Human World

More UFO hearings? Congressman weighs in

On May 17, 2022, for the first time in over 50 years, the U.S. Congress held a formal hearing on UFOs, which are now called UAP for “unidentified aerial phenomena” by the military. There were no big revelations. But the hearing did allow members of a new UAP task force, within the Pentagon, to speak formally with members of Congress. The task force revealed that – thanks in part to a concerted effort by the military to de-stigmatize reports of observations of UAP – the task force now has collected approximately 400 reports of UAP, mostly from Navy pilots, which remain unexplained. One of the congressional representatives asking questions during the hearing was Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), who serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which organized the May hearing. Today (June 6, 2022) John Michael Godier, host of a well-established channel on YouTube called Event Horizon, released the video above, in which he interviews Krishnamoorthi about the hearing, and about what might follow.

If you watched the televised hearing in Congress in May – and/or are interested in the subject of UFOs (UAP) – this interview is fascinating. And Godier is a good interviewer, who asks some good questions.

Full disclosure: Event Horizon reached out to us

Ross Campbell, producer of Event Horizon, reached out to EarthSky about writing an article to go along with this new video interview. We took on the task because the subject matter is so intriguing, and because, apparently, some individuals in the U.S. government – and some in the military – do consider military observations of UAP a serious issue. For some, it’s seen primarily as a national security issue, since UAP might be some form of weapon, developed without our knowledge by our adversaries. A possible case in point is that most of the 400 reports of UAP presented mentioned to Congress in May 2022 stem from observations made in recent years (although some do go back to at least 2004).

So Godier’s interview with Krishnamoorthi is interesting. As with the Congressional hearing itself, there weren’t any bombshells. But Krishnamoorthi does provide an insider’s view of the hearing. He helps explain why Congress is now interested in the subject of UAP, and speculates on what might happen next.

The following highlights – taken from the transcript of the Event Horizon interview with Krishnamoorthi – are somewhat out of order. But we urge you to listen to the full interview yourself, to hear the context around what we’ve quoted here. The transcript is also available as subtitles on the video. Also, in the interest of impartiality, the two authors of this post – Paul Scott Anderson and Deborah Byrd – provide a few personal opinions on some of the material presented below. Paul tends to have a more open mind on the question of UFOs/UAP than Deborah. Please take Paul and Deborah’s comments, too, with a grain of salt …

The U.S. Congress held its 1st hearing on UFOs in over 50 years on May 17, 2022. Now, one of the congressmen involved in that hearing speaks out about what happened and the prospect for more UFO hearings. Image via Wikipedia.

UFO, or UAP, wreckage?

Godier’s interview with Krishnamoorthi starts with a long introduction mentioning other political figures who spoke publicly on the question of “UAP wreckage.” One was former U.S. senator from Arizona (also a presidential candidate) Barry Goldwater (1909-1998). The other was former U.S. senator from (also a Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid (1939-2021). And indeed, for decades, many others have asked questions about wreckage or other recovered material supposedly being held by the government. The 1947 Roswell incident – which Wikipedia calls “the recovery of balloon debris,” while also mentioning “conspiracy theories that followed” – is the best-known case. But it’s just one of many. So, to many, one of Krishnamoorthi’s most interesting questions posited in the May 17 hearing regarded the existence (or not) of any such material. Krishnamoorthi asked during the May 17 hearing:

How about wreckage? Have we come across any wreckage of any kind of object that has now been examined by you?

The answer, from Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray was:

The UAP Task Force doesn’t have any wreckage that isn’t explainable, that isn’t consistent with being of terrestrial origin.

Paul’s opinion: Scott Bray’s answer – that UAP Task Force doesn’t have any wreckage that isn’t explainable – sounds like a dodge. Why would the task force have wreckage? It’s been around only since August 14, 2020. And now, this task force is in the process of being replaced by the larger Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG). The establishment of AOIMSG was announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on November 23, 2021.

