During a discussion which included members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology held by Politico, politicians admitted the issue of UFOs piqued their interest, and one of them says he has suggested congressional hearings on the topic.
Ever since the New York Times broke a story in December that the U.S. government has indeed taken the UFO issue seriously, despite decades of claiming otherwise, the topic has reached a higher level of credibility. The story detailed a secretive UFO research group at the Pentagon that had been in operation since 2007. 22 million dollars were spent investigating “aerospace threats,” and the former head of the program, Luis Elizondo, says they received “many accounts from the Navy and other services of unusual aerial systems interfering with military weapon platforms and displaying beyond-next-generation capabilities.”
In an interview I was able to facilitate for the International UFO Congress, Elizondo said, “So that leads then to the next question if it’s not ours and it’s not theirs then whose is it? I don’t know who’s it is, that’s why we’re asking the hard questions.”
On April 12th, 2018, Politico held an event marking the launch of their space news briefs. In December, Politico had released their version of the Pentagon UFO study within hours of the New York Times article. The article was written by Politico Defense Editor Bryan Bender, who is also one of the authors of Politico’s weekly space briefs. At the recent event, Bender brought up the issue of UFOs.
Bender introduced the topic in a panel with his fellow space briefs reporter and co-moderator, Jaqueline Klimas, Representative Ami Bera (Democrat, California), Randy Hultgren (Republican, Illinois) and President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration Mary Lynne Dittmar. Dittmar is also an advisor to the space council set up by President Trump to advise him on space policy. Both Bera and Hultgren are members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Bera is a ranking member of the subcommittee on space.
“You hear these reports. We have been hearing them for decades from many credible people,” Bender told the panel. “Other countries take it more seriously. They have government researchers who, in the open, not in secrecy, try to explain the unexplainable. Should we be doing more? Or is this just crazy sci-fi stuff that is a waste of time?”
In the past, this is the point when everyone fidgets, someone makes a joke, and panelists to move on to the next topic. Not this time. Bera was the first to reply and said the stories that came out in December piqued his interest.
“I’ve actually talked to the chairman of the subcommittee, Brian Babin, as well as Lamar Smith, the chairman of the full committee,” Bera explained. “I said we ought to have a hearing on this, right?”
“We ought to bring some folks in. Look, if you want to boost our C-SPAN ratings, a lot of people would be really interested …,” Bera continued. “We don’t know what these phenomena are. Obviously, it’s important enough to allocate some funds and we ought to talk about what we can talk about.”
“It definitely piques interest. It gets people engaged,” Hultgren agreed. “I don’t think it should be the priority of our focus, but certainly we want to get answers.”
Dittmar also joined the conversation. She added, “If there really are things buzzing around in the skies that we don’t understand, then we should take a look at it.”
Not since perhaps the 1950s have government officials felt comfortable discussing the topic in public. Elizondo says he resigned from his position because he felt the government was not taking the UFO issue seriously enough. I have had some contact with Elizondo, and he was the one who turned me on to this story. It seems that by resigning his concerns have been able to reach the ears of the people he hoped would pay attention. Who knows? Maybe congressional hearings on UFOs are possible. C-SPAN would love that.
Illustration by Samantha Güt