Space Force is reportedly wary of taking over investigating the Pentagon’s reports of “unidentified aerial phenomena,” multiple current and former officials told Politico on Monday.
"It makes perfect sense," one official who is currently advising the military on the issue said, noting that Space Force’s responsibilities are more global than the other branches of the military, which gives U.S. Space Command access to advanced surveillance technologies.
"There is no limit to the Space Force mission. It doesn't have a geographic boundary like the other services,” this official added.
They went on to note that some opposition to the idea exists within Space Force, which has been widely mocked since its debut under former President Donald Trump.
"They really are sensitive to that," the former official said. "They want people to take them seriously. They don't want to do anything that is embarrassing. But this is national security. This is their job."
Chris Mellon, a former top Defense official for intelligence who has advised the military on the issue of UFOs, recently wrote in a post on his blog that whichever organization is ultimately charged with the investigation will have to work alongside the military, law enforcement, and the intelligence, academic and scientific communities, as well as the general public.
He notes that North American Aerospace Defense Command “would seem to make sense, but again its willingness to share information with other organizations is questionable. Still, they have money and contracting authority and the heft needed to make changes to the status quo if they were willing to aggressively pursue the issue.”
Mellon writes that "regardless, the first and most important step for Congress to take is to either identify a permanent home for the mission or require [the Department of Defense] and the CI [intelligence community] to do so and to explain their resulting rationale with the oversight committees."
A report issued to Congress in June by the director of national intelligence came to the conclusion that only one of the 144 UFO sightings investigated could be explained, noting that 18 of the cases included details that appeared to indicate advanced properties at work.
The report says that "we currently lack sufficient information in our dataset to attribute incidents to specific explanations,” and noted that UFOs "clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security."
A Pentagon spokesperson told Politico that "planning for an activity to take over the [Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force’s] mission is ongoing. Spokespeople for Space Force and the Department of the Air Force referred Politico to the Pentagon’s spokesperson when asked for comment.
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