UFOs came to Washington on Wednesday.
UFOs — or unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), as they're now called — have been receiving increased scrutiny from the U.S. government in recent years due to high-profile testimony from credible witnesses. In order to shine light on what some deem to be the pressing national security threat posed by UAP, the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on National Security at the Border and Foreign Affairs held a hearing Wednesday (July 26) in Washington titled "Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency."
Three key witnesses testified at the hearing: Ryan Graves and David Fravor, two former U.S. Navy aviators who reported highly publicized encounters with unknown objects in military training airspace; and David Grusch, a decorated U.S. military combat veteran and Pentagon intelligence officer.
In his opening remarks, Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) stated that "we must demand transparency from the Department of Defense," adding that "Congress recognizes the subject of UAPs is multifaceted and requires a careful, data-driven approach." Rep. Tim Burchette (R-TN) went even further: "We need to tell the folks at the Pentagon, they work for us, that government, we don't work for them. And that's exactly the point. This is an issue of government transparency. We can't trust a government that does not trust its people."
Echoing this further in the opening remarks, Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) stated that "the American public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence and unexplainable phenomena." Moskowitz added that any disclosure of classified information must be done carefully, pointing out how the existence of stealth helicopter technology wasn't publicly known before one was used in the 2011 raid on a compound housing Osama bin Laden. "But we can't allow that to be used as a shield to keep the American people completely in the dark from basic truths," Moskowitz added.
In the witness testimony that followed the opening statements, Grusch claimed he was told of the existence of a "multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program" and was denied access to it, prompting him to file the whistleblower complaint. Grusch, who served as a member of the Pentagon's short-lived UAP Task Force from 2019 to 2021, told the committee that his whistleblower complaint is based on "information I've been given by individuals with a longstanding track record of legitimacy and service to this country, many of whom also have shared compelling evidence in the form of photography, official documentation and classified oral testimony to myself and many of my various colleagues."
Moskowitz asked Grusch if the former intelligence community official has any knowledge of "programs in the advanced tech space that are unsanctioned," to which Grusch replied that these programs do exist and are outside of congressional oversight. When asked if he was aware of imagery of crash sites of craft of unknown origin, Grusch said he cannot discuss the answer in an open, unclassified setting.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) pushed Grusch on his claims that the U.S. government is in possession of "non-human spacecraft," asking if previous statements made by Sean Kirkpatrick, head of the Pentagon's All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, or AARO, were correct in stating the U.S. government had no evidence of non-human intelligence. "It's not accurate," Grusch replied.
Burchette asked Grusch if there has "ever been an active U.S. government disinformation campaign to deny the existence of unidentified aerial phenomena." Grusch affirmed there has indeed been such a campaign, yet said he can't add anything beyond what he has already stated publicly.
Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO) also pushed Grusch on some of these statements. "You've said the U.S. has intact spacecraft. You said that the government has alien bodies or alien species. Have you seen the spacecraft? [...] Have you seen any of the bodies?" Burlison asked.
"That's not something I have witnessed myself," Grusch replied. But he answered a subsequent question by stating definitively that, when it comes to UAP crash retrievals, "biologics came with some of these recoveries." Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) pushed Grusch if he meant human or non-human. "Non-human, and that was the assessment of people with direct knowledge on the program I talked to," Grusch replied.
Grusch added in response to a later question from Burchette that he is aware of "reverse-engineering programs for non-terrestrial craft."
In his testimony, Graves told the committee that UAP are severely under-reported in American airspace. "These sightings are not rare or isolated. They are routine," Graves said. "Military aircrew and commercial pilots — trained observers whose lives depend on accurate identification — are frequently witnessing these phenomena." Graves described how Naval aviators operating on the U.S. East Coast witnessed objects that appeared to stay stationary in the face of hurricane-force winds before suddenly accelerating to supersonic speeds.
