CHICAGO (NewsNation) — The House Intelligence Subcommittee will host the first congressional hearings on UFOs in more than 50 years Tuesday.
Chaired by Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), the hearing will include testimony from top U.S. intelligence and defense officials and follows last year’s key government report on unidentified aerial phenomena that revealed 144 encounters from 2004 to 2021.
Just last year, Carson said UFOs were becoming a national security risk, tweeting, “Americans need to know more about these unexplained occurrences.”
Now, given the report both fell short of identifying exactly what the unidentified occurrences were and contained redacted information, the hearing will be especially appealing to lawmakers with vested interests, including Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who believes the Pentagon knows more than what it’s saying.
“There’s an arrogance in government at that level that we cannot handle what’s going on out there,” Burchett said as a guest of NewsNation’s “On Balance with Leland Vittert.” “It’s a bogus cover-up. It doesn’t fit and it’s about power and control,” he continued.
The only information the report managed to state was what enthusiasts already assumed — that most of what was seen were not physical objects or secret government technology and that there’s no evidence that another country developed them — making Tuesday’s revelations that more enticing.
“This is all virgin territory for humanity, but it could be very exciting,” said Avi Loeb on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Monday.
Loeb is a professor of science at Harvard and the longest-serving chair of Harvard’s department of Astronomy. Loeb was also dubbed one of the most influential people in space research by Time magazine in 2012.
But he says he does not believe the hearing will result in these unexplained aerial incidents being a matter of national security.
“They wouldn’t make that statement, because if it were a matter of national security, or adversarial nations responsible for these objects … it would imply that they’re not doing their job,” Loeb said.
The witness list Tuesday will include the U.S. undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security as well as the deputy director of naval intelligence. There will also be a classified meeting after the public one, which only fuels the mystery surrounding these sightings.
But while Loeb has seen the videos of these aerial incidents, he says there is not enough evidence publicly available to define them, adding that he is hopeful the government data will be shared with the scientific community to help more quickly understand what has already been documented.
“It’s just like finding a stranger in your backyard. And you have to decide what to do about it,” Loeb said. “It’s exciting to live at a time when we can figure out how to look through our windows, and check whether there is a smarter kid on our block,” he added.
Congress’ last UFO hearing was in 1969 on the closure of Project Blue Book — an Air Force report on UFO encounters. Hearings in the ’50s and ’60s were hold on the acknowledgement of UFOs and mysterious encounters in the U.S.
The hearing Tuesday was broadcasted live on the House Intelligence Committee’s YouTube page.
At the hearing, U.S. intelligence leaders revealed that their database has over 400 reports of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs).
Testifying before the congress Tuesday, Scott Bray, who is deputy director of naval intelligence, acknowledged that there some sightings U.S. officials “can’t explain.” He went on to say that there are instances where there was too little data to create a reasonable explanation.
“There are a small handful of cases in which we have more data that our analysis simply hasn’t been able to fully pull together a picture of what happened.” These, Bray said, have involved unexpected “flight characteristics” or “signature management.”
Congressional leaders were not happy with how tight-lipped the committee remained, even after they were told caution is important in fear of comprising military information and technology.
Space journalist, Leonard David, however, says on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” that he was content with the hearing’s revelations.
“I think we got faces with people looking into this data, so I’m happy overall,” David said. Now I’ve been in communication with a lot of UFO and UAP groups that aren’t quite satisfied as I am but I think we learned some new things. This is a step forward,” he continued.