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Month: September 2019

UAP Means UFO – A Terminological History

What’s in a name? It is an important question to ask of the term Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), now being disseminated and broadly accepted by the UFO community and, as we have learned recently, used officially by the Navy. Why did this terminology change from the time-tested, world-accepted, cross-language term UFO?

When Navy spokesperson Joseph Gradisher was asked by Law & Crime he stated “That’s because we want to destigmatize the reporting for our aviators, so they don’t hesitate to tell us what they have seen. Our aviators are not above ribbing the pilots who have spotted something that cannot be identified.”

It is claimed by Mr. Gradisher’s that UAP is “a term we borrowed from the UK” (Roger Glassel). The same claim was made by Nick Pope on Fox News. This may be true in the modern context, but curiously the term or some variation thereof has been used throughout UFOlogical history. This article will solidify the term UAP means UFO.

Early References

One of the most infamous Air Force funded studies, Project Blue Book Report #8 published on Dec. 31, 1952 eluded that “phenomena” and “object” are interchangeable:

Blue Book #14’s (CIA) official title includes “unidentified aerial objects”:

And in the summary section, first paragraph it states that unidentified aerial objects is interchangeable with “flying saucers” or “flying disks”:

Earlier records I could find are in The UFO Experience, by famous astronomer J. Allen Hynek. It cites Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) started in ’52 and National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) of ’56. Hynek proclaimed that these were the two best civilian UFO groups of their time.

A letter sent to APRO International Director Ms. Coral Lorenzen by CIA Legislative Counsel John S. Warner includes the term:

The Air Force UFO “Fact Sheet”

In the 1960, the Air Force UFO Fact Sheet included the term, and implied the term is interchangeable with UFO:

The Condon Report

The Condon Report of ’68 included a couple direct quotations:

Page 922
Page 984

And there are variations:

Page 84
Page 110

The Roswell Report

Several memorandums in the Roswell Report: Fact VS Fiction in the New Mexico Desert (1995) include the term. This one also eludes to the interchangeability of “objects” and “phenomena”:


I have tried to prove here that the not-so-new but newly-accepted and widely distributed term UAP does in fact means UFO. In the context of the ‘unidentifed aerial’ phrase, I’ve tried to solidify that Object can be replaced with Phenomenon or Phenomena. The overall conclusion is that all of these terms and phrases mean the same thing: UFO.

Special thanks to The Black Vault for helping find some of these references. If you find more examples of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena/Phenomenon/Object used in historical context, let me know.

US Plans New, Massive Technological Agenda

In what is being called the Second Bold Era in S&T (Science and Technology), a memo from the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Russell T. Vought, and White House Science Advisor, Dr. Kelvin K. Droegemeier, describes the US engaging in such technological innovations not seen since World War 2.

This effort is “characterized by unprecedented knowledge, access to data and computing resources, ubiquitous and instant communication, and technologies that allow us to peer into the inner workings of atomic particles as well as the vastness of the universe.

Interesting to note, the agenda “also features new and extraordinary threats which must be confronted thoughtfully and effectively.” As if the “new, extraordinary threats” are already identified but secret, but that’s just speculation.

It appears this new directive is pushing for a more open government: “striking a balance between the openness of our research ecosystem and the protection of our ideas and research outcomes. It will depend upon ensuring that our research environments are diverse, safe, inclusive, and accommodating as well as free from unnecessary administrative burdens. ” All this is an effort to “solve previously intractable grand challenges.” But don’t get your hopes up just yet for a grande reveal of the UFO coverup. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, despite a growing popularity of the issue.

The Plan

The memo outlines major areas that are relevant to the security of the US, some of which could be relevant to the UFO issue. Follows is a list of the important and interesting areas for action.

1. Advanced Military Capabilities “including offensive and defensive hypersonic weapons capabilities, resilient national security space systems, and modernized and flexible strategic and nonstrategic nuclear deterrent capabilities.

2. What’s not surprising is the references to the Space Weather program that outlines the following major problems in that area:

  • Enhance the Protection of National Security, Homeland Security, and Commercial Assets and Operations against the Effects of Space Weather;
  • Develop and Disseminate Accurate and Timely Space Weather Characterization and Forecasts; and
  • Establish Plans and Procedures for Responding to and Recovering from Space Weather Events.

3. A new computing agenda the likes of which would bring Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and “prioritize R&D that enables electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing and civil supersonic aircraft, including for type certification, the creation of over-land supersonic flight noise standards, and low-sonic-boom aircraft research.

4. R&D into energy producing assets including nuclear, renewable, and fossil and establishing new “reactor technologies”. As well as a new advanced manufacturing strategy.

5. One of the more uncharacteristic topics is that of Earth and Ocean: “Departments and agencies should also focus on processing and making publicly available data that characterize natural resources and human activities and on R&D that improves understanding of and supports effective responses to changes in the ocean systemKnowing the extent to which components of the Earth system are practicably predictable – from individual thunderstorms to long-term global change -is vitally important for physical understanding of the Earth system

6. A dedicated section for Health and Bioeconomics: “Departments and agencies should prioritize evidence-based standards and research to rapidly establish microorganism, plant, and animal safety and efficacy for products developed using gene editing, to better accelerate biotechnology product adoption and socially responsible use.”

7. In an effort to support veterans and squelch the suicide epidemic thereto “leverage data sharing and integration to derive new insights into brain health and suicide from existing studies or data sets

8. The big one for space fans: “focus on ensuring American leadership in space by supporting the Trump Administration’s call for a return of Americans to the Moon’ s surface by 2024 and utilizing the Moon as a proving-ground for a future human mission to Mars.”

The memo then describes how to accomplish these goals, including a push for STEM based stimulation in schools, colleges and universities, support high risk R&D investments, a new Data Strategy Plan, and a general goal to bolster partnerships amongst federal, private, and academic institutions.


A special thanks to Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists for pointing me in the right direction.