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With a hearing on UFOs or unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs) now over, lawmakers were already turning their focus on how to proceed with a topic that has generated bipartisan interest on Capitol Hill.
“We’ve got so many ideas now,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), one of the lawmakers who has spearheaded the UAP endeavor, told reporters after the hearing came to a close.
Rep. Tim Burchett and Rep. Anna Paulina Luna talk with reporters following the Congressional UAP Hearing and discuss non-human intelligence in relation to UAP, as well as reverse engineering programs.#ufotwitter #ufo #uap pic.twitter.com/7lVlxAgOOe
— UAP James (@UAPJames) July 26, 2023
One of those ideas seems to be field hearings, which likely would take place away from Washington, D.C., as already stated by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), another leader in the UAP inquiry.
While nothing has been scheduled, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said there is a “strong possibility” there will be more UAP hearings, NewsNation correspondent Joe Khalil reported in a post to X.
The hearing on Wednesday held by an Oversight subcommittee featured testimony from David Grusch, a former U.S. military and intelligence official who has gone public with allegations about crafts of non-human origin being retrieved and kept from Congress with a “misappropriation of funds,” and two Navy veterans who have come forward with claims about mysterious flying objects that appear to defy the laws of physics and could threaten national security.
Grusch made several out-of-this-world declarations. In addition to saying he has faced “brutal” retaliation, Grusch said he knows where the U.S. government is covertly keeping UAPs and claimed to have been informed by people involved in the alleged retrieval program that there were “biologics” that were “non-human” that came with some of the recoveries. Grusch also said the U.S. government has possessed evidence of non-human intelligence as far back as the 1930s.
At the same time, Grusch said he was restrained in what he could divulge publicly under conditions set as his whistleblower case gets resolved, but he indicated he could provide a list of “cooperative and hostile” individuals who may be linked to UAP programs. Grusch also said he could share more information in a classified setting if members were given proper clearances.
Members of Congress seem eager to take Grusch up on his offer to follow-up.
“We should be getting the document that Mr. Grusch submitted to the inspector general. We should be getting him in the SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility) so that we can get additional information. And the military needs to come forward because at the end of the day, if we’re wrong and if these pilots are wrong then the military should prove why they’re wrong, and how, rather than just not answering the question,” Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) told MSNBC.
For its part, the Department of Defense (DoD) insisted that its All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which has been tasked with investigating UFOs, “has not discovered any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently.” Meanwhile, a NASA team is expected to release a report on UAPs in the coming weeks.
Though there has already been a push by lawmakers for legislation to encourage more disclosures, members proposed various ways in which Congress could play hardball if they meet resistance.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who appeared at the hearing Wednesday and spoke about military pilots witnessing a high-flying UAP that appeared to transcend “human capability,” floated the use of subpoenas, as well as a select committee to investigate UAPs. Another lawmaker, Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN), threatened to initiate the Holman Rule in a bid to rein in any uncooperative programs or agencies by squeezing available money and job positions. A third, Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), said there should be a “safe and transparent” UAP reporting system for military and commercial pilots that takes into account national security, per The Hill.
Christopher Mellon, a former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Senate staffer who has pushed for transparency on the UAP issue, encouraged Congress to use its leverage.
“By wielding the power of the purse, Congress possesses a myriad of tools (cutting funding, stalling promotions, invoking the Holman Rule, etc.) to ensure that the Executive complies with Congress’ oversight authority,” Mellon said on X. “Fundamentally, the UAP issue and it’s possible implications are of far too much consequence to be monopolized by one branch of government, regardless of party or administration.”
Burchett spoke to the potential of there being financial conflicts that result in roadblocks to full transparency with “unelected bureaucrats within the military-war complex.”
Burchett told NewsNation that leadership informed him that the intelligence community effectively torpedoed an amendment to allow airline pilots who spot a UFO to report it to the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as Congress. In speaking with reporters, the congressman also raised issues concerning the DoD.
“Something with the capabilities of traveling lightyears, not showing a heat signature, and the energy capabilities of that — that would put the Pentagon out of business, we wouldn’t be fighting these worthless wars overseas over oil, and American boys and girls wouldn’t be dying,” the congressman said. “It would put the war pigs out of business, and they would have to go somewhere else — and I am all for that.”