House subcommittee UFO hearing was first in 50 years on ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’

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By CASEY HARPER | THE CENTER SQUARE

A House subcommittee hearing drew national attention Tuesday for its unusual focus: UFOs.

The House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee held the hearing Tuesday on “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” also commonly called UFOs.

The Congressional hearing, the first of its kind in decades, allowed lawmakers to raise an array of questions about what UFOs, or UAPs, are, how they are identified, and what should be done about them.

A Pew Research Center survey from last year found that 65% of surveyed Americans “say their best guess is that intelligent life exists on other planets.”

“A smaller but still sizable share of the public (51%) says that UFOs reported by people in the military are likely evidence of intelligent life outside Earth,” Pew said. “Most of this sentiment comes from people who say that military-reported UFOs are ‘probably’ evidence of extraterrestrial life (40%), rather than ‘definitely’ such evidence (11%)…”

That survey came just before the release of a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in June on UAPs.

“In a limited number of incidents, UAP reportedly appeared to exhibit unusual flight characteristics,” the report said. “These observations could be the result of sensor errors, spoofing, or observer misperception and require additional rigorous analysis. There are probably multiple types of UAP requiring different explanations based on the range of appearances and behaviors described in the available reporting.”

The report added that the objects pose a danger to flights and possibly even to national security.

“Our analysis of the data supports the construct that if and when individual UAP incidents are resolved they will fall into one of five potential explanatory categories: airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, USG or U.S. industry developmental programs, foreign adversary systems, and a catchall ‘other’ bin,” the report said.

The “other” bin has drawn attention for decades. During the hearing, images from the Department of Defense showed several UFOs, drawing a wide array of speculation online.

“This phenomenon is real and perplexing, and it is past time that Congress and the Administration gives it the attention it deserves,” said Christopher Mellon, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Others criticized Congress for giving attention to the issue when other problems like inflation and the baby formula shortage have not been fixed.

Some lawmakers raised concerns about the national security implications, especially if the UFOs are foreign aircraft. Scott W. Bray, deputy director of Naval Intelligence, said there have been several near misses with these kinds of objects and U.S. military aircraft.

“Unidentified Aerial Phenomena are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way,” said Rep. André Carson, D-Indiana, who chaired the hearing. “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. DOD officials relegated the issue to the back room or swept it under the rug, entirely fearful of a skeptical national security community.”

Overall, though, Americans do not see UFOs as a major concern.

“When asked to think about U.S. national security, most Americans (87%) say that UFOs are not a threat at all (51%) or a minor threat (36%),” the Pew survey said. “One-in-ten say UFOs are a major threat to U.S. national security.”

14 COMMENTS

  1. It’s about time this happened. It took a long time for these Congressional hearings; they’re not a distraction. Ted Stevens was one of the politicians that helped set up AATIP, and I’m glad he did. This issue has been ignored for far too long.

  2. Full-of-Schiff as the lead view on the video clip says it all… And I have a floater that bears an uncanny resemblance to a mosquito that I catch myself swatting at sometimes… This hearing is just another attempt to distract us from the failings of the d’rats – next they’ll be telling us the X-files were true. There is a museum in Roswell, NM where Schifty can get some more really cool photos.

  3. These UFO’s are mainly in US Restricted Airspace….how do you say Classified flight testing?
    And there is no way the government will tell congress what the UFO’s really are.

  4. I saw a UFO once. Everywhere I looked, there it was. Then I cleaned my glasses and it went away.

  5. Please clarify: “When asked to think about U.S. national security, most Americans (87%) say that UFOs are not a threat at all (51%) or a minor threat (36%)” — there are 3 numeric values given for two categories (not a threat or minor threat).

  6. There needs to be a 50 billion dollar appropriation to study these things. I voted for “other” once.

  7. In my mother’s youth as a trapper in remote Alaska she and her older sister were having tea at home. My mother stepped a short distance away to fill up her sugar bowl from storage in the shed. And returned to the house. Her sister said “Where have you been? You’ve been gone two hours! Did you see the big flash of light in the sky?” My Mom said “Yes. I did see it”. But she had no awaresness of two hours of time passing. I read later there were weapon testing in Alaska in those years.

    • Missing time is a phenomenon associated with UFOs, however, it’s also usually associated with abductions. I was surprised to discover that Congress was briefed on abductions. I’ve studied this topic for most of my life, and most people shy away when they hear of abductions.

  8. It is Putin; it is always Putin. Putin is an alien that is controlling the earth. Putin is hiding under Joe’s desk. Putin, Putin, Putin …

  9. Alaska is one of the top 5 states in the US for reported UFOs. In 1987, a JAL flight had a UFO encounter for quite a length of time. Unfortunately, due to the stigma associated with UFOs, he lost his job. I, for one, am glad to hear that the military is now encouraged to report them, and that we are gathering hard data on the topic.

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