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Why it matters: While the Navy isn't saying aliens are out there, it is concerned about the increasing number of reports alleging highly advanced aircraft flying near sensitive military facilities and in military-controlled ranges, per Politico. These reports have been happening consistently since 2014, Luis Elizondo, a former senior intelligence officer, told the Washington Post. Elizondo explained that new Navy guidelines formalized the reporting process, allowing for data-driven analysis of the reports. He called it "the single greatest decision the Navy has made in decades," per the Post.
What they're saying: Chris Mellon, a former Pentagon intelligence official, told Politico that military personnel often does not know what to do when they see something. Mellon also said, "Right now, we have [a] situation in which UFOs and UAPs are treated as anomalies to be ignored rather than anomalies to be explored."
What they're seeing: The sailors reported seeing small spherical objects flying in formation, or white Tic-Tac shaped aircrafts, per the Washington Post.
The intrigue: In 2017, the New York Times reported that the Pentagon spent $22 million on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). The Department of Defense never acknowledged the existence of this program and shut it down in 2012, per the New York Times. The program studied Unidentified Ariel Phenomena (UAPs), with the support of numerous senators, including former Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
1 fun thing: Blink-182's former guitarist Tom DeLonge shared a declassified video of 2 pilots allegedly seeing a UFO and questioning what the aircraft was, per Mashable.