Congress held a public hearing on UFOs on Tuesday to discuss the various sightings of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). Unfortunately, those hoping for details will be disappointed: it ended with few answers about the unexplained events.
The incidents that were discussed at the hearing, the number of which has been steadily increasing since the turn of the decade, primarily involved United States Navy pilots and other personnel who managed to capture the high definition video and radar ranging on UAP objects.
However, due to the stigma that can attach to a report and harm pilots’ careers, those involved have traditionally been reluctant to come forward and report incidents.
This week’s high-profile congressional hearing on recent incidents offered several video examples of incidents involving UAPs breaching military training areas, threatening the safety of personnel who traditionally “train as if they were fighting.” “.
During the hearing before the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation subcommittee, a senior Pentagon official said that through “rigorous” analysis, most – but not all – UAPs can be identified.
Video footage of encounters with Navy F18 pilots has been leaked by Luiz Elizondo, the former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a now-defunct Pentagon agency tasked with identifying and to investigate the extraterrestrial phenomenon. The program was discontinued in 2012, but some elements of it continued under the auspices of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG).
These videos caused a stir, especially after they were exposed by the NY Times and appeared on several cable TV specials, and prompted the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to order a full review of all UFO/UAP incidents and to publish a report, which was declassified last year.
In the nine-page report, the DNI was able to identify 144 UAP incidents but could only explain one. The conclusions drawn, however, were that the UAP phenomenon was real, but that there was not much concrete evidence as to what the UAP was or its intentions.
Based on the data, however, the Pentagon authorized the creation of a new task force to continue studying the UAP phenomenon, and this new department became known as the UAP Task Force.
Announcing that the working group is now gone and being replaced by a third working group, simply known as the UAP working group. To date, the UAPTF has investigated more than 400 incidents, and Bray said they were becoming “frequent” and “on the rise,” but refrained from offering definitive conclusions. He did, however, show a pair of video clips which seemed to indicate that some of the incidents recorded by staff can be explained by the limitations of the technology.
The video shown by Bray, was of a triangular UAP, seen through night vision goggles and recorded on a digital SLR. The combination of light passing through the two devices, Bray said, made the triangular shape appear as the camera recorded.
But Bray also showed another brief daytime clip taken from a US Navy aircraft, which showed a UAP, but only for a brief moment of a few frames. To this, Bray said there was not enough high-definition data, but he was reasonably confident that the UAP may have been a drone flying illegally in the military area of operations.
Bray also warned that any information collected by the task force would not be made public, as the manner in which the information was collected involved confidential means or technologies that the US military developed and which are still classified.
“We don’t want potential adversaries to know exactly what we can see or figure out or how we come to a conclusion,” Bray said. “Our goal is to strike that delicate balance, which allows us to maintain public trust while preserving the critical capabilities to support our service personnel.”
As if to underscore this kind of reluctance, when pressed to report that nearly a dozen American ICBMs were rendered non-operational during a meeting with the UAP, Bray brushed off the issue, saying “that the data is not part of the UAP Working Group holdings.”
All told, the one-day testimony offered few answers to the UAP/UFO phenomenon, but offered a positive step forward, with the DNI deputy stating that the goal of the new task force will be to move from an “anecdotal or narrative approach to rigorous study with a science and technology or engineering focus.
In doing so, the hope is that the stigma attached to reporting the phenomenon will be reduced, while reporting will in fact be encouraged, so that the Pentagon can investigate.