The Times does not say what the government would consider as evidence a sighting was alien spacecraft - what, specifically, it considers would be evidence.
It is also seen by the U.S. military as a security and safety issue, given that in many cases the pilots who reported seeing unexplained aerial phenomena were conducting combat training flights.
One senior official tells the Times that military and intelligence officials suspect that Russian Federation or China is experimenting with hypersonic technology. "That determination would appear to eliminate the possibility that Navy pilots who reported seeing unexplained aircraft might have encountered programs the government meant to keep secret".
The commissioning of the report - due to be released to Congress on June 26 - was wrapped into former President Donald Trump's COVID-19 relief package from March a year ago, The Post reported.
Interest was piqued in the possibility of highly intelligent extraterrestrial life after the Pentagon released videos previous year, in which Navy pilots express amazement at the fast-moving objects they see. "There's not a policy prescription and that's why there is such a hesitancy to deal with the issue", Rep. Michael Waltz, a Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNN in a recent interview. In 2007, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid secured funding for the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Programme, a Pentagon programme that examined the United States military's encounters with UFOs. "Either way it's really bad", said Waltz.
Interest in UFOs and alien lifeforms have picked up in recent weeks in light of the upcoming report.
"Most people would be hoping for visual evidence of little green men, which is nearly certainly not going to be the case", a congressional aide told CNN, referring to expectations about the report's contents.
The two people briefed on the report said it found no proof of an extraterrestrial link and does not rule out that what pilots have seen may be new technologies developed by other countries. But, as the Times reports, that's expected to be the only conclusive finding. But the same official also told CNN that many encounters turn out to have perfectly normal explanations, like a weather balloon or a drone. "We're good at manufacturing arguments for each other", Obama said.
But the document may yield more questions than answers.
They also fueled a desire on Capitol Hill for more information and the belief among several key lawmakers that Congress must flex its oversight powers to ensure the issue is being handled appropriately. "They did not have an easily explainable pattern", Obama said.