The news triggered a flurry of speculation about aliens in flying saucers.
But Malcolm Davis, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told Nine.com.au the new unit is more concerned about the threat of advanced technologies from nations seeking to challenge the US.
WHAT PROMPTED THE PENTAGON MOVE
“The US is clearly taking things seriously. They want to get a handle on this thing,” Dr Davis said.
WHAT COULD THE UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT BE
But he said the US should be worried if the source of the unidentified aircraft is a rival power.
“It could be an advanced drone developed by China or Russia. If it is this type of technology, the US has real reason to be concerned.”
WHAT THREAT DO THE UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT POSE
Short videos released by the US Defence Department of Navy fighter jets encountering UAPs revealed their lightning speed and manoeuvrability.
Footage appeared to show unidentified flying objects rapidly moving while recorded by infrared cameras. Two of the videos contain US Navy pilots reacting in awe at how quickly the objects are moving. One voice speculates that it could be a drone.
The speed of the objects appeared to be far greater than advanced US warplanes, and set alarm bells in the Pentagon.
“These objects have been reported by credible figures including military pilots,” Dr Davis said.
“The US military were correct to take the threat seriously.”
ARE THEY LIKE FLYING SAUCERS
“The unknown aircraft appeared to be small in size, approximately the size of a suitcase, and silver in colour,” one Pentagon report describing an incident from March, 2014, said.
Dr Davis said the unidentified aircraft appeared to be capable of “non-aero dynamic” flight patterns.
– With CNN