UFOs are nothing new. Since the late 1940s, there has been a “craze” for UFO sightings throughout America and all over the world.
However, the mania for UAPs, as they are officially known—short for Unidentified Aerial (or Anomalous) Phenomena—has heated back up in recent years, following the release of several previously classified videos and other documents by the Pentagon between 2017 and 2020, showing alleged encounters with such phenomena.
Perhaps the biggest surge in interest in these events has come in just the last few months, as David Grusch, a former intelligence official and United States Air Force officer, filed a whistleblower complaint with the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General, alleging that he had knowledge of a “multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program,” and a similarly far-reaching plot by the U.S. government to cover it all up.
In part due to Grusch’s own history as an intelligence officer, his claims were treated with more credibility than is often the case for such reports; enough so that he eventually found himself as the star witness in a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.
Three credible witnesses
Alongside Grusch were two other witnesses: Lt. Ryan Graves, a former F-18 pilot and currently the Executive Director of Americans for Safe Aerospace, and retired Navy Commander David Fravor, who was present for what he called “the most credible UFO sighting in history,” what is frequently known as the “Tic Tac Event,” due to the shape of the apparent craft involved.
Key takeaways from the hearing
Following the sometimes-byzantine procedures of a House committee hearing, the three witnesses gave statements as to what had brought them to that point, and then answered questions from members of the committee, including representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Tim Burchett, Anna Paulina Luna, Matt Gaetz, Jamie Raskin, and others. The full hearing was over two hours long.
So, what did we learn? Here are some of the high points of the hearing, and what we know about UAPs and the possibility of alien encounters now that it’s over:
Many of the representatives took great pains to point out that this was a serious issue that has real-world implications for national security.
Chairman Glenn Grothman reminisced about a book on UFOs he had as a kid, and said that, “When I was younger, I thought it was the most important issue out there.”
Others made it clear that the issues being addressed at the hearing went beyond the possible existence of extraterrestrial intelligence.
“We’re not bringing little green men or flying saucers into the hearing,” representative Tim Burchett of Tennessee said, with several representatives emphasizing that the hearings concerned “a pressing demand for government transparency and accountability that cannot be overlooked,” as chairman Grothman put it.
Representatives further emphasized that this hearing was being brought on behalf of the American people.
“68% of Americans believe that the government is hiding information about UAPs,” said representative Anna Paulina Luna of Florida. “It is unacceptable to continue to gaslight Americans into thinking that this is not happening.”
Several of the witnesses called repeatedly for better systems for reporting and classifying UAPs, as well as an end to “excessive” classification practices.
They also agreed that the powers that be need to “eliminate the stigma” associated with reporting these kinds of sightings.
Both Graves and Fravor described personal encounters they had experienced with UAPs.
Graves explained that the UAP he encountered, which was a “dark gray or black cube inside of a clear sphere,” was also a common description provided by many different pilots over a period of “almost 8 years.”
Fravor, meanwhile, described in detail his own encounter with the “Tic Tac craft” in 2004. “The technology that we faced was far superior to anything we had,” he said.
UFOs Caught on Film
Several times, the witnesses were asked, in various ways, if the UAPs “pose a potential threat to our national security,” as chairman Grothman put it.
The starkest moment came near the end of the hearing, as representative Andy Ogles of Tennessee put a series of yes or no questions to the three witnesses. “Is there any indication that these UAPs could essentially be collecting reconnaissance information?” he asked. “Is it possible that these UAPs are testing for vulnerabilities in our current systems?” Do these UAPs “provide an existential threat to the United States?”
To all of these questions and others like them, the witnesses either answered in the affirmative, or stated that they didn’t know.
The most striking claims came from David Grusch, who reiterated many of the statements that he had previously made publicly, including that the government is in possession of “non-human spacecraft” as well as “biologics” of non-human origin.
Despite these claims, in answer to virtually any and every request for specifics, he stated that he was unable to provide that information in a public setting, suggesting that he would do so in a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF).
However, according to statements made after the hearing by the director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), a department of the Office of the Secretary of Defense that investigates UAPs, Grusch has “refused to speak with AARO” and so far no confidential briefings—in SCIFs or elsewhere—are known to have taken place.
Grusch also claimed that he personally knew people who had been harmed or injured “in efforts to cover up or conceal this extraterrestrial technology,” as representative Burchett put it in his question.
“Anyone been murdered that you know of?” he continued. To which Grusch replied, “I have to be careful asking that question,” and then said that he directed anyone with that knowledge “to the appropriate authorities.”
UFOs and the National Security State
In a conversation with Missouri representative Eric Burlison, Grusch later said that he knew of multiple colleagues who had been physically injured.
“By UAPs, or by people within the federal government?” Burlison asked.
“Both,” was Grusch’s reply.
Avoiding the term “extraterrestrial,” Grusch said he preferred the term “non-human” to describe the craft and remains that he alleged had been recovered by the U.S. government.
“I don’t like to denote origin,” he said, “it keeps the aperture open.”
Witnesses claimed there have been instances of misappropriation of government funds.
Besides the possession of crafts and “biologics” of non-human origin, Grusch described—albeit in vague terms—a long-term government project to “reverse-engineer” these craft, including unsanctioned advanced tech programs “above Congressional oversight” that were funded through misappropriation.
The CIA UFO Papers
Of course, such an undertaking would also require a “multi-decade campaign to disenfranchise public interest” in UAPs, as Grusch put it.
According to him, he had also been targeted in undisclosed ways since issuing his whistleblower complaint. “I call it administrative terrorism.”
Fravor detailed a very different experience, however, saying that he had actually been “treated very well” since coming forward with his story.
Graves estimated that as many as 95% of all UAP sightings go unreported, citing stigma against those who make such reports as a major cause.
“That’s just my personal estimate.”
Among the representatives present, there seemed to be a palpable frustration at Grusch’s inability to provide specific details in the context of a hearing.
“If you were me,” representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked, “where would you look?” Then, “If you could just name anything.”
Conclusion and ongoing investigations into UAP/UFO allegations
Despite a considerable lack of concrete evidence, the end result of the hearing seems to be a consensus that more investigation is needed.
“Either the United States has an adversary here in this world that we don’t know or we really have some serious investigations to do,” representative Nick Langworthy of New York said near the close of the hearing.
Whatever the results of those investigations, one thing is clear: There has never been another congressional hearing quite like this one. For better or worse, representative Burchett was correct when he said, “We made history today.”
Watch the Congressional UAP Hearing from July 26, 2023