Have YOU seen one? What the most commonly reported UFO looks like

Have YOU seen one? The Pentagon reveals what the most commonly reported UFO looks like

  • Department of Defense document reveals characteristics of the typical UFO
  • READ MORE US government’s UFO office reveals global hotspots for sightings

Ever since the first sighting more than 75 years ago, popular culture has usually depicted a UFO as a flying saucer emitting a powerful halo of light.

But that could finally change following the official release of information from the Pentagon about the mysterious aerial phenomena. 

Based on clues from reported sightings, the typical UFO has a round shape, usually described as spherical or an orb, with a white or silver colour, often translucent. 

It also has a size of between 3 and 13 feet (1 to 4 metres) and usually travels through the air at a height just below commercial passenger planes. 

The Pentagon has also released a hotspot map that reveals the location of reported UFO sightings, including Japan and the Middle East. 

The new Department of Defense document reveals characteristics of the typical UFO, including the colour and the shape, velocity, and flight level 

READ MORE The world’s UFO hotspots revealed

A map discloses where the most sightings have been recorded based on reports between 1996 and 2023 

 

Details about the typical UFO, based on reports between 1996 and 2023, were revealed in the document posted to the new website of the AARO, a dedicated UFO office under the Department of Defense, formed in July last year. 

AARO discloses that most UFOs (28 per cent) have been sighted at altitudes of around 20,000 feet – just under commercial air traffic. 

Around 10 per cent have been reported at just 5,000 feet – around eight times as tall as Seattle’s Space Needle and three times as tall as New York’s One World Tower. 

In terms of shape, most of them (47 per cent) have been described as ‘orb’, ’round’ or ‘sphere’, while one per cent have been Tic Tac-shaped. 

One of the most famous and unusual UFOs to date, spotted by the US Navy in 2004, was the floaty white oblong similar to the breath mint. 

Other UFO shapes include rectangle, oval, triangle, disk, cylinder, square and even polygon, although 19 have had an ‘ambiguous’ shape. 

Meanwhile, 16 per cent have been described as having lights, although in many cases this may have been due to their reflective qualities.

‘Thermal signatures’ include the emission of shortwave or medium-wave infrared light, which is invisible to the naked eye but can be picked up by special detectors. 

Ever since the first UFO sighting more than 75 years ago, popular culture has usually depicted them as flying saucers, as round as wheels. Pictured, cover of the pulp science fiction magazine Amazing Stories from October 1957

One of the most famous and unusual UFOs to date, spotted by the US Navy in 2004, was compared with the Tic Tac breath mint due to its white, oblong appearance (pictured) 

AARO says that most UFOs (28 per cent) have been sighted at altitudes of around 20,000 feet – less than commercial air traffic

What is AARO? 

New UFO data has been released by the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).  

AARO was formed in July 2022 within the US Office of the Secretary of Defense (part of the Department of Defense). 

It is specifically tasked with investigating unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and other unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP). 

In terms of velocity, it is generally ‘stationary to Mach 2’ – meaning the UFO will range from not moving at all to moving at two times the speed of sound, which is just over 1,500 miles per hour.  

And it has ‘no thermal exhaust detected’, so the ones that move at considerable speeds may have other means of propulsion, albeit unknown.

UFO stands for ‘unidentified flying object’ and so the term doesn’t necessarily describe an object with an extraterrestrial origin. 

Department of Defense, commonly known as the Pentagon, now refrains from using the term UFO at all.

This is largely because it is commonly associated with wind up conspiracy theories and paranoia (such as the ‘time traveler’ who claims an alien invasion will take place next year).  

Instead, the Pentagon uses UAP – ‘unidentified aerial phenomenon’ – although in most places this has low usage and is yet to enter common parlance. 

AARO explains: ‘DoD considers unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) as sources of anomalous detections in one or more domain (i.e., airborne, seaborne, spaceborne, and/or transmedium).

‘[They] are not yet attributable to known actors and that demonstrate behaviors that are not readily understood by sensors or observers.’

