(NewsNation) — Lawmakers who received a classified briefing regarding allegations the Pentagon is operating a secret UFO retrieval program described the effort as “pointless,” indicating much more would need to be done to get to the bottom of the issue.
Representatives told NewsNation not only did they not receive information on the alleged programs, they couldn’t even figure out the process for getting cleared to be briefed.
“We can’t even find out who is allowed to know,” Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said.
The classified briefing came after a public hearing on the subject following allegations by whistleblower David Grusch. Grusch worked on investigating unidentified aerial phenomena for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and claims he was told about secret UFO retrieval programs operating without congressional oversight.
The issue of UAPs has become a rare subject of bipartisan agreement among lawmakers. Reps. Anna Luna, R-Fla., and Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., characterized the meeting as frustrating and pointless, as they were told they did not have the clearance to know more about the subject.
Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., is one of those who has led the effort to investigate Grusch’s claims. Speaking with NewsNation, he was careful not to blame the individuals sent to brief Congress, even as he described the effort as a game of whack-a-mole and compared it to the Winchester mansion, full of doors leading to nowhere.
“The federal government learned to do this during the Second World War,” Burchett said. “You have to imagine Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Manhattan Project, thousands of people working on the atomic bomb and less than 12 knew what it was.”
Burchett said the silos of information were deliberate, allowing leaders in the Department of Defense to send people with limited knowledge to speak truthfully, even under oath, without revealing the bigger picture.
“These guys can swear under oath. They can take a lie detector test because they’re telling the truth as they know it,” Burchett said.
Burchett also speculated that the DoD was avoiding Freedom of Information Act requests and other oversight by putting some of the alleged programs in the hands of private contractors who aren’t subject to the same regulations.
Regardless of personal opinions on UAPs and whether they are alien in nature, lawmakers agreed it was critical for Congress to be able to provide oversight.
“We owe it to the American people to let them know where the money is being spent,” Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., said.
Lawmakers indicated they would continue to push for more briefings and hearings in an effort to get to the bottom of the issue, even as they hit roadblocks.
“This is one more example that this isn’t our government,” Perry said. “We just get to live here in America, and the government doesn’t answer to us.”