Imphal Airport, Flight Operations Suspended for Four Hours,The New Indian Express, November 19, 2023; “Manipur Airport on High Alert after Unidentified Flying Object Spotted,” India TV, November 19, 2023; “Indian Air Force Dispatches 2 Rafale Jets to Investigate UFO Sighting near Imphal Airport,” DD News, November 20, 2023; “UFO near Imphal Airport Was Visible Till Sometime before Sunset on Nov 19, Then Disappeared,Deccan Herald, December 14, 2023)

November 19 — 5:15 p.m. A man driving along Neff Road in Harrisonburg, Virginia, sees a silent, tube-shaped object on November 19, 2023, that disappears before he can stop his car to take a photo. He resumes driving, and sees two more objects, one below the other, but again they disappear before he can pull over. (Jacob Fife, “‘Did I Really See What I Thought I Did?’ Harrisonburg Man Shares UFO Sighting,” WHSV-TV, Harrisonburg, Virginia, November 22, 2023)

November 28 — Republican infighting threatens the bipartisan UAP Disclosure Act of 2023 as an amendment to the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson says on his show on X that “Congressman Mike Rogers [R-Ala.], who is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Mike Turner [R-Ohio], who is chairman of the House Intel Committee….Both of these men have been instructed to violate, in letter and in spirit, federal law, and to hide the truth about UFOs.” Carlson, speaking to pro-disclosure Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), also mentions that Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are also invested in shutting down the proposal. Lawyer Daniel Sheehan, who is president of the New Paradigm Institute, reveals in early December that the fifth lawmaker opposed to disclosure is Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and all five are under pressure from private defense contractors and the intelligence community. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) amendment has already been approved by the Senate, but is up for debate in the House. (Micah Hanks, “UAP Disclosure Act Receives Pushback from Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, As Bipartisan Fight for Transparency Continues,” The Debrief, November 27, 2023; “Is Congress Suppressing UAP Disclosures? What to Know,Newsweek, November 29, 2023; Christopher Sharp, “Daniel Sheehan Exposes Five Powerful Republicans Blocking UFO Disclosure Act, As the Clock Ticks Down,” Liberation Times, December 3, 2023)

November 28 — The tabloid Daily Mail (UK) reports that the CIA’s Office of Global Access, established in 2003, is responsible for the retrieval of crashed UFOs. Three sources, all anonymous, tell the newspaper that the CIA sends military special forces teams to pick up the material, which is then handed over to private aerospace companies for examination and possible retroengineering. News Nation’s Ross Coulthart thinks the report is credible, despite the lack of any direct evidence. (Josh Boswell, Chris Sharp, and Matt Ford, “CIA’s Secret Office Has Conducted UFO Retrieval Missions on at Least Nine Crash Sites around the World, Whistleblowers Reveal,Daily Mail (UK), November 28, 2023; “New Reporting on CIA’s Role in UFO Retrieval Accurate: Coulthart,” NewsNation You Tube channel, November 29, 2023)

November 28 — The National UFO Historical Records Center (NUFOHRC) in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, acquires the case files and archival records of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), a civilian group headed by Jim and Coral Lorenzen from 1952 to the 1980s. These records have for many years been in private hands and unavailable to UFO researchers. NUFOHRC Executive Director David Marler states that the APRO collection consists of 13 file cabinets and some 60 boxes. NUFOHRC has long-term plans to digitize these files, along with those of the Center for UFO Studies and the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, which are already housed there. (Curtis Segarra, “UFO Document and Research Collection Growing in New Mexico,” KRQE-TV, Albuquerque, N.Mex., December 1, 2023; Red Pill Junkie, “The Long-Lost APRO Files Have Been Recovered,” Daily Grail, December 2023; “The National UFO Historical Records Center Acquires Archives of Aerial Phenomena Research Organization,Roswell (N.Mex.) Daily Record, December 17, 2023)

November 30 — The University of Texas at El Paso receives a five-year, $5 million grant from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research to develop a program to track Unresolved Resident Space Objects (space junk). (“Air Force Awards UTEP Grant to Safeguard Assets in Space,” University of Texas at El Paso Newsfeed, November 30, 2023)

 

December 1 — Sean Kirkpatrick spends his last day in the AARO office, completing the compilation of the first volume of official interviews with UAP observers for the congressionally mandated  Historical Review Report. Deputy Director Timothy A. Phillips begins serving as acting director. (Brandi Vincent, “Pentagon’s UAP Investigation Chief to Depart Dec. 1,” DefenseScoop, November 30, 2023)

