America's plans to set up a unit to look at UFOs shows it is "clear" the US military is taking unknown sightings seriously, a former UK Ministry of Defence UFO investigator has told Forces News.
Nick Pope said: "The ridicule factor has gone, they [the US] want to know what is this in our airspace.
"Is it China, is it Russia or is it something else?"
Last week, the Pentagon announced it was setting up the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).
Concentrating on investigating incursions into military training ranges and airspace, the Pentagon said the aim of the unit is "to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs".
"The mission of the task force is to detect, analyse and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to US national security," the Pentagon said.
It comes after the Pentagon's official release of footage in April that appeared to show two unidentified flying objects.
Filmed from military jets, the US Navy videos, dated November 2004 and two from January 2015, had already been leaked years earlier.
Observers said credibility was added to the footage after the US Government officially published it, while the Pentagon has gone further with the formation of the new unit.
Sceptics of the new task force say it is not new at all, but instead the renaming of a unit that has been operating since 2012.
WATCH: The Pentagon released footage in April that appeared to show two unidentified flying objects.
Mr Pope said "many questions" still remain over the task force, including finance and "what access to other resources and capabilities" it will have.
"Is this a serious effort to research and investigate the phenomenon or is it just window dressing?" he said.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee has demanded a report on this from the Director of National Intelligence, maybe the setting up of this task force is one way to simply say to them 'look we’re doing something'."
In the UK, the RAF announced earlier this year it was publishing all records of UFO sightings it had investigated.
That came after it wound up its UFO unit in 2009 having concluded there was no evidence of any potential threat.