Harry Reid and Lockheed Martin

Godier also asked Krishnamoorthi specifically about Harry Reid’s questions on the subject of UFO wreckage held by Lockheed Martin.

Godier:
Now the late senator Harry Reid had said in the media mentioned that he’d always heard in Washington (and, of course, Washington is a place of rumors) that there were recovered materials. And, in this case, he said Lockheed Martin has [the wreckage] now. Um, have you heard anything about that? What prompted you to ask that question?

Krishnamoorthi:
I think I was just asking that that question as a logical follow-up to what the the witnesses had said previously about what they had seen. And I didn’t learn anything that day that would at least, at this point, substantiate what Harry Reid had said. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more information out there that that needs to be gleaned.

Deborah’s opinion: And it also doesn’t mean there is more information out there that needs to be gleaned, either. Maybe Harry Reid was denied access to the wreckage, for example, because there is no wreckage. This is the part of UFO/UAP discussions that bugs me the most. In my 46 years as a science journalist, there’ve been rumors of wreckage. There’ve been unexplained sightings. There’ve been unsubstantiated testimonies about actual UFO experiences. But why hasn’t there been some substantiation? Why, especially now, when we’re all walking around with cameras and video recorders in our hands? I want to see artifacts! If artifacts do indeed exist. Otherwise, for the present moment at least, I abide by Fermi’s Paradox regarding UFOs. It’s said that, while walking to lunch, the famous physicist Enrico Fermi and fellow physicists were discussing UFO reports and the possibility of faster-than-light travel. Fermi famously said, “But where is everybody?” Where indeed?

Artist’s illustration of the “cubes inside spheres” reported by some Navy pilots. Illustration is based on an account from former Navy pilot Ryan Graves, who said that one of the objects passed directly between 2 F-18 fighter planes. What do you think? Illusion? Mistake? True? Image via Andrew Pearce.

Unsatisfactory answers

Some congressional representatives have said they were unsatisfied with the answers they received in the May hearing. Krishnamoorthi echoes that sentiment.

Godier:
But I want to ask you one, when you walked out of that hearing were you satisfied with what they told you?

Krishnamoorthi:
Well, that one hearing was an open hearing and so when I walked out I still had a number of questions that were outstanding. And some of them, they asked that I wait until the closed-door session, the classified briefing [which followed the public hearing, on the same day]. So, um, [following the public hearing] I guess I was in suspense.

Godier:
Now have the classified briefings happened, the closed session?

Krishnamoorthi:
Yes, they they happened that same day, later on in the day.

Godier:
Anything you can tell us about that? I mean, it was it interesting or more interesting than the open briefing?

Krishnamoorthi:
It was fascinating. I have to say, I have not been to hearings like that in my six years in Congress. And, arguably, there haven’t been hearings like that for 50 years. So it was really an incredible set of hearings.

Deborah’s opinion: “It was really an incredible set of hearings” doesn’t tell us much. Okay, it was a closed-door session. But again … where’s the beef?

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi discussed the current developments in Congress regarding UAP with John Michael Godier of Event Horizon. Image via Raja Krishnamoorthi/ United States House of Representatives.

More UFO hearings in the near future?

One of the key questions right now is whether there will be more Congressional hearings on the subject of UAPs going forward. Multiple sources have reportedly said that there will be. Rumor suggests they even include the Senate at some point. What did Krishnamoorthi say?

Godier:
Now, the possibility of further hearings. I mean is this going to be an ongoing thing or was that it?

Krishnamoorthi:
I hope they will be ongoing because the the office that was represented at those hearings was recently stood up. And so they still have a lot of work to do and I think that, you know, given our oversight duties, it’ll be appropriate for them to come in and update us and we certainly will have ongoing questions.

Government transparency and UFO hearings

Godier also asked Krishnamoorthi about possible government transparency regarding UAP.

Godier:
And now what about transparency when they do their investigations from here on out as they planned? I mean there’s a lot that they can’t tell us because of obvious national security concerns [Deborah: Or because there’s nothing else to tell.] But do you think that the Pentagon is set to be semi-open about this with the public?