December 6 — A House–Senate conference committee strips many provisions included by the Senate in its UAP Disclosure Act (the Schumer-Rounds Amendment) to the National Defense Authorization Act, including the establishment of a nine-person independent review panel to select UAP records for public release, new whistleblower and witness protections, amnesty for defense contractors and others in possession of UAP-related material, and a provision for eminent domain of UAP material held by private individuals or companies. It also prohibits defense spending on any UAP programs unless the Secretary of Defense approves a specific AARO recommendation and provides Congress with the details. Some suspect that the CIA, Lockheed Martin, and other defense contractors have succeeded in pressuring key House and Senate members to withdraw their approval for disclosure, despite widespread bipartisan support. (John Greenewald, “New UAP Language in the Compromised National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024,” The Black Vault, December 7, 2023; Christopher Sharp, “Operation Kill Bill: How World-Changing UFO Language Was Killed and Sliced Up into Little Pieces,” Liberation Times, December 8, 2023)

December 11 — The Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies publishes a paper by Robert M. Powell, Larry Hancock, and other contributors, on UAP shapes and sizes, kinematic and EM effects, and the presence or absence of sounds, collected from 301 reports submitted between 1947 and 2016. (Robert M. Powell, Larry Hancock, Laiba Hasan, Sarah Little, Robinson Truong, and Tobi Kamoru, “The Reported Shape, Size, Kinematics, Electromagnetic Effects, and Presence of Sound of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena from Select Reports, 1947–2016,” Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies, December 11, 2023)

December 13 — After being stripped of much of the expansive language incorporated in the UAP Disclosure Act amendment, the US Senate approves the final, unamendable version of H.R. 2670, the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, by a vote of 87–13. The US House passes it the following day by a vote of 310–118. The bill directs the National Archives to collect government documents about “unidentified anomalous phenomena, technologies of unknown origin, and nonhuman intelligence.” Any records not officially disclosed must be made public within 25 years of their creation, unless the president determines that they must remain classified for national security reasons. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) complains that the US government “has gathered a great deal of information about UAPs over many decades but has refused to share it with the American people. That is wrong, and additionally it breeds mistrust.” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.) adds, “There is, we believe, information and data that has been collected by more than just the Department of Defense, but by other agencies of the federal government as well.” (“Majority Leader Schumer and Republican Senator Mike Rounds Floor Colloquy on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Provisions in the NDAA and Future Legislation on UAPs,” Senate Democrats, December 13, 2023; Douglas Dean Johnson, “Quick Guide to UAP-Related Provisions in the Final FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act,” Mirador, December 14, 2023; “Congress Orders U.F.O. Records Released But Drops Bid for Broader Disclosure,New York Times, December 14, 2023; Christopher Sharp, “U.S. Senators Express Frustration over Weakened UFO Disclosure Language,” Liberation Times, December 14, 2023; J. P. Hague, “A Dramatic Dilution of the Disclosure Process: A Temporary Shore Break Against the Waves of Change?” The Debrief, December 22, 2023)

December 14 — Former AARO Director Sean Kirkpatrick, along with Richard M. Medina and Simon C. Brewer from the University of Utah’s Department of Geography, publish a paper in which they examine UFO reports gathered by the National UFO Reporting Center from 2001 to 2010 without assessing their value and find a greater concentration of reports per population in the western US, the far northeastern US, and the areas around Evansville, Indiana, and Washington, DC. They admit their study is based on a “noisy, crowdsourced dataset.” (R. M. Medina, S. C. Brewer, and S. M. Kirkpatrick, “An Environmental Analysis of Public UAP Sightings and Sky View Potential,Scientific Reports, 13, 22213 (December 14, 2023)

December 18 — The National UFO Reporting Center adds an interactive map feature to its website that shows the locations of sightings in its database. Markers in green indicate UFO reports within the past year. (“New! UFO Sightings Map,” National UFO Reporting Center, December 18, 2023)

December 19 — The US Space Force denies an FOIA request by The Black Vault that seeks information on “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers,” objects believed to be NORAD’s terms for objects entering or leaving the atmosphere at either high speed or slow speed. The Space Force claims the information is exempt from disclosure under for national defense or foreign policy reasons. (John Greenewald, “Space Force Says Documents on ‘Fastwalkers’ and ‘Slowwalkers’ All Exempt from Disclosure,” The Black Vault, December 22, 2023)

December 22 — President Joe Biden signs H.R. 2670, the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which establishes a collection point for all UFO documents within the US National Archives. (“Statement from President Joe Biden on H.R. 2670, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024,” The White House, December 22, 2023)