A former Defense Department official said Friday that the Pentagon is ignoring growing reports of UFOs in the Earth's atmosphere, despite newly declassified videos and observations from pilots and radar operators.
"Reports from different services and agencies remain largely ignored and unevaluated inside their respective bureaucratic stovepipes," Christopher Mellon a former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations, said in an op-ed in The Washington Post.
"There is no Pentagon process for synthesizing all the observations the military is making," Mellon added, likening the situation to "having the Army conduct a submarine search without the Navy."
For instance, the Defense Department declassified two videos in December that documented encounters between U.S. Navy F-18 fighters and unidentified aircraft.
The first, Mellon said, captured multiple pilots "observing and discussing a strange, hovering, egg-shaped craft, apparently one of a 'fleet' of such objects," he said, based on cockpit audio.
The second showed "a similar incident involving an F-18 attached to the USS Nimitz carrier battle group in 2004," he said.
The footage, along with observations by pilots and radar operators, "appear to provide evidence of the existence of aircraft far superior to anything possessed by the United States or its allies," Mellon said.
Even Defense Department officials who have analyzed the pertinent intelligence "confirm more than a dozen such incidents off the East Coast alone since 2015."
But "we have no idea" what these phenomena are, Mellon asserted, "because we aren't even seeking answers."
He said that discussions with Pentagon officials over the past two years have led him to believe that "military departments and agencies treat such incidents as isolated events rather than as part of a pattern requiring serious attention and investigation."
One factor is that "nobody wants to be 'the alien guy' in the national security bureaucracy," Mellon said. "Nobody wants to be ridiculed or sidelined for drawing attention to the issue.
"This is true up and down the chain of command, and it is a serious and recurring impediment to progress," he said.
"If the origin of these aircraft is a mystery, so is the paralysis of the U.S. government in the face of such evidence."
Money is not an issue, Mellon argued, with the Pentagon's $50 billion intelligence budget.
"Existing funds would easily cover what's needed to look into the incidents," he said.
"What we lack above all is recognition that this issue warrants a serious collection and analysis effort."
He called for the Defense Department to assign the issue "to an official with the clout to compel collaboration among disparate and often quarrelsome national security bureaucracies."
Further, Congress should "require an all-source study" by Defense Secretary James Mattis and promote research "into propulsion that might explain how these vehicles achieve such extraordinary power and maneuverability.
"We cannot afford to avert our eyes, given the risk of strategic surprise," Mellon concluded. "The future belongs to not only the physically brave but also the intellectually agile."
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