For starters, it no longer refers to them as UFOs – with their connotations of little green men – but to UAPs, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. Next month, Congress is to be given an unclassified report on evidence collected by the Pentagon’s UAP Task Force, the Office of Naval Intelligence and the FBI.

Ufologists – people who investigate UFOs – across the globe are hailing it as an unprecedented watershed moment in their long quest to uncover what the US government really knows – and they have former president Donald Trump to thank for it.

In December, when Mr Trump signed his mammoth $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill into law, it contained a little remarked upon clause requiring a full report on UFOs within 180 days, i.e. by June 25.

“We’re absolutely in new territory here,” says Nick Pope, who investigated UFO sightings while working as a British civil servant for the Ministry of Defence in the 1990s.

“What’s really elevated this is the sheer number, and position, of people now speaking out, saying we’re dealing with something that must be taken seriously,” he added.

“When top guns, who don’t impress easily, get excited about the capability of these objects, their speed, manoeuvrability, trans-medium travel in water and air… that gets my attention.

“The pilot testimony is important, but there is so much more: radar data, infrared, measurement and signature intelligence… and we’ll get to see some of it.”

John Ratcliffe, director of National Intelligence under President Trump, raised anticipation when he hinted recently that there was “a lot” more information than the public currently knows.

He said he had seen satellite imagery of objects “frankly engaging in actions that are difficult to explain”, and incidents of them breaking the sound barrier with no sonic boom.

Former president Barack Obama – who has long joked in interviews that he knows things about “aliens” that he cannot talk about – this week echoed that sentiment during an interview with James Corden.

“What is true – and I’m actually being serious here – is that there’s footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are,” he said. “We can’t explain how they moved.”

This content was originally published here.