UFOs back in spotlight as ‘surreal’ Washington hearing buoys believers

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As the world heard tales of recovered alien bodies, crashed extraterrestrial spaceships, and an apparently violent plot to conceal both, not everyone was immediately willing to believe.

The Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, inadvertently swept up in this week’s remarkable UFO congressional hearing in Washington through her role on the House of Representatives oversight committee, seemed determined to not get too carried away by a surge of interest in UFOs that is transfixing much of the US.

Speaking afterwards, the leftwing New York congresswoman instead sought to characterize her colleagues’ quest to uncover the government’s alleged alien cover-up as an investigation into national security and military furtiveness – not hiding little green men.

“This committee has encountered instances before where either defense activity has not been forthright, whether that be from a contracting space or from the DoD space,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Guardian.

“I do believe that there is a very large and looming question about what is being disclosed, what is being properly stewarded, and we have a responsibility across all subject matters to pursue that truth.”

It was a commendably bland take on a two-hour-plus hearing which was unlike anything Congress had ever seen before.

David Grusch, the former US intelligence officer who claims that the US government is harboring “intact and partially intact” and “non-human” pilots, appeared in Washington, under oath, to repeat the same.

The US government conducted a “multi-decade” program which collected, and attempted to reverse-engineer, crashed UFOs, Grusch told the oversight committee. He added that unnamed federal agencies had even recovered “biologics” from these craft, which he described as “non-human”.

Moreover, Grusch, who led analysis of unexplained anomalous phenomena (UAP) within a US Department of Defense agency until 2023, said he had encountered “people who have been harmed or injured” in the course of the government’s efforts to keep this alien program secret. Grusch told the committee that after going public with his allegations he had feared for his life.

Happily for Grusch, and for the scores of UFO enthusiasts who flooded to the hearing, some of the politicians listening appeared to be completely sold.

“I believe they [aliens] exist. I knew that before I came in here,” Tim Burchett, a Republican congressman from Tennessee, told the Guardian.

“I don’t want to oversimplify it, but how are you going to fly one [a spaceship]? You got to have somebody in it. That seems to be pretty simple,” Burchett said.

If Burchett’s statement seemed to ignore longstanding earth-bound technology which already commonly enables unmanned flight via drones, his enthusiasm will at least have buoyed onlookers. Given the Republican is co-leading the investigation into Grusch’s claims, he seems a good person to have convinced.

Also onboard is Matt Gaetz, a rightwing Republican from Florida.

Gaetz, Burchett and Anna Paulina Luna, also from Florida, had caused a kerfuffle at a Florida air force base a week earlier when they turned up demanding to see evidence of a recently reported UFO incident.

Gaetz said that having initially being denied access to the base, the trio were eventually shown an “image” of unidentified anomalous phenomena – a term preferred by some to UFO.

“The image was of something that I am not able to attach to any human capability either from the United States, or from any of our adversaries,” Gaetz said.

Luna, who is co-leading the oversight committee investigation with Burchett, also seemed keen.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who sits on the House oversight committee.

“It is unacceptable to continue to gaslight Americans into thinking this is not happening,” she said during Wednesday’s hearing. A day later Luna told Axios that her interest in UFOs came from encountering one in 2018.

Claims of UFOs, and of the government covering up aliens, have a long history in the US.

In the 1940s and 50s, reports of UFOs, usually in the shape of a “flying saucer”, were commonplace, while Grusch himself has suggested – although not in Wednesday’s hearing – that Pope Pius XII negotiated the transfer of a UFO from Mussolini’s Italy to the US in 1944.

It wasn’t until the past couple of years, however, that Congress really began to take notice.

Grusch’s accusations might have ultimately prompted this investigation, but the discussion of UFOs has been lent something approaching legitimacy by leaked military videos which appear to show odd-shaped objects zipping about in American aerospace, and claims from US navy pilots of strange encounters.

Two of those pilots – David Fravor and Ryan Graves – gave testimony on Wednesday. Graves, who has previously reported seeing unidentified aerial phenomena off the Atlantic coast “every day for at least a couple years”, said that other, unnamed pilots had come across “dark grey or black cubes inside of clear spheres” where “the apex or tips of the cube were touching the inside of the sphere”.

Not everyone, however, was impressed with the new disclosures. Grusch has not personally seen any of the things he described, and his claims are based on interviews with people “with direct knowledge” of governmental goings on, which has raised eyebrows among skeptics.

“Fravor and Graves for years have been telling this story pretty much as best as they can. And Grusch: I suspect he believes his story,” said Mick West, author of Escaping the Rabbit Hole. How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect.

“So it didn’t really change that aspect of it for me. I already believe that they thought they were telling the truth, what I don’t think is that what they’re describing is an accurate representation of the facts.”

West, a longtime investigator of alleged UFO encounters and claims, said sightings like the ones Fravor and Graves described could be attributed to radar issues or clutter, including balloons in the air.

In terms of proving, unequivocally, that the US government has alien craft, and indeed aliens, West said it “will come down to the physical evidence”.

“They say they know the exact locations of where these alien craft are. So if you want to tell the American public about the whole program, if Congress wants to do that, then they can just go and look at these craft,” he said.

One issue which commonly raises doubts is that the US government has allegedly been able to keep its stash of UFOs secret – for decades.

Given the leaks, scoops and whistleblowing on various governmental secrets and wrongdoing, this apparent ability to remain tight-lipped on what would be the biggest secret in human history would be remarkable.

“And it’s not just the US government. It’s the whole world,” West said.

Indeed, UFO sightings are not a uniquely American phenomenon. The UK, for one, has not been immune. In 2011 the British Ministry of Defence released 8,500 pages of reports on UFO sightings, dating back to the 1950s.

The files included a report from one man who said he was “abducted” in October 1998, by aliens in a “large cigar-shaped vehicle with big projectiles on each side like wings”.

“And what about all the other countries? There’s a lot of other landmass, lots of places for UFOs to crash. It doesn’t make any sense,” West said.

Maybe it doesn’t, but there is evidence that international cooperation may be coming. In May the Pentagon held a UFO-focused briefing of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance – which includes the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia – with the promise of more meetings to come.

And despite the lack of an extraterrestrial smoking gun, for longtime followers of UFO sightings, claims and developments Wednesday made for an extraordinary experience.

“It was one of the most amazing and bizarre and surreal congressional hearings ever held,” said Nick Pope, who spent the early 1990s investigating UFOs for the British Ministry of Defence.

“You had to almost pinch yourself and do a double-take when you heard phrases like ‘non-human intelligences’ and ‘biologics’ unpacked in the testimony.”

Grusch didn’t produce new revelations, repeatedly stating that he could not elaborate further in a public setting, something which Pope said made sense.

But some of the politicians spoke afterwards, however, about the importance of getting Grusch’s claims into the record. Pope said that was an important step in the road to finding out what the government might have.

“It was clear listening to what the various people on the committee said that they weren’t going to let this lie,” Pope said. “You got a sense of the anger that they had, at the implication that things were being hidden from them improperly.”

One thing is certain: the UFO craze is not going away.

The next things to look out for include a Nasa report due to be published this month, while the Department of Defense is due to issue a report of its own this summer. There will probably be more congressional hearings when representatives, who are about to leave Washington on a month-long recess, return in September.

“We’re not bringing little green men or flying saucers into the hearing. Sorry to disappoint about half y’all,” Burchett said at the start of proceedings on Wednesday.

“We’re just going to get to the facts.”

What those facts are, and when exactly they might be uncovered, remains to be seen.

This post was originally published on this site

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