Whether you think of them as UFOs or UAP (that’s Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena), mysterious objects in the sky have been the subject of plenty of discourse lately. Strangely, UFOs also seem to be one of the few genuinely bipartisan issues in politics right now, with Senators Chuck Schumer and Mike Rounds proposing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that might clear a few things up about the aforementioned issue.
As a statement from the two Senators reveals, the amendment “would mandate government records related to Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) carry the presumption of disclosure” — meaning that significantly more records would be available to the general public under those terms.
Writing at Space.com, Brett Tingley has a good overview of the issues at hand. (Tingley also clarifies why UAP has entered wider use: it could also be used to refer to objects moving underwater, as opposed to simply flying.) Under the terms of the Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Disclosure Act of 2023, records dealing with UAPs would become widely available once 25 years have passed, unless these records are specifically designated as classified.
The Senators cite the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 as a model for this amendment. That act created a dedicated archive for materials related to the event in question; this new one would create something similar.
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As Space.com’s report on this new amendment details, an earlier version had some stronger provisions in place. Those have been removed, though one expert that Tingley spoke with for the article — UAP researcher Douglas Dean Johnson — called the current version “a modest mechanism that is far less likely to result in the location, extraction and disclosure of important UAP-related records that may be tightly held or even long forgotten.”
The amendment has passed, as per the report — which means that the government might soon have its own UFO archivist. File under: sentences that seemed far less likely a decade ago.
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