Skeptics And Believers Alike Should Support A Congressional UFO Investigation

On the eve of a highly anticipated UFO hearing on Capital Hill, it’s worth reflecting on what a wild ride the last six years have been. When it comes to UFOs and the U.S. government, the dam may not have broken, but cracks are now showing in its facade. What sits behind that thick concrete wall remains a mystery — one of the biggest mysteries of them all perhaps. Whether it is all a grand lie — a conspiracy of epic proportions that has misdirected the course of mankind — or just fables mixed in with some puzzling accounts and peculiar sensor data that have run amok, the path forward for skeptics and believers alike should be the same: open hearings, an independent congressional investigation, and legislation that will force this issue into the light.

Why this course should be supported by both sides of the debate about UFOs — or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) as they are now often called — is that in doing so, the incredible claims that are now circulating in the very highest levels of government will either spectacularly fall apart under extreme levels of scrutiny or they will prove to be world-changing. For those that want this issue to be put to bed because they find it outlandish, this should be a very welcome development. For those who think differently, it should also be welcome if they are truly in search of the truth, whatever that may be.

Win, lose, or draw, it’s time to move this issue along. The subject has never been a healthy one, but now it has become extremely toxic in virtually every regard and it seems that many in power in Washington are buying into conspiracy theories surrounding it, for better or worse.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 20: Rep. Tim Burchett (2nd R) (R-TN) speaks during a press conference held by members of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee at the U.S. Capitol on July 20, 2023, in Washington, DC. Members of the committee held the news conference to discuss an upcoming committee hearing on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). Also pictured (L-R) are Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO), Rep Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) and Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL). (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Finally attempting to get to the bottom of this issue publicly on a government level would also go a long way to change how it is treated by the U.S. military, which has led to startling but totally avoidable strategic gaps, as well as slow the ever-increasing erosion of trust with the American people.

As I have stated repeatedly, I truly believe that the vast majority of reports can be explained, and that pains many who wish to see mystery in the mundane around every corner. I have seen no videos or other visual evidence that point definitely to anything exotic being at play. But some cases, even a small number of them, are not explainable. They deserve to be researched by the best scientific minds. Opening up this topic at the highest level will facilitate that finally happening.

Parts of the U.S. government do not want to address this issue. They have gone to great lengths to do anything but that, in any genuine way. If there is nothing to it, then why? There are possible reasons for this that do not include aliens or anything exotic in nature, but are troubling nonetheless. These frustrations have now spilled well beyond UFO circles and have resulted in top elected officials straight-up calling out the military and intelligence services in what they imply is some sort of coverup or systemic obfuscation. Just today, Tim Burchett, arguably the most outspoken congressman on the topic, said that “war pimps” in the Pentagon were only interested in dollars when it comes to this issue. Others have moved to push forward bipartisan legislation to force a change in the government’s behavior on the topic through declassification. Regardless, the fact that we are here is a dangerous precedent in a democracy and is a very bad look for the American military-industrial complex.

So yes, I fully support the hearings and the legislation that is already being put forward, but I believe that doesn’t go far enough. An independent congressional investigation needs to be conducted. Otherwise, we are asking America’s national security apparatus to investigate itself on a topic that it avoids at all costs discussing and has a very poor track record of mixed or outright false messaging regarding it.

The fact is that there is so much history on this topic, so many threads that are intertwined with what is going on today and how we got here, even just in the last half-decade alone, that there is no way I can address even a fraction of it in this piece. It is arguably the deepest rabbit hole, fraught with dubious claims, conflicting and unsubstantiated information, and questionable brokers. But suffice it to say, discourse on the topic has changed dramatically. In fact, I never thought I would have seen it at this level in my lifetime. But here we are.

The biggest newsmaker in recent months that has spurred some of the latest rush of interest on the UFO topic was a bombshell feature from The Debrief and an interview that followed on News Nation by Ross Coulthart.

At the center of it all is a man that made claims that read like the CliffsNotes of ufology’s greatest unsubstantiated hits. Decorated intelligence official and veteran turned UAP whistleblower David Grusch, who served in conjunction with the now-shuttered UAP Task Force, flat out claimed the U.S. government is in possession of multiple alien craft, alien bodies, and that the coverup surrounding all of it has gone on for nearly a century. He also said people with first-hand experience with these ‘off the books’ programs, which he does not have himself, have been identified and have talked about them with investigating officials.