Krishnamoorthi:
I think so. I think there’s been a real shift in their thinking about these issues. You know, maybe previously there was a stigma attached with information on sightings of UAP or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. And now I think there’s more of an openness. And I think that, ah, part of the thinking now is the more open that they are about these issues. The more cooperation they can get from other governmental bodies and even non-governmental bodies that might, or even individual citizens who might be citing these UAP and they want to learn more about them. So it’s good to be transparent.

U.S. Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray discusses a UAP video shown during the Congressional UFO hearing on May 17, 2022. Image via Jim Lo Scalzo/ EPA/ The Conversation.

Branches of government and FAA

Krishnamoorthi continued:

Krishnamoorthi:
One of the things that was interesting about the hearing was this particular agency doesn’t necessarily have visibility into all branches of the government. And their own experiences with UAP, this is primarily an agency that’s that’s stood up by the Air Force. And you know they really focus on it, seems to me. You know what? Pilots, whether they’re in the Air Force or the Navy, have [reported sightings], especially in training areas.

They’re starting to have more interaction with airports and the FAA. But there’s so much more to it as you can imagine. There’s so much more possibilities in terms of what other branches of government and others have seen, so we really need to have greater visibility. We need them to have greater visibility into the rest of government and of course more communication with others, too.

Congressional support, funding

How much support is there in Congress for studying the UAP issue?

Godier:
And now about funding. Do you think there is widespread support in the House among your colleagues to fund this investigation and clearinghouse?

Krishnamoorthi:
I think so, I think there’s a very real concern about these aerial phenomena actually being perhaps the latest technology that some of our adversaries, whether it’s the Chinese communist party or the Russians, or a non-state actor might possess that we we just simply have not seen before. And I think it reflects maybe a newfound humility that perhaps some of our adversaries are advancing faster than than we thought with regard to different technologies. And so, for that reason alone, I think there’s bipartisan support for this type of funding.

UFO hearings in Brazil

The United States is not the only country whose chief legislative body has opened its doors and perhaps its collective mind to the subjects of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. The Brazilian Senate will hold its own special session regarding UAP on or around June 22, 2022. The Senate Requirement states, in part (translated):

A governmental opening is sought so that the truth discovered by these nations and their research bodies is revealed. Brazil emerges in this scenario as the first nation to officially admit that UFOs actually exist. This occurred in a meeting open to society, military and press held at the Escola Superior de Guerra (ESG), in Rio de Janeiro, in 1954, when the then captain of the Air Force João Adil de Oliveira declared to those present the reality of these flying objects and their advanced technological characteristics.

As with the U.S., we will need to wait to see if there are further hearings as well.

Paul’s final thoughts: My thoughts about the hearing(s) are based on other surrounding information such as statements from various senators (both Democratic and Republican), Navy, DoD, documents and emails released through the Freedom of Information Act, etc. Sometimes there is hard data, and sometimes it’s more opinion. Some senators have said they have seen better videos and data than what the public has seen, for example. Even Bill Nelson has said that to some degree. But it’s always in classified briefings. There are efforts to get more of that classified information into the hands of scientists, but it’s not easy. The testimony of all of these people is compelling, to me. My current consensus is that, as most others say, that 90-95% or more of UAP cases (in general) are misidentifications, hoaxes, etc. But there are also some solid cases that haven’t been explained yet. Many of those are from military and commercial pilots, which suggests they deserve to be investigated.

Videos and transcripts

Watch the Event Horizon interview with congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi on the Event Horizon channel on YouTube.

Watch the Congressional UAP hearing (the public one) on the House Intelligence channel on YouTube.

Read the entire transcript of the May 17 UFO hearing at The Debrief.

Additional documents from the May UFO hearing are on the Congress.gov website.

Bottom line: In a new interview with Event Horizon, congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi talks about the historic May 17 UFO hearing and the prospects for more UFO hearings.

Via Event Horizon

Via The Debrief

Posted 
June 6, 2022
 in 
Human World

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