The X-Files are moving out of the basement.
A provision buried deep in the $770 billion military spending bill that the US Senate passed on Wednesday calls for the creation of a new agency to investigate reports of UFO sightings.
Under Section 1683 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines have to establish an “office, organizational structure, and authorities to address unidentified aerial phenomena” within 180 days after President Biden signs the bill into law.
Among its duties, the new agency will “evaluate links between unidentified aerial phenomena and adversarial foreign governments, other foreign governments, or nonstate actors” and “the threat that such incidents present to the United States.”
It will also have to submit annual reports to “the appropriate congressional committees” and give the committees classified briefings twice a year.
In June, a nine-page report government report on UFO sightings said there was no “single explanation” for the 140 incidents reported by military personnel since 2004 but deemed them a threat to flight safety and a potential threat to national security.
Last month, the Pentagon quietly announced it had formed the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group to oversee UFO investigations, which critics attacked as an attempt to limit transparency on the subject.