House Committee to Hold First Public Hearing on UFO Claims
Arguably the most important event of the year for alien fanatics is set to happen on July 26th, with the US government set to hold a major UFO hearing.
During the event, lawmakers are due to hear from three key witnesses, including the whistleblower David Grusch, who made headlines last month for his explosive claims about a wide-scale alien coverup.
The aim of the hearing is to listen to first-hand accounts and assess the federal government’s transparency and accountability regarding possible threats to national security.
"The Pentagon and Washington bureaucrats have kept this information hidden for decades, and we’re finally going to shed some light on it," Republican congressman Tim Burchett said at a press conference ahead of the meeting.
"We’re bringing in credible witnesses who can provide public testimony because the American people deserve the truth. We’re done with the coverups."
Burchett, along with fellow Republican representative Anna Paulina Luna, led the drive for the hearing, which will be held by the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs at 10am ET (3pm UK time) on Wednesday, 26 July.
Speaking at a media briefing last week, the two colleagues claimed that the Pentagon and Air Force had tried to obstruct their push to see relevant records.
"The status quo on the part of the US government has been to leave the American people in the dark regarding information of UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena)," Luna said.
"They refused to answer questions posed by whistleblowers, avoiding the concerns of Americans and acknowledging that the possible threat UAPs poses to our national security, as well as public safety, is extremely unnecessary."
So what can we expect to learn at the hearing, titled “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency”? And what will be the likely outcome?
Here’s a look at everything we know so far about the hotly-anticipated event.
Who are the three key witnesses?
Testimony is expected from a number of sources, but everyone’s eyes and ears will be on Ryan Graves, Commander David Fravor and David Grusch.
Graves is the executive director of the advocacy organisation Americans for Safe Aerospace and a former navy pilot. During his time in the US armed forces, he reported multiple sightings of UAPs while on training flights. Graves has since voiced his concerns that UAPs pose safety risks to American pilots.
Fravor is a former commanding officer for the US navy who is now widely known for recording what is now dubbed the “Tic Tac” video. The clip, taken aboard a fighter jet from the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, showed a UAP shaped like the popular mint sweet, up in the sky.
Grusch is the former intelligence officer and UAP task force member who, last month, said the US has possession of “intact and partially intact” alien spacecraft.
What can we expect to hear from them?
The oversight committee has already released the trio’s opening statements, which you can access, in full, here, but indy100 has put together an overview of each one:
According to the document submitted by the former pilot, he will declare: “I can tell you that advanced UAP are a national security and an aviation safety problem.
“It has been more than a decade since my squadron began witnessing advanced UAP demonstrating complex manoeuvres on a regular basis, and we still don’t have answers.”
He will then set out “three critical issues that demand our immediate attention and concerted action”. These are:
The “gross” underreporting of UAP sightings, which he will claim “are not rare or isolated” but “routine".
The “stigma attached to UAP”, which “silences commercial pilots”, “discourages witnesses” and is “compounded” by the government.
The “unsettling” lack of government transparency around UAP.
He will then go on to detail his “experience” of UAP encounters in pretty jaw-dropping detail, announcing that during his time in the navy, “UAP sightings became an open secret among our aircrew”.
He will offer examples to further fuel the idea of systematic UAP cover-ups and explain that advanced UAP “defy conventional explanation”.
“The UAP we encountered and tracked on multiple sensors behaved in ways that surpassed our understanding and technology," he will say.
"The UAP could accelerate at speeds up to Mach 1, hold their position against hurricane-force winds, and outlast our fighter jets, operating continuously throughout the day. They did not have any visible means of lift, control surfaces or propulsion — nothing that resembled normal aircraft with wings, flaps or engines.
“I am a formally trained engineer and I have no explanation for this."
His conclusion will be that “there are credible reports from both military and commercial aircrew of unidentified objects in our military and commercial airspace occurring with regularity.”
He will then point out: “If UAP are foreign drones, it is an urgent national security problem. If it is something else, it is an issue for science. In either case, it is a concern for the safety of flight.”
Proposing the necessary “next steps”, he will say: “We need accurate reporting to determine scope; [an] empowered, unbiased investigation authority, [and] a transparent process to share the findings and data publicly to be studied by scientists.”
The former US navy officer will go into meticulous, technical detail about his famous “Tic Tac” encounter, according to his submitted statement.
He will then tell the oversight subcommittee: “What is shocking is that the incident was never investigated, none of my crew were ever questioned, tapes were never taken, and after a couple of days, it turned into a great story to tell friends.”
He will go on to explain that it wasn’t until 2009 – five years after the event – that he was contacted by a member of the US department of defence’s Anomalous Threat Identification Program (ATIP) about his experience.
And yet, he will claim, it is only thanks to articles that were published in the New York Times (courtesy of industry insiders and US officials) in December 2017, that the “stigma” of the “UFO” topic was removed.
“Those articles opened a door for the government and the public that cannot be closed,” he will say.
“It has led to an Interest from our elected officials who are not focused on ‘Little Green men’ but on figuring out what these craft are, where are they from, the technology they possess, and how do they operate.”
He will add: “What concerns me is that there is no ‘oversight’ from our elected officials on anything associated with our government possessing or working on craft that we believe are not from this world.
“This issue is not about full public disclosure that could undermine national security, but it is about ensuring that our system of checks and balances works across all work done in our government using taxpayer funds.”
The whistleblower will reiterate the claims he made in his headline-grabbing interview with The Debriefback in June.
He will tell the subcommittee: “I became a whistleblower [...] following concerning reports from multiple esteemed and credentialed current and former military and Intelligence Community individuals that the US Government is operating with secrecy - above Congressional oversight - with regards to UAPs.
“My testimony is based on information I have been given by individuals with a longstanding track record of legitimacy and service to this country – many of whom also shared compelling evidence in the form of photography, official documentation, and classified oral testimony.”
He will go on to reveal how, during his time on the UAP Task Force, he was informed of a “multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse engineering program”.
“I made the decision based on the data I collected, to report this information to my superiors and multiple Inspectors General, and in effect become a whistleblower,” he will say.
“As you know, I have suffered retaliation for my decision. But I am hopeful that my actions will ultimately lead to a positive outcome of increased transparency.”
What will be the likely outcome of the hearing?
We should not expect to be presented with a Pandora’s box of alien footage or a map to the government’s spaceship hiding place any time soon.
Instead, this is all about transparency, and piling pressure on authorities to be release information they have on possible extraterrestrial interaction.
And, indeed, this is a subject the US government simply can’t escape.
Earlier this month, senate majority leader Chuck Shumer and Republican senator Mike Rounds tabled an amendment to the NDAA that will mandate the declassification of government records about UAP.
Under the measure, UAP records will need to be publicly disclosed, in full, no later than 25 years after they were created unless the US president himself (or herself) deems it necessary to keep them hushed up because of a direct harm to national security.
It also establishes that the federal government will have "eminent domain" over any recovered technologies of unknown origin and any biological evidence of "non-human intelligence".
"For decades, many Americans have been fascinated by objects mysterious and unexplained, and it's long past time they get some answers," Schumer said in a statement.
The leading Democrat added that the public "has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence and unexplainable phenomena."
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