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CHICAGO (NewsNation) — A newly-released Pentagon report says some witnesses who reported UFO sightings also experienced injuries including radiation burns, brain problems and damaged nerves.

While the memo from the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA, is not the hard evidence needed to confirm life on other planets, Nick Pope — a journalist who used to run the British Government’s UFO Project — says we’re closer than we’ve ever been.

“If they’re out there, we’re closing in on them and it will be the biggest discovery in human history,” he said Tuesday night during “On Balance with Leland Vittert.”

Titled “Anomalous Acute and Subacute Field Effects on Human and Biological Tissues,” the memo was part of more than 1,500 pages of DIA documents related to the Pentagon’s secretive UFO program called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.

The document, which was requested in 2017 under the Freedom of Information Act, was finally released Tuesday. It confirms, at least according to Pope, what pilots have been reporting for years.

“We’ve seen multiple videos — U.S. Navy videos — of jets chasing these things tracked on radar and it’s not just UFOs,” Pope said. “Frankly, they’ve been looking at other things which sound like they come straight out of an ‘X-Files’ script.”

In 2019, the U.S. government declassified, released and confirmed videos showing encounters between UFOs and U.S. Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015. Similarly, leaked Pentagon footage of a spherical flying object seen flying off the coast of San Diego was later confirmed as authentic by the Pentagon.

But because there aren’t definitive confirmations on what these objects actually are, the possibilities are endless.

Pope says one theory he’s heard is that the occurrences are no more than next-generation aerospace tech — secret prototype aircraft and drones.

Pope also says he’s heard people say it might be U.S. tech secretly tested on one part of the military by another to see how we react. Then, of course, there’s the theory that this is adversary technology from Russia or China.

“All of this is why Congress is now taking very close note of this. There are multiple UFO provisions in the latest defense bill. So people are taking this seriously,” Pope said.

Pope, who used to be in the minority in terms of official figures following this phenomenon, says public and government interest is one of necessity.

“I think there has been a realization that this is a serious defense and national security issue,” he said.

But the new interest is also because UFOs have become just that undeniable.

“The other thing is, we’ve just got a lot more evidence than was previously the case. We always knew pilots … saw these things. But it’s the DoD themselves that have recently put some of this on their website,” he continued.

Either way, Pope says the chances of us finding out what these UFOs are is “stronger than it ever was.”