Watch Live: UFO hearing underway as House panel pushes for more transparency


Washington — House lawmakers are holding a hearing Wednesday to pressure the executive branch to release more information about unidentified anomalous phenomena, 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 hearing from three witnesses with firsthand knowledge of how the government has handled UAP reports. The hearing is streaming live in the player above.

The three witnesses include Ryan Graves, a former Navy pilot who has spoken out about encountering UAPs on training missions; David Fravor, who shot the now-famous “Tic Tac” video of 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 “60 Minutes” report two years ago about the rise in UAP reports.

“I’d like to thank these three brave witnesses here. They took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and daggamut, they’re doing it,” GOP Rep. Tim Burchett said at the beginning of the hearing. “We’re not bringing little green men or flying saucers into the hearing — sorry to disappoint about half of y’all — we’re just going to get to the facts. We’re going to uncover the cover-up, and I hope this is just the beginning of many more hearings and many more people coming forward about this.”

The issue of UAPs has gained widespread attention from Congress and the public in recent years with the release of several recordings of 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 investigated roughly 800 reports of UAPs as of May. While military officials have said most cases have innocuous origins, many others remain unexplained.

Congress pushes for UAP/UFO transparency

The hearing is 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 the first open hearing about the issue in more than 50 years last summer. 

At a press conference last week, Burchett said Wednesday’s witnesses would 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.”

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