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We Need To Talk About UFOs Again

Dan Drezner reflects on the prospect of extraterrestrial contact and its national security implications, via his Washington Post column.

The hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts has probably written close to 2,000 columns since coming to The Washington Post. Among those that generated a steady stream of responses was one from 2019 headlined “UFOs exist and everyone needs to adjust to that fact.” That column did not say that aliens have visited Earth. Among the things it did say was that there literally are objects flying around that no one, including U.S. Navy pilots, can identify, and we have to puzzle out what that means.

In the two years since that column appeared, the U.S. government continues to tiptoe toward the normalization of the idea of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Last year the Department of Defense released three videos (one recorded in 2004 and the other two in 2015) of U.S. Navy pilots seeing something and having no idea what it was. In its news release, the Pentagon said, “the aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified,’” putting the U in UFO.

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