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Are Satellites Tracking UFOs?

Artist’s rendition by Mark.

Are satellites and other instruments tracking UFOs? Are UFOs tracking satellites, rockets and other things launched from earth? Are UFOs disabling satellites? 

UFOs being tracked by satellites and other instruments have been a long time focus of UFO lore and stories. Satellites and instruments tracking UFOs are an obvious go to due to their link with space. This topic reminds me of UFO crash lore. Not only has it hung around the rumor mill basically as long as the word UFO has appeared in the public psyche, but now there is a modern day reemergence of the subject lending credibility to it. Without unclassified hard proof in my hands, all I can do is listen to experts and sources whom I think highly of. Like UFO crash stories and claims of recovered debris, the chatter, tips and even on the record comments about satellites allegedly tracking UAP are coming from all places and groups and they are not ceasing. When multiple people and groups, who have nothing to do with each other, and sometimes don’t even appeal to each other, are saying the same thing, I take notice. Multiple people and groups saying similar things about satellites and instruments tracking UAP is definitely occuring.

There are various satellites and instruments that allegedly have picked up odd things, however, one of the main subjects focused on are SBIRS or The Space-Based Infrared System. 

To the Stars Academy’s Chris Mellon wrote possibly the best summary on the subject. In his article, Mr. Mellon wrote:

Although UAPs generally seem to lack exhaust plumes or strong heat signatures, there are numerous reports in the open source literature claiming that the SBIRs system has recorded unidentified objects that entered earth’s atmosphere but, unlike meteors, then maneuvered or changed direction.  Regardless of the veracity of such reports, algorithmic searches of vast SBIR’s databases could provide new insights into the UAP phenomenon.  To cite a simple example, no effort has been made to date even to see if there are correlations between launches at Chinese or Russian military facilities, or from Russian or Chinese ships, and the subsequent appearance of UAPs over US shores.

Why would tracking UFOs be important? Similar to Luis Elizondo and Hal Puthoff‘s letters to the Chief Justice of India, Col. John Alexander makes the point that misidentified UFOs could seemingly trigger military action. In his book,  UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities, he says:

“…the advent of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) brought new requirements. Specifically, if we were going to start a war with space-based sensors, it was imperative that it would not be because of a misidentified UFO.”

Later, Col. Alexander continues:

“As decision and response times decreased, it would be essential that the command and control system have accurate information regarding objects coming at the United States. Our concern was that an uncorrelated target—meaning a UFO—might trigger a response based on erroneous data. In short, could a UFO accidentally set off the next world war? However long the odds, it seemed that having knowledge of everything that might be flying in critical airspace would be prudent.”

Col. Alexander also highlights how he believes UFOs are indeed tracked.

What I knew from other sources was that unidentified objects were spotted periodically. In fact, years before that, when on an Inspector General study at Fort Carson, Colorado, I took the time to visit to NORAD. While there I decided to take a chance and probe a bit. A young lieutenant was giving the unclassified public briefing and asked for questions. I asked, “Do you ever track objects that accelerate very quickly, or make extremely sharp turns?” Without blinking he responded, “You mean UFOs. Yes.” He declined to comment any further. In fact, another U.S. Air Force officer who later participated in the ATP* had provided me with unclassified data indicating that uncorrelated objects were spotted, probably once or twice a month.

(*ATP, Advanced Theoretical Physics Project, not to be confused with AATIP, Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.)

In his book, Col. Alexander also quoted an unnamed “technically savvy” person “who has held senior positions in America’s space programs.”

“The Air Force has had a space surveillance system in place for some time prior to SDI that catalogues 9,000 objects in space every day and had 20,000 objects in the space catalogue that are tracked on a monthly basis. The system tracks objects down to thirty centimeters in size by both optical tracking and tracking with a large radar fence. The major purpose of the system is to detect objects in space ‘that don’t belong there’! In addition, there are many multi-wavelength satellites (from gamma ray, to X-ray to ultraviolet to visible, IR, microwave, HF, and low frequency) that observe the earth 24/ 7 on a continuous basis, both DoD and spy satellites. These were all operational before 1970. I did write you a paper on this dated August 1995. It is hard to understand how any object in near earth space would not be detected by the US space surveillance system or the dozens of DoD, IC, NASA (LANDSAT), and scientific satellites that have been in operation for some time, all of which are designed to see down to meter to tens of centimeter-size objects.”

