What Congress Learned From Its First Public Hearing on UFOs Since 1966

Congress held its first public hearing on unidentified flying objects in decades on Tuesday, centered on investigations into reported military encounters with unexplained objects.

By the numbers: A database tracking sightings of unidentified objects grew to about 400 reports. Sightings “are frequent and ongoing,” witnesses said.

Hearing follows U.S. government report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)
  • The report concluded that the UAP may pose a threat to national security, but found no evidence of extraterrestrials from the incidents.
  • The last UFO hearing dates back to 1966, when then-Republican Minority Leader Gerald Ford held two hearings regarding reported sightings in Michigan and other parts of the country earlier that year. .
  • A now-resolved video of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) captured by the Navy was explained as lens aberrations and the aperture shape of the night vision goggles used to record the images.
  • Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray released another video of a military flyby with a UAP that has yet to be explained.
Resolved reports fall into five explanatory categories
  1. Aerial clutter
  2. Natural atmospheric phenomena
  3. U.S. government or U.S. industry development programs
  4. Foreign adversary systems
  5. “Other,” which serves as a “receptacle for difficult cases and an opportunity for surprise and potential scientific discovery,” Bray said.
There have been 11 near-misses between unknown objects and US military assets
  • U.S. service members did not record any collisions or direct communication with the UAP, Bray said.
  • They also did not find any wreckage material “that does not correspond to a terrestrial origin”, he added.

The House Intelligence Committee’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation interviewed Department of Defense officials about the DOD’s work on UAPs.

  • The Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG) was created in November 2021 to succeed the DOD’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, which was created in response to reports from Navy pilots and other servicemen on encounters with the PSU over several years.
  • Some videos of the reports were released by the Pentagon in 2020, including footage recorded from fighter jet infrared cameras.

What they say : Bray and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie emphasized that the Pentagon’s primary goals with the AOIMSG are to organize and synthesize raw and anomalous data collected by service members and to identify the PSU.

  • “We are aware that members of our service have encountered unidentified aerial phenomena, and because UAP poses a potential risk to flight safety and general safety, we are committing to a focused effort to determine their origin,” Moultrie said.
  • “Since the early 2000s, we have seen an increasing number of unauthorized or unidentified aircraft or objects in training areas and training fields under military control and in other designated airspace” , Bray said in his opening statement. “Reports of sightings are frequent and ongoing.”
  • The Pentagon attributes the frequency of sightings to the increased presence of commercial drones near military sites and better sensor equipment detecting debris, such as Mylar balloons, in military airspace, Bray said.
  • The frequency could also be attributed to the fact that the AOIMSG standardizes reporting procedures for Navy and Air Force service members and that the Pentagon recently encouraged service members to report anything that is abnormal at sea or in flight, Bray said.

Go further: Unique report in a decade urges NASA to explore Uranus

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to show that Gerald Ford was the House Minority Leader, not the House Majority Leader.

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