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Lawmakers frustrated with classified briefings on UFOs, report says

The latest secret briefings on UFOs come four months after Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act

Johanna Chisholm
Tuesday 17 May 2022 11:56 BST
UFO expert talks UFO Files

In recent weeks, members of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees have begun receiving more vigorous classified briefings on the Pentagon’s ramped up efforts to study UFOs, according to Politico.

But lawmakers are reportedly growing frustrated by the progress being made at the Pentagon’s Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office, an office that was created to study the “unidentified aerial phenomenon” alongside the passing of the massive National Defense Authorization Act just before New Year’s.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who spearheaded the bipartisan measure and sits on both committees briefed, is reportedly among some of the lawmakers who are upset with the national security agencies responsible for the newly created office and the progress being made in recommitting to studying UFOs in a more rigorous manner, as the winter legislation had outlined.

“Senator Gillibrand believes that the DoD needs to take this issue much more seriously and get in motion,” said one of the Democratic senator’s aides in an interview with Politico. “They have had ample time to implement these important provisions, and they need to show us that they are prepared to address this issue in the long-term,” the aide added, who requested to remain anonymous in order to speak more candidly.

Sen Gillibrand has been a strong advocate for the Biden administration’s initiatives to bring new resources and legitimacy to the study of UFOs, stating previously that: “Our national security efforts rely on aerial supremacy and these phenomena present a challenge to our dominance.”

“The United States needs a coordinated effort to take control and understand whether these aerial phenomena belong to a foreign government or something else altogether.”

But the New York lawmaker’s aide indicated that the committees who were briefed in recent weeks are feeling let down by the number of resources being committed to the Pentagon’s new effort, with some signalling that the agency should be allocating more analysts and surveillance systems to the cause of determining the unidentified objects’ origin.

Rep Tim Burchett, a member of the House Transportation Aviation Subcommittee, took the issue up in more direct terms, slamming the Pentagon’s latest data collection efforts a “bogus cover up”.

“There’s an arrogance in government at that level that we cannot handle what’s going on out there,” the Tennessee congressman said Monday while appearing as a guest on NewsNation. “I don’t trust the Department of Defense to get this right since leadership there has always been part of a cover-up,” he added.

The district that Mr Burchett represents covers the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where a number of reports have been filed since the mid-1900s that seem to confirm the presence of unidentified aerial objects being seen in the region.

It’s been four months since President Joe Biden passed the legislation that gave the Pentagon and spy agencies the purview to investigate the aircrafts’ with “any resource, capability, asset, or process” and the office, meant to be fully operational by June, in this time has been tasked with setting up an “intelligence collection and analysis plan to gain as much knowledge as possible regarding the technical and operational characteristics, origins, and intentions of unidentified aerial phenomena”.

Efforts to standardise the analysis and collection of UAP incident reports has similarly frustrated other members of Congress, perhaps not quite as publicly as Rep Burchett.

An aide for Marco Rubio, who sits on the intelligence panel, told Politico that Florida senator echoes a lot of angst towards the Pentagon that Rep Burchett expressed, though they specifically cited the agency not following Congress’ direction aggressively enough as the cause for the senator’s dismay.

“Rubio is definitely frustrated,” the senator’s aide told the news outlet. “They are not moving fast enough, not doing enough, not sharing enough … It is not at the level it needs to be.”

As part of the creation of the new office and the reinvigorated effort to track and trace UFOs, the legislation also stipulated that an annual report and semiannual briefings be held with Congress, with particular emphasis on UFO incidents that could be associated with “military nuclear assets”.

Before the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act enshrined the Pentagon investigative office into law, the Department of Defence had established a task force in the summer of 2020 that is responsible for detecting, analysing and cataloguing “UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to US national security”.

US Defense Department release video of possible UFO

Its creation was prompted after earlier in that same year, the DOD released new declassified videos that showed objects moving at high speeds across the sky, all captured by Navy pilots.

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