I communicated with researcher Paul Dean, who has written about this topic at length. The following is a partial transcript of the information he shared:

“One of the things I’ve found that’s interesting is NORAD’s terminology for airborne unknowns, and even the finer details of the detection and tracking of such unknowns. I’ve found a Unit History of the 11th Tactical Control Squadron, which was tasked with airspace management and air defense in Alaska in the 1980s. The squadron was assigned to the NORAD Alaska Region for the 11th Air Force. Anyway, it’s a massive Unit History publication from 1986. We’ve obtained a few of these before, but this one is the best of all of them. It’s got three pages of what we call “Unknown Track Report Summaries.” So basically it’s like an spreadsheet. Its old, and it’s quite hard to read. Down the columns are things like the date, time, detection site, detection method, location, whatever for all unknown objects over a 9 month period. The detections are called Unknown Tracks. Those are objects that appear on the radar screens to the airspace controllers. Anyway, Unknown Tracks can end up designated as “NORAD Remaining Unknowns”. These are simply Unknown Tracks that have lasted longer than 240 seconds without being identified. This only happens if the object doesn’t safely land, or radio communicate, or call in a mayday or whatever. That’s basically when its declared a NORAD Remaining Unknown Track. They rarely get solved too. So every few days, or every week maybe, in Alaska in 1986 there were Unknown Tracks appearing, and some of them turned into NORAD Remaining Unknowns. Many were unidentified. On the sheet I’ve got they’ve got the codes USSR, Friendly Track, Canadian Military, etc but many many NORAD Unknown Tracks and NORAD Remaining Unknown were never solved. What’s really interesting is this: One of the columns essentially says “How Detected”. Each track will say something like ADX, which is a weather radar, or TWS, which is Track While Scan Radar, or whatever. I think there is another column, or certainly part of that column that says Confirmed How. Anyway, one of the codes is IR, which normally means Infrared. So what that tells us is in Alaska, NORAD is trying to identify an Unknown Track, or they have watched an Unknown Track for while, which they can’t seem to solve. In I think two cases they were getting verification from an IR source and that to me is either infrared sensors on the ground, which we know nothing about… there is nothing in the literature of the US Air Force or Canadian Air Force, Navy or whatever having infrared sensors for atmospheric detection of planes of missiles of whatever… Or.. it was IR confirmation from the old DSP Satellites. So, in other words, if this is correct, NORAD would pick up an Unknown Track, then presumably they would immediately flash Falcon (later, Schriever) Air Force Base in Colorado, which is where the DSP systems were run from at the 50th Space Wing, and I guess the DSP Satellites would be looking down at the region and detect an IR where the unknown track, missile, UFO, whatever was. It is possible. On the balance of probability I would say that the older DSP satellites, and certainly the newer SBIRS satellites, did, and do, pick up things that they shouldn’t. We know a lot about all this. Its getting it all published, that is the problem.”

For further reading, Paul Dean recommends Space-Based Early Warning: From MIDAS to DSP to SBIRS.

In the year 2000, John F. Schuessler published Detection and Identification Of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) Using Existing Technology. The paper was taken seriously among the groups NIDS and NICAP among others. Schuessler lists some of the technological tools that were available at the time, and like Chris Mellon, he makes the case that existing technologies could go a long way to add important data to the UFO mystery. In the summary of the paper, Schuessler says:

Sufficient systems and equipment exist to positively identify every UFO sighted anywhere in the world if a way could be found to apply available technology. Two categories of technology exist — Current and obsolete. The use of current technology is preferable, but most of it is classified, making access more difficult. Even obsolete technology is still better than nothing.

Existing technology can detect anything that enters U.S. air space or flies anywhere in the world, gives off electronic signals, or is measurable by a variety of techniques. Historically, data has been recorded that could be beneficial gaining new insights into the UFO mystery. In realtime, the systems exist to positively identify characteristics of UFOs that would lead to resolution of the mystery.

Private organizations stand ready to partner with governmental agencies to collect, analyze and archive UFO-related information. The goal is to serve science and humanity.

The DIA’s Advanced Aerospace Weapons System Applications Program contracted experts to write a series of papers called Defense Intelligence Reference Documents. One of the thirty-eight papers was titled Detection and High Resolution Tracking of Vehicles at Hypersonic Velocities. It was written by Dr. William “Bill” Culbreth and released by George Knapp. In the paper, Dr. Culbreth states:

Infrared detection of reentry vehicles and ICBMs by satellites has been available since the early 1960s, with the United States leading the effort through detection of possible missile launches from the Soviet Union. In addition to RADAR, infrared detection is one of the best techniques for the detection of hypersonic vehicles.

Washington Examiner Reporter, Journalist, and someone I would call an advocate for UFO disclosure is Tom Rogan. His reporting has helped move the ball down the field in the mainstream news world. His appearance on FOX News made a big splash, as well. I asked him about this topic and he said:

“Veiled under the excuse of safeguarding nuclear strike defense, which is at least somewhat fair (but not as fair as the Pentagon says) the missile warning center has tracked interesting stuff that cannot be identified, but won’t disclose just what. Interestingly, the upcoming space sensor layer system will provide far greater situational awareness of object movement at high speeds and rapid, repeat course angle changes.”

Mr. Rogan also recommends reading U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet, 18th Space Control Squadron, Processing Reentries of Space Objects.

Experiencer Chris Bledsoe recently appeared on the Jimmy Church radio show, Fade to Black. Mr Bledsoe has gone on record many times talking about his friendship with individuals who claim to be high up in the United States Government, in organizations like NASA and in this instance the NRO. While speaking to Jimmy Church, Mr. Bledsoe brought up classified information, his friend and satellites:

Jimmy Church: Chris have you ever been exposed to any classified information and are you obligated to any non-disclosure agreements?