Most UFOs have been described as ‘orb’, ‘round’ or ‘sphere’, but other reported shapes include polygon, triangle and ‘Tic Tac’ 

Artist’s impression of a UFO. New data from the Pentagon neither supports nor refutes this depiction 

These days, UFOs are considered a security threat by the Pentagon, which will have them shot down if they are in enough space and don’t pose dangers to citizens below. 

A good example is the ‘octagonal’ object with ‘potential surveillance capabilities’ that was taken out over the Great Lakes in February (which itself followed the elimination of a Chinese ‘spy balloon’). 

Others may get mistaken for astronomical objects if they arrive with a flash of light (one possible example is the 2015 UFO that was said to burn away in the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean).

The US government is notoriously secretive when it comes to sharing what it knows about UFOs, but the new AARO’s new website could usher an era of more transparency with the public. 

It will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for publicly available information on the phenomena and it could be a matter of time before fresh data is disclosed. 

In a recent statement, Pentagon officials said the site would shows how ‘committed’ it is to ‘transparency with the American people’.

It comes not long after a prominent UFO whistleblower David Grusch delivered a bombshell testimony before Congress, claiming the Pentagon was covering up evidence related to extraterrestrials.

He testified under oath that the Pentagon had first-hand encounters or knowledge about secret government programmes involving technology that is ‘non-human’. 

In response, one Twitter user posted: ‘David Grusch is my hero. The man will go down in history as the spark that ignited the flame that burnt down the façade separating humanity from the truth of our origins.’

However, Sean Kirkpatrick, a laser and materials physicist, slammed Grusch’s claims about alleged secret programs that retrieve crashed UFOs and reverse engineer the technology as ‘insulting’. 

Former intelligence official said the DoD is covering up evidence related to extraterrestrials 

The US government has been forced to take the presence of unidentified flying objects more seriously in recent months.

Former intelligence official David Grusch testified under oath in July that the Pentagon had first-hand encounters or knowledge of secret government programmes involving technology that is ‘non-human’. 

‘My testimony is based on information I’ve been given by individuals with a long-standing track record of legitimacy… whom have shared compelling evidence in the form of photography, official documentation and classified oral testimony to myself and many various colleagues,’ Grusch said, adding that he was driven to share by a ‘commitment to truth and transparency.’

Its release comes come roughly a month after David Grusch claimed the Pentagon is covering up evidence related to extraterrestrials in a bombshell testimony before Congress

‘I am asking Congress to hold our government to this standard and thoroughly investigate these claims,’ he told lawmakers at the time. ‘But as I stand here under oath now, I am speaking to the facts as I have been told them.’

He told the committee that he and more than 30 aircrew members and veterans had experience of UAPs, unidentified anomalous phenomena, along with members of Congress who have confided in him.

He also claimed the government has ‘intact and partially intact’ extraterrestrial vehicles, although he provided no evidence to support that or any of his other assertions.

Suggesting the American people had been left in the dark for nearly a century, he claimed the first recovery of a UFO was in Magenta, Italy, in 1933 – 14 years before the Roswell incident (generally accepted as the first UFO sighting). 

An artist’s impression of the alleged 1933 UFO crash outside Magenta in northern Italy shows a craft shaped like a saucer

He said Mussolini’s Italian government held it until 1944 through 1945 when Pope Pius XII tipped America off about it. 

When asked if he firmly believes the government had UAPs, Grusch responded: ‘Absolutely.’

He said his view was based on interviews with at least 40 witnesses.

Asked where the craft are, he said: ‘I know the exact locations and those locations were provided to the inspector general … I actually had the people with the first-hand knowledge provide a protected disclosure to the Inspector General.’ 

He further claimed he has faced brutal retaliation after coming forward about his firsthand accounts of UFOs.

‘I do have knowledge of active planned reprisal activity against myself and other colleagues,’ Grusch said.

‘There were certain colleagues of mine that were brutally administratively attacked. It makes me very upset as a leader to see that happen to other co-workers and superiors of mine in the last three years.’

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