The American government has finally admitted that UFOs (unidentified flying objects) are real. They aren’t a secret US technology, and they don’t come from foreign adversaries, either.

So what are they? What are the implications for people espousing faith in the Bible? On June 25, 2021, the United States government reversed a seventy-four-year policy of public denial about the presence of UFOs in American airspace. The report was commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been demanding answers from the Department of Defense (DOD) regarding incursions by “unidentified aerial phenomena,” i.e., objects our best military minds seem unable to explain. The DOD had no place left to hide.

Recent articles in the New York Times and a story on 60 Minutes featuring interviews with whistleblowers, former Pentagon insiders, and Navy pilots backed by gun-camera footage had already let the cat out of the bag. There was no point trying to cover it up any longer. Even former President Obama cautiously stammered, “There’s footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are, we can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory … They did not have an easily explainable pattern.”

A Pentagon task force appointed to the job by the Senate Intelligence Committee produced two versions of the June report titled “Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.” The unclassified version is a mere six pages or so, but the classified version, which was delivered to the Intelligence Committee, is said to be about four hundred pages, including photos and video from military sources. Here are a few things we learned from the short, unclassified version.

  • The task force looked at 144 reports collected primarily from Navy encounters reported in 2019-2020.
  • Of the 144 reports, the task force could explain only one.
  • UFOs have been observed visually and recorded on multiple sensor platforms, indicating they represent solid objects and not merely illusions or phantasms.
  • Some UFOs may be drones or balloons, but others display characteristics that defy our understanding and the limits of science and physics.
  • Some UFOs remain stationary against the wind or fly against it, maneuver abruptly, and accelerate at considerable speed without any discernable means of propulsion.

The cursory report ignores the long history of the phenomenon that goes back to 1947 when flying saucers first started gallivanting across America’s skies. In the summer of 1947, a few months before the UN voted on the partition of Palestine and just two years after the first atomic detonation, flying saucers showed up in American airspace. Newspapers from the summer of 1947 reported over eight hundred sightings of discs, saucers, and strange nocturnal lights across the country, many from highly reliable witnesses such as airline pilots, police, and military personnel. The newspapers turned to government officials for answers. Military spokesmen dismissed the phenomenon as “optical illusions” and “mass hysteria,” but behind closed doors, there was a state of panic as investigators scrambled to provide superiors with explanations.

The response from people of faith came quickly. For example, in late June 1947, just a few days after the first flying-saucer stories hit the papers, the Associated Press carried a quotation from the Reverend Lester Carlson. The reverend “declared that the shiny flying discs reported in many western states were the advance guard of the second coming of Christ. ‘The millennium,’ added the reverend, ‘will come at any minute.’” Ironically (or perhaps intentionally), the government ordered an investigation under the codename “Project Sign.”

By 1952, with UFOs repeatedly conducting flyovers of Washington DC and making the front page of every major newspaper in America, the CIA felt the need to get involved to calm the public. The CIA’s Robertson Panel issued directives to ridicule witnesses and use media and entertainment outlets to persuade the American public that UFOs do not exist. Walter Cronkite participated in the effort. The tactic worked, and the existence of UFOs was quickly relegated to Hollywood and the kooky fringe.

Contrary to CIA dogma, a previously secret Air Material Command report about flying saucers dated September 23, 1947 (long-since declassified), stated, “The phenomenon is something real and not visionary or fictitious. There are objects … the shape of a disc, of such appreciable size to appear to be as large as man-made aircraft … [demonstrating] extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and motion which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar.” The one-time secret assessment goes on to describe intelligently controlled circular and elliptical metallic crafts, flat on the bottom with domes on top, which operate silently and without visible means of propulsion. In a no-longer extant report from Project Sign titled “Estimate of the Situation,” intelligence officials suggested that the flying discs could best be explained as spacecraft from other worlds.