The Pentagon is committed to understanding the origins of UFOs, says a US intelligence official.

A top US Defense Department intelligence official said Tuesday that the Pentagon is committed to determining the origins of what the administration calls “unidentified aerial phenomena,” in the first public hearing in Congress in more than 50 years. about what is commonly known as UFOs.

Two top US defense intelligence officials appeared before a US House intelligence subcommittee 11 months after a report documenting more than 140 cases of unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, that US military pilots reported observing as early as 2004.

“We know that our service members have encountered unidentified aerial phenomena, and because UAPs pose potential risks to flight safety and general safety, we are committed to a focused effort to determine their origins,” said Ronald Moultrie. , who oversees the new group as US deputy secretary of defense for intelligence and security, told the hearing.

The other official who testified was Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence.

Security and safety implications

The more popular term UFO, unidentified flying object, has long been associated with the notion of an alien spacecraft, which received no mention in last June’s UAP presentation. Instead, attention turned to potential implications for US national security and aviation safety.

However, the report did include some UAPs previously revealed in video footage released by the Pentagon of enigmatic airborne objects that exhibited speed and maneuverability that exceeded known aviation technology and that lacked visible means of propulsion or airborne control surfaces. flight.

That report was a nine-page “preliminary assessment” compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and a Navy-led task force the Pentagon formed in 2020.

Subcommittee Chairman Andre Carson said in his opening remarks that it was important for the Pentagon to remove the stigma surrounding sightings of unidentified aerial objects, which he said has long discouraged military pilots from reporting them so that can be analyzed.

“UAPs are unexplained, it’s true. But they are real,” Carson said.

Defense and intelligence analysts who prepared the assessment offered no findings on the origins of any of the 144 sightings included in it, except for one attributed to a large balloon that deflated.

closed session

The Navy task force behind the document was replaced in November by a new Department of Defense agency called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.

Moultrie and Bray were scheduled to testify behind closed doors after the public hearing.

While it didn’t come to any conclusions, last year’s report said the UAP sightings likely lack a single explanation.

More data and analysis were needed to determine whether they represent some exotic air system developed by a secret US government or commercial entity, or by a foreign power such as China or Russia, according to the report.

Defense and intelligence analysts have yet to rule out an extraterrestrial origin for any UAP cases, senior US officials told reporters ahead of the report’s publication last year, though the newspaper itself avoided any explicit reference to such possibilities.

Still, the report marked a turning point for the US government after decades of deflecting, debunking, and discrediting unidentified flying object and “flying saucer” sightings dating back to the 1940s.

The session will mark the first open congressional hearing on the issue since the US Air Force ended an inconclusive UFO program codenamed Project Blue Book in 1969.

During its 17 years of existence, Blue Book compiled a list of 12,618 total UFO sightings, 701 of which involved objects that officially remained “unidentified.” But the Air Force later said it found no indication of a national security threat or evidence of alien vehicles.

In 1966, nearly a decade before he became president, then-U.S. Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan, who was the House Republican leader at the time, hosted a hearing in response to dozens of witness accounts about strange bright lights and large low-lying football figures. around Dexter, Michigan, which an Air Force official had explained as “swamp gas.”

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