For convenience, the amendment will henceforth be referred to as the UAPDA. References to page numbers in this PDF version of the amendment have been included for easy reference where necessary.
- The overall intention of the UAPDA is to centralise information related to Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP), increase public transparency around the government's knowledge of UAP, and further open avenues for scientific research on the topic
- The UAPDA is supported by a bipartisan group of senior Senators, spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD)
- The UAPDA codifies 22 highly specific and technical definitions covering concepts such as UAP, Non-Human Intelligence(s), Controlled Disclosure Campaign Plans, and more
- The UAPDA seeks to mandate the National Archives and Records Administration to begin compiling an entirely new “UAP Records Collection” – an index of all UAP-related data compiled from the various federal agencies – within 60 days after the Act's enactment.
- If the bill passes, these federal agencies will have 300 days to index and submit any records related to UAP for: "disclosure to the public, review by the Review Board, transmission to the Archivist"
- The UAPDA seeks to form a new independent agency — the UAP Records Review Board — responsible for determining if (e.g.) national security outweighs the public's right to know in regards to the disclosure of certain records
- The UAPDA stipulates the make-up of this Review Board, which should include sociologists, economists, historians, and other Senate-confirmed experts
- The power to appoint the Review Board – as well as many other final decision-making powers mentioned in the amendment – is granted to the President
- The UAPDA seeks to establish eminent domain "over any and all recovered technologies of unknown origin and biological evidence of non-human intelligence that may be controlled by private persons or entities in the interests of the public good"
- The amendment’s language is explicitly modeled on the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992
- The amendment's language distinguishes explicitly between 'UAP' and what it defines as 'temporarily non-attributed objects' (e.g. balloons, drones, natural phenomenon, etc...). As such, the focus of the Act is on objects which have been positively identified as UAP.
Who was involved
This amendment was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and supported by a bipartisan group of senators. This group includes:
- Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity for the Armed Services Committee;
- Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Committee;
- Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities for the Armed Services Committee;
- Senator Todd Young (R-IN); and
- Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
All 22 Definitions introduced by the UAPDA
The UAPDA introduces 22 specific technical definitions in Section 03 (Pages 4-13). The precise wording as included in the amendment is italicized, while any other clarifications are included in non-italics. When the definition refers to a specific section, the relevant page number of that section in the amendment has been included.
The term 'Archivist' means the Archivist of the United States.
The Archivist (of the United States) is the head and chief administrator of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States. The Archivist is responsible for the supervision and direction of the National Archives.
Anyone who has come into close proximity to unidentified anomalous phenomena or non-human intelligence.
Means the Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Records Collection established under Section 04. (Pages 13-14)
Controlled Disclosure Campaign Plan
Means the Controlled Disclosure Campaign Plan required by Section 09(c)(3). (Pages 49-50)
In other words, this refers to the 'official' plan for Disclosure as proposed and described in the UAP Disclosure Act of 2023.
Means any Federal, State, or local government department, office, agency, committee, commission, commercial company, academic institution, or private sector entity in physical possession of technologies of unknown origin or biological evidence of non-human intelligence.
Means an Executive agency, as defined in subsection 552(f) of title 5, United States Code.
This term refers to an executive department or independent establishment in the executive branch of the Federal Government, including a wholly owned Government corporation. (Source)
Means any department, office, agency, committee, or commission of the Federal Government and any independent office or agency without exception that has possession or control, including via contract or other agreement, of unidentified anomalous phenomena records.
Means the written description prepared for each record, as required in Section 04. (Page 14)
Leadership of Congress
Means-- (A) the majority leader of the Senate; (B) the minority leader of the Senate; (C) the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and (D) the minority leader of the House of Representatives.
Means all Federal, State, and local government, commercial industry, academic, and private sector endeavors to collect, exploit, or reverse engineer technologies of unknown origin or examine biological evidence of living or deceased non-human intelligence that pre-dates the date of the enactment of this Act.
Means the National Archives and Records Administration and all components thereof, including presidential archival depositories established under section 2112 of title 44, United States Code.
Means any sentient intelligent non-human lifeform regardless of nature or ultimate origin that may be presumed responsible for unidentified anomalous phenomena or of which the Federal Government has become aware.
Means the Executive agency, Federal Government commission, committee of Congress, or other Governmental entity that created a record or particular information within a record.
Means having a human (either foreign or domestic) origin and operating according to current, proven, and generally understood scientific and engineering principles and established laws-of-nature and not attributable to non-human intelligence.
Means the compelling interest in the prompt public disclosure of unidentified anomalous phenomena records for historical and Governmental purposes and for the purpose of fully informing the people of the United States about the history of the Federal Government's knowledge and involvement surrounding unidentified anomalous phenomena.
