“Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo asked Trump point-blank whether the objects exist, to which the president replied, “Well, I’m gonna have to check on that. I mean, I’ve heard that. I heard that two days ago, so I’ll check on that. I’ll take a good, strong look at that.”
In June, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. asked his father if he would let us know if there are aliens, adding it’s “the only thing I really want to know” and if he would ever “open up Roswell and let us know what’s going on there.”
“So many people ask me that question,” the president told his son at the time. “There are millions and millions of people that want to go there, that want to see it. I won’t talk to you about what I know about it but it’s very interesting. But Roswell is a very interesting place with a lot of people that would like to know what’s going on.”
When pressed further about declassifying information about Roswell, the president said, “I’ll have to think about that one.”
President Trump had expressed skepticism of the existence of UFOs in previous interviews.
The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force was launched by Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist, boosting an effort by the Office of Naval Intelligence, officials said.
It’s not yet clear how this new task force relates to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), Nick Pope, a former employee and UFO investigator for Britain’s Ministry of Defense, told Fox News over the summer. Pope cited “former defense officials” with the group who were involved in work relating to UFOs.
The AATIP was formed in 2007 at the behest of former Sen. Harry Reid, Fox News previously reported. It reportedly ceased operations in 2012, but in 2017 the New York Times reported the Department of Defense was still investigating potential episodes of unidentified flying objects.
The creation of the task force follows inquiries from lawmakers about the subject. In June, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, instructed the director of national intelligence, the secretary of defense and other agency heads to compile data on “unidentified aerial phenomenon.”
“The Committee remains concerned that there is no unified, comprehensive process within the federal government for collecting and analyzing intelligence on unidentified aerial phenomena, despite the potential threat,” lawmakers wrote in a report.
“The Committee understands that the relevant intelligence may be sensitive; nevertheless, the Committee finds that the information sharing and coordination across the Intelligence Community has been inconsistent, and this issue has lacked attention from senior leaders,” they added.
In July, the New York Times reported that a small group of government officials, including Reid, and scientists believe objects of “undetermined origin” have crashed to Earth and been retrieved. The publication cited Eric W. Davis, an astrophysicist who worked as a subcontractor and a consultant for the Pentagon UFO program. Davis, who now works for defense contractor Aerospace Corporation, said he gave briefings on the recovery of unexplained objects to staff members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Oct. 21 and Oct. 23, 2019.
In April, the Pentagon officially released videos of “unidentified aerial phenomena,” known as “FLIR1,” “Gimbal” and “GoFast,” previously captured by Navy aircraft. The footage had circulated in the public for years. They were originally released to the New York Times and to The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, headed by Blink-182 co-founder Tom DeLonge.
After the videos were released publicly, DeLonge said “UFOs are real” in a since-deleted tweet.
The first video of the unidentified object was taken on Nov. 14, 2004, and shot by the F-18’s gun camera. The second video was shot on Jan. 21, 2015, and shows another aerial vehicle with pilots commenting on how strange it is.
The third video was also taken on Jan. 21, 2015, but it is unclear whether the third video was of the same object or a different one.
Seven months prior, in September 2019, the U.S. Navy first acknowledged the videos contained unidentified objects, specifically using “unidentified aerial phenomena” terminology.