‘One of the greatest mysteries of our time’: Congress to hold hearing on UFO report

Next week, a House subcommittee will hold a congressional hearing on unidentified aerial vehicles with two defense intelligence officials testifying, according to The New York Times.

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The hearing is the first open congressional hearing on unidentified flying objects in more than 50 years and comes nearly a year after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report on 144 incidents of unidentified aerial phenomena.

While the report said most of the phenomena represented “physical objects,” it did not draw conclusions as to what the objects were and where they came from, saying that inconsistent data hampered the evaluation of the objects.

“Since this is an area of high public interest, any undue secrecy can serve as an obstacle to solving the mystery, or it could prevent us from finding solutions to potential vulnerabilities,” said Rep. André Carson, D-Indiana, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee’s subcommittee on counterterrorism, counterintelligence and counterproliferation, which is holding the hearing.

“The purpose of this hearing,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, added, “is to give the public an opportunity to hear directly from subject matter experts and leaders in the intelligence community on one of the greatest mysteries of our time, and to break the cycle of excessive secrecy and speculation with truth and transparency.”

Ronald S. Moultrie, undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security; and Scott W. Bray, deputy director of Naval Intelligence, are scheduled to testify at the Tuesday hearing.

The report included descriptions of encounters with unidentified objects, otherwise known as unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), from military and civilian pilots that detailed what the objects looked like and how they moved.

“Some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernable means of propulsion,” the report said. “In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency energy associated with UAP sightings.”

The last public hearing on the issue took place in the late 1960s, when the Air Force oversaw an inconclusive UFO investigation called “Project Blue Book.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told The War Zone, “There’s been enough of the sightings, particularly in terms of training ranges, that we have legitimate safety of flight concerns here. But the department hasn’t come to a conclusion about what all these phenomena are — what they represent. That’s why we’re putting this group together, so that we can do a better job of just collating information.”