*X-Files theme song plays loudly.*
Are we alone in the universe? The question has been debated for ages. Most recently, US Navy pilots who think they spotted a UFO will be getting guidelines for logging what they've seen.
The US Navy began drafting the new forms after multiple sightings of highly advanced aircraft trespassing on military formations, Politico reported on Tuesday.
"Pilots are upset, and they're trying to help wake up a slumbering system," Chris Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and a staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told The Washington Post. Mellon and other pilots reportedly think a new streamlined reporting system could make it more acceptable to report UFOS and ultimately remove the stigma.
The Navy and the United States Air Force said they're taking each report seriously.
"There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years," Navy spokesman Joseph Gradisher said in an email. "For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [US Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report."
The Navy isn't necessarily ready to don tin foil hats, but it's "updating and formalizing" how unidentified aircraft are reported to authorities, Gradisher said. Additionally, in light of requests for information from congressional members and staff, Gradisher said Navy officials are holding briefings by senior Navy intelligence officials and pilots who reported flight safety hazards.
The new system could also make it easier to investigate UFO sightings, according to Time. Last March, the Federal Aviation Administration released radio traffic from two commercial pilots who reported a UFO, separately, in the Arizona skies in February. The following November, Irish authorities began investigating UFOs seen by multiple commercial pilots in western Ireland. AirLive published the pilots' recordings.
Originally published April 24, 12:58 p.m. PT.
Updates, 2:05 p.m.: Includes statement from US Navy; April 25: Adds detail.