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House Oversight Committee set to hold UFO hearing

House Oversight Committee to hold hearing on UFOs
House Oversight Committee to hold hearing on UFOs 02:15

The House Oversight Committee will hold an unusual hearing Wednesday on what's being called "unidentified aerial phenomena" — better known as UFOs. Several witnesses, including a former Navy commanding officer, are expected to testify about what they've seen in the skies.

The number of so-called "close encounters" has risen dramatically in recent years, with 366 reports of unidentified aerial phenomena since March 2021.

Videos from across the globe appear to show strange objects flying through the air, like a triangle hovering over a California military base or an unidentified object zipping across the sky over the Middle East.

Retired Navy Commander David Fravor previously described another incident near San Diego on "60 Minutes."

During a 2004 training exercise, Fravor and another pilot were diverted to check out an anomalous object. Both said they found an area of roiling whitewater the size of a Boeing 737, and then they saw something strange above the water.

"We saw this little white Tic-Tac-looking object… and it's just kind of moving above the whitewater area," Fravor said. 

Fravor went down for a closer look at the object, which he said was about the size of his F/A-18F, but with no markings, no wings, and no exhaust plumes. 

"It goes boop! And just turns abruptly. and it starts mirroring me. So I'm coming down, it starts coming up," he said.  

Fravor tried to cut off the object, but it accelerated away so fast that it seemed to disappear, he said. Seconds later, the USS Princeton, the ship that had detected the phenomena in the first place, reacquired the UAP on its radar — approximately 60 miles away.   

Tennessee Republican Tim Burchett believes the Pentagon is withholding evidence of possible extraterrestrial encounters. 

"I think there's a lot of questions that the American public needs to know," he said. "I want transparency, just release all the files that they have on it. Quit with this redacted stuff and let's get it out there."

Former intelligence officer David Grusch will tell Congress during the hearing that he was "denied access" to information on a secret government UFO "crash retrieval program." The Pentagon disputed that claim.

Astronomer Seth Shostak said the Pentagon would have little incentive to cover up UFO encounters.

"Why would they do that? And almost invariably the response is, well, the public couldn't handle the news," he said. "That's totally bonkers, right?"

But New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said more transparency is critical, as the increasing number of objects in the sky could be a threat to military aircraft.

"These pilots, they see it as urgent for a national security reason to have domain awareness," she said. "They could crash into the objects."

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