Rep. Tim Burchett said Tuesday the Pentagon isn’t being transparent enough about UFOs with lawmakers and the public, after military officials presented limited new information in the first congressional UFO hearing in 50 years.
“We just got hosed, basically,” Burchett, R-Tenn., told reporters after a House Intelligence subcommittee that featured testimony from Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray.
Bray and Moultrie went over declassified video of UFOs – officially called unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) – with lawmakers. And Bray said the military wants to balance “transparency” with “our national security needs.”
The government has said that UAP “probably lack a single explanation.” Neither classified nor unclassified reports from the government so far rule out space aliens. But other possible explanations are “airborne clutter” like birds and balloons, “natural atmospheric phenomena,” like ice crystals, highly classified U.S. government programs, or “foreign adversary systems” from Russia, China or other countries.
But Burchett, who is not on the Intelligence Committee but was in attendance at the Tuesday hearing, said neither the video nor the testimony was enough.
“The video that they showed, and I’m sure that gentleman, it was the best he had…. for them to show that lame video when you can find all this other that’s out there,” left him disappointed, Burchett said. “And I’ve talked to Navy pilots who were in there at the same time… and that’s the kind of people you need to have in here for testimony.”
Burchett also complained “they couldn’t answer questions” from some members. And he lamented that although Bray and Moultrie were likely doing their best, they may not have had access to “compartmentalized” information that’s kept secret in the government but for a select few who need to know it.
Not all House members agreed with Burchett’s assessment of the hearing. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., who is on the Intelligence Committee and asked pointed questions of Bray and Moultrie, said the hearing represented progress in getting to the bottom of the UAP issue.
“Not moving fast enough. Like, any time you’re dealing with the vast federal bureaucracy, it’s like a mess getting answers quickly,” Gallagher said. “But… I think now, and his hearing this morning was evidence of it… we’re moving quicker than we ever have before.”
Tuesday was not Burchett’s first time discussing UFOs. He’s been vocal on the issue in the past. His campaign store even has a T-shirts that say “Believe,” and include an image of a flying saucer.
And asked if he believes in aliens, Burchett said, “I believe there’s something else out there.” Burchett also dismissed the possibility that UFOs could be from a major foreign power.
“Look at Putin, that ego he’s got. I mean he would land a UFO on the White House lawn, get out bare-chested, probably ride a unicorn out and wrestle Biden then get back in it and fly back to Russia,” he said. “And I don’t believe it’s the Chinese either. Because if they did they would control us.”
The historic hearing Tuesday comes after years of unexplained sightings, primarily by U.S. military personnel, of flying objects, which often had no “discernable” propulsion systems and unusual “movement patterns.”
A 2021 report, a redacted classified version of which was published by The Black Vault earlier this year, said the government recorded 144 reports from 2004 to 2021, including 80 that “involved observation with multiple sensors.” The report also included information on “common shapes” of the UAPs, although the entire sections on the shapes are redacted.
Mountrie and Bray highlighted the danger – no matter the origin – that UAP pose to military pilots and American security in general.
“We know that our service members have encountered unidentified aerial phenomena, and because UAP pose potential flight safety and general security risk, we are committed to a focused effort to determine their origins,” Moultrie said.
Burchett also said Tuesday he’s concerned about the security implications of UAP.
“There’s something that’s in our airspace that we don’t understand that can do a 90-degree, I mean literally it would turn a human into a ketchup packet, if they were inside of it,” he said. “I think we should be concerned. But I don’t think we should be worried because I believe if this was some science fiction thing or whatever Hollywood tries it out to be, I mean if they wanted us we’d be over with these capabilities.”