An earlier report found that more than 140 recorded UFO sightings since 2004 were unexplained.
For the first time in more than five decades, a hearing on unidentified aerial phenomena — more commonly known as UFOs (unidentified flying objects) — will be held available to the public as a House subcommittee will hear testimony from top security officials from inside the Pentagon.
The panel, which reviews content generally reserved for closed-door meetings with high-ranking military officials, will bring some of that information to light when members of the House Intelligence Committee’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation subcommittee hear from two senior defense intelligence officials on May 17 at 10 am.
The hearings, first reported by The New York Times, will focus on a follow-up to a long-awaited declassified report released last June, which found that more than 140 recorded UFO sightings since 2004 were unexplained.
The report, released by the ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence), was largely inconclusive about the origin of the UNIF (unidentified aerial phenomena), many of which were documented by US naval aviators themselves. US and other members of the armed forces.
“Currently, we lack data indicating that any NIAF is part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a significant technological advance by a potential adversary,” the report stated, but added that they could say “they do represent objects.” physical”.
Here’s what to expect from the House panel on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.
Who will be present?
The panel will be led by Rep. André Carson, who is chairman of the subcommittee overseeing next week’s hearing.
Ahead of next week’s hearing, the Indiana Democrat emphasized in a statement how the American people “deserve that their leaders in government” take these potential security threats “seriously.”
“Since coming to Congress, I have focused on the issue of unidentified aerial phenomena as a national security threat and a major concern of the American public. And I am pleased to chair the first open Intelligence Committee hearing on these events,” said Rep. Carson. “It will give the American people an opportunity to learn what there is to know about the incidents. And I want to hear from our witnesses on this critical matter.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was equally excited to have the opportunity to bring this historically shrouded issue to the public next week.
“The purpose of this hearing is to provide the public with an opportunity to hear directly from subject matter experts and intelligence community leaders about one of the greatest mysteries of our time, and to break the cycle of excessive secrecy and speculation with truth and transparency. ”, added the California Democrat in the statement. “I am grateful to Congressman Carson for his continued leadership and driving transparency on this important issue.”
Two of the experts expected to testify during the public hearing will be Deputy Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald S. Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott W. Bray.
Moultrie oversees the new Pentagon office, the AOIMSG (Air Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group), created to replace the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force last November in the wake of June’s shocking declassified report. He will provide testimony on the new office, which will be the focus of the public hearing.
The hearing will be held on Tuesday, May 17 at 10 a.m. ET, and will be the first public hearing to discuss the FANI issue since 1970. At the time, the Air Force closed the Project Blue Book, a public inquiry spearheaded by then-Republican House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, who presented the accounts of dozens of people who claimed to have seen UFOs. At the time, these claims were largely dismissed by the military as “swamp gas,” which the former US president said were “coincidental.”
What’s in the file?
When Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks launched the AOIMSG last November as a successor to the Pentagon’s previous NIAF monitoring office, she did so with the initial goal of addressing the challenges associated with “assessing NIAFs occurring in or near Department of Defense training camps” and other locations that were highlighted in the June 2021 declassified report.
The central topic of conversation during the hearings will be the work of the group, which is described as “detecting, identifying and attributing objects of interest in special use airspace and assessing and mitigating any associated threats to flight safety and security. national”. Moultrie, who leads this office, will likely be asked for updates on this effort, as the late summer report prompted the creation of his office.
Because right now?
The public hearing comes amid a recent push from inside DC, in which lawmakers are eager to see action on this issue, with an emphasis on getting those findings out of closed-door meetings.
Last December, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spearheaded a bipartisan move to add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that tasked the Pentagon and intelligence officials to study NIAFs more rigorously and make those findings public.
However, lawmakers have recently grown frustrated with the progress being made within that group, the Pentagon’s Office of Anomaly Monitoring and Resolution. Aides to Senator Gillibrand of New York told Politico recently that the Democrat believes the “Department of Defense needs to take this issue much more seriously and take action.”
Members of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees, who began receiving stronger briefings from intelligence officials in recent weeks, were disappointed by these recent briefings, as some lawmakers had hoped to see further standardization of the analysis and compilation of reports on the NIAF.
An aide to Marco Rubio, who is also on the intelligence panel, told Politico in the same report that the Florida senator was similarly frustrated that the Pentagon was not following congressional directions aggressively enough. The aide noted that he felt “they are not moving fast enough.”
After the public hearing, there will be a closed-door meeting for lawmakers who are part of the subcommittees to hear a classified hearing on the Pentagon’s program, known as the Air Object Identification and Handling Synchronization Group.
This issue is also a rare moment in which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree on an issue without many notable detractors.