That was the moment that best summed up an hour and a half in the US House of Representatives. Scott Bray, deputy director of US Naval Intelligence, spent five minutes trying to find just one frame in a shaky video – filmed from the cockpit of a jet pilot – which briefly showed a UFO – or “uap” (unknown atmospheric phenomenon), As the blurred points on these types of videos are officially called these days.
It never occurred to anyone that they put the video in the correct time code. Or to take a screenshot in advance. “It was fumbling. We often laughed about it in the WhatsApp group of Dutch ufomeldpunt,” says philosopher Teddy Smids, author of a book on the phenomenon of UFOs and co-founder of ufomeldpunt.nl.
For the first time in fifty years, the US Congress held a public hearing on UFOs on Tuesday afternoon, which can be followed live (and replayed) on YouTube, among other things. A historic gathering, to which fans of UFOs, despite low expectations for tangible discoveries, eagerly await.
What is the strategy?
“The purpose of the hearing … is to break the cycle of excessive secrecy,” Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, chair of the intelligence committee that organized the hearing, said in a statement.
But after an hour and a half, the feeling remained that everything was “too clumsy,” says UFO skeptic Pepin van Erp of Skepsis. He was disturbed by the way the senior lords, from the intelligence and defense circles, had kept silent on specific questions. Ultimately, says Van Erp, who emphasizes that he believes it is important that these types of UFO reports be seriously considered, the main question remains: What exactly do they do with the new report? What is the strategy?
Bottom line, the 143 reports of UFOs included in a government report released last year remain unexplained. This number has since increased to 400.
Bray and Ronald Moultrie, the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, also emphasized that the United States is not alone in receiving reports of UFOs. They said, among other things, that China also has a “rapid task force” to investigate the phenomenon.
The session provided a good summary of the tension between the desire to discuss UFOs publicly and how the defense and intelligence services in particular want to keep their own technological capabilities a secret from the geopolitical adversaries of the United States. According to Smedes, I’ve seen this, among other things, when members of Congress asked whether data on UFOs in space or underwater has also been collected. They referred directly to the secret interrogation session that followed the plenary session. Then you know: They’ve seen something, but are afraid to reveal something about America’s defensive capabilities.
Ultimately, Smedes believes Congress will be unhappy with the hearing, especially since the version of the Defense Act late last year contained an explicit amendment that called for more and better research into the UFO phenomenon. “You have to seriously ask yourself if these people are capable enough.”
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