Grusch filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Intelligence Community Inspector General about internal reprisals for his work on this issue. That complaint was deemed ‘credible’ at the time and the probe into it is still ongoing. In the meantime, Gursch has retired from government and is now going to be testifying in an open hearing in Congress this Wednesday.

Did this respected intel officer with the highest clearances fall down the UFO rabbit hole a bit too far? Was he influenced by known folks who have stated similar claims or alluded to them for years without supplying evidence? Or does Grusch, a man who was charged with separating fact from fiction on the most sensitive issues our government faces, really have the goods? I have no way of telling you one way or another. There are certainly red flags and green ones that go along with the little we know about his fantastical claims. But this man has served in very sensitive positions admirably and nothing so far solidly indicates he is compromised or deeply misled. That doesn’t mean he isn’t, we just have seen nothing to firmly indicate this.

Once again, we also know little about him and even less about the proof he claims to have presented to officials in terms of documentation and first-hand witnesses. But he did everything by the book, including coming forward and sharing details only the government reviewed and approved of. This is also something of a red flag in itself, though. Why would the government even chance the possibility of disclosing its darkest and most critical secret, or even a major illegal operation, even if it didn’t know what it didn’t know about the possibility of ‘off the books’ UFO programs, or any programs for that matter? Regardless, he has gone through the proper channels and he deserves the opportunity to tell what he thinks he knows and why he has come to the conclusions he has to those with an open mind and without reprisal.

Once again, the things he has said are nothing new, at least when it comes to the folklore of UFOs. The stories of government UFO crash retrieval programs and possession of alien bodies date back the better part of a century — Roswell now being a household name. Later came incredible claims around Majestic 12, Bob Lazar, and the Wilson-Davis notes, to name a few.

In an abstract way, the aliens have been here amongst us ever since Roswell — in our most popular media. These ideas of a clandestine reality that has been hidden from the public’s view for fear of the technology related to it, and the very idea of it, having the ability to throw off the global balance of power — geopolitically, militarily, socially, and economically — and set the world into chaos are part of our pop culture. The truth is that much of the human race, and especially those in the United States, have now been submersed in the same ideas that Grusch puts forward for their entire lives. It has been a mass passive immersion of a populace on the topic of alien visitation, and that includes people that are now serving at the top of our federal government. How that factors into all this remains unclear, but it is a factor.

But to quote Hans Solo — “It’s true… All of it,” — is a very different proposition than scattered tales, depictions in entertainment, fuzzy videos, and unsubstantiated stories. But basically, that is what Grusch is saying.

Despite science fiction and popular culture at large making us familiar with these concepts, the idea that we truly are not alone and that amazing technological capabilities have literally been dropped in our lap is indeed a very hard pill to swallow. With the levity and escapism of entertainment removed, it can be viewed as a very dark realization on so many levels. Least of which is that mankind is not at the top of the food chain, not just in our solar system, galaxy, universe, or multiverse, but right here on planet Earth. This is something we have never had to actually grapple with as a post-agrarian society. Looking in the mirror at how we treat lower organisms, let alone each other, can lead to some very dark theories as to what visitors may be up to. At the same time, the possible realization that there are others out there and they have come here to visit us, whether it be from a different world or dimension, means we are really part of something so much greater than we were prior to receiving such a verification.

The canvas may be the same, but how individuals paint their hopes or fears on it in regards to this issue, is totally different. And many choose not to paint at all, and that is understandable.

The Extraterrestrial Highway sign at the junction of state Routes 318 and 375 on in Lincoln County, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images)

The next mental rung that the public would need to step down is the idea that the government, or more like a shadow government of sorts that operates outside of it, has withheld the basic nature of our reality from us, regardless of the reasoning why. We are talking about the most important decisions ever to face mankind occurring outside of government oversight. Literally the most incredible technological capabilities our species has ever encountered being secretly controlled by a small cabal of individuals or corporations. We are also talking about objects that would transcend the idea of worth — truly priceless things that the government would have handed over to handpicked corporations, offering the ultimate competitive advantage in exchange for denying oversight as law demands — or at least that’s how the story goes. This very idea feeds into so many conspiracy theories that go far beyond UFOs — literally the military-industrial complex and ‘deep state’ ruling on their own — that such a realization alone would be a reckoning unlike any we have experienced politically, legally, or criminally before.

