Where finance and media intersect with reality


The biggest aerial safety blind spot facing our skies may be UAP

The Blind Spot's Dario Garcia-Giner probes just how big a deal UAPs are for the safety of our skies and what authorities across the world are doing to track the phenomena. An exhaustive months-long investigation reveals the risk is on the way to being treated more seriously by civil and military aviation institutions — a robust about-turn after decades of pretending it didn't exist.
Known as the "Lago Cote" picture, this astounding image was accidentally taken by Costa Rican surveyors and featured in the French COMETA report's front cover.

This week, vetted whistleblower David Grusch shocked the world with claims the US Government holds intact non-human vehicles.

UAP aficionados are excitedly gathering before all sorts of live-streamed YouTube announcements to watch relevant American institutions tease out a striking fact: that there may be something in our skies we don’t understand.

But one aspect of UAP is far from hypothetical — their impact on aerial safety.

David Spergel, Chair of NASA’s team, opened the NASA panel on UAP with this clear and novel mission: “By looking at UAP, we can ensure our skies are a safe space for all”.

For some, this talk is old news.

Small activist groups of individuals have been clamouring at the issue of UAP aerial safety for years — some for decades.

And what has long drawn the attention — and occasional ire — of people like Ted Roe, Executive Director of the National American Reporting Center for Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP), or Ryan Graves, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Aerospace (ASA) and former Navy fighter pilot, is how non-hypothetical — and how ignored — UAP risk has been for humans who soar the skies.

So we asked these individuals what the big deal was — and how it could affect our economy. After much research, our answer became clear: we may be headed for a UFO 9/11. 

Not because anything has changed. Jihadism, like UAP, had long been a risk for aerial travellers before that fateful September day.

But because, like when the second plane screamed into the World Trade Center, the world is now paying attention.

It’s time to prepare for the commercial consequences of UAP risk to aerial safety.

Towards a safety incident

The simple answer is clear: it doesn’t matter what is in the sky. Graves pointed to the February 2023 shootdowns, stating “People almost laughed it off and said those aren’t aliens, those are balloons, not realising neither of those is an acceptable answer.” 

If something is in the sky and we don’t understand it, we should. If we don’t catalogue it, we should. And if we can’t defend ourselves against it, we should prepare.

Aerial safety towards UAP should be agnostic — leaving any risk unmitigated is “completely contrarian to everything we’re taught as aviators”, Graves stated. Americans for Safe Aerospace, co-founded by Ryan Graves, Haley Morris, Bryan Bender and Brad Crispin, is precisely this: an advocacy group to push for aerospace safety and national security with a focus on this UAP risk  — whatever UAP are. “We’re not at the point where we can be drawing conclusions, but we have to be gathering data” he affirmed.

And this data doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

Few official databases capture UAP sightings. Even fewer are publicly available. We contacted the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority which, besides showing they don’t hire proofreaders, could neither confirm nor deny whether they held such information:

We didn’t bother the FAA, as they flat-out refuse any report with the word UAP or UFO:

The French GEIPAN UFO unit, housed within the French National Space Observatory (CNES), provided a succinct and very French (read: rude) refusal:

While the second Chief of the General Staff of Spain’s Air Force, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz Caravaca (which can translate as Fernando of the Cowfaced Cross) unhelpfully though respectfully pointed to recently declassified (and mostly data-free) vintage documents from the 60s, 70s and 80s:

Lastly, the Argentinian Air Force’s UAP team’s Chief finds himself unable to answer questions due to “personal compromises” (though they were open to us submitting a press form):

So we turned to the Canadian Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS), which does allow the reporting of UAPs by professional pilots and civilian observers. Unsurprisingly, UAP sightings are unhelpfully mixed in along with several other miscellaneous and mundane aerial events like identified balloons and laser lights.

So we had to manually triage their numbers to identify only UAP sightings since 2013 and highlighted notable reports.

We discerned that CADORS recorded at least five or more UAP sightings every year. Going further than a mere spotting, an average of just under two reported UAPs every year caused an engagement with pilots or ATCs since 2013 – everything from a black object distantly zooming past an airliner at the same altitude, to being buzzed, crossing over runway approaches, to a pilot’s violent evasive manoeuvres to avoid a head-on collision.

Considering Canada’s minuscule airspace traffic compared to most other countries, these numbers are a minimal-case scenario.

Reported UAP events compiled by the Pentagon’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) offer a glimpse at what a working UAP database with an explicit mandate to highlight aerial safety incidents and overturn sighting stigma can achieve. These numbers are even more concerning. As of 2023, the AARO database held over 800 UAP reports recorded over the past 17 years — a rate of almost four sightings a month by American personnel.

