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The Government Says UFOs Are Real — And Fighter Pilots Want You to Help Look for Them (For Real) Americans for Safe Aerospace seeks to make it easier for pilots and concerned citizens to report unexplained things they see in the sky.

By Dan Bova

Raggedstone | Shutterstock

In the blink of an eye, movies like Independence Day, Mars Attacks! and Close Encounters of the Third Kind shifted from entertainment to instructional videos.

Following NASA's first public meeting of its new committee tasked with studying UAPs ("unidentified aerial phenomena") Wednesday, an organization called Americans for Safe Aerospace is asking for all Americans to keep their eyes peeled while flying the (hopefully) friendly skies.

Co-founded by former Navy fighter pilot Ryan Graves, the group is dedicated to "aerospace safety and national security with a focus on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP)," per its mission statement.

"Unidentified objects in our airspace present an urgent and critical safety and national security issue, but pilots are not getting the support they need and the respect they deserve," Graves told NBC News. "When I served, my squadron was encountering UAP nearly every day, and nothing was being done."

Currently, airline passengers are encouraged by the FAA to report weird things they see outside the window for national security purposes, but pilots on those same planes face obstacles and professional scorn if they try to report UAPs, says Graves. And so the group is pushing for better reporting mechanisms for pilots, stating on its website that it supports "military and commercial pilots and aerospace workers impacted by UAP, scientists committed to investigating this mystery, and concerned citizens who believe in transparent disclosure from our government."

Related: Space Stories Is a Startup Made of Artists, Scientists, and Ex-Government Officials

Not too long ago, UFO hunters conjured up images of people running around in tinfoil hats, but ASA's Advisory Board includes many prominent figures, including Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, former International Space Station commander Terry Virts, and former head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet.

Graves told NBC that while most UAP sightings turn out to be nothing to worry about, 2% to 5% of reports are unexplainable and represent military threats from places like China and Russia — and maybe even further away.

If you want to get involved, signup for ASA's newletter, which promises to include updates, briefings and "ways to make your voice heard' on UAPs.

Related: The Former Singer of Blink-182 Is Creating a Sci-Fi Disney for Millennials (and It Studies UFOs, Too)

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

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