It’s been more than half a century since we’ve conducted congressional hearings on UFOs. On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, Ronald S. Moultrie, and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, Scott W. Bray testified before the House of Representatives on behalf of the Department of Defense office investigating Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (also commonly known as UFOs). They represented the UAP task force and discussed their current progress or lack thereof. After the public part of the hearings concluded, representatives with appropriate security clearances went into a closed-door top-secret continuation of the conversation with the witnesses.
Members of the UFO community were disappointed by the public side of the hearings. It seemed like another Pentagon smokescreen. Two government officials saying, “Nothing to see here. Nothing is happening.” They offered two exceptionally lame videos cunningly selected to diminish public interest. One was a video shot on a smartphone from the cockpit of a jet fighter. It shows a balloon-like shape zip by in a split second. Could have been just about anything. The second video was the USS Russel video of triangular objects in the sky which have already been debunked as conventional objects made to appear triangular-shaped by a camera lens bokeh illusion.
It was also disappointing to see how little Bray and Moultrie seemed to know about the real history of the phenomenon and the history of government investigations into the phenomenon. They did not do their homework, and they have a lot of catching up to do. If they are really the government experts on the subject, then the government doesn’t know jack about UFOs. The representatives grilling them were better informed on the subject than these two fellows.
Nevertheless, there was actually a lot of important information that came out of the hearings. This article contains a few of the highlights, but you can read the whole transcript here or watch a video of the hearings below:
Last June (2021), the UAP task force reported that they had catalogued some 200 unexplained reports of pilots encountering unknown objects. The reports came mostly from the the last few years. Recent legislation on the UFO problem has sought to destigmatize the phenomenon by encouraging pilots to report encounters. During the hearings, we learned that Navy pilots are now required to report encounters. Not only that, but they now have a procedural checklist on the kneeboard of their planes to guide them through the reporting process when they do have an encounter. We also found out that their reports are all classified.
Since putting this new policy in place, 200 new reports have been submitted to the task force.
Bray: Since the release of that preliminary report [June 2020] UAP Task Force database has now grown to contain approximately 400 reports, the stigma has been reduced … a lot of those new reports that we have are actually historic reports that are narrative based … a factor of the fact that the de-stigmatization has resulted in more narrative reports.
One might wonder if the objects being reported are actually truly there. Might they not be the result of faulty sensor information, mistaken readouts, optical illusions, unusual atmospheric conditions like temperature inversions, and so forth? The UAP task force assured the House of Representatives that’s not the case. Instead, in the majority of the encounters, the phenomena are physical objects which appear both visually and also on a variety of sensor platforms. Not only are they physical objects, they may “be some sort of technology we don’t understand.”
Bray: It’s clear that, that is the majority, that it’s clear that many of the observations we have are physical objects from the sensor data that we have.
In the taskforce report, when when I say “probably represent physical objects,” most of them represent physical objects. There could be some that are more of a of a meteorological phenomenon or something like that, that may not be a physical object in the sense that most people think of something you’d go up and touch. I can say with certainty that a number of these are physical objects …
I’ll tell you, within the UAP Taskforce, we have one basic assumption, and that is that generally speaking, generally speaking, our sensors operate as designed. And we make that assumption because many times these are multicenter collections. We make no assumptions about the origin of this, or that there may or may not be some sort of technology that we don’t understand.
Skeptics argue that the objects being reported around military installations, in our training fields, and by military pilots are probably secret US technology or some type of new adversarial technology from China or Russia. House representatives conducting the hearing asked if that might be the case. Bray dismissed the possibility of foreign tech:
Bray: I would say without discernible means of propulsion, I would say that we’re not aware of any adversary that can move an object without discernible means of propulsion … Allies have seen these. China has established its own version of a UAP Taskforce. So clearly a number of countries have observations of things in the airspace that they can’t identify.
Moreover, the Department of Defense witnesses testified that the encounters are not “blue on blue,” meaning, these are not cases of encounters with secret American technology that might be under development.
Moultrie: We’re very conscious of the potential blue on blue issue or us on us. And so we’ve established relationships with organizations and entities that are potentially flying or developing platforms for their own interests, if you will … we’ve had that process for some time, to deconflict activities that we may have to ensure that we are not potentially reporting on something that may be a developmental platform or a US operational platform that is performing either testing or performing a mission.
Bray: There could possibly be one or two data points that had leaked through but we were quite confident that was not the explanation.
This leads to the obvious question. If it’s not foreign technology and it’s not US technology, whose technology is it? Who is creating these objects? Who is flying them?
The June 2020 UAP report mentioned that some of the craft demonstrate advanced flight characteristics beyond our level of technology and that some of the objects demonstrate a level of “signature management.” That’s just fancy talk for stealth technology that thwarts radars or cloaking technology that makes an object appear to be something else or disappear altogether. It sounds like sci fi, but apparently some of the objects have demonstrated that ability. Bray speculated that, one reason UFOs don’t appear to have any means of propulsion might be due to signature management, i.e. cloaking technology. He pointed out that we have seen signature management from some of the objects in question, and that ability might explain the seeming absence of visible propulsion:
Bray: In many of these cases where we don’t have a discernible means of propulsion in the data that we have, in some cases, there are likely sensor artifacts that may be hiding some of that [means of propulsion]. There’s certainly some degree of, something that looks like signature management that we have seen from some of these UAP… there are a small handful in which there are flight characteristics or signature management that we can’t explain with the data that we have … our analysis simply hasn’t been able to fully pull together a picture of what happened. And those are the cases where we talked about where we see some indications of flight characteristics or signature management, that are not what we had expected.
There were plenty of other interesting moment. Members of the House of Representatives pressed the witnesses on questions about that one time a UFO shut down of our nuclear missiles at Maelstrom Airbase, about the so-called Wilson Document, and about UFO wreckage and crash retrievals. The witnesses denied knowledge of any of that–almost. When it came to the question of wreckage or physical artifacts left behind by UFOs, Bray said, “The UAP task force doesn’t have any wreckage that isn’t explainable, that isn’t consistent with being of terrestrial origin.” At least not within the task force. The ambiguous answer left room for the possibility that there is some type of material remains outside the control of the task force. The answer also implies that the task force has examined materials alleged to have come from UFOs and that they have determined that the material, whatever it might be, is of terrestrial origin. This might refer to the metallic slag dropped by a UFO in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1977 or materials retrieved from similar incidents. We know that Gary Nolan of Stanford has looked at the Council Bluffs material and several other alleged UFO materials as well. See his work here.
The May 2022 UAP hearings were a historic moment in the ever-evolving UFO story. We learned that the government is at least starting to take the matter seriously. We learned that the objects are real physical objects. We were assured that the objects are not ours, not our enemies, not our allies, and therefore not human. We learned that they appear on a variety of sensor platforms, sometimes demonstrating advanced flight characteristics without visible propulsion, sometimes demonstrating stealth and cloaking technology. In addition, they sometimes leave behind materials that we can scientifically analyze. Since last June, the UAP taskforce has received 200 more reports. In view of all of that, I’d say the hearings were a big success, a first step, with more revelations yet to come.
It’s more evidence that it’s happening.
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i only watched the first few minutes and it was a real letdown.