A former intelligence official is calling on the federal government to make information public about an alleged reverse-engineering project involving unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

UFO sightings have long piqued the interests of billions of people across the globe for centuries. Although these sightings are oftentimes easily explained—at times being space objects such as meteors or military equipment—they often lead many to ponder the potential of extraterrestrial life. Recent years have seen renewed focus on UFOs, with many calling for more transparency from the U.S. government about these sightings.

Christopher Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Intelligence who specializes in UFOs, wrote in a Politico opinion piece published Saturday that he has received reports that the government has engaged in a "reverse engineering project" involving UFOs. He urged the government to make any records public, though these reports could not be independently verified by Newsweek.

Mellon wrote that he has referred four witnesses to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) who claimed to have knowledge about a secret government program "involving the analysis and exploitation of materials recovered from off-world craft," and that other sources have contacted him about an "alleged secret U.S. government reverse engineering program."

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