Redacted Classified UFO Report Reveals New Information About ‘Shapes’, Investigation of ‘Unexplained’ Phenomena


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A classified government report on “unexplained aerial phenomena” shows that the United States is investigating the shapes of objects sometimes seen by military pilots, and reveals details of the plan to investigate them.

A heavily redacted version of the report, provided to Congress last June, was published this week by Freedom of Information Act activist John Greenewald on his website The Black Vault.

A shorter public version of the report was released around the same time by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The longer declassified version published by The Black Vault closely mirrors this report but with additional specific details, particularly on the shapes of “unexplained aerial phenomena” (UAP).

UFO seen in a clip released by the Department of Defense. A Pentagon watchdog is launching an investigation into actions taken by the Department of Defense after a string of UFO sightings in recent years.
(Department of Defense)


“The most common form described by the military in their reports was a [redacted]reads part of the classified report published by The Black Vault. “Military airmen described many of these [redacted] objects like [redacted] where [redacted]. Several observations have been [redacted] and looked like [redacted] shape like a [redacted] or one [redacted].”

The phenomena have long been made public, including as early as 2019 by the New York Times. In a 2019 article, The Times reported that US Navy pilots have seen these objects for years, with a particularly high rate of sightings on the East Coast between 2014 and 2015.

The DNI’s 2021 report says the government recorded 144 reports from 2004 to 2021, 80 of which “involved observation with multiple censors.”

The classified version released by The Black Vault also reveals more details about the nature of the reports.


“In 18 incidents, described in 21 reports, observers reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics,” the report said. “Some UAPs appeared to hover in winds aloft, move upwind, maneuver sharply, or move at considerable speed without discernible means of propulsion. In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems handled the radio frequency (RF) energy associated with UAP sightings.”

This description is consistent with previously released UAP video, including some that were declassified by the Pentagon in 2020, as Fox News previously reported.

The most redacted parts of the report published by The Black Vault come from pages and sections that did not appear at all in the initial unclassified version. These include sections on “common forms” and “less common/irregular forms” reported by observers of the phenomenon. Entire sections on forms are redacted.

The government said the UAP “probably lacks a single explanation”, but classifies them into five categories. These are “air clutter”, including birds and balloons; “natural atmospheric phenomena”, including ice crystals or thermal fluctuations; “USG or Industry Development Programs” i.e. “Programs Classified by U.S. Entities;” and “foreign adversary systems”, from Russia, China or other countries. There is also a final catch-all “other” category which, according to the government, “we may need additional scientific knowledge to successfully collect, analyze and characterize”.

Neither classified nor unclassified reports exclude outsiders.

The classified report published by The Black Vault includes what appear to be descriptions of several UAP instances reported by Navy pilots, although the details are heavily redacted. It also says the Federal Unexplained Aerial Phenomena Task Force (USATF) plans to “leverage” data sharing from non-military departments of the federal government to learn more about the phenomena.


The report published by The Black Vault also includes a section on “geospatial intelligence”, “signal intelligence”, “human intelligence” and “measurement and signature intelligence”, used to observe the phenomena . Details in this section are also heavily redacted.

Another appendix to the report published by The Black Vault reveals that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its resources could be helpful in learning more about the UAP.

“Given the national security implications associated with the potential threats posed by the UAP operating near sensitive military activities, installations, critical infrastructure, or other national security sites, the FBI is able to ‘Use its investigative capabilities and authorities to support deliberate DoD and interagency efforts to determine attribution,’ the report states.

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