UFO hearing: Pentagon whistleblowers' claims of alien sightings - key takeaways from the committee
Claims include common sightings, alien technology and nonhuman biologics
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A US House Oversight Committee heard from three witnesses who shared explosive claims about alien technology defying the laws of physics and pushback from military leadership against reporting these sightings.
The hearing, called “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency” took place on Wednesday 26 July, and was the first of its kind.
The subcommittee held a hearing on UFOs - officially known as unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs — and heard testimony about unexplained object sightings and government possession of “nonhuman” biological matter.
What did the witnesses say?
The three witnesses were:
- David Grusch, a former intelligence official and whistleblower who said last month that the US has “intact and partially intact” alien vehicles,
- David Fravor, an ex-Navy commander who reported seeing an object flying across the sky during a 2004 training mission
- Ryan Graves, a retired Navy pilot appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes saying that he had spotted unidentified aerial phenomena off the Atlantic coast “every day for at least a couple years”.
Mr Grusch said he was asked in 2019 by the head of a government task force on UAPs to identify all highly classified programmes relating to the task force’s mission.
At the time, Mr Grusch was assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office, the agency that operates US spy satellites.
“I was informed in the course of my official duties of a multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering programme to which I was denied access,” he said.
When asked whether the US government had information about extra-terrestrial life, Mr Grusch said the US likely has been aware of “non-human” activity since the 1930s.
The Pentagon has denied Mr Grusch’s claims of a cover up.
Mr Graves said the number of unidentified flying objects, or UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena), was being "grossly underreported" and was an "urgent" issue.
"Military aircrew and commercial pilots are frequently witnessing these phenomenons," he told a committee hearing.
"The stigma is real and powerful and challenges national security."
Mr Graves said he first began detecting "unknown objects" in US airspace in 2014, while stationed at Virginia Beach. During a training mission 10 miles off the coast, he said two aircraft got "split" by a UAP described as a "dark grey or black cube inside a clear sphere".
Despite raising safety concerns, no official log of the incident was made, he claimed.
He said such "excessive classification practices" over decades were keeping "crucial information hidden".
"If they are foreign drones, it is an urgent national security problem," he said.
"If it is something else, it's an issue for science. In either case, they are an issue for flight safety."
Mr Fravor has also said to have seen UAPs, while Mr Grusch has claimed the US has retrieved "intact and partially intact" vehicles of nonhuman origin.
Mr Grusch told the hearing he became a whistleblower after receiving reports from "esteemed" current and former military officials that the US government was hiding information about UAPs.
Key takeaways from the committee
Cover up claims: Mr Grusch led analysis of UAP within a US Department of Defense agency until 2023 and no claims that he had been denied access to secret government UFO programs. He said he has faced a "very brutal" retaliation due to his allegations. He also claims people have been harmed or injured in the government's efforts to conceal UFO information.
"Nonhuman biologics": Mr Grusch, who prefers to use the term "nonhuman" rather than "alien" stressed that he has not spotted a UAP, but told the panel he knows of "multiple colleagues" who were injured by UAPs. He also said he has interviewed individuals who have recovered "nonhuman biologics" from crashed UAPs.
A safe reporting process: Mr Graves told the panel that military pilots do not feel adequately briefed on UAPs. This leaves them unprepared to respond to UAP encounters.
He claimed commercial airline pilots have spotted UAPs too.
"There has to be a safe and transparent reporting process for pilots both on the commercial side and the military side to be able to report UAPs," Garcia said.
Stigma: It was argued that the stigma associated with reporting UFO sightings may be hindering efforts to determine any origins.
Mr Graves told the panel that stigma "silences" pilots who fear "professional repercussions," which he said is "compounded by recent government claims questioning the credibility of eyewitness testimony."
Supersonic speeds: Mr Fravor, said he and three fellow military pilots spotted a white Tic-Tac-shaped object in 2004, hovering below their jets and just above the Pacific Ocean.
When he went to inspect the sighting, he claimed the unidentified aircraft — which he said bore no visible rotors, wings or exhaust — began to ascend and approach his fighter jet.
He claimed that the UAP then vanished, only to reappear a few seconds later, but this time it was spotted 60 miles away.
"The technology that we faced is far superior to anything that we had," Mr Fravor claimed. "And there’s nothing we can do about it, nothing."
In a statement, Defence Department spokeswoman Sue Gough said investigators have not discovered “any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programmes regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extra-terrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently”. The statement did not address UFOs that are not suspected of being extra-terrestrial objects.
Some lawmakers criticised the Pentagon for not providing more details in a classified briefing or releasing images that could be shown to the public.
In previous hearings, Pentagon officials showed a video taken from an F-18 military plane that showed an image of one balloon-like shape.
Pentagon officials in December said they had received “several hundreds” of new reports since launching a renewed effort to investigate sightings of UFOs.
At that point, “we have not seen anything, and we’re still very early on, that would lead us to believe that any of the objects that we have seen are of alien origin”, said Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defence for intelligence and security. “Any unauthorised system in our airspace we deem as a threat to safety.”