We needed to hear what was said in the UFO hearing

Ten years ago, it is impossible to believe that UAPs would have gotten a serious public hearing in the House of Representatives

Skylar Baker-Jordan
Friday 28 July 2023 09:20 BST
Congressman asks UFO whistleblower if anyone has been ‘murdered’ over alleged coverup

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


In 2010, the late Stephen Hawking issued a stark warning for humanity: do not try contacting extraterrestrial life. “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” he cautioned. Given what we know about humanity and our propensity for colonizing and destroying civilizations other than (and, frankly, including) our own, there is no reason to believe alien beings would come in peace. Best keep to ourselves.

Do I believe ET has crash-landed looking for Reese’s Pieces? No. If he had, surely Donald Trump would have blabbed long ago. Yet the Congressional hearings on unidentified ariel phenomena (UAPs) – more commonly known as unidentified flying objects (UFOs) – was not an exercise in the absurd. Robert Garcia, a Democratic Representative from California, put it best when he said that “UAPs, whatever they be, may pose a serious threat to our military and our civilian aircraft, and that must be understood. We should encourage more reporting, not less on UAPs. The more we understand, the safer we will be.”

This is a welcome shift in the conversation. Ten years ago, it is impossible to believe that UAPs would have gotten a serious public hearing in the House of Representatives. Seeing Congress take seriously an issue that is important to many Americans is heartening, especially when that issue – while perhaps not as exciting as aliens landing on earth – is still one of the utmost importance. Earlier this year I wrote about the Chinese spy balloon which flew across the width of the North American continent. We know now that it was not the first incident where the Chinese had breached Canadian and American airspace. It will, in all probability, not be the last.

The spy balloon made for an excellent meme on TikTok, where users posted videos tracking its location and generally turning an apparent act of espionage into a punchline. That this was happening on an app that lawmakers and many Americans feel is a national security threat is ironic. In June, Forbes reported that US states were flying thousands of Chinese drones across the Eastern seaboard. Chinese drone maker DJI has a near-global monopoly on that market.

Our skies are filled with surveillance technology made in a country increasingly hostile to our national interests. Some of it – like drones and spy balloons – we have identified. Some of it, though, we probably haven’t, given rapid advances in technology.

Which brings me back to the UAP hearings. I am heartened by the bipartisan nature of what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday. Rather than sniping at one another or trying to score political points, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seemed to take the conversation seriously and keep questions to the subject at hand. Sure, much of the hearing focused on ascertaining whether or not little green men have visited Earth, but another major component was the need for transparency from the Pentagon and military brass on just what is happening in the skies above America. Witnesses told Congress of their fear of retaliation from superiors for blowing the whistle and of the need for more accountability and honesty about what is happening. Both Democrats and Republicans seemed to agree with this point, as do I. Repeatedly, witnesses testified that they could not answer questions directly due to the classified nature of some information. This seemed to frustrate members from both parties, with Wisconsin Republican Glenn Grotham stating that “several of us are going to look forward to getting some answers in a more confidential setting. I assume some legislation will come out of this”.

I should hope so. As I mentioned earlier, one of the key differences between the United States and China is the former’s commitment – however flawed its execution may be – to a free and democratic society. Despite the attempts by some on the far-right to ban books and teaching about certain subjects they’ve declared verboten, America is still an open society where information and viewpoints are, or ought to be at any rate, freely expressed. This includes transparency from our government, who it is worth remembering we elect and work for us, on matters of national security (so long as revealing that information does not jeopardize national security).

It is a lesson we should have learned from The Golden Girls. Ahead of its time as always, in a 1988 episode, Dorothy and Rose spot a UFO above the skies of Miami. The military first confirms that what they saw was indeed an extraterrestrial vehicle, but swears the women to secrecy. It is later revealed by an intrepid journalist, however, that what they actually saw was a top-secret defense aircraft. No little green men were visiting South Florida, just men in green suits.

Dorothy and Rose got the truth. The American people deserve it, too – not just because we deserve to be told the truth by our government (a government far too many already lack trust in) but because that is a hallmark of the American way of life, and perhaps the single most important difference between us and China in what is set to become the next clash of ideologies: illiberal authoritarianism versus liberal democracy.

We do not fear an educated and informed populus. We relish it. The truth is out there, and the American people deserve it. I am glad to see Congress finally agrees.

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