US military pilots and satellites have recorded “a lot more” sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, than have been made public, Donald Trump’s former intelligence director John Ratcliffe said.
Asked on Fox News about a forthcoming government report on “unidentified aerial phenomena”, Ratcliffe said the report would document previously unknown sightings from “all over the world”.
“Frankly, there are a lot more sightings than have been made public,” he said.
“Some of those have been declassified. And when we talk about sightings, we are talking about objects that have been seen by navy or air force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery, that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain, movements that are hard to replicate, that we don’t have the technology for.
“Or traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom.”
The UFO report must be published by early June, pursuant to a clause in a Covid relief and spending package signed by Trump before he left office.
Ratcliffe served about eight months as director of national intelligence at the end of Trump’s term. Earlier, Trump moved to nominate Ratcliffe for the role but Ratcliffe withdrew over concerns he had exaggerated and fibbed about his experience as a prosecutor in Texas.
“I actually wanted to get this information out and declassify it before I left office,” Ratcliffe said, “but we weren’t able to get it down into an unclassified format that we were able to talk about quickly enough.”
The forthcoming report is to be issued by the defense department and intelligence agencies. When an unidentified aerial phenomena is identified, Ratcliffe said, analysts try to explain it as a potential weather disturbance or other routine spectacle.
“We always look for a plausible explanation,” he said. “Sometimes we wonder whether our adversaries have technologies that are a little bit farther down the road than we thought or that we realized.
“But there are instances where we don’t have good explanations.
“So in short, things that we are observing that are difficult to explain – and so there’s actually quite a few of those, and I think that that info has been gathered and will be put out in a way the American people can see.”
Asked by Bartiromo where the unidentified phenomena were sighted, Ratcliffe replied, “actually all over the world, there have been sightings all over the world.
“Multiple sensors that are picking up these things. They’re unexplained phenomenon, and there’s actually quite a few more than have been made public.”
This article was amended on 23 March 2021 to clarify that John Ratcliffe said intelligence agencies were looking for a “plausible explanation”, not “application”, as we originally had it.