(Featured Image provided by Wikimedia Commons)
For the first time in several decades, a public congressional hearing was held in the United States (U.S) government on the topic of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAFs), more commonly known as Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). The last time a hearing was made on the topic was back in 1966 by Project Blue Book, a program run by the US Air Force that focused on studying UFOs. The hearing was held only a few years before the project had been disbanded in 1969 after it concluded that these UFOs posed no threat to national security. However, some of the speakers at the hearing on Tuesday had a very different tone about the subject. The part of the event that was available for public viewing lasted the first 90 minutes, but after that, the rest of the hearing was held behind closed doors.
Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence and Security Ronald S. Moultrie, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott W. Bray, and other top Pentagon officials testified before the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee that these UAFs are real and that they could very well be a threat to national security. During Brey’s testimony, he showed various videos of these UAFs, some examples including mysterious flashing triangle-shaped objects in the sky. He emphasized just how much effort it might take to try and understand what exactly these strange objects are. “In this video, US navy personnel recorded what appears to be triangles – some flashing – recorded several years ago off the coast of the United States,” said Brey. “I don’t mean to suggest that everything that we observe is identifiable, but this is a great example of how it takes considerable effort to understand what we’re seeing in the examples that we are able to collect.”
Last year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a report in which it stated that between the years 2004 and 2021, there had been a total of 144 confirmed cases of UAPs being sighted through restricted military airspace across the country. However, out of all of these sightings, government investigators were only able to identify one of the objects as being a deflating balloon. Investigators could not clearly say whether the other 143 sightings were extraterrestrial or perhaps some top-secret technology by a rival country such as China or Russia, but they still acknowledged those theories as possible explanations.
Rep. André Carson, an Indiana Democrat and chairman of the subcommittee, also testified on the subject, stating that UAFs should be considered potential threats and treated as such instead of being cast aside as conspiracy. “For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis. Pilots avoided reporting or were laughed at when they did.” divulged Carson. “Today, we know better. UAPs are unexplained, it’s true. But they are real. They need to be investigated. And any threats they pose need to be mitigated.”
Top ranking Republican Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas also had a similar opinion about the importance of studying these UAPs as he views them as a duty of the committee. “The intelligence community has a serious duty to our taxpayers to prevent potential adversaries such as China and Russia from surprising us with unforeseen new technologies,” stated Crawford. “This committee has an obligation to understand what you are doing to determine whether any UAPs are new technologies or not – and if they are, where are they coming from?”
Although the hearing didn’t straight up confirm the possible existence of some of these UFOs being of extraterrestrial origin or another country’s new secret technology, the committee still observed them as a real threat. Additionally, during the hearing, lawmakers suggested to the committee that the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG), a program founded in 2021 to combine efforts across the government to identify “objects of interest,” have itself updated based on the latest information discussed in the meeting. Carson said that “we will bring that organization out of the shadows,” in response.