The US Congress will hold its first public hearing on UFOs since the 1960s on Tuesday (May 17), drawing on defense intelligence testimony to determine what could be causing the phenomena.
The hearing — which will question two Pentagon experts about what they know about UFO sightings — will focus on the contents of a Pentagon report from June 2021 that revealed that since 2004, Navy pilots had reported 144 sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), most of which the department said “probably represent physical objects.”
Of these reported UAP sightings, 18 exhibited extremely unusual flight behavior, with the mysterious objects “appearing to remain stationary in the wind in the air, moving upwind, maneuvering abruptly or moving at considerable speed, with no discernible propulsion means,” the report said. . †
Related: 9 things we learned about aliens in 2021
Released video clips show some of these ostensibly propulsionless vessel 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 sky as it bounces back and forth, before dive into the ocean† A former Pentagon official, Luis Elizondo, also told the Washington Post that UAPs had interfered with classified US nuclear weapons facilities, even forced some offline.
Congressional oversight committees have been investigating the allegations since 2017 after Politico and the New York Times released a series of bomb threats about the Pentagon’s secretive UFO investigative agency, and the testimony of the Navy pilots and radar crew who encountered 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,” Indiana President and Representative Andre Carson wrote on Twitter† “That will change next week as I lead a House Intelligence hearing on this topic and the national security risk it poses. Americans need to know more about these unexplained events.”
At the public hearing — live streaming here from 9:00 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) — U.S. representatives will question Undersecretary 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 private, secret hearing on the activities of the Pentagon group — known as the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG) — tasked with uncovering the possible explanations for the sightings.
It’s not clear what the hearing will reveal, but pertinent questions include whether UAPs could be satellites, owned by foreign governments or deliberate counterfeits. If the experts still haven’t ruled out an alien explanation, representatives could also ask them to provide more details about the UAPs’ possible propulsion methods, in addition to any exotic material that could have been collected from them.
The AOIMSG was organized within Moultrie’s office. Moultrie, who was sworn in last June, advises Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on security issues and has held senior positions at both the CIA and NASA. Bray, meanwhile, is an expert in intelligence gathering and analysis and works to provide intelligence summaries to 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, deflating balloon) and said that “we currently have no data to indicate that UAPs are part of a foreign debt collection scheme or indicative of major technological advancement by a potential adversary.” It also denied that the sightings were in any way related to clandestine testing by the US military.
The report isn’t the only one the US government has released documenting strange, seemingly unexplained activities. In April, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the tabloid the US Sun put more than 1,500 pages of UFO-related documents under public scrutiny, Live Science previously reported. The document database, created by the Defense Intelligence Agency’s classified Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) that ran from 2007 to 2012, contained reports of more than 300 medical records of human interaction with UFOs — some of which were burns, brain damage, nerve damage, palpitations. and headaches from alleged close encounters with “abnormal vehicles.”
Tomorrow’s hearing “will give the public an opportunity to hear directly from subject matter experts and leaders in the intelligence community about one of the greatest mysteries of our time,” said House Intelligence Committee Speaker Adam Schiff. He added that the hearing would “break the circle of excessive secrecy and speculation with truth and transparency”.
However, not all representatives were convinced. Arkansas Rep. Rick Crawford (R), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Subcommittee, questioned the focus on UFOs over other national security issues.
“With China and Russia developing hypersonic weapons and the Biden administration leaking alleged US military operations in Ukraine, we have far more serious intelligence threats than flying saucers,” Crawford said in a statement.
Originally published on Live Science.