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The US Defence Department is to replace the military investigation group that spent decades trying to debunk reports of UFOs with a new unit that will deploy to airports, streets and playgrounds to study the phenomena and conduct investigations.
The new Unidentified Flying Objects Investigations Rapid Response Team (Unidrt) has been created to “look into any sightings and act quickly to gather data and gather facts,” Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood said on Thursday.
“What we’re doing here is expanding what the US military is doing,” Sherwood said. “We are taking what we are doing right now and we’re making it more robust and more aggressive.”
But critics say the unidrt team will rekindle the efforts of the now-defunct Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), which was a repository for the extra-terrestrial inquiries of the early 1990s.
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Critics fear the new unit is a return to experiments conducted at that time that attempted to settle the debate over whether flying saucers are nothing more than lights in the sky – or anything at all.
Those experiments gathered a wealth of data that proved conclusive in one case: that objects appearing to be saucers didn’t look like saucers after all.
Darpa’s findings are available online, under the heading: did you know?
The agency posed questions about space-based aircraft, flight patterns, propulsion systems, navigational devices, weather balloons, and so on, with the goal of determining how the objects behave, when they exist, and how they are designed and operated.
Unidrt will have four cases at its disposal, Sherwood said. “We have them detailed in the entire DoD blueprint that we are going to have put together for Unidrt.”
Identifying Unidrt cases will not be easy, the Pentagon said. “Unidrt will be able to establish categories and procedures to identify them quickly. It is important to note that the lack of identifications will be due to the variety of phenomena observed during Unidrt investigations.”
Sherwood stressed that the Pentagon had nothing to hide. “It is the case that the United States has seen anomalous events in space and in the sky, and it is the case that the United States military is interested in the matter,” he said.
But the findings of Unidrt would not be released to the public, Sherwood said.