The U.S. Navy is working on new guidelines for its personnel to report sightings and other encounters with "unidentified aircraft," Politico reports.
It sounds like a major step toward taking UFO encounters more seriously: the Navy's new process would create formalized guidelines for sailors and pilots alike to report and analyze each one of the encounters.
No, this is definitely not the Navy confirming the existence of extraterrestrials, as Politico points out. It's just giving the rank and file a chance to have their encounters examined by military authorities.
"There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years," the Navy said in a statement to Politico.
"For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report."
Rather than ignoring and dumping the data collected during sightings of UFOs and other "unexplained aerial phenomena," as Pentagon officials put it, the sightings would be investigated and studied by personnel — though exactly who gets to review the data is unclear.
In 2017, the New York Times reported on a $22 million program by the Pentagon called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program that allegedly was devoted to the investigation of UFOs. Perhaps the Navy's upcoming guidelines could simply be an outcome of that.