In 2018 the agency received 3,395 and in 2019, peaked at 5,971.
California led the country last year with 485 sightings, an increase of 182 from 2018. Florida came in second with 385, up 156 from 2018, according the the UFO Reporting Center data. Washington came in third with 222 reports last year, which represented an increase of 51 from 2018, according to the site.
In fact, in April 2019, the Navy was drafting new guidelines for pilots and other employees to report encounters with “unidentified aircraft” as a response to the uptick of unknown objects being reported “near Navy strike groups of other sensitive military facilities and formations,” according to Military.com.
The new effort comes in response to more sightings of unknown, advanced aircraft flying into or near Navy strike groups or other sensitive military facilities and formations, according to the service.
In September 2019, something unprecedented happened, publicly. The Navy acknowledged that the three UFO videos that were released by former Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge and published by The New York Times were of real “unidentified” objects.
“The Navy designates the objects contained in these videos as unidentified aerial phenomena,” Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told the Black Vault blog, a massive civilian repository of government documents mostly obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests.The Washington Post, Sept. 2019
Late 2019 put UFOs into the mainstream more than ever before. In October 2019, Popular Mechanics reported that a new nonprofit will explore what the U.S Navy calls “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” (UAPs), according to Motherboard. Backed in part by Silicon Valley investors, UAP eXpeditions hopes to “field a top-notch group of uber-experienced professionals providing the public service of field testing new UAP related technologies.”
In December 2019, Slate.com posted, “The Year UFOs Became a Little More Legit” first addressing the formerly dismissive Pentagon having been running a clandestine UFO research project.
Much of the mainstream hubbub seemed to be connected to an alt-rocker hanging up his Blink 182 career to dive deeper into his lifelong UFO interest. Tom DeLonge suddenly seemed to be capable to reaching the unreachable and getting answers to questions no one else had ever been able to attain. Suddenly DeLonge was teamed up former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and a retired executive from Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, the division that designs planes that seem like they’re from other planets. Born was To The Stars Aademy, which is a UFO research organization and a media company.
What does it mean for 2020? Ask SETI astronomer Seth Shostak and he’ll poo-poo it all, saying nothing’s been seen in his sights and he’s been looking steadily for a long time – but he’s not saying he doesn’t think we won’t find out we’re “not alone” in short order.
It gets better.
Motherboard, the the arm of VICE, posted on January 3, 2020, that the Navy has secret footage of an infamous UFO incident. By filing an open records request, Motherboard shows the Pentagon has “discovered certain briefing slides that are classified TOP SECRET” and a “video classified SECRET.”
The records requests concern a 2004 incident between the USS Nimitz and a with strange “Tic-Tac”-shaped objects. Then in 2017 and 2018 three videos were made available of Navy encounters with unidentified craft by Navy pilots and fighter plans that made national news.
Some of the video can be seen below, from ABC News.
Just call them “UAPs,” please.