Pentagon officials participated in a public hearing on UFOs with a House subcommittee on Tuesday for the first time in over half a century.
They shared that there have been almost 400 reports by military personnel of “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP) sightings.
Rep. André Carson (D-Indiana) said that the reports should be taken seriously.
“For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis. Pilots avoided reporting or were laughed at when they did. DOD officials relegated the issue to the backroom or swept it under the rug entirely, fearful of a skeptical national security community,” Carson said. “Today, we know better. UAPs are unexplained, it’s true. But they are real. They need to be investigated. And any threats they pose need to be mitigated.”
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Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray said that the encounters are “frequent and continuing,” with most of them occurring near military spaces.
The reports of nearly 400 sightings showcased a dramatic rise from last year’s report of 144, but Bray also noted that it’s likely that many of those reports had happened in the past and that the decreasing stigma around the topic lead more people to come forward with their accounts.
At the hearing, Bray showed a video taken by a naval aviator who was able to capture a UAP on video as it flew by.
Bray announced that while there have been no collisions with U.S. aircraft, there have been 11 “near-misses.”
The public hearing was followed by a classified meeting.
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