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UFO Disclosure Reviewed During Congressional Hearing

Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray played a video of an ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ during Tuesday’s Congressional hearin...

Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray played a video of an ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ during Tuesday’s Congressional hearing /Shutterstock.
U.S. defense officials released videos of unidentified flying objects during the first Congressional hearing on the subject in more than half a century.

The House Intelligence Committee’s subcommittee on counterterrorism, counterintelligence and counterproliferation heard testimony Tuesday from defense officials on reports of “unidentified aerial phenomena” and the risks they pose to national security. Unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, is how the federal government refers to what is commonly called UFOs.

One clip of a video showed the view from the cockpit of an aircraft and a split second flash of a spherical object flying to the right of the aircraft. Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, said analysts have been unable to explain what the object is. 

Many reports of UAPs are similar in that they contain low-quality data and reporting that makes it difficult to draw conclusions to explain what was viewed, he said. Mr. Bray showed two additional clips of video captured with night vision showing a floating green triangle floating in the sky. These videos were captured in different places at different times, he said.

Analysts have concluded these are “unmanned aerial systems,” he said. “This is a popular topic in our nation, with various theories as to what these objects may be and where they originated,” Mr. Bray said. “By nature, we are all curious and we seek to understand the unknown. And as a lifelong intelligence professional, I’m impatient. I want immediate explanations for this as much as anyone else.”

The hearing comes after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report last year reviewing dozens of reports of mysterious flying objects that occurred between 2004 and 2021. Some of these flying objects reportedly appeared to exhibit unusual flight characteristics, but these observations could be the result of sensor errors, spoofing, or observer misperception, the report said.

The report also found 18 examples of the objects displaying no visible propulsion or appeared to use technology beyond the known capabilities of the U.S. or its adversaries.  These flying objects could potentially “pose a hazard to safety of flight and could pose a broader danger if some instances represent sophisticated collection against U.S. military activities by a foreign government or demonstrate a breakthrough aerospace technology by a potential adversary,” the report said.

China and Russia are believed to have experimented with hypersonic technology, which moves at more than five times the speed of sound. But the intelligence report didn’t conclude that those nations were involved in the unexplained flights. The UAP task force has come up with five potential explanations for UAPs: airborne clutter; natural atmospheric phenomena; U.S. government or U.S. industry developmental programs; foreign adversary systems; or other, Mr. Bray said. The other category includes difficult cases that don’t fall in the other categories, he said.

Rep. André Carson (D., Ind.), the chairman of the subcommittee on counterterrorism, counterintelligence and counterproliferation, who is leading the panel said defense officials need to continue investigating these mysterious flying objects in the event they may pose a national security threat.

“This hearing and oversight work has a simple idea at its core: aerial phenomena are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way,” he said. “UAPs are unexplained, that’s true, but they are real. They need to be investigated and many threats they pose need to be mitigated.”

Ronald Moultrie, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security, told the task force that the Defense Department is working on eliminating the stigma from reporting on UAPs within the department. He added that he wouldn’t rule out any possible explanations for these phenomena.

The release of last year’s report along with Tuesday’s Congressional testimony were part of efforts by the Defense Department to assure the public it was being transparent about what it knows and doesn’t know about UAPs. “We want to know what’s out there as much as you want to know what’s out there,” Mr. Moultrie said.

Mr. Bray said the U.S. military has never tried to communicate with these unexplained flying objects and has never detected any communications signals coming from those objects. In many cases, “it appears to be something that is unmanned, appears to be something that may or may not be in controlled flight. And so we have not attempted any communication with that,” Mr. Bray said.

UAPs have never collided with U.S. aircrafts but there have been at least 11 near misses, he said, while adding that the U.S. has also never fired weapons at UAPs. Mr. Bray said the UAP task force has never collected any wreckage from aircraft it has determined to have an extraterrestrial origin.

“The UAP task force doesn’t have any wreckage that isn’t explainable, that isn’t consistent with being of terrestrial origin,” Mr. Bray said.