With the latest disclosure concerning UFO encounters with the US military, it is blatantly obvious that the United States government -and the US military- never gave up investigating UFOs.
Not every soldier, sailor, marine, and pilot is “in the know”, by some accounts, the people in the know are usually limited to less than 10,000 individuals at any given time, and most of those people are not military, however.
Outside of the well known and oft used UFO sighting classification system ( Hynek's scale- Close Encounters) created by J. Allen Hynek, the United States military uses the Advanced Aerial Object Verification and Classification System (AAVeCS) that was developed over the years to help designate the various encounters experienced by both government officials, military personnel, and civilians. Primarily, the AAVeCS was created to track flying drug runners operating out of South America and Mexico, but the program drew increasing interest from the military and soon deep development was underway to improve it from tracking slow flying propeller driven aircraft to high speed jet aircraft, and even missiles.
AAVeCS is not a simple classification system that relies solely on descriptions based on the human visual encounter of a anomalous event. Rather, part of AAVeCS is a camera (or series of cameras) that has a high speed shutter (1/1,000,000,000), and capable of taking still pictures or filming motion, or both, of high speed objects, using high resolutions at extreme distances. Furthermore, most AAVeCS are on mounted on a stabilized platform, which reacts and stabilizes with the speed of a powerful computer. Meaning that most objects stay centered in the viewing area without the jumping around and vibrating image common with less stabilized platforms capturing high speed objects. What sets AAVeCS apart is the inclusion of a set of procedures that allows extensive study of an image or video via a Convolutional Neural Network, in a relatively short period of time.
Add in sensors of various types for which to measure temperature, ablation, radiation, luminosity, velocity and couple of other things, and you have a sensor package that can get a lot of data a la Star Trek.
To be honest, I've simplified the description of AAVeCS, as in practice there are other more complex and convoluted systems incorporated than I've mentioned. There are also various other types of Verification And Classification Systems (VACS), their employment dependent on the mission, but for the purpose of discussing the images and video taking by the US military this explanation is centered on AAVeCS.
I have no idea if AAVeCS was employed with the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, but I assume that certain specifics of AAVeCA was in use at some points. By the way, believe or not, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was a not a classified program, however, it was not generally known to the public until Politico and The New York Times published simultaneously, about it on December 16, 2017.
The only stuff that was/is classified were/are the actual sightings and the equipment used to study the sightings.
The practicalities and the mechanics of even the strange, mysterious and the weird, require some basis for their existence and appearances, so enter science. Here is where postulates, hypothesis', theory, and the like, is offered and discussed in support of, and even, against (constructively) such explanations.
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