All of this may still seem laughable, and understandably so. But there is now legislation produced by the top echelons on both sides of the aisle that specifically deals with ‘non-human intelligence’ and provides eminent domain by the U.S. government to all recovered hardware associated with it. What may have been disregarded as ‘loony toons’ up until very recently is now being taken very seriously, at least if taken at face value, by America’s top elected officials — including members of the powerful ‘gang of eight’ that should have insight and oversight into all classified programs. Whatever genie that was in the lamp — either real or imagined — in regards to this topic is now clawing its way out, or appears to be, for whatever reason. And if any of this is true, the darkest secret of secrets imaginable is literally being thrust into the light.

So yeah, this is totally uncharted territory. Anyone who says it is not and this is just another ‘UFO cycle,’ I beg to disagree, deeply.

This process, which was largely prompted by ex-intelligence official Lue Elizondo and ex-defense official Chris Mellon, with the help of many others across the media, entertainment, and political space, has now reached something of a culmination. Or at least a showdown of sorts. The question is, what’s behind the locked door and why is it even locked in the first place?

And that door is very much locked beyond the high claims of alien visitation and crashed flying saucers. This tortured topic has been treated very peculiarly across the U.S. government for decades. As for the military, the U.S. Air Force, in particular, whose job it is to retain an iron grip over our skies, has been the outlier of the services when it comes to being absolutely unwilling to discuss it. This is especially true in recent years as the issue exploded both in terms of frequency and magnitude following the December 2017 New York Times piece Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program, which has been controversial, to say the least. Parts of the narrative surrounding that piece, and some of the players featured in it, have been called into question by skeptics. Regardless, there is clearly vast amounts of information on this issue being withheld, but that could be due to many factors — not proof of alien visitation. The biggest of which is glaring strategic gaps and the omission that we really don’t have full control of our skies and adversaries have taken grand advantage of that fact.

I made the case for exactly this being the reality over two years ago. We have seen this cemented in spectacular fashion in the years that followed — from mysterious drones swarming our battle groups operating just off our own coasts to spy balloons exploiting our lack of airspace awareness and the stigma surrounding UFOs. Politico confirmed a larger Chinese balloon spying program that spanned years, and, just as we stated two years earlier, that many sightings off our coasts in military training areas were adversaries operating without us knowing:

At lower levels, officials have tracked multiple instances of balloon activity over U.S. territories in recent years. One of the Trump-era balloons hovered over Guam, according to two U.S. officials. And in 2020, the intelligence community assessed that much smaller balloons detected off the coast of Virginia were Chinese radar-jamming devices, according to a former senior DoD official.

And yes, the issue of lower-end technology, such as smaller drones and balloons, being exploited by adversaries to spy on us unwittingly is very much wrapped up in the UFO saga. That is a huge problem that was perpetuated by the U.S. military’s stigma surrounding reporting and investigating UFOs that worked to our adversaries’ advantage.

This stigma around just reporting something odd in the sky or at sea still remains a massive strategic loophole, despite work to be done to change it. New adversary capabilities can look strange or even otherworldly at first and silencing our best observers from providing early warning because UFOs are a cultural taboo in the Pentagon is incredibly shortsighted and telling of just how poorly the DoD has handled this issue over the long haul. The Pentagon’s new All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which is exactly like the institution I proposed being established in my 2021 feature, is now working to deconflict those issues and that’s a very promising step in the right direction.

I often get asked, is all this a disinformation/psychological operation? I cannot answer that question with any confidence. Although, such an operation would seem unlikely considering how many people would have to be involved, wittingly and unwittingly, the possible legal issues that would go along with it, and where the entire topic is now headed on a congressional level.

But it would not be unprecedented.

