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Washington: Lately, I’ve had little green men on my mind. Could it really be that the truth is out there, but governments simply don’t want us to know about it?
That was the message delivered at a congressional hearing I attended recently where three military veterans testified that UFOs are real, commonly sighted by pilots, and that the Pentagon may even have alien aircraft – and alien remains – in its possession.
As a North America correspondent based in Washington, I’ve sat through my fair share of hearings on Capitol Hill, from the low-key confirmation of Caroline Kennedy as the US ambassador to Australia, to the heartbreaking testimony of children who survived the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
But it was quite fascinating watching a “UFO whistleblower” and witnesses accuse the government, under oath, of covering up knowledge of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena – or UAPs – and of systematically punishing those who sought to expose the truth about them.
The bombshell testimony came from three highly credentialed witnesses: Ryan Graves, the executive director of Americans for Safe Aerospace, a pilot-led advocacy group pushing for more research into UAPs; David Fravor, a graduate of the Top Gun naval flight school and former commanding officer in the US Navy; and David Grusch, a United States Air Force officer and former intelligence official.
Graves told the bipartisan hearing that he was an F-18 pilot stationed in Virginia Beach in 2014 when his squadron began detecting unknown objects, which he described as “dark grey or black cubes” inside a clear sphere. Such encounters, he added, were “not rare or isolated”.
Fravor recounted flying over the Pacific Ocean in 2004 when he saw a 12-metre Tic Tac-shaped object appear, which could stop mid-air and travel about 96 kilometres in less than a minute using technology that he claimed was “not of this world”.
And Grusch doubled down on claims he made to the Intelligence Community Inspector General last year and in a recent News Nation interview that the US was concealing a long-standing program that retrieves and reverse-engineers UFOs. He even suggested Americans might have been murdered as a result of attempts to cover up knowledge of UAP craft, which he insisted the government had in its possession.
“Do we have the bodies of pilots who piloted this craft?” asked committee member Nancy Mace, a moderate Republican congresswoman from South Carolina.
“As I’ve stated publicly in my News Nation interview, biologics came with some of these recoveries,” Grusch replied.
Mace pushed on: “Were they, I guess, human or non-human biologics?”
“Non-human,” Grusch said, “and that was the assessment of people with direct knowledge of the program I talked to, that are still on the program.”
It’s worth noting that Grusch’s information wasn’t first hand – it was related to him while serving as a representative on two Pentagon taskforces investigating UAPs and interviewing more than 40 officials over four years.
The Pentagon has denied the claims and experts caution that there are often explanations for UAP sightings. Simply not knowing what those explanations are doesn’t mean there are interstellar reasons behind them.
If nothing else, the hearing, which was conducted by the bipartisan House oversight committee’s national security subcommittee, is the latest sign that the issue is moving further into the mainstream as trust in institutions diminishes.
Both sides of politics are increasingly looking at UAPs through the prism of national security and the need for greater reporting and transparency.
Indeed, last month, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would require the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to create a collection of UAP records, which would carry the presumption of immediate disclosure. Federal agencies would have 300 days to hand over UAP-related documents to a review board with the power to declassify them.
Meanwhile, as a result of the testimony delivered in Congress by Grusch, Graves and Fravor, more hearings are likely in the hope of distinguishing fact from fiction. There’s even talk of setting up a new House select committee to investigate UAPs, with sweeping subpoena powers and access to a secure facility to review classified information.
This wasn’t possible in the last hearing, which limited the ability to get the one thing that remains missing in this fascinating debate: evidence.
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