The office tracking reports of UFOs has added nearly 400 additional sightings to its catalog over the last year, either because of new sightings or older sightings discovered in existing files, bringing the total number of UFO sightings to over 500.
On Thursday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an unclassified version of its annual report on UFOs, or what the government calls unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).
The assessment revealed that the office tracking UAPs has had a total of 510 sightings since 2004. This is significantly up from the 144 sightings included in the initial report in 2021.
The 366 additional sightings were either new or discovered in the files. An office within the Department of Defense has determined that about half of the additional sightings displayed “unremarkable characteristics.”
Of the additional sightings, 26 have initially been characterized as drones, 163 as balloon-like objects, and 6 as aerial clutter. That leaves 171 unexplained, some of which exhibited “unusual flight characteristics or performance, and require further analysis.”
The latest assessment suggests the uptick in reported sightings is partially due to reduced stigma surrounding UAP sightings. The majority of the new reporting is from U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aviators and operators who saw a UAP and reported it through official channels.
The increase in sightings is also due to a better understanding of the potential threats UAPs pose as a hazard to flight safety or a possible adversary collection threat.
A U.S. official told CBS News that none of the incidents have yet been definitively linked to China, Russia or any other country.
However, at least one incident involving what turned out to be drones occurred off the West coast in 2019 at a time when Chinese merchant vessels were known to be in the area. U.S. intelligence was unable to directly link the drones to the vessels, but China remains a “suspect” in the case.
To date, there have been no reported collisions of U.S. aircraft with UAP nor have there been any UAP encounters that have contributed directly to adverse health-related effects.
David Martin contributed reporting.
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