UFOs pose ‘potential national security threat,’ lawmakers warn
Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) on Tuesday warned that UFOs pose a “potential national security threat” to the U.S. and “need to be treated that way” during a highly anticipated hearing with the Pentagon’s top intelligence officials on mysterious aerial sightings.
In the first congressional hearings on UFOs in more than 50 years, Carson, the chairman of the House Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation Subcommittee, said the Department of Defense (DOD) swept the issue of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) “under the rug.”
“For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis,” he said. “Pilots avoided reporting or were laughed at when they did. DOD officials relegated the issue to the backroom or swept it under the rug entirely, fearful of a skeptical, national security community.”
“Today, we know better,” Carson continued. “They are real, they need to be investigated, and the many threats they pose need to be investigated.”
The House intelligence subcommittee heard testimony from Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray, who are overseeing the Pentagon’s new Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.
The group will collect data from sources in the military and government to analyze unexplained phenomena and try to identify them. The UAP task force was created after intelligence officials released a report last year that found 144 unexplained UAPs from 2004 to 2021.
That database for UAP sightings and encounters now includes around 400 reports, the intelligence officials said at the hearing.
In opening remarks, Bray acknowledged that UAPs “represent serious hazards” and pose potential threats to the security of defense operations. The naval intelligence officer said the Pentagon was working to build on relationships within the military to encourage more reporting on UAPs.
“We also spent considerable efforts engaging directly with our naval aviators to help destigmatize the act of reporting sights and encounters,” he said. “The direct results of those efforts have been increased reporting. … The message is now clear: if you see something, you need to report it.”
At Tuesday’s hearing, lawmakers expressed increasing concern on UAPs and their potential security implications to the U.S., noting if any of the UAPs are associated with foreign adversaries, it would be dangerous for the nation.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, pushed for the Pentagon and the public to understand that UAPs are becoming a national security concern.
“UAP reports have been around for decades, yet we haven’t had an orderly way for them to be reported without stigma and to be investigated,” Schiff said in the hearings. “That needs to change.”
Bray and Moultrie said they were not aware of any technological advances among foreign nations that could explain any of the encounters.
Moultrie, the Pentagon’s top intelligence officer, said the UAP task force was just as intrigued as the public.
“We have character, and and we’re people just like you,” Moultrie said. “We have our own inquisitiveness, we have our questions, we want to know what’s out there just as much as you want to know what’s out there.”
At the hearing, officials played a declassified video clip showing a mysterious UAP that zipped by a pilot’s aircraft in a U.S. Navy training yard. It appears to be a spherical object traveling at extremely high speeds.
“I do not have an explanation for what this specific object is,” Bray said.
Bray and Moultrie both said they would commit to declassifying more information when possible and when it does not pose a national security risk, saying the task force would operate with more transparency than past Pentagon programs.
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