Now we’re adding UFOs to the list of strange occurrences in 2020?!

Just to be clear, when this article uses the term UFO, we are simply referring to an "unidentified flying object," not drawing conclusions about the object's origin or true identity.

The past year has been straight out of a movie. We’ve tackled virus outbreaks like in Contagion, escaped murder hornets like in The Swarm, and outsmarted zombie cicadas like in Zombieland. However, it looks like it's time to add another film to our 2020 woes—Independence Day.

Going back to the start of 2019, there has been an increase in the number of reported UFO sightings across the state of Virginia. According to the National UFO Reporting Center (yes, that’s a real thing), 70 UFO reports have been filed in Virginia so far this year, and there were 194 reports in 2019. Compare that to 2018 (75 reports for the entire year) and 2017 (104 reports total).

You can check out all of the Virginia sightings reported on the National UFO Reporting Center’s website, but here are a couple that seem to imply something is lurking in our friendly skies.

  • On August 2, a witness in Woodbridge saw 14 to 24 lights that were flying in a strange formation.

“They turned and headed north and back to the west and disappeared. They were all illuminated in white to a pink color and made no sound at all, said the report. “At the point that they turned back west I could see another craft with green blinking lights coming from the north, higher than the crafts and down to where the crafts started turning back to the west. Then they all just disappeared. I retired from the Army with 32 years (active and reserve) and I have never seen a craft like this with no sound at all."

  • On the night of February 4, someone described seeing fighter planes chasing a glowing light over the District. This scene seemed straight out of Independence Day.

“I was awakened to a sound of fighter planes overhead. I live right next to the Pentagon in a high rise. I have not heard fighter planes since Sept 11th. The noises were very loud rising and falling as the planes went overhead,” said the witness. “stepped out on my 16th-floor balcony and could see two faint white lights moving in a circular pattern overhead. I could not see the fighter plane or planes...but could see these lights. One disappeared...but the other moved in an S-shaped pattern and circled back...it did not happen any other lights on it. Just a single white light.”

Pentagon Also Reports Strange Sightings

Now, everyday civilians aren’t the only ones reporting these strange occurrences. A week ago, two defense officials reported that the Pentagon is forming a new task force to investigate UFOs that have been spotted by U.S. military aircraft. The task force will be overseen by Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist and comes after the Pentagon released three short videos showing “UFO encounters.”

The videos show rapidly-moving flying objects (unidentified flying objects, to be clear) and service members reacting to how quickly the objects are moving. One even suggests it could be a drone.

"As I got close to it ... it rapidly accelerated to the south, and disappeared in less than two seconds," said retired U.S. Navy pilot David Fravor. "This was extremely abrupt, like a ping pong ball, bouncing off a wall. It would hit and go the other way."

Members of Congress have also been concerned about UFOs flying over military bases. Senator Marco Rubio confirmed these occurrences and stated that they can’t identify what the objects are.

"Frankly, if it's something from outside this planet, that might actually be better than the fact that we've seen some sort of technological leap on behalf of the Chinese or the Russians or some other adversary," he said.

Prior to the newly announced task force, the Pentagon launched a program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program which analyzed video footage and radar data of these occurrences. The program began in 2007 but was shut down in 2012 when the Pentagon reported they no longer had funds for the operation.

The former head of the program, Luiz Elizondo said in 2017 that he believes “there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.”

So, what about you? Do you believe we're not alone? Let us know what you think these UFOs are in the comments!