(ORDO NEWS) — The US Congress held its first hearing on unidentified flying objects (UFOs), but there is still no official confirmation of extraterrestrial life.
Speaking before the intelligence subcommittee, Pentagon officials did not disclose additional information from their ongoing investigation into hundreds of unexplained sky sightings.
But they said they had chosen a leader for a new task force to coordinate efforts to collect data on what the government officially called “unidentified air phenomena” (UAEs).
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Ronald Moultrie said the Pentagon is also trying to destigmatize the issue and encourage pilots and other military personnel to report anything unusual they see.
“We want to know what’s out there just as much as you want to know what’s out there,” Moultrie told lawmakers, adding that he himself was a fan of science fiction.
“We receive questions not only from you. We get it from the family and we get it day and night.”
Politicians say UFOs are a national security issue. Near military bases and coastlines, sightings of aircraft flying without conspicuous vehicles have been reported.
But sightings are usually fleeting. Some of them appear on camera for no more than a moment and then are sometimes distorted by the camera lens.
The US government is believed to be holding additional technical information about the sightings that it has not publicly disclosed.
In an interim report released by intelligence officials last year, there were 144 sightings of aircraft or other devices apparently flying at mysterious speeds or trajectories.
All but one of the sightings investigated contained too little information for investigators to even broadly characterize the nature of the incident.
A senior Pentagon official on Tuesday briefly demonstrated the problem. Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray stood next to the TV to show a short video taken from an F-18 military aircraft.
The video shows a blue sky with passing clouds. In one frame, there is an image of one balloon-like shape.
“As you can see, finding HBO is harder than you think,” Bray said.
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