UFOs finally return to the Capitol
The military prefer to say unidentified aerial phenomena but they mean UFOs
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray appeared before the House Intelligence Subcommittee today to discuss Unidentified Aerial Phenomena [UAP]. As one might expect, new and concrete evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life was absent from the hearings. If such evidence existed and were to be made public, it seems far more likely we would all discover the news on our phones before a public Congressional hearing. That said, what was also absent (and noteworthy) is a defensive and obfuscatory tone and language. Whether from TV & movies or prior Congressional hearings, I often watch hearings believing those testifying will politic or evade so reprehensibly as to insult the very institution of democracy. Today, when the Under Secretary and Deputy Director spoke, I didn’t get the sense they were deliberately hiding information or answering questions so carefully as to not lie while clearly not being open about what they really know. And yet something about their testimonies was oddly discomforting.
In Summer 2021, an official US intelligence report documented 144 Unidentified Aerial Phenomena incidents from 2004 to 2021. One hundred and forty-three of those incidents could not be definitively explained. And today, we learned from the Pentagon that “there are now close to 400 reports from military personnel of possible encounters with [UAPs].” The number is believed to have jumped so significantly because many in the military are now feeling more comfortable reporting past incidents. Many of the reported sightings describe UAPs moving in such ways and speeds that they defy modern aircraft technology. According to the unclassified 2021 report, the UAPs observed could be one of the following:
Airborne clutter, such as a balloon or drone
Natural atmospheric phenomena, such as thermal fluctuations that can affect infrared and radar systems
US Government or Industry Developmental Programs, which would have been made by the US but the military has stated account for zero of the reported UAP sightings
Foreign Adversary Systems, coming from Russia or China (though if Russia had such technology, why isn’t it being used in warfare?)
Other, which a layperson would assume means extraterrestrial but as described by the report, it means more data is needed to determine how to categorize
What is discomforting is how former Navy Pilot, Ryan Graves described the situation to ABC’s Good Morning America:
We were seeing them nearly every day that we were flying. We were going out there to do our normal training missions so we weren’t necessarily going out there to track these objects.
Nearly every day. And the top brass at the military testified to being just as much in the dark as an inquisitive public.
Yes, it is possible China or another advanced nation have developed such sophisticated aerial technology as to completely baffle America’s top military and scientific minds. There is also an outside chance nearly 400 reported incidents were a combination of natural atmospheric phenomena and airborne clutter, despite each reported incident coming from a trained soldier, many of whom fly and are intimately aware of the capabilities of modern aircraft technology.
As Representative Carson, who led the hearings, stated at the outset - more than 50 years ago, the government closed Project Blue Book, which investigated more than twelve thousand UFO sightings over the course of 17 years until December 1969. At the time of its termination, more than 700 sightings remained ‘unidentified.’ Project Blue Book closed because the military claimed there was no national security threat and officially shut down the program.
In 2017, the Pentagon started the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. According to Politico, this program was tight-lipped and “was the brainchild of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who first secured the appropriation to begin the program in 2009 with the support of the late Senators Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), two World War II veterans who were similarly concerned about the potential national security implications.”
Today’s Congressional hearing marked the first time in 5 decades Congress openly discussed UAPs (formerly known as UFOs) with military officers, who claim the threat is taken seriously and is being monitored by the Secretary of Defense. What I found particularly disturbing was watching Deputy Director Scott Bray attempt to slow down a single video clip for Congressman Schiff multiple times to only have to orally explain what we were all looking at before the military’s laptop could slow down the footage to the specific one or two frames showing the UAP. Even then the object moves into and out of focus so fast, you can barely tell what you’re looking at. And this is not so different from footage released earlier:
Yes you can see something in the videos, but what? So much of our imagination fills in the contours that I was left sympathizing for a potentially unaware military trying to make sense of that which provides little to no clues as to how to identify what it is. But then I remembered that these are not recent phenomena.
From the Washington Post:
It was Saturday night, July 19, 1952 [when] a pilot reported seeing unexplained objects, radar at two local Air Force bases -- Andrews and Bolling -- picked up the UFOs, and two Air Force F-94 jets streaked over Washington, searching for flying saucers.
Then, a week later, it happened all over again -- more UFOs on the radar screen, more jets scrambled over Washington. Across America, the story of jets chasing UFOs over the White House knocked the Korean War and the presidential campaign off the front pages of newspapers.
In 1966, nearly a decade before he became president, then-U.S. Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan, who was House Republican leader at the time, organized a hearing in response to scores of witness accounts of strange glowing lights and large football shapes at low altitude around Dexter, Michigan, which an Air Force official had famously explained away as "swamp gas."
During the presidential campaign of 1976, Democratic challenger Carter was forthcoming about his belief that he had seen a UFO. He described waiting outside for a Lion’s Club Meeting in Leary, Georgia, to begin, at about 7:30 p.m., when he spotted what he called “the darndest thing I’ve ever seen” in the sky. Carter, as well as 10 to 12 other people who witnessed the same event, described the object as “very bright [with] changing colors and about the size of the moon.” Carter reported that “the object hovered about 30 degrees above the horizon and moved in toward the earth and away before disappearing into the distance.” He later told a reporter that, after the experience, he vowed never again to ridicule anyone who claimed to have seen a UFO.
Both Presidents Ford and Carter served in the military. As did President Reagan, who also claimed to have seen a UFO.
The former U.S. President Ronald Reagan claimed that he had seen a UFO himself while in an airplane flying above Bakersfield, California in 1974. 'It was a bright white light. We followed it to Bakersfield, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight up into the heavens,' he said.
For a long time, the very word ‘UFO’ triggered images of Roswell, New Mexico and little green men. Any serious government official would have been laughed out of DC for openly discussing the possibility of UFOs. In the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries, Representative Kucinich of Ohio was mercilessly mocked by the media (and his fellow candidates) for admitting when asked by moderator Tim Russert if he had seen a UFO that indeed he had. In rebuttal, Kucinich made Russert confirm how many Americans claim to have seen a UFO.
When a phenomena seems so jarring to the public’s perception of reality, we tune it out completely as ridiculous or conspiracy mumbo jumbo.
Many years ago, President Reagan met with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva to discuss potentially reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the bitter Cold War arms race. At one point during the 1985 summit, Reagan and Gorbachev broke away from the talks to take a walk. The following ensued:
President Reagan suddenly said to [Gorbachev], 'What would you do if the United States were suddenly attacked by someone from outer space? Would you help us?'
"I said, 'No doubt about it.'"
"He said, 'We too.'"
"So that's interesting," Gorbachev said to much laughter.
Peace. Another ridiculous idea.
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