Between 2004 and 2001, 144 unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) were spotted by members of the U.S. military. Those sightings were then investigated last June for a highly anticipated intelligence report — the results of which were inconclusive. Just one of the mysterious spectacles could be identified. (It was a deflated balloon.) But today, top Pentagon officials faced Congress for the first hearing focused on UFOs in more than 50 years.
Ronald Moultrie, the under secretary of defense for intelligence and security, and Scott Bray, the deputy director of Naval Intelligence, appeared before a House Intelligence subcommittee to discuss updates on the matter. In his opening remarks, the chairman of the panel, Rep. André Carson of Indiana, boldly stated: “UAPs are unexplained, it’s true. But they are real. They need to be investigated. And any threats they pose need to be mitigated,” he said.
But during his testimony, Moultrie, stressed the need to balance transparency regarding UAPs with the protection of key intelligence, saying there is an “obligation to protect sensitive sources and methods.”
Bray echoed the sentiment, saying, “Given the nature of our business, national defense, we’ve had to sometimes be less forthcoming with information in open forums than many would hope.” But their statements come at a time when Americans are eagerly awaiting new details. In all, the public portion of today’s event lasted fewer than 90 minutes.
National interest in UAPs and UFOs — the terms are used interchangeably — surged last year after the Pentagon confirmed an eerie video of floating, alien-like structures. Shortly before that, the CIA formally released its entire collection of UFO documents, totaling nearly 3,000 pages, which is available to read on the Black Vault. In 2020, the Navy also released three videos depicting UAPs.
With the onslaught of disclosures, many high profile officials have also come forward to speak about their own experiences with UFOs — and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Among them, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, former Director of Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and even former President Barack Obama! In August 2020, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force was officially founded within the Navy and last spring, several high-ranking Navy officials united for an illuminating 60 Minutes special on the topic.