11:55 AM PT -- We had UFO expert Jeremy Corbell on TMZ Live, who didn't seem too happy about the announcement, in fact, Corbell believes this is a strong-arm movement by The Pentagon to control the UFO research and hard work experts have put in over the years.
Uncle Sam wants to wrangle in the UFO phenomenon that's clearly starting to go mainstream -- and they're doing it by launching a whole new team specifically designed to dig in ... or, we should say, probe deeper.
The U.S. Dept. of Defense announced this week it's starting a task force called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group to look into what several people claim they've seen in the skies, dating back decades.
This new unit is going to replace the Navy's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force -- which just got created last year. Seems like the Pentagon wants to broaden the scope here.
In a press release, the DoD says the purpose of this new group will be to "detect, identify and attribute objects of interests in Special Use Airspace," and not just that -- but also, "to assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security."
Translation: We wanna know who or what's flying around us, and if they come in peace!!!
DoD notes the move comes under direct orders and in coordination with top intelligence officials ... while pointing out this is the direct result of that DNI report earlier this year, which turned out to be a big nothing burger.
You'll recall, our government was unable to properly identify or explain 143 out of 144 flying objects that had been witnessed and/or documented since 2004. The Defense Dept. says the new agency is being formed to improve a system that's clearly flawed.
@jeremycorbell / Instagram
While this might seem like exactly what needs to happen in light of Congress members publicly demanding the Pentagon fess up on what it knows ... some actually see it as a bad thing, that'll only cloak info in more secrecy.
Critics claim this appears to be a shadow move by the government to keep the public in the dark -- and it's only be passed off as an attempt to discover the truth.