The former head of the US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recently said it was reasonable to assume that alien life exists in the universe and might be visiting our planet.
John Brennan, who served as CIA director between 2013 and 2017 and as White House homeland security adviser before that, made the remarks to US economist Tyler Cowen on the latter’s podcast last week.
The issue came up when Cowen asked how a CIA analyst would approach a video of an unidentified flying object (UFO), like those released last year that show US Navy pilots closely tracking mysterious flying objects.
“I’ve seen some of those videos from Navy pilots, and I must tell you that they are quite eyebrow-raising when you look at them,” Brennan said. He noted the first task in analyzing evidence of that kind is to eliminate possible natural phenomena. “You really have to approach it with an open mind, but get as much data as possible and get as much expertise as possible brought to bear,” he noted.
However, he wouldn’t discount the possibility that some UFOs are of intelligent, extraterrestrial origin.
“When people talk about it, is there other life besides what’s in the [United] States, in the world, the globe? Life is defined in many different ways. I think it’s a bit presumptuous and arrogant for us to believe that there’s no other form of life anywhere in the entire universe. What that might be is subject to a lot of different views,” Brennan noted.
“I think some of the phenomena we’re going to be seeing continues to be unexplained and might, in fact, be some type of phenomenon that is the result of something that we don’t yet understand and that could involve some type of activity that some might say constitutes a different form of life,” he added.
Nick Pope, a former employee and UFO investigator for the UK’s Ministry of Defense, told Fox News Brennan’s comments were “intriguing.”
“When I first heard the interview I thought he was going to play it safe, and his mention of weather phenomena reinforced that view,” Pope told Fox News on Monday.
“But for him then to start speculating about something people ‘might say constitutes a different form of life’ was extraordinary. While it may have been a slip of the tongue and an inadvertent muddling of tenses, I was also fascinated to hear him mention not just the previous US Navy UFO sightings, but ‘some of the phenomena we’re going to be seeing,’ as if he was talking about future events,” he added.
For the CIA, the issue of UFOs is hardly hypothetical. In 1978, the agency declassified a slew of documents revealing its probing of UFO cases since the 1940s. Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump teased that he might order more materials on UFO investigations declassified, including the infamous 1947 Roswell incident.
In August, CNN reported, citing unnamed defense sources, that the Pentagon was opening its own task force for investigating UFO sightings. However, it, too, has a long history of tracking UFOs. In 1969, the US Air Force announced its Project Blue Book had concluded UFOs were totally irrelevant to national security and weren’t alien craft. However, the effort to track and understand UFO phenomena reportedly secretly continued under the aegis of other names, such as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program that began in 2009 and which the Pentagon said ended in 2012.