While the first congressional hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years didn’t reveal the existence of extraterrestrial life, it did affirm that the U.S. military is taking sightings of unknown craft seriously as a national security threat.
A House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee hearing convened Tuesday (May 17) morning with a 90-minute public session that was followed by closed-door testimony later in the day.
“Unidentified aerial phenomena [UAPs] are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way,” Rep. André Carson, D-Ind., said at the beginning of the hearing, referring to the preferred technical term for unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
“For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis,” he added. “Pilots avoided reporting or were laughed at when they did. DOD officials relegated the issues to the backroom or swept it under the rug entirely, fearful of a skeptical national security community.
“Today we know better,” Carson continued. “UAPs are unexplained, it’s true, but they are real. They need to be investigated, and any threats they pose need to be mitigated.”
The military has had at least 11 “near misses” with unidentified flying objects, reported Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence, when asked by Illinois Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi if there have been any “collisions” between a U.S. asset and an unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).