As if the strange times we've been living through couldn't get any weirder, the Pentagon is set to release a report on UFO sightings later this month. The report is the result of a program designed to record and investigate sightings by the U.S. military.
The highly-anticipated report comes on the heels of three mysterious videos of "unexplained aerial phenomena" declassified by the Defense Department and released last year.
One video taken in 2004 and two subsequent in 2015, show objects flying at high speeds in Earth's atmosphere, accompanied by a conversation between astonished Navy pilots.
"There's a whole fleet of them … My gosh, they're all going against the wind, the wind is 120 knots to the west. Look at that thing dude!" a pilot exclaims in one of the videos.
Watch the Pentagon's three declassified UFO videos taken by U.S. Navy pilots www.youtube.com
Defense officials and lawmakers have been pushing for the report's release and one of the most vocal is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"We cannot allow the stigma of UFOs to keep us from seriously investigating this. The forthcoming report is one step in that process, but it will not be the last," he said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times.
Former President Barack Obama has recently weighed in on the upcoming report and he shared his experiences with UFOs while in the Oval Office.
(Well, he shared what he's allowed to share.)
"When it comes to aliens, there are some things I just can't tell you on air," he told Reggie Watts, bandleader of the Late Late Show. "The truth is that when I came into the office, I asked. I was like, 'Is there a lab somewhere where we're keeping the alien specimens and space ships?'"
"They did a little bit of research and the answer was no," he said.
"But what is true, and I'm actually being serious here... there's footage and records of objects in the skies that we don't know exactly what they are, we can't explain how they moved, their trajectory," Obama said. "They did not have an easily explainable pattern."
Reggie Watts to Barack Obama: What's w/ Dem Aliens? www.youtube.com
This week, Obama went deeper on the subject with Ezra Klein on his podcast. Klein asked how his politics would change if he found out that aliens exist.
"It's interesting. It wouldn't change my politics at all. Because my entire politics is premised on the fact that we are these tiny organisms on this little speck floating in the middle of space," he said.
Obama wouldn't be too surprised if there were life on other planets, given the vastness of the universe.
"When we were going through tough political times, and I'd try to cheer my staff up, I'd tell them a statistic that John Holdren, my science adviser, told me, which was that there are more stars in the known universe than there are grains of sand on the planet Earth," he said.
"Well, sometimes it cheered them up; sometimes they'd just roll their eyes and say, oh, there he goes again," he added.
Obama hopes that if alien life were discovered, it would remind Americans of their common humanity.
"We're just a bunch of humans with doubts and confusion," he said. "We do the best we can. And the best thing we can do is treat each other better because we're all we've got. And so I would hope that the knowledge that there were aliens out there would solidify people's sense that what we have in common is a little more important."
But he also fears the discovery could also lead to further discord.
"But no doubt there would be immediate arguments like, well, we need to spend a lot more money on weapons systems to defend ourselves," he said. "New religions would pop up. And who knows what kind of arguments we get into. We're good at manufacturing arguments for each other."
So, at his core, it appears Obama believes that human nature is so deeply ingrained that even if we learned of life on other planets, it wouldn't fundamentally change who we are.
Sorry aliens, humans are gonna human. Plan accordingly. But if you do land on Earth and ask to be taken to our leader, you're in good hands if the people send you to Obama.
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