John Ratcliffe, the former director of national intelligence, said on Friday that military pilots and satellites have been monitoring numerous UFO sightings. Asked on Fox News about a forthcoming Pentagon report on “unidentified aerial phenomena,” Ratcliffe said it would document previously unknown sightings from “all over the world.”
“There are a lot more sightings than have been made public,” Ratcliffe told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo. “Some of those have been declassified. When we talk about sightings, we’re talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots or have been picked up by satellite imagery that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain.”
When an unidentified aerial phenomenon is identified, Ratcliffe said, analysts try to explain it as a potential weather disturbance or other routine spectacle. “We always look for a plausible application,” he said — but admitted “there are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things we’ve seen.”
In December 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed a 5,600-page COVID-19 relief bill which included an unusual request: U.S. intelligence agencies have 180 days to tell Congress what they know about unidentified aerial phenomena, or UFOs. Agencies also have to explain how they collect data about UFOs, whether foreign adversaries are suspected of controlling them, and if the objects pose a threat to national security.
Ratcliffe told Bartiromo he had hoped to release the information before the Trump administration’s departure from the White House in January, but “we weren’t able to get it down into an unclassified format that we could talk about quickly enough.”