WASHINGTON, DC, May 23 – It’s okay to think about and talk about Unidentified Flying Objects. Says who? The Congress of the United States of America, that’s who. The lawmakers held a hearing last week legitimizing the notion that they do exist. But don’t call them UFOs. That’s a dodgy, outdated, and “too science-fictiony” moniker; if you want to be taken seriously, start referring to them as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena or UAPs.
The hearing was the first in some 50 years, and if you were hoping that it would provide answers to questions you might have about UFOs, except for the news that they are to be known as UAPs, they didn’t.
But according to the reporters at Politico, Congressman Mike Gallagher [R-WI] provided some food for thought. In its report on the hearing, the “global authority,” as the website calls itself, wrote that “One of the most eye-popping moments during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on UFOs on Tuesday was when Congressman Mike Gallagher [R-WI] pressed Pentagon officials on claims that a ‘glowing red orb’ once shut down nuclear weapons in Montana and that a recently leaked document revealed that other-worldly vehicles — and possibly even extraterrestrial bodies — are being kept from government leaders and the public.”
Gallagher was referring to an incident way back in 1967 at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. An eyewitness, Robert Salas, who was stationed at the base, described what happened to the Great Falls Tribune in Great Falls, MT. In his words, he saw “a glowing red object, oval-shaped and some 40 feet in diameter, and it was hovering above the front gate…It was an unidentified flying object that nobody could explain to this day. The Air Force investigated this secretly, I believe through 1972. I think this thing was not of this earth. I’m convinced it was not built here, because it was able to send signals to each of our missiles separately. The guidance and control equipment was upset in each one.”
While the hearing attracted a lot of attention, it was disappointing to some that there was hardly any discussion of alien encounters. In fact, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray who reported that there were 400 UAP sightings this year up from 143 last year seemed to dismiss the notion that they might have been extraterrestrial encounters. Mr. Bray also sought to dispel the notion that UAPs might be aliens, noting that no organic or inorganic material or unexplainable wreckage has ever been recovered. And he pointed out that there have been no attempts made at communicating with the objects.
Rick Crawford [R-AR] said the objective of the hearing was to explain whether unexplained aerial phenomena are a threat to national security. He said it is critical to know and identify what threats UAPs might pose. Failure to do so, he said, is “tantamount to intelligence failure that we certainly want to avoid. It’s not about finding alien spacecraft.”
Fox News correspondent Rob Olson reported on the hearing and said that a Pentagon report admits “that they could not explain 144 sightings [of UAPs] by military pilots” over the past 17 years. He noted that since that report was released, there have been “a massive rise they attributed to pilots [who are] no longer afraid of ridicule.” Olson’s report included declassified video showing a sighting by a Navy pilot who spotted a UAP and was able to tape the encounter.
Yet, as the Atlantic Magazine online described the hearing, “This was, on one level, a very unusual event—the rare congressional hearing about UFOs, the first in more than 50 years. And yet it proceeded as many others do on Capitol Hill: dryly, politely, and uneventfully, which seemed odd. Shouldn’t there have been a little more to it? You know, alien stuff?”