- A classified US intel report found no evidence that unusual aerial sightings were of alien origins.
- But intel officials haven’t completely ruled it out as a possibility, The New York Times reported.
- An unclassified version of the report will be released to Congress at the end of the month.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
US intelligence officials found no evidence that unidentified aerial sightings by Navy pilots were of alien origins, The New York Times reported Thursday.
But officials still can’t pinpoint an explanation behind the strange aerial phenomena, according to senior officials briefed on a classified government report that details the findings.
The report analyzed more than 120 incidents over the last two decades, according to The Times report. One incident included in the report was a 2004 encounter near San Diego when two Navy fighter jets came across a white oval-shaped object the size of a commercial plane.
The unidentified object was described as “an elongated egg or a ‘Tic Tac’ shape” that was “solid white, smooth, with no edges,” according to a military incident report obtained by a CBS News affiliate.
The pilots — David Fravor, then a squadron commander, and Alex Dietrich, then a lieutenant junior grade — interacted with the object for a brief time before it suddenly propelled away.
“It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Fravor told The Times at the time. The origins behind the object are still unknown.
Dietrich, who remained in the air while Fravor went in closer to examine the object, told Insider’s Ryan Pickrell that encountering “a flying Tic Tac wasn’t part of our plan.”
“We do air-to-air scenarios where we expect to encounter adversary aircraft, and we have set plans for how we approach them,” Dietrich explained. “But these assume that it is a generation of fighter we would be at least familiar enough with.”
Officials told The Times that the report determined that the sightings were not affiliated with any US military or other US government-related technology. “Intelligence officials believe at least some of the aerial phenomena could be experimental technology from a rival power, most likely Russia or China,” according to The Times report.
While intel officials failed to find evidence that the aerial phenomena were alien spacecraft, the report does not completely rule them out as a possibility.
An unclassified version of the report is expected to be presented to Congress at the end of the month, but it will include a classified annex. The officials told The Times that the annex will not contain evidence of alien spacecraft sightings.
The Pentagon has been collecting intel reports on UFO sightings for more than a decade. Last summer, the agency rebooted a program, known as the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, to “detect, analyze and catalog” unusual aerial sightings to determine if they are a risk to national security.
Representatives from the Department of Defense did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.