At first UFO hearing in 50 years, Pentagon says there are many unexplained reports –

An unusual congressional hearing on Tuesday put unusual questions to government officials, marking the first congressional hearing on UFOs — now called UAPs or “unidentified aerial phenomena” — in half a century.

The House Intelligence Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation held the question-and-answer session, with two Pentagon officials hosting a rare public discussion on one of the most controversial, conspiracy-prone topics intersecting the federal government.

“UAPs are inexplicable; it’s true,” Indiana 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, U.S. Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray shared a declassified video of a reflective, unidentified spherical object “zooming” by a pilot flying in a Navy training range, visible only for a few brief frames. That clip can be seen around 46:40 in the video below.

“I have no explanation for what this particular object is,” Bray said of the recording.

The open discussion was followed by a classified hearing where Pentagon officials could discuss the technicalities of how the US military collects UAP data.

During the public hearing, the officials took the opportunity to throw cold water on a popular conspiracy: that the US military secretly has evidence of downed planes that are not from Earth. In response to a question about mysterious wreckage from Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Bray said the military has no material that “is not explainable, that is inconsistent with the fact that it is of terrestrial origin.”

“We have no material,” Bray said in response to another question about unexplained evidence. “We have not detected any emanations within the UAP task force that would suggest it is something unearthly in origin.”

The Ministry of Defence established a special task force to investigate UAPs in 2020, a milestone in the government’s recent efforts to be more transparent on a topic it once flatly refused to discuss. The task force describes its mission as an effort to “detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.”

The Pentagon’s UAP Task Force maintains a database of reports of unexplained aerial sightings, and Bray noted that it now contains 400 reports, from 143 less than a year ago.

During the hearing, both Pentagon officials and lawmakers made efforts to legitimize discussions about UAPs and encourage members of the agency who observe such phenomena to come forward. “Reports of sightings are frequent and continue,” Bray said. “…The stigma has been reduced.”

Tuesday’s hearing provided little fodder for the most exotic, alien statements that UFO supporters like to speculate on, instead pushing the conversation into more grounded territory regarding national defense.

One possible explanation — still considered a longshot — is that some of the UAPs sighted by US military personnel may be hypersonic technology from US adversaries such as China and Russia, designed to spy on military activity. If that theory is ever confirmed, it would indicate that other countries have advanced technological capabilities that in some respects far exceed those of the US military.

But unfortunately for true believers, there are still more mundane explanations at play. These include stray weather balloons and visual distortions caused in the equipment used to record the mysterious images.