The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a long-anticipated but very short report related to the U.S. government’s knowledge about what it calls unidentified aerial phenomena — and said the UFOs remain mostly unidentified.

The ODNI stated that it examined 144 reports originating from U.S. government sources and that 80 were observed with multiple different sensors. Most reports described the UFOs as objects that interrupted preplanned military training or other military exercises or operations.

The ODNI report said that “a handful” of the UFOs “appear to demonstrate advanced technology” and revealed that “in 18 incidents, described in 21 reports, observers reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics.” The intelligence community added: “Some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernable means of propulsion. In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency energy associated with UAP sightings. The UAPTF holds a small amount of data that appear to show UAP demonstrating acceleration or a degree of signature management… We are conducting further analysis to determine if breakthrough technologies were demonstrated.”

The nine-page, unclassified preliminary assessment released Friday evening said that “we were able to identify one reported UAP with high confidence” but that “the others remain unexplained.”

The top spy office declined to draw firm conclusions on what almost any of the UFOs were.


"These observations could be the result of sensor errors, spoofing, or observer misperception and require additional rigorous analysis. There are probably multiple types of UAP requiring different explanations based on the range of appearances and behaviors described in the available reporting," the intelligence community assessment contended. "Our analysis of the data supports the construct that if and when individual UAP incidents are resolved they will fall into one of five potential explanatory categories: airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, USG or U.S. industry developmental programs, foreign adversary systems, and a catchall 'other' bin."

The intelligence community warned that “some UAP may be technologies deployed by China, Russia, another nation, or a non-governmental entity.”

When discussing its “other” category, the ODNI stated: “Although most of the UAP described in our dataset probably remain unidentified due to limited data or challenges to collection processing or analysis, we may require additional scientific knowledge to successfully collect on, analyze and characterize some of them. We would group such objects in this category pending scientific advances that allowed us to better understand them. The UAPTF intends to focus additional analysis on the small number of cases where a UAP appeared to display unusual flight characteristics or signature management.”

Notably, the possibility of extraterrestrials was not directly mentioned in the report.

The intelligence community said the vast majority of the incidents remained unidentified, claiming that “with the exception of the one instance where we determined with high confidence that the reported UAP was airborne clutter, specifically a deflating balloon, we currently lack sufficient information in our dataset to attribute incidents to specific explanations.”

The ODNI said UFOs “clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security” but that UFOs “would also represent a national security challenge if they are foreign adversary collection platforms or provide evidence a potential adversary has developed either a breakthrough or disruptive technology.”

"The limited amount of high-quality reporting on unidentified aerial phenomena hampers our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent of UAP," the ODNI said.

It continued: "As a result, the UAPTF concentrated its review on reports that occurred between 2004 and 2021, the majority of which are a result of this new tailored process to better capture UAP events through formalized reporting. Most of the UAP reported probably do represent physical objects given that a majority of UAP were registered across multiple sensors, to include radar, infrared, electro-optical, weapon seekers, and visual observation. In a limited number of incidents, UAP reportedly appeared to exhibit unusual flight characteristics."

The intelligence community contended that sightings of UFOs “tended to cluster around U.S. training and testing grounds, but we assess that this may result from a collection bias as a result of focused attention, greater numbers of latest-generation sensors operating in those areas, unit expectations, and guidance to report anomalies.”

Many of the UFOs have been spotted by Navy pilots, and some reports have suggested a link between UFO appearances and nuclear power facilities or nuclear-powered systems.

The Senate Intelligence Committee wrote up a 180-day directive for such a disclosure that was included in the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government funding bill that former President Donald Trump signed into law in December.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee when it requested the ODNI report on UFOs, said the intelligence community assessment needed to be only the beginning.

“For years, the men and women we trust to defend our country reported encounters with unidentified aircraft that had superior capabilities, and for years their concerns were often ignored and ridiculed. This report is an important first step in cataloging these incidents, but it is just a first step,” Rubio said Friday. “The Defense Department and Intelligence Community have a lot of work to do before we can actually understand whether these aerial threats present a serious national security concern.”

John Ratcliffe, who served as director of national intelligence under Trump, said in March that reports of "unidentified aerial phenomena" already in the public eye are only part of the bigger picture.

"When we talk about sightings, the other thing I will tell you is, it's not just a pilot or just a satellite, or some intelligence collection," Ratcliffe said. "Usually, we have multiple sensors that are picking up these things, and ... some of these are unexplained phenomenon.”

Ratcliffe said: “There are a lot more sightings than have been made public. Some of those have been declassified. And when we talk about sightings, we are talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery, that, frankly, engage in actions that are difficult to explain. Movements that are hard to replicate that we don’t have the technology for. Or traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom."

The Senate Intelligence Committee directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Pentagon and other agencies, to submit to Congress a report. This report was supposed to include “a detailed analysis of unidentified aerial phenomena data and intelligence reporting collected or held by the Office of Naval Intelligence, including data and intelligence reporting held by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force” as well as the “identification of potential aerospace or other threats posed by the unidentified aerial phenomena to national security, and an assessment of whether this unidentified aerial phenomena activity may be attributed to one or more foreign adversaries.”

Last year, videos from the Navy were released through the Freedom of Information Act that showed UFOs moving at incredible speeds and performing impressive aerial maneuvers. One of the videos was shot in November 2004; the other two were shot in January 2015.


In the 2015 videos, Navy pilots can be heard expressing disbelief. Since then, the Pentagon confirmed the authenticity of numerous other videos, which it said it was investigating, though it had not said what conclusions it had reached about them.

The Defense Department announced in August that it had approved the creation of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and that the group will be led by the Navy under the "cognizance" of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.