The US Congress is due to hold its first public hearing on UFOs since the 1960s on Tuesday (May 17), relying on defense intelligence testimony to establish what could be causing the phenomenon.
The hearing – which will question two Pentagon experts about what they know about UFO sightings – will focus on the content of a June 2021 Pentagon report which revealed that navy pilots have reported 144 sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) since 2004, most of which the department concluded “likely represent physical objects”.
Of these reported UAP sightings, 18 exhibited extremely unusual flight behaviors, with the mystery objects appearing to “stay stationary in high-altitude winds, move upwind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, with no discernible means of propulsion.” , according to the report. .
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The released music videos show some of these ostensibly ships without propulsion moving at hypersonic speeds, Live Science previously reported, and a piece of footage (captured by the US Navy) appears to show a spherical UFO hovering in the air as it bounces from side to side, before diving in the ocean. A former Pentagon official, Luis Elizondo, also told the Washington Post that UAPs have interfered with secret US nuclear weapons facilities, even forcing some to go offline.
Congressional oversight committees have been investigating the allegations since 2017, after Politico and the New York Times released a series of bombshell reports about the Pentagon’s secret UFO research office and testimonies from Navy pilots and the radar team. who found the strange aerial objects. Now, a public hearing is imminent.
“Congress has not held a public hearing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UFOs) in over 50 years,” meeting chairman and Indiana Representative Andre Carson wrote on twitter. “That will change next week when I lead a House Intelligence hearing on this topic and the national security risk it poses. Americans need to know more about these unexplained occurrences.”
At the public hearing — live broadcast on here from 9 am EDT (1300 GMT) – US Representatives will question Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray about what they know about the unexplained phenomena.
Following this public hearing, Congress will hold a closed and confidential hearing on the activity of the Pentagon group – known as the Airborne Object Identification and Management Group (AOIMSG) – which has been tasked with uncovering possible explanations for the sightings.
What the hearing will reveal is unclear, but pertinent questions include whether UAPs could be satellites, belong to foreign governments, or be purposeful forgeries. If experts have not yet ruled out an extraterrestrial explanation, representatives may also ask them to provide more details on possible UFO propulsion methods, as well as any exotic material that may have been collected from them.
The AOIMSG was organized within Moultrie’s office. Moultrie, who was sworn in last June, advises Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on security issues and has worked in senior roles at the CIA and NASA. Bray, meanwhile, specializes in intelligence collection and analysis and works to provide intelligence briefs for the US Navy.
The 2021 report, which drew no conclusions from the “largely inconclusive” reports, could only explain one of the sightings (which turned out to be a large deflated balloon) and said that “data is currently lacking to indicate that any UAP is part of a program foreign collection or indicative of a major technological advance by a potential adversary.” It also denied that the sightings were in any way linked to clandestine tests by the US military.
The report is not the only one the US government has released that documents strange, seemingly inexplicable activities. In April, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the tabloid The US Sun brought more than 1,500 pages of UFO-related documents to public scrutiny, Live Science previously reported. The document database, created by the Defense Intelligence Agency’s secret Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) that operated from 2007 to 2012, included reports on more than 300 medical reports of human interaction with UFOs – some of which included burns, brain damage, nerve damage, heart palpitations and headaches from alleged close encounters with “anomalous vehicles”.
Tomorrow’s hearing “will give the public the opportunity to hear directly from subject matter experts and leaders in the intelligence community about one of the greatest mysteries of our time,” said Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee. He added that the hearing would “break the cycle of excessive secrecy and speculation with truth and transparency.”
Not all representatives, however, were convinced. Arkansas Representative Rick Crawford (R), the most senior Republican on the House intelligence subcommittee, questioned the focus on UFOs above other national security issues.
“With China and Russia developing hypersonic weapons and the Biden administration leaking alleged US military operations in Ukraine, we have much more serious intelligence threats than flying saucers,” Crawford said in a statement.
Originally published on Live Science.