What is the reason for the recent increase in UFO sightings
Within a single weekend, the U.S. military has shot down three unknown objects. The sudden increase of UFO sightings in the American skies is a mystery.
During a two-week period in February 2023, U.S. military pilots successfully targeted four enigmatic objects sighted over Canada and the United States.
The first of these objects was a Chinese spy balloon, approximately 200 feet (60 meters) tall and hovering at an altitude of 60,000 feet (18,200 meters) over Alaska in late January. The government tracked the balloon for several days as it moved southeast across the country and finally destroyed it using a fighter jet on Feb. 4 off the coast of South Carolina.
The other three objects, which include a cylinder of car size shot down over Canada’s icy Yukon territory and an odd octagonal object shot into the waters of Lake Huron, still remain unidentified. All three were eliminated between Feb. 9 and 12, with altitudes between 20,000 and 40,000 feet (6,000 and 12,000 m). According to a White House briefing on Feb. 13, these objects were less advanced than the spy balloon, but their presence in commercial airline airspace posed a security risk, officials said.
Many people are curious about why the U.S. military is detecting and destroying unidentified objects in American and Canadian airspace with increasing frequency. It remains to be seen if there are actually more objects in the sky than usual or if the military has simply become better at tracking them.
It is impossible to determine the exact number of objects in a country’s airspace at any given time. However, government officials have been clear that the military has broadened its search for foreign objects at similar altitudes after identifying a Chinese surveillance balloon in late January. This expansion of effort seems to have been successful.
Melissa Dalton, the assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, stated during a news briefing on Feb. 12 that they have been examining the airspace at these altitudes more closely and enhancing their radar capabilities, which may partly explain the increase in detected objects over the past week.
To put it another way, after the military successfully tracked the spy balloon across the country for several days, they learned how to detect similar objects at similar altitudes that were previously undetected. Retired Lieutenant General with the U.S. Air Force and Boston University Professor of International Security Jack Weinstein explained this during an interview with Live Science.
According to Jack Weinstein, a professor of international security at Boston University and retired lieutenant general with the U.S. Air Force, the military’s recent success in detecting and shooting down unidentified objects in U.S. and Canadian airspace is likely due to their improved ability to track such items, which was learned following the detection of the Chinese surveillance balloon in late January.
While the U.S. and Canadian governments have not yet identified any of the three objects shot down in February, officials have suggested a possible connection between these objects and the downed Chinese spy balloon, and have not ruled out the possibility that they are part of a foreign spying effort. John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, stated in a Feb. 13 press briefing that China has been using high-altitude spy balloons to surveil the U.S. for several years, but that such objects had never been detected before.
Meanwhile, China has claimed that the U.S. has flown spy balloons into its airspace on more than 10 occasions since January 2022, according to a report by National Public Radio.
The recent events in February are just the latest in a long series of encounters between U.S. military personnel and unidentified flying objects (UFOs), or as the military calls them, unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP). These incidents have been reported for several years.
In 2022, the Department of Defense investigated 366 reported sightings of UAP, of which 171 remained unresolved by the end of the year. This data is from the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), a Pentagon office established in 2022 to investigate UAP sightings by military personnel.
This figure is more than double the number of UAP sightings reported by the military over the previous 17 years, according to a Pentagon report on UAP sightings between 2004 and 2021.
Weinstein suggests that the significant increase in alleged UAP sightings may be due to a “culture shift” within the military. Military personnel may now feel less stigmatized for reporting strange encounters.
The military culture may be changing, allowing military personnel to report strange encounters without fear of being ridiculed, according to Weinstein. He cited his father’s WWII bomber crewmate’s reluctance to report strange phenomena that he observed. However, today’s military culture encourages pilots to make these reports.
In 2022, 366 alleged UAP sightings were investigated by the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), with 171 of these sightings still unresolved by the end of the year. This is more than double the number of reported UAP encounters between 2004 and 2021. The AARO was established in early 2022 to investigate military personnel’s claims of UAP sightings.
The AARO report indicated that 163 of the UAP sightings investigated in 2022 were resolved as “balloons or balloon-like entities,” while 26 cases were identified as drones, and six were classified as airborne “clutter,” such as birds or plastic bags. Weather phenomena and optical illusions have been cited as possible explanations for prior year’s cases. The report does not mention extraterrestrial aliens as a possible explanation.
Weinstein believes that if extraterrestrial aliens were responsible for the sightings, they would be intelligent enough not to be caught.