Next week, the House Intelligence Committee will host a hearing on “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UFOs, with an open section for the public and a confidential briefing afterward. According to the Washington Examiner, the hearing was convened by the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation to make the discussion over UFOs more transparent. Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray will testify at the hearing on May 17.
Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of California stated, “There’s still much to learn about unidentified aerial phenomena and the potential risks they may pose to our national security.” Adding that “the American people deserve full transparency, and the federal government and Intelligence Community have a critical role to play in contextualizing and analyzing reports of UAPs. The purpose of this hearing is to give the public an opportunity to hear directly from subject matter experts and leaders in the Intelligence Community on one of the greatest mysteries of our time, and break the cycle of excessive secrecy and speculation with truth and transparency.”
Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana said the hearing “will give the American people an opportunity to learn what there is to know about these incidents.The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence to seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks — especially those we do not fully understand.”
Last year, the intelligence community made headlines when it released a nine-page document indicating that 144 UFO encounters had been confirmed by US military and intelligence activities since 2004. According to the study, roughly 80 of these sightings appear to “represent physical objects” because they were detected on radar and infrared sensors. In November, the Pentagon formed the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group to look into the situation further.