Despite the extraordinary nature of these sightings and their proximity to U.S. military airspace, Graves said that he and his colleagues, not to mention other pilots who have had similar encounters, have historically been hesitant to report them. "The stigma attached to UAP is real and powerful and challenges national security," Graves told the committee. "It silences commercial pilots who fear professional repercussions and discourages witnesses. It is only compounded by recent government claims questioning the credibility of eyewitness testimony. "
Graves made reference to NASA's recent UAP study group, stating the agency "has a big role to play as far as commercial aviation safety and it's one of their original charges as an organization," given that NASA already operates an Aviation Safety Reporting System.
During Fravor's testimony, the former F/A-18 pilot told the committee that he is concerned by the lack of government oversight when it comes to "processing or working on craft believed not from this world."
"I'd like to say that the Tic Tac object we engaged in 2004 was far superior to anything that we had at the time time, have today or [are] looking to develop in the next 10 years," Fravor said. "If we in fact have programs that possess this technology, it'd be nice to have oversight from those people that the citizens of this great country elected in office to represent what is best for the United States, and best for the citizens."
In response to a question on whether or not UAP pose a potential threat to U.S. national security, Fravor stated a definitive "yes," adding that "the technology that we faced was far superior than anything that we had." Fravor called it a "travesty" that the U.S. military and/or government doesn't have a centralized repository for reports of UAP.
Grusch was also asked about a possible "interdimensional potential" to the UFO phenomenon. Grusch stated that he's familiar with concepts of "multidimensionality" and the "holographic principle," ideas about how beings might be "projected from higher-dimensional space to lower dimensional," but added that these are only theoretical.
During questioning, all three witnesses stated that it's possible UAP are interested in America's nuclear capabilities, testing for vulnerabilities in U.S. air defense systems or conducting reconnaissance in American airspace.
In closing remarks, representatives underscored how this issue, at its core, is less about hunting down evidence of alleged alien craft, and more about demanding accountability and transparency from the U.S. government.
Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) reiterated the need for using science to try and find answers on the UAP enigma. "I also really believe in following facts and doing your homework and making sure that we follow science as we try to get as much information as possible," Garcia added. "Transparency is a cornerstone of government. We live in a vast galaxy. A lot of unanswered questions."
Originally posted on Space.com.
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Brett is a science and technology journalist who is curious about emerging concepts in spaceflight and aerospace, alternative launch concepts, anti-satellite technologies, and uncrewed systems. Brett's work has appeared on The War Zone at TheDrive.com, Popular Science, the History Channel, Science Discovery, and more. Brett has English degrees from Clemson University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In his free time, Brett is a working musician, a hobbyist electronics engineer and cosplayer, an avid LEGO fan, and enjoys hiking and camping throughout the Appalachian Mountains with his wife and two children.
Baloney!! This is a cover for spending more tax dollars on another boondoggle!!Reply
Nothing new was revealed. The witness knows someone who has the details, not him -- this explanation has been used for the last 50 years by hoaxers. The public is gullible enough to buy this nonsense.Reply
True, not even details about older reports. He didn't even mention the fact that President Kennedy sent the remains of the Roswell aliens to the Vatican in May of 1962.snm707 said:Nothing new was revealed. The witness knows someone who has the details, not him -- this explanation has been used for the last 50 years by hoaxers. The public is gullible enough to buy this nonsense.
My sister and late mother were convinced that I was abducted by aliens.Reply
When I was four or five, I shared a bedroom with my younger sister and brother.
My sister spoke of "monkey men" who came and walked me "through the wall." At one point, she told them that she wanted to go as well, but they "spoke inside head" that they were there for me, not her.
As for me, I recall none of that.
But I used to have reoccurring terrifying nightmares of looking down on the roof of our house, then seeing the entire roof, getting smaller and smaller, then seeing it disappear in a pattern of fields and roads, then seeing the Great Lakes outline the State of Michigan, then seeing the entire US, then seeing the Earth.
I'm science-minded. Dreams are not evidence. My sister's experience could have been a dream, perhaps even inspired by my description of my nightmares.
But it is interesting.
And I have this itchy spot on the back of my neck, which in the mirror in a darkened bathroom, appears to glow slightly… :)