I watched a lot of X-Files as a teenager. My best friend had a big crush on David Duchovny, and we would watch episode after episode with Mulder and Scully investigating mysterious situations, usually involving aliens.
But we knew it was silly. Nobody really believed in aliens, right? It was just crazy people in the desert that thought UFOs were real. Or people giving fuzzy photos to the National Enquirer. Nobody respectable talked about aliens.
How times have changed.
On May 1, a Las Vegas family called the police to say that an alien spacecraft landed in their yard and eight-foot-tall creatures emerged that were definitely not human. Local police found the family credible enough to install cameras this past week in case the aliens came back.
Just this week, a New York man provided footage of an alien encounter in his backyard.
These reports with supposedly alien footage have gotten a lot of publicity.
Individuals have been reporting unusual phenomena for years, but they were always dismissed as rubes, or drunks, or conspiracy theorists. But perhaps the people involved in these more recent sightings have been taken more seriously because of the recent change in tone we’ve seen from not only legacy media outlets like the New York Times but also respected government agencies like NASA.
Sightings are no longer the realm of the “crazy.”
In 2017, the New York Times reported that the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was supposed to have ended in 2012. However, after receiving bizarre footage taken by Naval pilots of unidentifiable objects maneuvering in ways they had never seen before, the Navy admitted that the program investigating these kinds of incidents was still operating.
Over the past six years, stories have been slowly dribbling out about various unexplained phenomena. “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena,” or UAP, is the preferred term now, rather than UFO. In late 2019 and early 2020, a series of strange drone sightings occurred across Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. One of my children and I personally witnessed a bizarre string containing hundreds of lights, not airplanes, moving across the sky. I knew other people who had witnessed these, as well. These sightings were extensive and never satisfactorily explained.
Suddenly, it’s official.
While sightings such as these remain mysterious, the government has slowly been taking more interest. On May 17, 2022, the House Intelligence C3 Subcommittee hosted a hearing on UAP, the first in fifty years, some of which were open to the public and posted on YouTube.
In June 2022, NASA announced that they were commissioning a study team to investigate UAPs, and it’s filled with renowned scientists. The team is headed by astrophysicist David Spergel, former department chair for astrophysics at Princeton. They began a study on October 24, 2022 investigating the best ways to collect and then analyze data regarding UAPs, and expect to publish their study sometime this July.