Senators briefed on US Navy's encounters with UFOs: report

Senators briefed on US Navy's encounters with UFOs: report
© Greg Nash

The Navy briefed three senators Wednesday on a number of reported encounters with unidentified aircraft amid growing requests from members of oversight committees.

The office of Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump's Intel moves spark Democratic fury Where do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter split on Bloomberg video | Sanders briefed on Russian efforts to help campaign | Barr to meet with Republicans ahead of surveillance fight MORE (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, confirmed the meeting to The Hill.

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“If pilots at Oceana or elsewhere are reporting flight hazards that interfere with training or put them at risk, then Senator Warner wants answers. It doesn’t matter if it’s weather balloons, little green men, or something else entirely — we can’t ask our pilots to put their lives at risk unnecessarily,” his spokeswoman, Rachel Cohen, said in a statement.

The Navy did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.

Interest surrounding “unidentified aerial phenomenon” has spiked since 2017 after it was revealed that former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidReid pushes back on Sanders suggestion that a Democrat with plurality of delegates should be the nominee Harry Reid on 'Medicare for All': 'Not a chance in hell it would pass' The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms MORE (D-Nev.) requested the Pentagon set up a program to study the issue. Officials reportedly interviewed several current and former sailors and aviators who say they’ve encountered advanced aircraft that defied the laws of aerodynamics. Videos of the aircraft intruding on protected military airspace have also been published. 

Politico first reported in April that the Navy updated its procedures for pilots and other personnel to report such sightings. 

“In response to requests for information from Congressional members and staff, Navy officials have provided a series of briefings by senior Naval Intelligence officials as well as aviators who reported hazards to aviation safety,” the Navy said in a statement to Politico at the time. 

The Senate briefing comes days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE said he had been briefed on reports of the sightings. 

“I did have one very brief meeting on it,” he told ABC News. “But people are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly.” 

Despite the president’s skepticism, officials told Politico that more briefings could be in the pipeline.

“There are people coming out of the woodwork,” said one former government official who has participated in some of the meetings. 

“More requests for briefings are coming in,” a current intelligence official added.