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UAP

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abbreviation, plural UAP's, UAPs.
unidentified aerial phenomenon: a phenomenon or object in the atmosphere, observed from the ground or the air, whose nature or cause remains unexplained even after subsequent scientific analysis. Compare UFO, flying saucer.
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usage note for UAP

In 2021, the U.S. government released for the first time an unclassified intelligence assessment of UAP’s (unidentified aerial phenomena). The report avoided use of the older term UFO (unidentified flying object) because of its association with unproven claims of extraterrestrial spacecraft sightings. UAP has been embraced as the official term, as it expresses a neutral position on the associated phenomena that remain an ongoing mystery.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
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