Earlier this week, it was announced that the United States Navy (USN) established a new set of operational guidelines meant to streamline reporting of unidentified flying objects spotted by pilots and other military personnel. The decision, which prompted a flurry of sensational headlines, now has support from a number of current and former Pentagon officials.

“We want to get to the bottom of this. We need to determine who’s doing it, where it’s coming from and what their intent is. We need to try to find ways to prevent it from happening again,” said Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for office of the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, in the Washington Post. According to Gradisher, there’s been an uptick in reports of “unexplained aerial phenomena (UAP)” since 2014, with reports of unidentified aircraft entering into military air space coming in as frequently as multiple times per month in recent years.

According to him, investigating these sightings is a matter of both safety and security, and the USN intends to investigate “each and every report.”

The USN’s official statements regarding the establishment of these new guidelines seem to echo Gradisher’s sentiments.

“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years,” the USN said in a statement to Politico. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.”

For UFO researchers, this comes as a refreshing approach to a subject many dismiss as a flight of fancy. While formal investigation into UFO phenomena tends to earn the ire of mainstream media outlets, many who devote themselves to investigating these reports have long contended an acknowledgement of the fact that reputable, credible witnesses are reporting unidentified aircraft operating within controlled air space isn’t tantamount to embracing the idea of alien life visiting earth.

Investigating, many enthusiasts and professionals alike champion, is national security imperative. Wherever these orbs, tic tacs, strange lights, and other unusual objects described by military aviators are coming from, ignoring them hasn’t seemed to make them go away.

“I don’t believe in safety through ignorance,” explained Chris Mellon, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence. Since leaving the Pentagon, Mellon has found a new home with Tom Delonge’s To the Stars Academy—a group dedicated to the investigation and release of information pertaining to these unexplained sightings.