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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."
Our list of essential gear for Area 51 raiders inspired a lot of discussion and commentary from Military.com readers and we've picked out a few of the best ideas and compiled them here.
A Facebook group called Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us has announced a plan to confront the Air Force on Friday, Sept. 20 and reveal just what the military is hiding in those secret labs out in the Nevada desert.
Hear me readers: Your friend and humble narrator needs your assistance.
Those of us who have long been inside the Five-Sided Fun-House have grown accustomed to some of the building's eccentricities. For example, not too far from this reporter's cubicle, a purple water fountain sits encased in glass along with a plaque that says no one knows how or why this particular Pentagon water fountain is made out of purple marble.
"As all legends go, no one is quite sure of the origin of this 'Purple Miracle,'" the plaque says. "However, one fact is certain. Of the 685 water fountains in the Pentagon, only one is purple. (Were the original Pentagon engineers one fountain short and given the option of taking the purple water fountain to fill the void?)
Let's talk about UFOs.
To be clear, your friend and humble narrator does not wear a tinfoil hat, nor does this reporter believe the U.S. government is competent enough to keep proof of alien life secret from the American public. (Just remember, the same government that conspiracy theorists allege is keeping the truth about UFOs under wraps also runs the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.)
Yet a number of credible media outlets have reported that Navy pilots are increasingly reporting sightings of unidentified aircraft, and the service is taking them seriously for a change. Politico's Bryan Bender reported in April that the Navy was working on new guidelines for reporting such aircraft in the wake of increased sightings in military ranges and airspace.
Helene Cooper of the New York Times recently reported that Navy pilots saw a slew of unidentified aircraft in 2014 and 2015 while flying training missions off the East Coast. In fact, a pilot from Virginia Beach nearly collided with one of the unknown aircraft in late 2014.
The strange aircraft had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, the New York Times reported. They could fly up to 30,000 feet and they were able to loiter in the area of U.S. warships for 12 hours at high speeds.
Listen up conspiracy theorists, schizophrenics, and other beloved readers: Some of you out there might have been wondering if Space Force will fight aliens.
Yet only a fool would pose such a question to senior defense officials. Thankfully, your friend and humble Pentagon correspondent is that fool.
Al Matthews, the actor best known for his role as the grizzled platoon sergeant Apone in the 1986 sci-fi blockbuster Aliens, died at age 75 in Alicante, Spain, El Pais reports.