Tuesday marked the first congressional hearing on UFOs in half a century. UFOs are now called "unidentified aerial phenomena" or UAPs.
The House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation invited two Pentagon officials to publicly discuss one of the most unorthodox topics – UAPs.
"UAPs are unexplained, it's true," Indiana State Representative Andre Carson, chairman of the subcommittee, noted in his opening remarks. "But they are real. They need to be investigated, and many of the threats they pose need to be mitigated."
During the hearing, Scott Bray, deputy director of US Naval Intelligence, showed declassified video of a reflective, unidentified sphere-shaped object that "whizzes" past a pilot flying over a Navy firing range and is only visible for a few brief frames. This can be seen at around 46:40 in the video below.
After the open discussion, a classified hearing began, where Pentagon officials were able to discuss the technicalities of how the US military collects UAP data.
During the open session, officials took the opportunity to cool down a bit on one popular conspiracy theory that the US military secretly has evidence of crashed planes that did not originate on Earth. Responding to a question from Illinois state representative Raja Krishnamoorthi about the mysterious wreckage, Bray said the military has no material that is "isn’t explainable, that isn’t consistent with being of terrestrial origin."
In 2020, the Ministry of Defence set up a special task force to investigate the UAPs to increase transparency on a topic it had previously refused to discuss openly. The task force describes its mission as "detecting, analysing and cataloguing ASATs that have the potential to pose a threat to US national security".
The Pentagon’s UAP task force is to maintain a database of unexplained aerial sightings, and it currently has 400 reports, up from 143 less than a year ago.
During the hearing, both Pentagon officials and lawmakers tried to lend legitimacy to the UAP discussion by urging military personnel who observe such phenomena to report them.
One possible explanation for UFOs could be the hypersonic technology of US adversaries such as China and Russia, designed to spy on military activities. If this theory is ever confirmed, it would indicate that other countries have advanced technological capabilities that, in some aspects, far surpass those of the US military. In addition, there may be various distortions on the recordings, giving food for conspiracy theorists.