Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £29.99 £19.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Military Interest in UFOs – Iain Boyd

Iain Boyd discusses some of the reason for the U.S. military's renewed interest in evaluating unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs).
Well, my name is Iain Boyd. I’m a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and I’m also the director of our Center for National Security Initiatives. My research involves computational modeling of gases and plasmas, related to aerospace systems. I think there’s been renewed interest in UFOs recently, partly because of the interest expressed by the US military. I think there’s a portion of the population who would say, well, if the military is interested in UFOs, there must be something there to think about. I think it’s also related to an increase in the number of UFO sightings, reported sightings, globally.
That number had been increasing up until a couple of years ago where probably COVID got in the way. And I think that trend is partly explained by the proliferation of cameras and imaging technology. Everybody who has a smartphone has a pretty capable camera with them, almost all the time. And so, just looking at social media, the number of photographs and images that are being taken. That number must be just increasing all the time. So I think it’s kind of a combination of effects that have driven this renewed and increased interest in UFOs. The US military has changed its approach to UFOs. There’ve been a number of stories in the press and internet about their approaches.
I think, in the end, they are interested in learning about what pilots see when they’re flying for a number of reasons. What the military would call it is full domain awareness, is basically having a complete picture of your operational environment. And so, if you’re a pilot in an F-35 and you’re flying, whether it’s in a time of war or peace, and something comes across one of your sensors, and you don’t understand what it is and you can’t identify it, that’s a real challenge and could create a problem. If it is in a time of war, you really have to be able to identify whether an object is a threat to you.
It’s an enemy, or it’s an ally, or a friend, or it’s just a natural phenomenon. And so, I think that’s mainly where the military interest is coming from. And one of the key steps that they’ve been taking is to encourage the pilots to report unusual objects, unidentified flying objects, when they see them, because in the end, this will help them develop procedures and technologies that will be able to do a better job of accurately and clearly identifying everything in the air domain when pilots in the Air Force and the Navy and so on are flying. This active step by the military to encourage the pilots to report unusual events, it really frees the pilots from worrying about doing it.
It really, all they have to decide upon is, is that an event, an observation that I don’t understand and should be reported?

The United States government has largely framed UFO sightings in terms of national security.

The emergence of new camera and imaging technology has resulted in an increase of reports; everyday civilians have access to smartphones and social media at the tips of their fingers. However, Iain Boyd, Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Center for National Security Initiatives, indicates that renewed government interest reflects its priority of developing full domain awareness, in which a system of surveillance provides a complete picture of an environment.

This article is from the free online

UFOs: Scanning the Skies Teach-Out

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now