‘Another Bureaucracy?’ Top House UFO Investigator Cautions Disclosure Legislation May Be A Dud; Offers Additional Pathway
At center, Rep. Burchett (R-TN) speaks during a news conference about unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) transparency on Capitol Hill November 30, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

One of the biggest champions of UFO transparency in Congress has reservations about the much-hyped disclosure legislation from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that is now being considered as part of the conference process to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the next National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Of particular concern, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) told The Daily Wire on Friday, is how the bipartisan Senate amendment known as the Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Disclosure Act of 2023 is modeled after the JFK Records Act of 1992 — which was passed almost 30 years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and culminated earlier this year with the completion of a National Archives review that made most but not all of the records public.

“Here we are, 60 years later, and we still don’t know anything,” Burchett said, alluding to lingering questions about Kennedy’s death. “So are we going to create another bureaucracy? I just want transparency. If it deals with UFOs or UAPs, turn it loose. Quit hiding it. Let’s go.”

The UAP Disclosure Act, which Schumer unveiled this summer with Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity for the Armed Services Committee, would give heads of government offices 300 days to organize records in their possession and give them to a review board, members of which would be nominated by the president and approved by the Senate, to determine whether certain documents should remain classified. Similar to the JFK Records Act, the president will have the ultimate authority to postpone disclosure of UAP records if there is an “identifiable harm” to national security, but otherwise calls for their release “not later than the date that is 25 years after the date of the first creation” of the documents by the originating government entities.

When it comes to the review board, the amendment dictates that nominees cannot have attachments to any legacy programs that may work with unknown technologies or non-human intelligence and it requires an eclectic membership that includes at least one current or former national security official, one current or former foreign service official, one scientist or engineer, one economist, one professional historian, and one sociologist.

Burchett, who launched the House UAP Caucus this year amid growing speculation about what the government may be hiding about UFOs, questioned why such a specific makeup for the review board is drawn out in the legislation.

“Why are these people on there? And you know as well as I do when they do these things — and it wasn’t Chuck Schumer that wrote it, obviously; it’s a staffer with input from somebody from the outside. Do they have somebody already in mind? And are they already committed to one train of thought or the other? I just don’t like this,” he said. Pressed on whether he feared candidates may be “bought off,” Burchett suggested that “compromised” would be a better term. He also posited that “lawyers have got enough loopholes in there” that would protect anyone in the military industrial complex who may be involved in secret UAP programs.

There may be a remedy already in play.

Burchett offered a one-and-a-half page amendment to the House version of the NDAA that would force Department of Defense (DoD) officials to declassify records related to publicly known sightings of UAPs in 180 days. He and fellow House lawmakers who are pushing for an end to UFO secrecy hope it gets passed along with Schumer’s much longer (64 pages) legislation.


“I think if you have both of them in place, then the information that comes out of the DoD will also be a check, if you will, on the agency that would be collecting information from all the other agencies before it served you,” Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO) told The Daily Wire. “And that way you could, if one agency said, ‘No, we don’t have information,’ that would be one thing. But if one agency has certain information at all, we can just compare that or question or query agencies, if that makes sense.”

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), another member of the House UAP Caucus, said in an interview, “Burchett’s amendment is pretty straightforward — and obviously, if either of them passed, it’s a step forward in the right direction, right? But our main concerns with the Schumer amendment was that there’s this waiting period similar to what happened with JFK, and we just feel that with the amount of pushback in addition to the request for funds that we’re constantly getting, it’s really important for transparency that we know what’s happening and that the American people do as well.”

Intermixed in the debate over disclosure have been claims expressed by whistleblower David Grusch, a former U.S. intelligence and military official who claims the government is covering up a UFO retrieval program and wrongfully keeping Congress in the dark, and reports by the Liberation Times that some in House leadership have been resistant to the UAP transparency push and may try to weaken some provisions — including one in Schumer’s UAP amendment that concerns the use of eminent domain by the federal government to seize materials from private citizens or entities.

One member who repeatedly gets mentioned as an opponent to the UAP legislation is Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. But Turner denied to NewsNation on Wednesday that he was “holding up” the Senate amendment, even though he opined that it is a “poorly drafted piece of legislation,” and insisted that no members of the “pro-alien caucus” in the House had spoken to him about any issues regarding UFOs.

When asked by The Daily Wire on Friday if the UAP Caucus had spoken to Turner, Burchett said, “From what I understand, we have since then.” Burchett also noted that he had talked with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and “got him to commit to transparency.”

The Tennessee Republican also issued a message of caution to people who are cheering on the UAP Caucus, saying, “If they get the Schumer bill on, all the UFO people are going to cheer, and then they’re not going to get anything out of it. And then they’re going to come back and say, ‘Hey, what happened?’ It’s just not going to happen.” Burchett added later, “I don’t have a lot of positive vibes on any of this. The same old stuff over and over and over again. I know these UFO people are excited, and I’m happy for them. But I just know the reality.”

Still, members of the UAP Caucus say they would be happy with any step forward on transparency, and that effort extends beyond just legislation. Luna said that she anticipates another hearing, though likely not until next year. Burlison said the “next big step” for the caucus is to view Grusch’s inspector general report in a secure setting now that they have permission.

Members also indicated they still would like to see a select committee, which could give them more power to gather evidence, as well as need-to-know authorizations, but Burchett said on Friday that he has yet to speak to Johnson about that particular issue. Yet another member of the UAP Caucus, Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN), told The Daily Wire that a select panel would be valuable because it could bring in “folks from other committees that may either have an interest or lend some area of expertise that would work best on a committee like that. I think it’s the way forward.”

As for what drives the UAP caucus, the answers seem to vary. During a press conference this week in which members talked about how their investigative efforts have faced pushback from the U.S. intelligence community and the military, Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) said that people trying to stop disclosure “piques the interest.” Ogles affirmed to The Daily Wire that he’s been particularly vocal about national security, specifically reports of mysterious craft spotted around nuclear facilities and the prospect of a foreign adversary operating in U.S. airspace. Burchett bemoaned how the government’s tendency to issue denials when it comes to UFOs does not square with the “tens of millions of dollars researching something” that the feds claim “doesn’t exist.”

And when it comes to what lawmakers have gleaned from whistleblowers so far in their investigation, Burchett said he has been apprised of some out-of-this-world stuff. “Yeah, they are craft that no one, either foreign or domestic, has,” he told The Daily Wire. Asked about if he’s seen photos of images, Burchett added, “Absolutely. And they defy all — some of them defy logic, any kind of logic, in our realm of thinking. But again, if something can travel at those incredible speeds and survive. The human body can’t survive that. Those Gs, it would just liquefy you, literally. It’s kind of creepy really.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Another Bureaucracy?’ Top House UFO Investigator Cautions Disclosure Legislation May Be A Dud; Offers Additional Pathway