Though you may not have seen it mentioned too many times in this week's headlines centered on COVID-19 relief, the increasingly mainstream UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena) research community has reason to be cautiously excited about the implementation of a tucked-away element of the recently signed $2.3 trillion spending bill.
As Christopher K. Mellon—ex-Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence in both the Clinton and W. Bush eras—explained on Tuesday, the freshly enacted Intelligence Authorization Act brings in the Senate Intelligence Committee's "report language" calling for an unclassified and all-sources report on the UAP (more commonly known as UFO) issue. According to Mellon, "it's now fair to say" this request has bipartisan support.
With the passing of the aforementioned spending bill, which includes the Intelligence Authorization Act, a 180-day countdown has begun.
Included as a "committee comment" in the Intelligence Authorization Act, the committee directs the director of national intelligence "in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of such other agencies" to submit a report within 180 days of the date of enactment of the Act to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees on UAPs.
The report, per the committee, should include a thorough analysis of available data and intelligence reporting on UAPs. Types of potential data specifically mentioned in the document are geospatial intelligence, signals intelligence, human intelligence, and measurement and signals intelligence.
Mellon spoke with science, tech, and defense news site the Debrief about this latest development. In a statement he shared with the site via email, Mellon—who's been a prominent voice in the UAP field in recent years due in large part to his work with Tom DeLonge's To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA)—expressed measured enthusiasm about what's ahead.
"I'm hopeful the new Administration will rigorously execute its oversight prerogatives because the concerns of the public and numerous U.S. military personnel have been ignored by a complacent national security bureaucracy for far too long," he said.
The work of TTSA has been integral to the current moment of pop culture and governmental favor for those who have long pushed for a more united approach to UAP research. Reports circulated earlier this month, however, claiming that both Mellon and fellow TTSA figure Lue Elizondo (who previously served in a leadership capacity for a secret government UAP investigatory group) had left the company. TTSA has not publicly commented on the matter.
On Wednesday, Elizondo responded to the growing news coverage of the 180-day countdown, stating that the achievements of the past three years are due "in large part" to the UAP research community on Twitter.