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A House subcommittee is holding its first hearing open to the public on UFOs in more than 50 years on Tuesday, as defense officials played two declassified clips of unidentified flying objects.
One clip was taken from a Navy cockpit in a training area and shows a spherical object floating by the aircraft. Another showed two small triangle-shaped objects flying by the cockpit of an aircraft, spotted through night vision goggles.
Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon’s top intelligence official, and Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence, testified before the panel.
The House Intelligence Committee’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee dove into details on reports of ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ (UAEs), what UFOs are more recently known as. Such high-level conversations have for the past half century been reserved for closed-door meetings among high-ranking military officials.
Last June, Congress requested a report on UAEs and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) offered a preliminary assessment focusing on 144 incidents reported by military personnel dating back to 2004. DNI was only able to explain one.
And since that report last year, Moultrie said the Pentagon has worked to ‘eliminate the stigma’ around reporting UAEs and the number of unexplained incidents has swelled to 400. Eleven of the incidents have been ‘near misses,’ where military aircraft just barely brushed past the UAEs without colliding.
Moultrie said the Pentagon has not ruled out the possibility that these incidents could be connected to extraterrestrial life.
‘There are elements of our government engaged in … looking for extraterrestrial life,’ Moultrie said. ‘Our goal is not to potentially cover up something, it’s to understand what’s maybe out there.’
However, Bray said that officials have encountered no evidence to suggest the UAEs are of extra-terrestrial origin. ‘We’ll go wherever the data takes us,’ he said.
A House subcommittee is holding its first hearing open to the public on UFOs in more than 50 years on Tuesday, as defense officials played two clips of of unidentified flying objects
One clip showed two small triangle-shaped objects flying by the cockpit of an aircraft, spotted through night vision goggles
One clip was taken from a Navy cockpit in a training area and shows a spherical object floating by the aircraft
Another shot of the unidentified spherical object
‘We have eliminated the stigma,’ added Bray.
‘We are all curious and we seek to understand the unknown. And as a lifelong intelligence professional, I’m impatient. I want immediate explanations for this as much as anyone else. However, understanding can take significant time and effort. It’s why we’ve endeavored to concentrate on this data driven process to derive fact based results,’ Bray said.
‘We want to know what’s out there as much as you do,’ Moultrie said, adding that he was a fan of science fiction.
‘Yes, I have followed science fiction. I have gone to conventions, I’ll say it on the record. … There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t necessarily dress up.’
Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff told the intelligence officials they must ‘share as much as we can with the American people, since excessive secrecy only breeds distrust and speculation.’
After just under an hour and a half of testimony, the hearing went into recess. It will begin again at 12 p.m. in a closed session.
Last year’s bombshell report said data was ‘largely inconclusive’ but most of the incidents definitely involved ‘physical objects.’ Most of the sightings were reported by military pilots.
In 18 of the incidents, spotters ‘reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics,’ including objects that seemed to be flying ‘without discernible means of propulsion.’
‘Some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernible means of propulsion,’ the report said. ‘In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency energy associated with UAP sightings.’
After the woefully insufficient report, the Pentagon created a new office to study such incidents – the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG).
While such unidentified objects could be foreign military aircraft or possibly secret domestic aircraft, today’s hearing suggests that the phenomena has become so big that U.S. defense officials can no longer keep it from the public.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, asked about the hearing last week, said: ‘We are absolutely committed to being as transparent as we can with the American people and with members of Congress about our perspectives on this and what we’re going to try to do to make sure we have a better process for identifying these phenomena, analyzing that information in a more proactive, coordinated way than it’s been done in the past, and that we also are doing what we need to do to mitigate any safety issues as many of these phenomena have been sighted in training ranges and in training environments.’
Asked if there was any concern the UAPs could be foreign adversaries, he said: ‘We don’t have a view on that,’ but added that the Pentagon was working to form a more organized reporting system.
‘It’s been sort of ad hoc in the past, in terms of a pilot here and a pilot there seeing something and the reporting procedures haven’t been consistent,’ he added.
This file video grab image obtained April 28, 2020 courtesy of the US Department of Defense shows part of an unclassified video taken by Navy pilots that have circulated for years showing interactions with ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’.
In 2017, Lue Elizondo, a senior staffer at the Pentagon, rose to fame after he helped leak to the New York Times extraordinary videos from US fighter jets of tic tac-shaped UFOs moving with incredible speed and agility near aircraft carriers off the East and West coasts in 2004 and 2015
The last time Congress had such a hearing was in 1970, when the Air Force closed down Project Blue Book, a public investigation into UFOs spearheaded by then-House Republican minority leader Gerald Ford.
In 2017, Lue Elizondo, a senior staffer at the Pentagon, rose to fame after he helped leak to the New York Times extraordinary videos from US fighter jets of tic tac-shaped UFOs moving with incredible speed and agility near aircraft carriers off the East and West coasts in 2004 and 2015.
Elizondo ran a secret government UFO monitoring program in Reid’s department until 2017, but left the $22million government program after what he has termed excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the project.
Elizondo, a former UFO secret program chief in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSD), has said he quit the Pentagon and helped leak the ‘tic tac’ videos because his military bosses refused to acknowledge his severe security concerns over these powerful ‘craft’ violating US airspace.
Elizondo said last June when the report detailing 144 incidents was released to Congress that it was just the tip of the iceberg, that it was important to consider all possibilities, including extraterrestrial or trans-dimensional origin.
‘This is something that could involve outer space, interspace, or the space in between, and that’s why we’ve always said keep all options on the table,’ he said on Fox News last June.
‘The more we learn about this remarkable universe we live in, the more we realize our current understanding of the construct of the cosmos is constantly changing and evolving with new information and new knowledge that we get,’ added Elizondo.
‘People jump to speculation that it’s from the Pleiades or something like that, when in fact one of the hypothesis when I was in AATIP was this could be as natural to Earth as we are, but we are just at a point where technologically we aren’t advanced enough we can collect information on it and begin to try to figure out what it is,’ he said.
‘There’s been another hypothesis that these things are possibly from underwater and as outlandish as it may seem, there is some anecdotal evidence that supports all of these observations, so what we want to do is try to get as much data on the table as we can before we start eliminating,’ said Elizondo.