Today is sort of the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Army finding / not finding a UFO in Roswell, New Mexico. I use the highly technical term “sort of” because the course of events actually stretched from mid-June through mid-July, 1947.
But all of that is merely context. Consider this: the folks on the ground for Roswell were part of the U.S. Army, albeit a part that was later shuffled off into the U.S. Air Force. But, assuming there isn’t an agency so super-secret we’ve never heard of it, which of the many U.S. intelligence agencies is actually responsible for intelligence in outer space? This is pure wild conjecture of course — in my humble opinion, the jury is still very much out on E.T.s
A tentative list of U.S. intelligence agencies, assuming somebody told Wikipedia about all of them:
- AF ISR
The F.B.I. is obviously out — their responsibilities are strictly limited to domestic intelligence. I’m also going to discount MCIA, because, as far as I know, the U.S. Marine Corp is not currently engaged with any extra-terrestrial forces. Ditto ONI for the Navy, AI for the Army and CGI for the Coast Guard. Assuming also that our E.T. friends are not smuggling any drugs, I’m crossing off the DEA. DNI, NCTC and SSB focus primarily on terrorism — there could theoretically be alien terrorists, but I’m not holding my breath. Alright. So much for groups whose scopes obviously do not include outer space.
Let’s see what else we can reason away: the PFIAB is an advisory board — they don’t really conduct intelligence gathering, although it is possible that they could oversee another organization that does. Similarly, INR analyzes information but doesn’t collect it. The NCS, NSA, and NGA all act as central agencies for collecting certain kinds of intelligence (human, signal and image respectively). These scopes do not necessarily preclude their involvement in outer space intelligence, but it seems fairly unlikely.
Our remaining contenders are the CIA, DIA, NRO, and AF ISR. I’d argue that if the AF ISR has the scope to investigate outer space, it is only in a strictly in a military sense, and the DIA has the same issue. NRO could have some involvement, but only in a technical sense — they’re responsible for building surveillance satellites and seem to do minimal analysis. The CIA could play a part, especially in its role as coordinator for smaller agencies.
All of this is somewhat based on an assumption that we haven’t really had any kind of contact with extra-terrestrials, though. If we have, I think it’s more reasonable to think that there’s some kind of agency dedicated specifically to outer space intelligence.