UFOs were the most talked about topic in the US media after the Chinese spy balloon seen over missile facilities. However, it is difficult to see the truth from the conspiracy theories flying in public opinion.
Three objects shot down in succession in the USA… There is still no clear idea what they are. But they have certainly fuelled a long-standing debate.
Some argue that these events are a prelude to the dramatic information that will be revealed in the near future, others attribute them to “guests from the galaxies”, others to the satellite wars between the USA and China, which have been the subject of many films.
Here, the Chinese “spy balloon” first seen over critical facilities in the USA, including missile facilities, and then the downing of 3 objects, fuelled the public debate.
The US administration avoids making clear statements about the downed objects. In the public opinion, there are different opinions about the objects shot down one after the other. Some think that they are man-made and used for intelligence purposes, just like the Chinese balloon.
Others insist that they are UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects).
First of all, it is worth mentioning the following. The most important reason for the confusion is the lack of a satisfactory explanation from the Biden administration.
Finally, three more unidentified objects were shot down over Lake Huron two weeks ago. While Pentagon officials stated that they did not pose a security threat, they did not provide information about their origin or purpose.
UFO studies and reports in the USA
In 2020, the US military declassified images of unidentified objects observed by American pilots in previous years. US intelligence then analysed the events in question and was unable to make the necessary identification.
In order to convert observations of such events into data, the Pentagon first established a unit called the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, and later transformed it into the Aerial Object Identification, Management, Synchronisation Group.
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also announced that they will establish a working team in 2022 to examine unidentified aerial phenomena, popularly known as UFOs.
In a written statement from NASA, “NASA is commissioning a study team to begin in early autumn to study unidentified aerial phenomena, i.e. observations of events that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural formations in the sky, from a scientific perspective.”
The US Directorate of National Intelligence announced at the beginning of this year that since March 2021, they have received 366 reports of “Unidentified Flying Objects”, also known as UFOs, and 171 of them have not yet been identified.
The US Directorate of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the All-Site Anomaly Resolution Office of the Ministry of Defence published the annual “Unidentified Flying Object” report.
The report emphasised that unidentified objects are mostly detected in restricted and militarily sensitive airspaces, and that concerns have increased that these incidents are intelligence gathering activities of US adversaries.
So, are the UFO allegations real, or are they a study aimed at the sensitivities that want to be kept alive in the US? What is the view of UFOs in the US?
Do Americans believe in UFOs?
Speaking to TRT Haber, Sibel Karabel, Director of the ASEAN Centre at Istanbul Gedik University, says that UFOs first entered the world agenda with the Second World War. She mentions that the definition of UFO, which means “Unidentified Flying Object”, has also changed over the years:
“Now NASA and the US Department of Defence have changed their terminology regarding UFOs in recent years, even a few years ago. Now it is no longer referred to as UFO, but as UEFA. So there is a definition like this. Instead of “unidentified flying object”, they refer to it as UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon).”
According to Karabel, the name change points to an emphasis.
“Essentially, by calling these objects ‘Unidentified Airborne Phenomenon’, the US institutions emphasise that these objects are man-made or that they are being studied and scientific research is being conducted.”
It is known that since the 1940s and 1950s, there has been great confusion among the Americans about UFOs, which are sometimes followed with fear, sometimes with anxiety and sometimes with curiosity.
Karabel also states that US institutions have made progress in classifying the subject.
“However, in recent years, for example, we see that it has been systematised at NASA. There are 19 different units in this institution. In 2022, a special study lasting 9 months was conducted and this study was to be reported in mid-2023. Again in 2021, the first video on UFOs was published by the Pentagon. Therefore, UFO news and reports are now taken much more seriously in the US.”
So, what does the US public think?
Stating that there are very different opinions in the US public opinion, Karabel says that public opinion companies have conducted many researches on this subject.
“For example, one of the famous research companies in the United States is conducting research. This research is repeated in 2019 and 2021. It measures whether some of the Americans believe that people from galaxies and planets, which we call UFOs, visit the world.
In 2019, 33 per cent of Americans stated that they believed, while the rate of those who stated that they believed in the research conducted in 2021 increased to 41 per cent. Those who had no opinion were 7 per cent in 2019 and 9 per cent in 2021.”
Another noteworthy point in the research mentioned by Karabel is the decline in the number of Americans who believe that all this is man-made and does not come from different galaxies.
While this rate was around 60 per cent in 2019, it decreased to 50 per cent in 2021.
Chinese “spy bubble”
The US military shot down the balloon, which was detected in American airspace and claimed to be a Chinese spy balloon, off the coast of South Carolina on 4 February. The US has not yet completed the examination of the module of the Chinese balloon it shot down, but the US State Department claimed that the balloon had equipment capable of transmitting signals and collecting intelligence, unlike meteorological balloons, and that they had determined that it was produced by a manufacturer with direct ties to the Chinese military.
Upon the detection of a balloon in the US airspace, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed his visit to Beijing. China denied the allegations.
We also ask Sibel Karabel about the Chinese bubble and its impact.
According to Karabel, the first questions about the Chinese bubble are still unanswered.
“Who discovered the bubble first? Was it the Pentagon? Other US institutions? Or was it an individual discovery? Many different scenarios are being discussed in the US on this issue.”
On the other hand, Karabel also draws attention to the criticisms directed at the Biden administration, “Biden made a speech on 16 February, but the questions could not be answered. Questions arose both about what exactly the object was and the fate of the debris after it was hit.”
It was translated and published from TRT news.