By Juliette Goodrich

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/CNN) — A special Pentagon task force has released its long awaited report on a series of mysterious sightings of unidentified flying objects by Navy pilots and others.

The report’s conclusion — well, it’s inconclusive. Of the 144 reports covered by the study, officials were able to explain only one of them.

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“Of the 143 — What are they?” Dr. Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer from the San Franciso-based SETI Institute, told KPIX 5. “They don’t know — it can be anything. They did not rule out anything in any category and that means they didn’t rule out what they call atmospheric clutter. Things in our airspace. They didn’t rule out Chinese or Russian vehicles. They didn’t rule out alien vehicles.”

Investigators looked into what the government terms “unexplained aerial phenomena” between 2004 and 2021.

The report is almost certain to disappoint UFO-ologists who had hoped it might offer definitive proof that the US government has made contact with extraterrestrial life — what is known in those communities as “the Disclosure.”

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But the report does signal an extraordinary shift in attitudes within the national security community about what had long been considered a fringe issue, after years of Washington infighting.

Erasing the stigma surrounding a serious discussion of UFOs was also the goal for lawmakers in 2020 when they passed legislation requiring the Pentagon and intelligence community to produce the report.

That goal, at least, appears to be within sight, some lawmakers say.

Shostak said the report should not make people over concerned.

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“I don’t see anything in this report that is going to discourage me from getting on a commercial airline this weekend and flying somewhere,” he said. “I don’t think we are going to hit a Klingon craft.”

Juliette Goodrich