(TMU) – As secretive unit operating within the U.S. Department of Defense that is charged with investigating unidentified flying objects (UFOs) will make some of its findings public after it was revealed that the Pentagon has been recently briefed about “off-world vehicles not made on this earth.”
The once-covert UFO unit, which operates within the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence, will soon begin giving regular biannual updates on its research to the U.S. Senate’s Intelligence Committee, reports The New York Times.
The Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force was formed in 2019 for the purpose of studying strange and inexplicable encounters between U.S. military pilots and unidentified aerial vehicles or UFOs in a bid “to standardize collection and reporting” of the various sightings.
The program is the successor to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which also investigated UFOs but was dissolved in 2017 due to a lapse of funding. However, the team working on that program continued its work alongside the intelligence community even after it was officially disbanded.
Luis Elizondo, a former military intelligence official who headed the Pentagon program, resigned in October 2017 after a decade with the program. Elizondo, along with a group of former government scientists and officials, remain convinced that objects of unkown origin have crashed on Earth and that these apparently extraterrestrial materials have been the focus of research.
“It no longer has to hide in the shadows,” Elizondo told the Times. “It will have a new transparency.”
Former Senate majority leader and retired Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), who led the push to fund the earlier UFO program, also believes that the studies should see the light of day.
“After looking into this, I came to the conclusion that there were reports — some were substantive, some not so substantive — that there were actual materials that the government and the private sector had in their possession,” Reid said.
So far, none of the alleged crash artifacts have been subject to public scrutiny or verification by independent researchers. However, some of the retrieved objects such as strange metallic debris were identified as being manmade – raising the possibility that they could be related to the military of U.S. rivals such as China or Russia.
However, astrophysicist Eric Davis – who served as an advisor for the Pentagon program since 2007 – said that he had briefed the Pentagon in March about material retrieved from “off-world vehicles not made on this earth.”
The Department of Defense subcontractor also said that he had concluded that the objects found were of the type “we couldn’t make … ourselves.”
In an interview last month, President Donald Trump told his son Donald Trump Jr. that he had heard some “interesting” things about supposed aliens as well as the secretive Area 51 base near Roswell, New Mexico, that some theorists claim is a UFO crash site.
The U.S. government has been increasingly open in its discussions of UFOs since last September, when U.S. Navy admitted that widely-circulated video footage captured by Navy pilots that purportedly showed UFOs flying through the skies did depict actual “unknown” objects that flew into U.S. airspace.
While officials admitted that they have been baffled by the unknown flying objects, they also admit that past encounters with them have been frequent. They also said that rather than calling them “UFOs,” they prefer the term unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs.
While it remains yet to be seen what information the once-secret UFO unit plans to lay out for lawmakers, acting intelligence committee chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is intent on finding out who or what precisely is behind the apparent UFO activity over U.S. military bases.
“We have things flying over our military bases and places where we are conducting military exercises and we don’t know what it is — and it isn’t ours,” Rubio told CBS Miami in an interview last Friday.
“Frankly, that if it’s something from outside this planet — that might actually be better than the fact that we’ve seen some technological leap on behalf of the Chinese or the Russians or some other adversary that allows them to conduct this sort of activity,” the hawkish senator added.
For Reid, further transparency is needed.
“It is extremely important that information about the discovery of physical materials or retrieved craft come out,” he said.
Awesome New Infrared Goggles Could Help Blind People ‘See’ Surroundings
People who are blind or deal with low vision face a unique number of challenges in their daily lives, ranging from accessing published material to holding a job or living on one’s own.
However, emerging infrared technology under research could help the blind and visually impaired navigate the world around them using a pair of innovative goggles.
In new research recently published and yet to be peer-reviewed, Manuel Zahn and Armaghan Ahmad Khan at Germany’s Technical University of Munich explored how their 3D camera and haptic feedback armband can assist people with low vision.
“Even in the present era, visually impaired people face a constant challenge of navigation,” the pair wrote. “The most common tool available to them is the cane. Although the cane allows good detection of objects in the user’s immediate vicinity, it lacks the ability to detect obstacles further away.”
The two students’ design deploys two infrared cameras placed in a 3D-printed goggles prototype to get a stereoscopic view that is transformed by a small computer into a map of the user’s surroundings. The infrared gear also works in the dark. The armband then uses 25 actuators arranged in a grid that vibrates when users come close to objects while also assisting them in their orientation. As users walk near obstacles, the vibration intensity of the actuators increases.
In tests, subjects enjoyed roughly 98 percent accuracy while getting through obstacle pathways, with all five participants completing the course in their first run. After two additional runs, the volunteers were able to navigate the obstacles more rapidly.
Zahn and Khan frequently cited Microsoft’s Kinect motion detection system for the Xbox in their study, but the pair are confident that their own setup will be far smaller, cheaper and less conspicuous than the gaming device.
The new headset could offer an interesting opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to clear the myriad obstacles they face when performing regular tasks or navigating the world around them.
Toddler Goes On $2000 Furniture-Shopping Spree On Mom’s Phone
A New Jersey mom learned that keeping your browser open may not be the best idea as children, and even infants, become increasingly tech savvy.
Madhu Kumar was browsing Walmart’s furniture selection on their website and had added some items to her shopping cart but never checked out. She was shocked and confused when she started to receive a steady stream of packages from the big-box retailer.
Madhu immediately turned to her husband and two older children to find out who ordered the packages.
“I need one or two, why would we need four?” Madhu asked.
As it turned out, her toddler Ayaansh Kumar – who, at 22 months old, was barely learning to count – had gone on a $2,000 shopping spree while playing on his mother’s phone.
“It is really hard to believe that he has done this, but that’s what happened,” Ayaansh’s dad, Pramod Kumar, told NBC New York.
Among the packages were some that could barely be squeezed through the family’s front door at their home in Monmouth Junction.
Purchases included accent chairs, flower stands and a range of other household items that arrived throughout the week.
“He’s so little, he’s so cute, we were laughing that he ordered all this stuff,” his mom remarked.
From birth, young Ayaansh had observantly watched his family members engage in a range of activities from home – including shopping, attending classes, and going to school. And as it the case for many kids of his generation, he knows the basics of operating a smartphone.
The parents are still waiting for all of the boxes to arrive so that they can return them to their local Walmart. The retailer has already told the Kumars that they are eligible for a refund, but the parents plan to save at least a few items to remind them of their son’s first e-commerce adventure.
“Moving forward, we will put tough passcodes or face recognition so when he picks up the phone he finds it in locked condition,” his father said.
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