US Congress holds first public hearing on UFOs in 50 years

(ORDO NEWS) — US Congress held public hearings on unidentified aerial phenomena, or UFOs, better known as unidentified flying objects, for the first time in five decades.

A House Intelligence Subcommittee hearing heard testimony from defense officials following a nine-page report last year that investigated more than 140 cases of bizarre sightings by instruments and fighter pilots.

Officials were only able to explain one of the incidents – a large deflated balloon.

Representative Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat and chair of the subcommittee, said at the start of the hearing that UFOs “are a potential threat to national security and should be treated as such.”

Unexplained objects have fascinated and puzzled people for decades, but their study has often been dismissed as pseudoscience or tabloid.

However, as these puzzling phenomena re-enter the mainstream, some researchers say they need to be studied by scientists, not just the intelligence community, to find answers.

Beyond the tinfoil hats

Last year’s report confirmed the existence of unexplained aerial phenomena but raised more questions than answers, Jacob Hakk-Misra, a research fellow at the Blue Marble Institute for Space Science, a nonprofit organization that promotes space exploration, told Insider.

Some scientific experts suggest that these mysterious objects could be anything from drones, weather events, artifacts, sensor malfunctions, or even the work of aliens. But the report does not contain enough data for a final conclusion.

Since the UAP has long been inspired by conspiracy theories, researchers like Haqq-Misra believe the government should give scientists more access to data and allow investigations to be conducted openly rather than behind closed doors.

Tuesday’s public hearing was followed by a closed session where scholars like Haqq-Misra expect to present the information they really need: “We really need transparency and new data if we’re going to solve this problem,” he said. is he.

The report included first-person narratives in which human error is possible. Hakk-Misra said the UAP should be studied using satellites, fast tracking cameras or audio sensors at locations where unusual signals have been seen.

“What we need is systematic data collection – look at the whole sky in many places for long periods of time and with different instruments, and see how many things, if any, appear that you cannot identify.”

For decades, this topic has also been taboo for scientists and dismissed as pseudoscience. Government officials have even renamed UFOs as unidentified aerial phenomena, in part to avoid the stigma associated with claims of alien visitors.

According to Ravi Kopparapu, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the researchers hope the scientific search for answers and more transparency will help overcome this stigma.

“There is a process of understanding unknown phenomena,” Kopparapu told Insider. “We shouldn’t jump to conclusions one way or the other, or reject it, or move on to some exotic explanation.”

From the Periphery to Serious Science

There is a growing number of privately funded research groups focused on the systematic study of unidentified aerial phenomena, such as the Harvard Galileo Project and research nonprofit UAPx, Kopparapu said.

(The Galileo project is led by Avi Loeb, a well-known and controversial astronomy professor who has been criticized for including non-scientific UFO supporters in the project.)

“I think this is a great opportunity for scientists to show the public how to do scientific research on something unknown,” Kopparapu told Insider.

NASA is not actively searching for UAPs, according to the agency’s website.

“If we learn about the existence of UAPs, this will open the door to the study of new scientific questions,” NASA said in a statement. Atmospherologists, aerospace experts and other scientists could contribute to understanding the nature of this phenomenon. “Exploring the unknown in space is the core of our essence.”

Meanwhile, Project Galileo is developing software to check data from large telescopes for interstellar objects, and is building a network of celestial cameras to look for signs of alien life.

This spring, the team plans to install the first of hundreds of cameras – which capture infrared and visible light – and audio sensors on the roof of the Harvard College Observatory to record everything that moves across the sky, 24 hours a day.

“We are moving away from the time when we thought of them as just some kind of tabloid news,” Kopparapu said, adding: “These objects exist.

And if we want to understand them, we need to use the same technologies and scientific tools that we use to explore the everyday world around us.”

Sightings of unexplained objects in the sky have long captured the imagination of people and raised questions about national security and even potential alien life.

But these questions will remain unanswered unless they are subjected to rigorous scientific investigation, the researchers say.

“I think it’s important that the military recognize that there is a thing that should be in their jurisdiction that they don’t understand,” Hakk-Misra told Insider. “If they’re willing to do it, then I think it’s really a mystery and we have to find out what it is.”

Kopparapu seemed to agree: “Science needs to be at the forefront in understanding this unknown phenomenon,” he said, adding: “I’m hoping for more interest from scientists and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next couple of weeks with everyone this news.”

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