Pentagon officials are scheduled to testify in front of a House Intelligence subcommittee next week regarding unexplained aerial phenomenon (UAP), more commonly known as unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
According to a report in the New York Times Tuesday, the public hearings on Capitol Hill will be the first in five decades to explore what these military sightings of unexplained aircraft could mean and help remove the stigma from members of the military reporting the encounters.
“Since this is an area of high public interest, any undue secrecy can serve as an obstacle to solving the mystery, or it could prevent us from finding solutions to potential vulnerabilities,” Rep. André Carson, D-Ind., chair of the Intelligence committee’s subcommittee on counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and counterproliferation, which is holding the hearing, told the Times. “This hearing is about examining steps that the Pentagon can take to reduce the stigma surrounding reporting by military pilots, and by civilian pilots.”
The hearings come from a report in June 2021 by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force which evaluated more than 100 unexplained encounters between strange aircraft and members of the military dating back to 2004.
According to the report, the task force focused on that period because each incident was reported under a similar “tailored process to better capture UAP events through formalized reporting.”
The task force determined that the objects reported were most likely physical in nature because they were picked up through “multiple sensors, radar, infrared, electro-optical, weapon seekers, and visual observation.”
These hearings will be the first since 1970, after Congress closed the U.S. Air Force’s “Project Blue Book,” and when former President Gerald Ford, then a Republican congressman from Michigan, held a public hearing in 1966 after 40 people, including 12 police officers reported seeing UFOs, the Times reported.
“I believe the American people are entitled to a more thorough explanation than has been given them by the Air Force to date,” the Times cited Ford in a letter to two House committees on March 28, 1966. Air Force officials testified about the sightings.
Those earlier hearings into the issue determined that the reports were not a threat to national security, and that the abilities of the observed craft were not beyond the technology of the day, two reasons that are no longer held by the Pentagon.
The June report determined that the current flurry of encounters could pose a risk to national security and military flight safety, and that the capabilities of the observed craft exceed what technology by the United States, or even the suspected capabilities of our enemies, would allow.
“UAP clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to national security,” the report said. “UAP would also represent a national security challenge if they are foreign adversary collection platforms or provide evidence a potential adversary has developed a breakthrough or disruptive technology.”
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.