Commercial pilots ain’t seen nothing, they say

But you wouldn’t know it by just asking commercial pilots. Of the many we spoke with, few admitted any interest at all. In a bustling Madrid Barajas, one Spanish pilot, out of earshot of her co-pilot and flight attendants, excitedly whispered to me that her pilot husband had recently seen a grey sphere soar by his cockpit while flying over the Atlantic the week prior. All I received otherwise were blank denials or an admitted lack of interest.

Not so for military pilots. Graves stated his squadron would sometimes encounter UAP regularly — every single day. Military pilots can manoeuvre and move towards UAP sightings. Thus, comparably restricted commercial aviators will see UAP to a lesser degree than military pilots, Graves stated, but “that doesn’t negate that these things aren’t out there and that it could result in a mishap.” In fact, Graves claimed, several commercial pilots have told him they “are seeing these things on an almost flight-by-flight basis”. And the stigma around reporting a sighting is not hypothetical. Graves spoke of an airline where “their pilots have been given cease & desist orders to not talk about these safety incidents publicly”.

As Graves explained, this discrepancy in witness testimony from commercial pilots is likely reporting bias — his standing has made him a magnet for pilots with terrifying stories of aerial UAP encounters.  NARCAP’s own dataset labels “true UAP” sightings (the minority of sightings that suggest some form of intelligent control) as a “low-frequency event”, where a “true UAP” sighting is observed by one in six commercial flying careers according to anonymous airline surveys. Indeed, AARO labels only 2-5 percent of its UAP sightings as “possibly really anomalous”.

But contrary to the lack of interest by most commercial pilots and regulators we spoke to, what little data there is shows that UAP can and do occasion aerial safety issues. This ratifies the issue: UAP, whatever they may be, are a safety concern for commercial airliners — a risk compounded by being underreported and ignored.

Especially, it seems, by the professionals and regulators who are responsible for our safety in the air. What if 1 in 6 commercial pilots carelessly observed jihadist plots they couldn’t log with the authorities?

With an American Senate demanding hasty answers, and a press corps slowly waking up to the monumental consequences of this question, it’s foreseeable that any future UAP-related accident will run into just the emergency-inspiring union of incentives that could create a UAP 9/11.

Commercial consequences of UAP and aerial safety

Though the nature of what is behind UAP is secondary to aerial safety, the largest commercial impact would be occasioned by a UAP crash with seemingly intelligent movements.

The main suspects are metallic “Spheres” recently highlighted by AARO’s Sean Kirkpatrick; “The vast majority of what has been reported and what we have data on — a little less than half now — are orbs, round spheres,” he told the NASA panel. “This is the thing we are out hunting for in most cases.”

Image of the currently unidentified metallic “spheres” often spotted by military and commercial aviators.
Credit: All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office

This type of UAP is very old news — from the mass sightings of 1566 in Basel to the hostile “foo fighters” only encountered by Allied Aircraft in WW2.

“Foo fighters” seen above a formation of American B-17s over Italy, 1945.

It’s similarly old news to NARCAP, of which Ted Roe is the co-founder and Executive Director.

NARCAP was founded in 1999 out of a need to understand UAP flight safety data the FAA refused to process. Their goal is simple: convince regulators, airmen, and airlines of the reality of UAP flight risk.

Their 2010 Project Sphere report reviewed 44 cases of spherical UAP since 2001 and found that “all of them exhibit aviation safety concerns based on issues related to Cockpit Resource Management and crew distraction. Additional concerns include a loss of separation (22), near mid-air collision (15), collision headings (8), and widespread system failures.”

Most of these technical reports by NARCAP clearly highlight the apparently intelligent behaviour of the Sphere phenomenon in question. Ted Roe was recently invited to speak on UAP at France’s CNES CAIPAN II conference on UAP (where NASA also made a presentation), and at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he is now helping to design an aviation safety research program.

Such a hypothetical, where a UAP crash may be judged ‘malign’ in court owing to intelligent-seeming behaviour, could unleash a wide range of consequences as people’s eyes open to a novel category of risk to flight.

The first would be the grounding of all aircraft in the region or country where this crash took place, much like what happened during the February shootdowns. Expect airline share prices to plummet and alternatives like rail to shoot up. Terrorist attacks including and since 9/11 have caused weakening demand and significant revenue declines among European carriers. But hold your pulse — these share price shifts will be mostly temporary as consumers readjust to a reality that was always present. This won’t spell a death knell. However, some lower-order costs, like increased UAP warnings and a corresponding increase in the grounding of flights, will become a permanent drag on airlines’ bottom line.

