Washington — House lawmakers are holding a hearing Wednesday to pressure the executive branch to release more information about, known as UAPs or UFOs, as bipartisan momentum grows for greater transparency about the strange encounters documented by hundreds of pilots.
The House Oversight Committee’s national security subcommittee is convening at 10 a.m. to hear from three witnesses with firsthand knowledge of how the government has handled UAP reports.
“They either do exist or they don’t exist. They keep telling us they do exist but they block every opportunity for us to get ahold of the information to prove that they do exist,” GOP Rep. Tim Burchett, the subcommittee’s chairman, said at a press conference last week. “And we’re going to get to the bottom of it, dagnabbit, whatever the truth may be. We’re done with the cover-up.”
The issue has gained widespread attention from Congress and the public in recent years with theof the encounters, which typically show seemingly nondescript objects moving through the air at very high speeds with no apparent method of propulsion.
The Pentagon’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, which was established last year to investigate the phenomena, has investigatedof UAPs as of May. While military officials have said most cases have innocuous origins, many others remain unexplained.
On Wednesday, the panel will hear testimony from Ryan Graves, a former Navy pilot who has spoken out about encountering UAPs on training missions; David Fravor, who shot the now-famousof an object during a flight off the coast of California in 2004; and David Grusch, a former combat officer and member of a previous Pentagon task force that investigated UAPs. Graves and Fravor were interviewed for a two years ago about the rise in UAP reports.
The hearing is also taking place amid a growing willingness by lawmakers to demand the military and intelligence agencies release more about what they know regarding the mysterious incidents, with many members of Congress citing the potential national security threat posed by unknown objects in or near U.S. airspace.
A bipartisan group of senators led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced an amendment to the annual defense spending bill currently making its way through Congress. The measure, modeled off legislation aimed at revealing government records about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, would require executive branch agencies to hand over UAP records to a review board with “the presumption of immediate disclosure.” Agencies would have to justify requests to keep records classified.
A different House panel heard testimony from Pentagon officials at theabout the issue in more than 50 years last summer.
Burchett, the subcommittee chairman, said Wednesday’s witnesses will be able to “speak frankly to the public about their experiences.” He said he has received “a lot of pushback about this hearing,” claiming that “there are a lot of people who don’t want this to come to light.” The Tennessee Republican said the Defense Department, intelligence community and NASA declined to participate.
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a Republican from Florida and fellow member of the Oversight Committee, said “the status quo on the part of the U.S. government has been to leave the American people in the dark regarding information of UAPs.”
“They refuse to answer questions posed by whistleblowers, avoiding the concerns of Americans and acknowledging the possible threat of UAPs poses to our national security as well as public safety,” she said at last week’s press conference. “It is extremely unnecessary and an overclassification.”
Luna said she and other lawmakers recently traveled to an Air Force base in Florida seeking information about UAP reports by military pilots and were rebuffed by the Defense Department.
“When I take at face value the numerous roadblocks that we’ve been presented with, it leaves me to believe that they are indeed hiding information,” she said. “I look forward to bringing this topic to light and finding out the truth of what is really out there.”