Chris Bledsoe: I haven’t signed anything. I never have… wasn’t never asked to, but yeah I’ve seen classified stuff. Seen and been exposed to some, yeah.

Jimmy Church: Yeah like what?

Chris Bledsoe: Well, I just… I can’t say it’s classified.

Jimmy Church: Chris, that’s no fun. That’s why you’re on the show. It’s my job to get that kind of stuff out of you. 

Chris Bledsoe: Yeah well, you know everything’s classified. Things in the government can be. Even satellites… or codes and satellites are one of the most protected secret things out there.

Jimmy Church: So you’ve been exposed to satellite information. See how I do it? You see how I do it? You see that, Chris? Like what did you see?

Chris Bledsoe: Well you just twisted my arm aren’t you? Maybe I’ve seen some cameras and different things that some of these things can do and it’s amazing what they have out there.

Jimmy Church: And are they looking at UFOs? Are they looking at aliens? Are they looking at you? What are they looking at?

Chris Bledsoe: They’re looking at everything. Every time there’s a rocket launch there is eyes on that rocket. I mean ground-based binoculars or telescopes and then after it gets out of that range comes a high-flying airplane. Used to be called the WB 57 and those are NRO guys, National Reconnaissance Office and in fact a friend of mine ran that program but there’s another jet, F-104 Starfighter that they put rockets on and they’d get right on up in the space following this thing to see what might come give it a peep or visit it. So I can just tell you when those rockets go up there’s things always watching. Always.

Jimmy Church: Yeah the space force launched their first rocket today. I wonder if that was monitored?

New or updated technologies like the Space Fence from Lockheed Martin are now in use.

As we now know from researching the AAWSAP program, government listings for contracts and even jobs are sometimes rife with codewords. We have to be able to decipher these words which often proves to be a challenging task. Whether the following link and job listing are examples of codewords remains to be seen, but it is interesting to ponder nonetheless.

While asking around about this topic I was lead to this Lockheed Martin page about SBIRS. It was pointed out to me that they use the terms Technical Intelligence and Phenomenology. At the risk of reading too much into their use of the word Phenomenology, it is a key word the UFO community pays close attention to.


I was also pointed to this job listing posted by Lockheed Martin for an Electro-Optical/Infrared Senior Research Scientist.  I was told to pay close attention to the words Electro-Optical Infrared phenomena and physical observables. An excerpt from the job listing reads:

We are searching for a Senior Research Scientist to join our extraordinary team. In this role you will perform the research, development, analysis, and modeling and simulation of Electro-Optical (EO) Infrared (IR) phenomena. You will apply this research to understanding what are the fundamental physical observables associated with a wide variety of missions. You will participate on teams implementing this understanding to develop new and novel system architectures, and evaluate performance of existing architectures.

I contacted legendary scientist Dr. Eric W. Davis. In 2020 he spoke to the New York Times about government briefings he took part in covering crash retrievals, among other topics:

Per satellite tracking of UAPs, yes they can do that and the MASINT satellites can make some measurements of UAPs.  However, this (sensing/surveillance) satellite technology is among the most closely held DoD secrets so there’s not much I can say about this topic given my active clearances.  So yes, UAP data is likely recorded, and has been recorded since Project Corona took off during the Cold War, but the data will never be looked for and looked at unless there’s a DoD office that’s given an official task with Congressionally appropriated budgets to pay for the manpower and technical analysis equipment and expertise to conduct this task.  I struck out during the late-1990s and early-2000s when I tried to get access to the Project MEDEA environmental intelligence data, see: (you’ll have to buy this article…Scientists In Black, Scientific American, Feb. 1998, pp. 48-55).  My original print version of this article is stored in my file cabinet back home in Austin.  I didn’t have security clearances back then so I could not access Project MEDEA because I found out about it after it got closed down by the Clinton Administration.  The USAF is the custodian of MEDEA environmental intelligence.  This intelligence includes the DoD’s orbital satellite MASINT and surveillance assets.

Many of these calls for the government to take the UAP subject seriously, or at least dedicate more resources in a less clandestine fashion seem to have worked.

The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 calls for:

“A detailed analysis of unidentified phenomena data collected by: a. geospatial intelligence; b. signals intelligence;”

Technology is obviously available to track almost anything in our skies and space around the earth, and with so many people seemingly buying into the idea that these technologies are tracking unidentified objects, we can only hope that some of this data will be shared with the world at large without compromising ways and means of military operations. These closely guarded secrets concerning what is in our skies and atmosphere should not be kept solely be the military industrial complex. This information belongs to the public who deserve to know the nature of the planet where they live. 

Update #1:

Update #2:

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2 comments on “Are Satellites Tracking UFOs?

  1. Joe Spector

    Excellent article Danny. It’s amazing how there are so many topics that are classified by the military yet, if they were innocuous why classify it? It seems anything can be classified as long as it’s lumped in with national security. It’s the government’s security blanket.

  2. Awesome article, it appears when the classification reforms take place on space intelligence they can release that information. You should get some information from “some people” that can verify whether that classifications reform will cause another breakthrough on the UAP topic releasing a trove of data.

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