What’s out there? House lawmakers seek info on UFOs

Bipartisan congressmen are asking House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to create an investigative panel to gather information on unidentified flying objects. 

The request comes as lawmakers in the upper and lower chambers warm to the idea of declassifying government documents related to unidentified anomalous phenomenon, or UAPs, more commonly called UFOs. 

The group sent a letter to Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, requesting that GOP leadership create a freestanding Select Committee with subpoena authority to collect information on UFOs. 

Republican Reps. Tim Burchett of Tennessee along with Anna Paulina Luna and Matt Gaetz, both of Florida, and Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz, also of Florida, signed the letter. 

“Mr. Speaker, we ask that you immediately establish a Select Committee, outside the jurisdiction of any standing committee, and with subpoena authority, to go about the task of collecting information from the Pentagon and elsewhere for the benefit of the public and to discharge our constitutional, legislative and oversight roles,” the lawmakers wrote. 

The foursome added that the federal government’s lack of transparency on UFOs is cause for concern and shows a shortfall “of forthrightness on the part of the Pentagon and the intelligence community.” 

“No governmental program, no matter how sensitive, can be outside the view of Congress,” the lawmakers wrote. “And yet the Executive Branch routinely redacts and entirely withholds information in other domains that we are entitled to and is doing so here.”

The request follows a hearing in front of the House Oversight and Accountability hearing in which a former intelligence officer and two pilots recounted their interactions with UFOs. 

Former military personnel told lawmakers that what they saw in the sky behaved in ways that “surpassed our understanding and technology” and that there had been government efforts to retrieve parts from crashed UFOs to study and reverse-engineer their parts. 

A 2022 report produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence gathered hundreds of reports from Navy and Air Force pilots. The combined report gathered information on 366 sightings of UAPs, over half of which were described as drones or balloonlike entities similar to the Chinese spy balloon spotted over Montana this year. 

The rest appeared “to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities and require further analysis,” according to the report. 

Lawmakers in the House and Senate were successful in adding amendments to each chamber’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual Pentagon policy bill, that aim to make documents related to UFOs public. 

Mr. Burchett had an add-on that would require Defense Department officials to declassify documents of any publicly known sightings of UAPs. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s amendment to his chamber’s version of the NDAA bill would require the National Archives to collect all federal government records related to UFOs under the “presumption of immediate disclosure.” 

That means the records would be made public immediately unless a review board created by Mr. Schumer’s measure can find reasons to keep the documents classified.

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