Some flight routes will be more affected than others. UAP hotspots are another vogue topic of UFOlogy that has reached the mainstream. Sean Kirkpatrick of the AARO has mentioned the importance of discerning potential UAP hotspots, and DeLonge infamously claimed the National Reconnaissance Office already knows the areas UAP are interested in and emerge from. But this leaves no clues as to what such hotspots could be. Both Ivan T. Sanderson and Ingo Swann (both are controversial individuals)  stated UAP converge around bodies of sweetwater, for example.

Particular hotspots of recurrent UAP sightings have circulated among the UFO rumour mill for decades. Places like the Hessdalen Valley in Norway or the Es Vedra mountain in the Baleares, for instance, may be placed under investigation and become no-fly zones in the meantime.

The oft-spotted Hessdalen lights phenomena over the Hessdalen Valley.
Credit: Ostfold University College Department of Engineering
The mysterious Es Vedra island in the Baleares is host to a number of mysterious UAP events and other curious phenomena, like the pictured spiral.
Credit: WelcomeToIbiza.com

Short-term falls in customer numbers, increases in the cost of flying, and potential route changes may impulse industry consolidation around larger companies with more geographically flexible routes – like large trans-Atlantic carriers.

On the liability side, airlines may be able to prove non-negligence under the 1999 Montreal Convention that governs aerial accidents if the claim amounts to over 1,280,000 Special Drawing Rights (1 SDR: 1.33 USD) and thus escape liability. Asked about this hypothetical scenario, Rob Lawson, a partner of Clyde & Co and member of the firm’s Aviation Global Practice Group told us that ultimately all safety incidents in controlled airspace are the responsibility of the governing state and air traffic control organisation. It’s fair enough – how could carriers be blamed for not taking UAPs seriously when some of the leading ATOs of the world, the FAA and the CAA, do not allow — or do not admit — the meaningful risk of UAP to be entered into regulatory record?

The economic fallout

Insurance companies that offer war insurance products may incur losses if they don’t wake up and smell the coffee. “Malign” intentionality is not typically covered by an aviation all-risk policy but by war insurance packages. This would cause a “hardening of the market” for war insurance products, as their smaller market means the rate increase on the relatively cheap premiums could be very drastic. But we would advise insurance companies to consider excluding UAP from their war insurance packages without an additional premium — unless they are confident in risk assessments which rely on regulatory organisations that specifically exclude UAP from their datasets. Considering how the eyes of the Lloyds-affiliated insurer we spoke with seemed to pop out of his head when told of our data, we suspect they should not be confident.

But the field also comes with ripe opportunities for those aware of next steps in UAP detection to ameliorate civilian flight safety. Ted Roe believes that most developments would be “defence-related” and centred on reliable UAP detection. The development of these “spaceborne, airborne, and ground-based detection” systems will greatly benefit their designers and shareholders, according to Roe, especially those selected for global adoption by regulators. If the detection process becomes global “like wind sheer detectors, it (the UAP detection industry) will become an industry on its own,” he stated. Keep your eye on what equipment the academics use for hints at what may get adopted by regulators, like the equipment used by Harvard’s Galileo Project team shown below:

Range of sensor equipment employed by the Galileo Project.
Credit: Harvard University
A detailed description of the makes & models of Galileo Project sensors.
Credit: Harvard University


Beyond a UAP 9/11

But the most significant commercial consequence of a UAP 9/11 would go beyond its impact on commercial airlines and related industries; it would permanently fuse the topic of UAP with that of lost innocent lives.

Observing the landscape of so-called UAP “disclosure” suggests the powers that be prefer to assist highly trained professionals in publicly contextualising and pacifying the UAP issue. Be that former military pilots and intelligence personnel like Ryan Graves or Lue Elizondo, or the academics at NASA and Harvard — to frame the conversation of “we’re not alone” in ways that will not make society collapse as predicted by the infamous Brookings Report. And the presence of the FAA at NASA’s recent panel and ongoing efforts to collate UAP data by AARO are proof that authorities in the United States are finally taking this seriously – or at least “we’re on the cusp of it”, a relieved Ted Roe shared.

But a picture speaks more than a thousand words.

What horrendous consequences, what explosions of fear, await humanity if charred corpses become the de-facto introduction of UAP to citizens’ eyes?

Perhaps this is a fear that will unite us as never before, reminding us of Reagan’s exhortation:

“In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond.  I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.”

One that may place us onto a warpath of intergalactic dimensions. Prepare to enter hyperspace.

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Latest Spotlights

If viewing on a mobile simply tap the QR code

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *