A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding that federal officials provide more information about unidentified flying objects.
During a Thursday news conference, U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida said federal officials have refused to allow them to see classified documents on UFOs, also known as unidentified aerial phenomena, despite whistleblowers coming forward with information claiming that the government has recovered such objects.
“It has become very clear and evident that there is an apparent attempt — an orchestrated attempt — to deny us this access,” Luna said.
Luna, a Republican who serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, said she and other members of Congress have been denied information because they don’t have proper security clearances.
“If we do not have the clearance, who does?” she said.
Luna and fellow Florida Reps. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, and Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat, urged congressional colleagues to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to require the Department of Defense to automatically declassify records relating to “publicly known sightings.”
“This is not about whether there are aliens or there are not aliens. Those are questions that I think remain unanswered,” Moskowitz said Thursday.
“The problem is, when we ask those questions, rather than being provided information that would prove it false, they stonewall the information, and that is what piques the interest.”
The objects were long derided by U.S. government officials as science fiction or the result of witnesses’ imagination, but a 2021 federal task force report found a handful of reported UFO incidents that “appear to demonstrate advanced technology,” with military aircraft picking up “radio frequency energy” with a few sightings.
The objects sometimes appeared to move against the wind, maneuver abruptly or move at “considerable speed,” “without discernable means of propulsion,” the report stated.
Several whistleblowers have come forward claiming that the government has long known about the existence of unidentified aircraft and is spending money trying to reverse-engineer them.
One whistleblower, former Air Force intelligence officer David Grusch, testified under oath to Congress in July that the government has recovered crashed vessels and nonhuman “biologics.” The Pentagon has denied his claims.
People around the globe have reported witnessing unidentified aerial phenomena, including numerous military and commercial airline pilots. The then-governor of Arizona, Fife Symington, said he saw a giant, silent, triangular-shaped craft fly over the state in 1997, an event known as the “Phoenix lights.” Former President Jimmy Carter wrote that he saw one in Georgia in 1969, when he was governor.
In 2019, The New York Times reported that unidentified flying objects had been recorded on video by U.S. Navy pilots, including one recorded off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla.
That report — and the videos of the craft — sparked an explosion of interest in UFOs from the public and some members of Congress, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who said the craft could pose a security threat. Other members of Congress have voiced concerns that the craft have been seen near nuclear missile sites.
“Americans have long been kept in the dark by the U.S. government about Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena. The time for transparency is now. We don’t want the information in small bits and pieces over 25 years,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz said Thursday that when he, Luna and Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., sought a classified briefing on a reported UFO incident near Eglin Air Force Base, near Pensacola, Fla., they were initially denied. After hours of negotiation, they were eventually able to meet with a test pilot who saw and photographed the object.
“It was not something that I could classify as something that we would possess or capability that any of our adversaries possess,” Gaetz said Thursday.