For the first time, the Pentagon talks about the sighting of 400 UFOs: ‘We want to know what’s out there’
Senior Pentagon officials told a House panel on Tuesday that there are now about 400 military reports of possible UFO encounters — a significant increase from the 144 tracked in a major report released last year by the U.S. intelligence community.
A Navy official also said at Tuesday’s hearing that investigators are “reasonably confident” that the pyramid-shaped floating objects captured in a leaked and widely viewed military video were likely drones.
These images, which the military confirmed last year to be authentic, helped spur interest in alleged UFOs , also called “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” or UAPs.
Indiana Representative André Carson, Democratic chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Intelligence Counterproliferation, convened Tuesday’s hearing, the first in more than 50 years to focus on air incidents.
UAPs, Carson said, “are a potential threat to national security and need to be addressed that way.”
“For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs got in the way of good intelligence analysis,” he added. “Pilots avoided reporting or were ridiculed when they did.”
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray explains a video of unidentified aerial phenomena as he testifies before a House intelligence subcommittee hearing at the US Capitol on May 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. more
The number of UAP reports has increased to “approximately 400,” a significant increase from the 144 between 2004 and 2021 that were tracked in last year’s report, according to Scott Bray, deputy director of Naval Intelligence. Bray told the House panel that the increase is due to a reduction in stigma associated with moving forward to report these incidents after the 2021 report.
“We have seen an increasing number of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft or objects and military control training areas and training areas and other designated airspaces,” Bray said. “Reports of sightings are frequent and ongoing.”
But Bray believes that many of the newly released accounts are actually “historical narrative-based accounts” of past incidents that people are only now coming up with, which leads him to believe there will be fewer new accounts in the future.
Last year’s intelligence report could only explain one of the 144 documented encounters and did not contain the words “alien” or “extraterrestrial”. The report then stated that the UAP incidents would require further study.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Bray echoed last year’s conclusion that most phenomena were likely physical objects and noted that “the UAP task force does not have any wreckage that … is not consistent with a terrestrial origin.”
Even so, Bray said, questions remain.
“I can’t point to something that was definitely not man-made, but I can point to several examples that remain unresolved,” Bray said, citing a video of a 2004 incident in which a Navy pilot recorded an unusual, Tic Tac. -like object over water.
“We want to know what’s out there as much as you want to know what’s out there,” said Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon’s top intelligence officer, who also testified at the hearing.
Moultrie said the Pentagon is establishing an office to expedite “the identification of previously unknown or unidentified aerial objects in a methodical, logical and standardized manner.”
“We also understand that there was a cultural stigma around UAP,” Moultrie said. “Our goal is to eliminate stigma by fully incorporating our operators and mission personnel into a standardized data collection process.”
“Our goal is to strike that delicate balance: one that allows us to maintain public trust while preserving the capabilities that are vital to supporting our service personnel,” he said.
Bray said that “Navy and Air Force crews now have step-by-step procedures for reporting a UAP on their board in the cockpit” and that these efforts have led to more reports.
Alex Brandon/APO Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray, left, and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie, speak during a House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation hearing on “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena ”, on Capitol Hill, May 17, 2022 in Washington, DCRead More
The increasingly popular interest in UFOs and UFOs has been sparked in recent years by leaks of formerly classified video and the release of Navy footage of its pilots’ own encounters.
At Tuesday’s hearing, defense officials played three clips to help explain how brief air incidents can be, making it very difficult to determine what was seen in the videos.
In one of the most notable cases, officials detailed how “considerable effort” was made to determine a theory for what was observed.
Bray reproduced images taken in July 2019 off the coast of California from the deck of the destroyer USS Russell that appeared to show several pyramid-shaped objects hovering above the ship.
Bray acknowledged that investigators did not initially have an explanation for what was seen in the scope of the green night video — until they were able to compare it to a more recent video of an incident that occurred off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Authorities who watched the video found a similar pyramid shape. They concluded that the phenomena were likely from drones that had been seen on sensors from another Navy asset.
“We are now reasonably confident that these triangles correlate with unmanned aerial systems in the area,” explained Bray. “The triangular appearance is a result of light passing through the night vision goggles and then being recorded by an SLR camera.”
“This is a great example of how it takes considerable effort to understand what we’re seeing in the examples we can collect,” he added.
Ahead of the hearing, Jeremy Corbell, a documentary filmmaker and UFO enthusiast who made the video of the “pyramid” public last year, said he was happy to see increased awareness and government action.
Alex Brandon/APO Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie, right, and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray speak with a UAP on a screen, during a hearing by the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation on “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” on Capitol Hill, May 17, 2022 in Washington, DCRead More
“What’s so great is that this is a direct response to the will of the audience,” Corbell told ABC News. “It is a direct response to public pressure. It is a representative government that represents citizens and their interests.”
“I am encouraged by the public desire to know and discover the truth of what UFOs represent for humanity,” Corbell said at the time. “It is the greatest story of our time. And we are finally starting to have the conversation without ridicule and stigma that has so undermined the search for scientific truth on this subject.”
Moultrie, the Pentagon official, said at Tuesday’s hearing that he was not immune to a bit of zeal as a science fiction fan.
“I’ve been going to conventions – I’ll say that on record. Gotta break the ice somehow,” he told the panel in a lighthearted questioning line, adding, “We have our curiosity. Questions.”