Includes a book, paper, report, memorandum, directive, email, text, or other form of communication, or map, photograph, sound or video recording, machine-readable material, computerized, digitized, or electronic information, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition sensor data, regardless of the medium on which it is stored, or other documentary material, regardless of its physical form or characteristics.
Means the Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Records Review Board established by Section 07.
Section 07 excerpt – The President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint, without regard to political affiliation, 9 citizens of the United States to serve as members of the Review Board to ensure and facilitate the review, transmission to the Archivist, and public disclosure of government records relating to unidentified anomalous phenomena.
Technologies of unknown origin
Means any materials or meta-materials, ejecta, crash debris, mechanisms, machinery, equipment, assemblies or sub-assemblies, engineering models or processes, damaged or intact aerospace vehicles, and damaged or intact ocean-surface and undersea craft associated with unidentified anomalous phenomena or incorporating science and technology that lacks prosaic attribution or known means of human manufacture.
Temporarily non-attributed objects
Means the class of objects that temporarily resist prosaic attribution by the initial observer as a result of environmental or system limitations associated with the observation process that nevertheless ultimately have an accepted human origin or known physical cause.
Although some unidentified anomalous phenomena may at first be interpreted as temporarily non-attributed objects, they are not temporarily non-attributed objects, and the two categories are mutually exclusive.
(B) Inclusion.--The term 'temporarily non-attributed objects' includes:
(i) natural celestial, meteorological, and undersea weather phenomena;
(ii) mundane human-made airborne objects, clutter, and marine debris;
(iii) Federal, State, and local government, commercial industry, academic, and private sector aerospace platforms;
(iv) Federal, State, and local government, commercial industry, academic, and private sector ocean-surface and undersea vehicles; and
(v) known foreign systems.
Means a Government agency that originated a unidentified anomalous phenomena record that is in the possession of another Government agency.
Unidentified Anamolous Phenomena (UAP)
Means any object operating or judged capable of operating in outer-space, the atmosphere, ocean surfaces, or undersea lacking prosaic attribution due to performance characteristics and properties not previously known to be achievable based upon commonly accepted physical principles.
Unidentified anomalous phenomena are differentiated from both attributed and temporarily non-attributed objects by one or more of the following observables:
(i) Instantaneous acceleration absent apparent inertia.
(ii) Hypersonic velocity absent a thermal signature and sonic shockwave.
(iii) Transmedium (such as space-to-ground and air-to- undersea) travel.
(iv) Positive lift contrary to known aerodynamic principles.
(v) Multispectral signature control.
(vi) Physical or invasive biological effects to close observers and the environment.
(B) Inclusions.--The term 'unidentified anomalous phenomena'' includes what were previously described as:
(i) flying discs;
(ii) flying saucers;
(iii) unidentified aerial phenomena;
(iv) unidentified flying objects (UFOs); and
(v) unidentified submerged objects (USOs).
Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Record
Means a record that is related to unidentified anomalous phenomena, technologies of unknown origin, or non-human intelligence (and all equivalent subjects by any other name with the specific and sole exclusion of temporarily non-attributed objects) that was created or made available for use by, obtained by, or otherwise came into the possession of:
(A) the Executive Office of the President;
(B) the Department of Defense and its progenitors, the Department of War and the Department of the Navy;
(C) the Department of the Army;
(D) the Department of the Navy;
(E) the Department of the Air Force, specifically the Air Force Office of Special Investigations;
(F) the Department of Energy and its progenitors, the Manhattan Project, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Energy Research and Development Administration;
(G) the Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
(H) the Central Intelligence Agency and its progenitor, the Office of Strategic Services;
(I) the National Reconnaissance Office;
(J) the Defense Intelligence Agency;
(K) the National Security Agency;
(L) the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency;
(M) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration:
(N) the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
(O) the Federal Aviation Administration;
(P) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
(Q) the Library of Congress;
(R) the National Archives and Records Administration;
(S) any Presidential library;
(T) any Executive agency;
(U) any independent office or agency;
(V) any other department, office, agency, committee, or commission of the Federal Government;
(W) any State or local government department, office, agency, committee, or commission that provided support or assistance or performed work, in connection with a Federal inquiry into unidentified anomalous phenomena, technologies of unknown origin, or non-human intelligence; and
(X) any private sector person or entity formerly or currently under contract or some other agreement with the Federal Government.
Implications and Next Steps
While the US Senate passed the NDAA for FY24 – which included the UAP Disclosure Act of 2023 as an amendment – the coming months will still require Senators and Members of Congress to reconcile the two chambers’ versions of the NDAA and produce a final compromise bill.
There are some contentious points in the NDAA (unrelated to the UADPA), so some commentators don't expect a final version until December 2023.