As I have stated for years, the sky will look different in the near future than it has in the past. 2014 changed everything. Russia’s invasion of Crimea was a massive jolt to America’s security apparatus. It came at a time when China’s ambitions and military advances also became too alarming to ignore. With these developments, the entire U.S. defense strategy soon pivoted from a counter-terror/counter-insurgency focus to one of ‘great power competition’ focused on massive peer-state conflict. This was eventually codified in a new national defense strategy and that strategic focus has only become more dire with each year that has since passed.

This pivot resulted in the rapid acceleration of many technologies that had remained in the state of developmental purgatory for years or even decades. Huge sums of money flowed into jump-starting hypersonics, next-generation stealth technology, unmanned everything including swarm-enabled concepts, directed energy weapons including lasers and high-powered microwave systems, and especially readying orbital space as a full-on warfighting domain. There are many initiatives and areas of work that also remain deeply classified, with classified projects exploding in scope and scale.

Some of these technologies are just beginning to emerge today. They must be tested and many of them, designed for great range, cannot be handcuffed to relatively small over-land secure training ranges. And even those areas have eyes watching them. These systems will also have to be able to be deployed and used operationally. All of this presents potential pitfalls. So, a good blanket cover story for weird stuff seen in the sky would be highly useful.

The resurgent messaging around UFOs began just as this new pivot was making steam. This timing is very reminiscent of the hottest days of the Cold War where rapid advances in aerospace technology to compete with a quickly advancing peer and the need to keep some of them secret, resulted in unprecedented measures. This included the CIA directly fueling the UFO craze as a cover so that when someone saw anything they didn’t understand in the sky, the default position was ‘it’s alien invaders,’ not Lockheed Skunk Works’ next creation.

And it worked incredibly well.

Many UFO sighting during the height of the Cold War were caused by high flying secretive aircraft like the U-2 and A-12, and the CIA understood the opportunity presented in making it stay this way. (USAF)

Sound familiar? It’s no secret that the Intelligence Community likes to dust off old playbooks, update them for modern times, and put them into use. But is that the case with our current UFO craze?

It seems unlikely. But then again so are visitors from another world dumping their flying saucers into our laps repeatedly.

While it very well could be that there is nothing like crashed UFOs and alien bodies being held under lock and key, it’s time to come clean about what is going on, at least as much as possible. And asking the U.S. military and Intelligence Community to basically investigate itself on this most tortured of issues simply won’t do. There is no trust on this topic with those entities. Congress has the capability to do what needs to be done through hearings, legislation, and especially independent investigation. Ignoring it will only make it worse and give further kindling for rampant rumors that discredit the government, and especially the Intelligence Community and the military. Public interest and that of Congress will also grow stronger, not weaker, if the puzzling behavior continues unchecked.

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 17: U.S. Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray explains a video of unidentified aerial phenomena, as he testifies before a House Intelligence Committee subcommittee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on May 17, 2022, in Washington, DC. The committee met to investigate Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, commonly referred to as Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The outcome of those endeavors may show there are things we don’t really understand at times in our airspace and that is a concern, and that we were caught unprepared for emerging adversary espionage operations. But admitting these things is far better than digging a deeper hole on this issue. The country will survive, although some in high-ranking positions may end up on less appealing career paths.

And of course for some people no outcome, but “It’s true… All of it,” will be acceptable or believable. That is to be expected. Yet for most people, having more information and a more open, non-stigmatized understanding of this issue will bring rationality and actual scientific expertise to it.

On the other hand, no matter how small a chance, if the nature of our reality has been selectively edited by a small number of people, and unelected ones at that, that make these decisions outside of any oversight, that is certainly a problem that cuts at the very heart of our democracy. Such allegations being made at such a high level need to be adjudicated with prejudice, not left to linger in an environment where hyperbole wins the day.

So, it’s time we evolve as a nation on this issue and put these incredible claims to the test once and for all. While ‘disclosure’ may not end up being what some were hoping for, ending the rampant claims and speculation around what is now even coming from the top of government is dearly needed. What Congress is doing is a good first step to achieving that, but more is needed. And naysayers and true believers should see the utility in getting to the truth once and for all.

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