(WASHINGTON) — Almost a year after a long-awaited U.S. intelligence report on UFOs provided few answers to what military pilots had encountered in more than 140 incidents, top Pentagon officials will face Congress on Tuesday in the first hearing in more than 50 years focused on UFOs.
The intelligence report could only explain one of the military’s 144 encounters with Unexplained Aerial Phenomena, the military’s new term used to describe UFOs, reported since 2004. That report did not contain the words “alien” or “extraterrestrial” and said that the unexplained UAP incidents would require further study. Still, it did say that most of the phenomena were likely physical objects.
Appearing before a House Intelligence subcommittee on Tuesday will be Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon’s top intelligence official and Scott Bray, the deputy director of Naval Intelligence, who will be asked by members of Congress if there are any updates.
Committee chairman Rep. Andre Carson, D-N.Y., tweeted last week that “Americans need to know more about these unexplained occurrences.”
At the hearing, the defense officials are expected to play videos of some of the encounters that military personnel have had with UAPs to demonstrate how investigators try to determine what is going on in the incidents, according to a U.S. official.
The public’s renewed interest in UFOs has been sparked in recent years by the leaks of once classified videos and the Navy’s declassification of videos that recorded its pilots’ encounters.
Jeremy Corbell, a documentary filmmaker and UFO enthusiast, who has released some of those videos, said the hearing reflects the public’s interest in UFOs.
“What is so great is that this is a direct response to public will,” Corbell told ABC News. “It is direct response to public pressure. It is representative government representing the citizens and their interest.”
“And I am encouraged by the public desire to know and find out the truth of what UFOs represent to humankind,” Corbell added. “It’s the biggest story of our time. And finally, we’re beginning to have the conversation without ridicule and stigma that has so injured the search for scientific truth on this topic.”
At a Pentagon briefing on Monday, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, John Kirby, said its officials were looking forward to talking “about the work that we’re doing to get a better handle on the process itself” of investigating UAP incidents.
“It’s about organizing around the efforts so that there’s a common collection process for how these reports get brought into the system, how they get analyzed, how they get investigated, and then how they get adjudicated,” Kirby told reporters at the briefing. “That’s what we’ve really got to get our arms around.”
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