Rare Congressional UFO Hearing Didn’t Provide ‘Real Answers to Serious Questions’: Lawmaker

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) said the Pentagon isn’t being transparent enough with the public on UFOs, offering few answers to long-existing unexplained phenomena at a historic hearing.

“We just got hosed, basically,” Burchett told reporters on May 17, saying that he thinks officials are withholding information from Americans on UFOs, also known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) in official jargon.

The remarks came after the first open UFO hearing since 1969. Sightings of unexplained lights by aviators have occurred since the early days of flight yet the topic hasn’t had a mainstream discussion in the past half-century until this week.

Earlier on Tuesday, a House Intelligence subcommittee heard testimony from the Pentagon, including its top intelligence official Ronald Moultrie and the deputy director of Naval Intelligence, Scott Bray, who also showed lawmakers two videos of UAPs.

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UFOs: Few answers at rare US Congressional hearing

The first public congressional hearing into UFO sightings in the US in over 50 years ended with few answers about the unexplained phenomenon.

Two top military officials tasked with probing the sightings said that most can ultimately be identified.

But they said a number of events have defied all attempts at explanation.

The sightings recorded by the military include 11 “near-misses” with US aircraft.

Some Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) – as the military terms UFOs – seem to have been moving without any discernible means of propulsion.

During the hearing at the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee, top Pentagon intelligence official Ronald Moultrie said that through “rigorous” analysis, most – but not all – UAPs can be identified.

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Congress will hold its first public UFO hearing in 50 YEARS today: Two top intelligence officials will testify on ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ and their potential national security risks

A House subcommittee is prepping to hold its first hearing open to the public on UFOs in more than 50 years on Tuesday, with two top intelligence officials set to testify. 

On Tuesday at 9 a.m. the House Intelligence Committee’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee will delve into details on reports of ‘unidentified aerial phenomena.’ Such high-level conversations have for the past half century been reserved for closed-door meetings among high-ranking military officials. 

‘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,’ the panel chair, Rep. André Carson, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon‘s top intelligence official, and Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence, will testify before the panel. 

Last June, Congress requested a report on ‘unidentified aerial phenomena,’ another term for UFO, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) offered a preliminary assessment focusing on 144 incidents dating back to 2004. DNI was only able to explain one. 

The report said data was ‘largely inconclusive’ but most of the incidents definitely involved ‘physical objects.’  Many of the sightings were reported by military pilots. 

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US Congress to question Pentagon on UFOs

The US House Intelligence Committee has scheduled a hearing to follow up on some 143 UFO sightings reported between 2004 and 2021, Representative André Carson (D-Indiana) revealed on Tuesday. The hearing, scheduled for next Tuesday, will be held by the Intelligence Committee’s subcommittee on counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and counterproliferation, which Carson chairs.

Since this is an area of high public interest, any undue secrecy can serve as an obstacle to solving the mystery, or it could prevent us from finding solutions to potential vulnerabilities,” Carson told the New York Times. “This hearing is about examining steps that the Pentagon can take to reduce the stigma surrounding reporting by military pilots, and by civilian pilots.

Among those testifying before the subcommittee are Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray. Both have been involved with further investigating the 143 sightings detailed in a report released last year by the Pentagon’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, an office that has since been replaced by the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group. The new division, led by Moultrie, is supposed to “detect, identify and attribute objects of interest in Special Use Airspace and to assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security.

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US Congress approves WWII-like weapons program for Ukraine

The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that would remove several constraints on sending weapons to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian offensive. Adopted by the Senate earlier this month, the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act” revives the program Washington used to send military equipment to belligerents in WWII while officially staying neutral.

The final vote on Thursday afternoon was 417-10, with three members not voting. All of the Democrats voted in favor, while all of the ten members opposed were Republicans.

Introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), the bill was passed by the Senate on April 6, but the Democrat-dominated House adjourned for a two-week Easter recess before taking it up. 

It authorizes the White House to “lend or lease defense articles” to Ukraine or any “Eastern European countries impacted by the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine to help bolster those countries’ defense capabilities and protect their civilian populations from potential invasion or ongoing aggression.” 

Cornyn’s bill does not create a new program, but rather makes it easier for President Joe Biden to send weapons to Kiev by suspending limitations imposed by two existing laws, one of which caps the length of the aid at five years. 

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Banning lawmakers from owning stocks would stymie war profiteering

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to the chairs of the Committee on House Administration urging them to advance legislation banning members of Congress from directly owning or trading stocks while in office.

The letter, sent by 19 lawmakers ranging from Mark Pocan (D-WI) to Matt Gaetz (R-FL) outlined three key provisions: preventing family members and children from owning stock, banning exceptions for stock owned prior to entering office, and backing up any legislation with effective enforcement. 

Congressional stock trading restrictions would disproportionately impact the national security space; A Sludge 2021 analysis of financial holdings found that “The maximum value of the investments held by federal lawmakers in the ‘Big Five’ contractors — Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics — is over $2.6 million, making up nearly 39% of the total stock holdings identified.” 

Several members of Congress snapped up new shares of defense company stock just before the invasion of Ukraine. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) bought shares of Lockheed Martin the day before the invasion, while John Rutherford (R-FL) secured valuable Raytheon stock the day of the invasion itself. Between December 1, 2021, and April 13, 2022, the stock price of Lockheed Martin skyrocketed by 42.8 percent while Raytheon increased by over 24 percent, both well out-pacing the S&P 500 which actually decreased in the same time period.

Some of those lawmakers even have an outsized role in creating national security policy itself. A recent Business Insider analysis found that 15 members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee Congress who own stock in defense giants Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

Another analysis found that four members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which oversees arms control, had at least four members invested in defense companies. One member of the Committee, Gerry Connolly (D-VA), alone owned $498,000 worth of stock of Leidos — a military contractor that merged with Lockheed Martin in 2016 — as of last year. Leidos’ stock jumped over 27 percent from mid-February to early March. 

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