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A House lawmaker spoke on Wednesday about military pilots witnessing a high-flying unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) that appeared to transcend “human capability.”
During a House subcommittee hearing on the “implications” UAPs have on national security, public safety, and government transparency, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) opened up about a trip he took to Florida‘s Eglin Air Force Base in February.
Acting upon a protected disclosure from the base “indicating that there was a UAP incident that required my attention,” Gaetz sought a briefing along with Reps. Tim Burchett (R-TN) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), who have taken the lead in Congress investigating UFOs, the congressman said.
Gaetz said they asked to see any evidence that may have been gathered, observe radar information, and to speak with the flight crew involved in the sighting, but the congressional trio’s inquiries were met with resistance.
"The image was of something that I am not able to attach to any human capability, either from the United States or from any of our adversaries." – Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz talks about a UFO photo he saw from a UFO incident from Eglin Air Force Base. Matt Gaetz was… pic.twitter.com/iVRddu9Ead
— Mike Colangelo (@MikeColangelo) July 26, 2023
“Thereafter, we had a bit of a discussion about how authorities flow in the United States of America,” Gaetz said. “And we did see the image and we did meet with one member of the flight crew who took the image.”
What he saw in the image, Gaetz said, he is “not able to attach to any human capability, either from the United States or from any of our adversaries.” He underscored that point by noting he sits on the House Armed Services Committee and has oversight of advanced technologies programs.
The flight crew member offered an explanation of what happened the day the incident took place, as described by Gaetz during the hearing:
They were out on a test mission that day over the Gulf of Mexico and when you’re on a test mission, you’re supposed to have clear airspace, not supposed to be anything that shows up. And they saw a sequence of four craft in a clear diamond formation for which there is a radar sequence that I and I alone have observed in the United States Congress.
One of the pilots goes to check out that diamond formation and sees a large floating, what I can only describe as an orb, again, like I said, not of any human capability that I’m aware of. And when he approached, he said that his radar went down, he said that his FLIR system malfunctioned, and that he had to manually take this image from one of the lenses and it was not automatic, automated in collection as you would typically see in a test mission.
The 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base previously gave Mid Bay News a statement with the Pentagon’s version of events about what happened during the visit by lawmakers, but it did not get into any detail about what Gaetz was reportedly shown.
“Eglin Air Force Base supported a visit from Representatives Gaetz, Burchett, and Luna on Feb 21. Air Force officials provided a classified briefing on intelligence collection threats to Eglin Air Force Base during their visit,” the statement said.
“The Congressmembers halted the briefing and requested instead a briefing focused on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” the statement added. “Base officials responded to present additional available classified information on UAPs to all three members but were only able to discuss a certain portion of the information with Representative Gaetz, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Representatives Burchett and Luna, not being members of a congressional defense committee, did not possess the access required to join the portion of the discussion reserved for Representative Gaetz.”
In addressing the two former Navy pilots appearing as witnesses at the hearing on Wednesday who have already come forward with claims about mysterious flying objects that appear to defy the laws of physics, Gaetz got retired Cmdr. David Fravor to testify how the “Tic Tac” incident during a 2004 training mission with the USS Nimitz appeared to similarly mess with radar detection capabilities.
Ryan Graves, who is now executive director of Americans for Safe Aerospace, talked about the “Gimbal” video recorded by his former squadron. “The recording on the ATFLIR system shows a single object that rotates,” Graves said. “You hear the pilots referred to a fleet of objects that is not visible on the FLIR system.”
Building upon another point by Graves, that he feels “anger” that pilots face so many hurdles in trying to report such incidents, Gaetz said he was told that “if you have a UAP experience, the best thing you can do for your career is forget it and not tell anyone because any type of reporting either above the surface or below … does have a perceived consequence to these people.”
“That is a culture we must change. If we want to get to the truth,” Gaetz said, before making two recommendations geared toward transparency. One was getting intelligence veteran David Grusch, the third witness at Wednesday’s hearing who has gone public with allegations about crafts of non-human origin being retrieved and kept from Congress, to talk to lawmakers in a sensitive compartmented information facility, also known as a SCIF, to provide more complete answers than he was able to give publicly.
“Second, I would suggest that the radar images that were collected of this formation of craft out of Eglin Air Force Base and specifically the actual image taken by the actual flight crew that we can actually validate be provided to the committee — subpoenaed if necessary,” Gaetz said. “So that we’re able to track how to get this type of reporting and analysis done in a more fulsome way.”