The reality is on the market ― but we’d like a greater framework for ascertaining it.
At the primary public congressional hearing on UFOs in greater than 50 years, lawmakers, together with intelligence and military personnel, largely agreed on a minimum of one thing: We’d like to do a greater job tracking “unidentified aerial phenomena,” and that begins with encouraging members of the armed services to report it.
In opening remarks Tuesday, Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), chair of the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee, characterised UAPs as a “potential national security threat” in urgent need of monitoring and investigation.
“For too long, the stigma related to UAPs has gotten in the best way of excellent intelligence evaluation,” Carson said. “Pilots avoided reporting, or were laughed at once they did.” Pentagon officials, he continued, “relegated the problem to the back room, or swept it under the rug entirely, afraid of a skeptical national security community.”
“Today, we all know higher. UAPs are unexplained, it’s true. But they’re real. They have to be investigated. And any threats they pose have to be mitigated.”
The session included testimony from Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon’s top intelligence official, and Scott Bray, the deputy director of Naval Intelligence.
Moultrie told lawmakers the Pentagon is desperate to destigmatize the problem and to encourage military personnel to report odd encounters. Data collection, he said, is vital to identifying UAPs in a “methodical, logical and standardized manner.”
The Pentagon formed a bunch in November to research and discover UAPs, after a highly anticipated, declassified report earlier in 2021 identified 143 UAP incidents that couldn’t be explained. Bray said the database has since grown significantly and now includes around 400 incidents.
None, he said, are believed to be “non-terrestrial in origin.”
Bray showed lawmakers a handful of photos and videos of the UAPs as an instance the worth of higher data, which takes effort and time to gather. In a single example, a UAP spotted by a Navy pilot in 2021 flits out and in of the screen in milliseconds:
Here’s a still frame showing the reflective, spherical object before it disappeared from view:
Scott Bray, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, ONI, just admitted that the “data” (i.e., blurry photographs & grainy videos) is one of the best the federal government has. He showed this as typical. It’s on the screen ~200 milliseconds. pic.twitter.com/67sgqpKi63
— Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer) May 17, 2022
“In lots of other cases we now have far lower than this,” Bray said. “This often limited amount of high-quality data and reporting hampers our ability to attract firm conclusions in regards to the nature or intent of UAP.”
Discussing one other, high-profile video during which blinking, seemingly pyramid-shaped objects were filmed over the USS Russell destroyer off the coast of San Diego in July 2019, Bray said it wasn’t until the same encounter long afterward that the Pentagon was in a position to glean enough data to discover the likely cause as a “swarm of unmanned aerial systems.” (In other words: drones.)
The “Green Pyramid” video has been confirmed by the ONI as being bokeh. Here’s where they showed it to the committee and explained it. pic.twitter.com/oYAsUtYLc9
— Mick West (@MickWest) May 17, 2022
“I don’t mean to suggest that all the pieces we observe is identifiable,” Bray said. “But that is an incredible example of the way it takes considerable effort to know what we’re seeing.”
The military categorizes UAPs into five groups: airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, U.S. government or U.S. industry developmental programs, foreign adversary systems, or “other.” That last category, Bray said, “allows for a holding bin of inauspicious cases and for the potential for surprise and potential scientific discovery.”
After the 90-minute public hearing concluded, the subcommittee followed up with a closed-door classified briefing.