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The carefully worded and scoped question What aircraft equipment produced the three recordings of unidentified aerial phenomenon released by the US Pentagon in 2020? What does black signify? managed to fly, was well-received and received three good answers.

The new Washington Post article Pentagon Forms a Group to Examine Unexplained Aerial Sightings begins:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Tuesday night announced a new group to investigate reports of unidentified aerial phenomena in sensitive areas, work that will be overseen by both the military and the intelligence agencies.

The group will lead an effort to “detect, identify and attribute objects” in restricted airspace, as well as mitigate any threats to military flights.

The announcement follows the release of a report in June that failed to provide explanations of 143 sightings of strange phenomena by military pilots and others over the past two decades.

The report frustrated some inside the intelligence community who believed more analysis and research should have been done to try to categorize and explain the phenomena. Releasing a report that said the sightings were unexplained further drove theories that the videos or pictures could be visitors from space, a theory that few in the U.S. government take seriously.

I have watched the YouTube video Nimitz FLIR1 "Tic-Tac" UFO Video - No Sudden Moves and others on that channel calmly, logically and convincingly show that most of those videos of "strange UFO behavior" are simply artifacts of how the FLIR system gimbals and how the image processing system operates.

So the simple question that I would like to ask in a carefully worded and scoped way could be loosely paraphrased as:

Of all the UFO sightings, which kinds can't be simply dismissed and are of particular concern to the Pentagon and the group it has formed to examine them? FLIR videos? Radar sightings? Something else?

Before posting this though, I'd like to double check that a question like this can fit the site and not generate undue problems. The first one seemed to go nicely but that may have been an anomaly.


Note: In Space Exploration SE there is a low but reliable rate of "hoaxer" questions, those that attempt to push their own thinly veiled theories through certain question styles, and others about how to mix ones own rocket fuel in one's garage. Both are very swiftly and decisively closed via a standard "How do we know the Apollo Moon landings are real?" duplicate and a custom close reason for the DIY rocket fuel questions and these together with a healthy user community are very effective at keeping the question base clean.

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Since we can't factually know what the Pentagon considers of interest until that's made public, it would be closable as opinion based, IMO.


In the same vein, questions here about aviation accidents before the final report are off-topic regardless of any possible "expert" opinion. This is not SE's domain; perhaps a forum, or in this case a FOIA request. But, of course go ahead if you think you can make it a good subjective question about aviation, not about what the Pentagon would want to look into.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm always cautious of "what we know" references as they presume to know ahead of time what answers and sources any and all other uses may be able to bring to the table. With what level of certainty do you feel that fact-based answers from this large, knowledgable and resourceful community are a priori impossible? Would a simple "what is known about..." qualifier address your concerns? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2021 at 3:22
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: RE "what we know": in the same vein, questions here about aviation accidents before the final report are off-topic regardless of any possible "expert" opinion. This is not SE's domain; perhaps a forum, or in this case a FOIA request. But, of course go ahead if you think you can make it a good subjective question about aviation, not about what the Pentagon would want to look into. (IMO.) $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Nov 25, 2021 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ I have seen FOIA requests generated in order to answer SE questions, and how do we know someone here has not already done so for this topic? I think my first comment stands. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2021 at 11:04
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: So does my comment, like I wrote: go ahead if you can make it "good subjective" and about aviation. $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Nov 25, 2021 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ After giving it some more thought, I see what you mean about that. Hmm... $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 26, 2021 at 20:34

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