US hid conducted a ‘multi-decade’ UFO programme, whistleblower claims
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A former Air Force intelligence officer has testified to Congress, accusing the US government of concealing a longstanding programme to retrieve and reverse-engineer crashed unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
The declarations have been made during a historic hearing of the House Oversight Committee, focused on the issue of unidentified anomalous phenomenon (UAPs) and the need for more transparency on the subject from the military.
The session was opened by the committee’s Republican chairman Glenn Grothman, who stated that a “lack of transparency” had fuelled “wild speculation” and eroded “public trust” in government institutions.
The Committee then heard from several witnesses who claimed they had first-hand experience of interacting with objects that seemed to defy the laws of physics, stating that they posed a national security problem.
David Grusch, a former leader of the US Department of Defense’s UAP programme, claimed the government conducted a “multi-decade” programme aimed at analysing UFOs. He also claimed the government tried to hide this information and punish potential whistleblowers.
“I was informed, in the course of my official duties, of a multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program, to which I was denied access,” Grusch said.
Grush was asked whether he had “feared for his life” as a result of his public revelations on the issue. He replied: “Yes, definitely.”
Ryan Graves, a former US Navy pilot, said he had experienced UFOs “first-hand”, stating that the number of known UAPs was being “grossly underreported" and was an “urgent” issue. Graves currently runs Americans for Safe Aerospace, a group that encourages pilots to report UAP incidents.
“Military aircrew and commercial pilots are frequently witnessing these phenomenons,” he said. “The stigma is real and powerful and challenges national security.
“If UAP are foreign drones, it is an urgent national security problem. If it is something else, it is an issue for science. In either case, unidentified objects are a concern for flight safety.”
Retired US Navy commander David Fravor also recounted his encounter with a “Tic Tac”-shaped UAP in 2004 that moved in a way that baffled aviators. The footage of this incident was made public in 2017 and publicly verified by the US Navy two years later.
“The technology that we faced was far superior than anything that we had, have today or are looking to develop in the next 10-plus years,” Fravor said.
Tim Burchett, a Republican congressman, has in the past claimed that the US had evidence of technology that “defies all of our laws of physics”, and that alien craft possess technology that could “turn us into a charcoal briquette”.
However, during the hearing, he stressed that the goal was not to listen to “green men or flying saucers”.
“Sorry to disappoint about half y’all,” he said. “We’re just going to get to the facts. We’re going to uncover the cover-up, and I hope this is just the beginning of many more hearings.”
Democratic representatives Robert Garcia and Jared Moskowitz said that it was important for Congress to work on the issue in a bipartisan manner in order to press for more government transparency.
“UAPs, whatever they [may] be, may pose a serious threat to our military and our civilian aircraft, and that must be understood,” Garcia said. “We should encourage more reporting, not less on UAPs. The more we understand, the safer we will be.”
In January, a declassified 2022 report revealed that the US government was examining 510 reported sightings of UFOs. However, as many as 163 of these reports were deemed “unremarkable” as they were suspected to be drones, birds, balloons, weather events or flying debris such as plastic bags.
Last year, Nasa commissioned a study to analyse all the information publicly available on UFOs from a scientific perspective, as well as look into how the agency can best make use of this data to understand the unexplained sightings.
Historically, the vast majority of sightings have been easily debunked with logical explanations ranging from atmospheric phenomena to aircraft obscured by cloud cover. Nonetheless, the US Department of Defense has stated in the past that it still investigates “each one” of the UAP sighting reports.
The Pentagon has acknowledged the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification (AATI) Program, a government-funded programme tasked with investigating UFOs and their potential threat, since 2017.
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