This video screenshot shows a white orb recorded by a Navy fighter jet pilot in 2021. The identity of the object remains unresolved.

This video screenshot shows a white orb recorded by a Navy fighter jet pilot in 2021. The identity of the object remains unresolved. (All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office)

A growing number of commercial pilots are contributing sightings of so-called unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAP, to the federal government’s annual report that tracks such objects, according to the latest unclassified version released Tuesday.

The report — a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — includes UAP sightings from Aug. 31, 2022, to April 30, 2023, as well as any not included in earlier reports.

“Most reports still reflect a bias towards restricted military airspace, a result of reporting from military personnel and sensors present in such areas,” the report states. “This bias has been lessened by reporting from commercial pilots showing a more diverse geographic distribution of UAP sightings across the United States.”

Most sightings are over U.S. airspace and littoral waters, however, because of “U.S.-centric collection bias,” the report states.

The All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, which leads the Defense Department’s efforts in tracking such sightings, received 291 UAP reports during the reporting period, 17 of which had occurred between 2019 and 2022 but had not been previously reported.

The latest report brings the total number of UAPs cited in the annual reports to 801.

While none of the sightings in the new report were associated with “adverse health effects” or injuries, “many reports from military witnesses do present potential safety of flight concerns, and there are some cases where reported UAP have potentially exhibited one or more concerning performance characteristics such as high-speed travel or unusual maneuverability.”

None of the reported UAPs, however, “maneuvered to an unsafe proximity to civil or military aircraft, positioned themselves in flight paths, or otherwise posed a direct threat to the flight safety of the observing aircraft.”

The 15-page report does not include any details or narratives of particular sightings.

Congress has shown mounting interest in tracking and investigating such unidentified phenomena, which have long been referred to as UFOs, or unidentified flying objects, by the public.

In July, two Navy veterans who claimed to have seen UAPs testified before the House Oversight Committee that they believed such objects were a threat to national security.

Former Navy F-18 pilot Ryan Graves said such sightings are “grossly underreported.”

“Parts of our government are more aware about UAP than they let on, but excessive classification processes keep crucial information hidden,” he testified.

Former Air Force intelligence officer David Grusch testified at the same hearing that the federal government has for decades actively worked to conceal physical evidence of UFOs, including crash sites that contained “non-human biologics.”

No credible evidence of alien beings or “objects that defy the known laws of physics” have been found, Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April.

“Time and time again, UAPs are resolved into something already explainable,” he said.

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Wyatt Olson is based in the Honolulu bureau, where he has reported on military and security issues in the Indo-Pacific since 2014. He was Stars and Stripes’ roving Pacific reporter from 2011-2013 while based in Tokyo. He was a freelance writer and journalism teacher in China from 2006-2009.

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