This is a “shortened” version of my blog post, “UFOs, Network Television and Congressional Hearings” with the focus on Congress and what’s going on behind the scenes.
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Is Congress Working Behind The Scenes On The UFO Mystery?
Fast forward to December of 2017 when the New York Times ran a paradigm-changing, front page article on the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (they studied UFOs) and Luis Elizondo, who was the director of the program from 2008 until his retirement in 2017. The subject exploded into the mainstream as every cable news show covered the story as well as a number of radio shows and too many newspapers to list here. For a comprehensive list of the media coverage, check out the amazing and important work of researcher, Giuliano Marinkovic.
Once again, I was hoping that Congressional hearings were on the horizon. And this time, there were signs that I might get my wish. UFOs and The Fringe were finally breaking up.
On April 25th, Tom DeLonge made these tantalizing comments in a post on Instagram:
And on July 18th, Luis Elizondo and Jan Harzan, executive director of MUFON, were George Knapp’s guests on Coast To Coast AM. Knapp asked Elizondo about the rumors going around about Congress and UFOs.
George Knapp: “Something else we keep hearing – and I’m sure many of you out there have heard – is that Congress is now showing interest in the UFO topic…that there have been hearings, witness testimony…things of that sort. What might be cooking there?
“Big story now. Rumblings. You see it on Facebook and various social media and chat groups, involving UFO people about Congress. There was a leak about a particular name that was leaked. An investigator who’s been asking questions about this topic. The likelhood that people have testified before…at least before staff members, possibly elected members of Congress. Lue, can you address the rumors really that are floating around about Congress? I mean I think it’s probably beyond the rumor stage. But some of what has been reported – that they’ve already approved a $500 million dollar budget – things of that sort – seem way out of whack. I guess, if there are elected members of Congress who’ve taken an interest in this, that’s a good thing. But at some stage, at an early stage, there are risks if it comes out that someone is working on it because there are opponents to this, who would like to stop it, I think.”
Luis Elizondo: “I can’t speak on behalf of Congress but I can tell you any member of Congress who’s courageous enough to take this up is a true American hero. And that is what we need. We need to give them the encouragement to look at this objectively. Look at it fairly. Look at it with a scientific mind. And make the determination that this is something we need to look at from a nation security perspective and from a humanity perspective. There are all sorts of applications. Now that I’m a civilian, I don’t have to look at this only through the lens of national security and is it a threat. Now I can look at it on other merits as well. As far as the rumors are concerned…I don’t usually pay attention to rumors but you know what they say, right? Usually there’s some grain of truth to rumors. If members of Congress are looking at this, I hope that we would give them some degree of privacy so they can look at this information without having any type of political pressure or something like that that’s coming from maybe some of their constituents. Because a lot of people are very emotional about this topic and rightfully so. But I would if those folks in Congress – if they are being briefed on this – that they get a chance to look at all the data. Not just bits and pieces of the data because there is a lot. And it’s not just with the Department of Defense. There’s other agencies and organizations that have information as well – that I’ve been privy to – and let them come to the conclusion themselves. I think once they see all the data and talk to all the people…and you know, folks like Dave Fravor, who are absolute heroes. Now those folks…those are true heroes. The Dave Fravors and the Jim Slaights of the world. And by the way, there’s a lot more but they haven’t come publicly forward so I want to protect their privacy. But those are the true heroes. These are the folks that are putting their credibility and their professions on the line to tell the American people what they saw. And I think that’s tremendous. And I think the members of Congress, if they are indeed receiving some of this information…if they get a chance to talk to them themselves…they will come to the same conclusion that my office came to. And I’m not sure there’s really any other conclusion you can come to.”
Knapp: “So, put you on the spot then. Can you say if you have been asked to testify? Have you appeared before any committee and given information?”
Elizondo: “I think that is a question that you would probably want to ask Congress. And the reason why I say that…out of respect for Congress…whether they have or have not…I wouldn’t want to say something that puts somebody else in the position, now they have to answer. It’s kind of like a kid with divorced parents, right? You don’t want to ask mom something knowing that dad may or may not agree. So, best to ask both at the same time.”
Knapp: “I got you. Well, you didn’t say no so we’ll just take it from there.”
And on the June 24th edition of Coast To Coast AM, also hosted by George Knapp, physicist Eric Davis added this:
“I can just say that Congress has been paying attention to this. but that’s as much as I’m allowed to say about it. Congress has been paying attention to this.” ~Eric Davis
In the early summer, on a private Facebook group that I belong to, there was buzz about Congressional hearings and a letter that had allegedly been sent to Kevin Day, an Air Intercept Controller who was on board the USS Princeton when the Tic Tac UFO events occurred. I was never able to see the letter and I forgot about it. But a few months later, I was searching for some information related to the Tic Tac case and found the letter, which was actually an email to Day. The text from this letter (and link) has been circulating online lately so I feel comfortable sharing it. I have no doubt it’s legit.
note: I removed the email aliases… though anyone with Facebook can find this post as of the time I am writing this
McConnell, Kirk (Armed Services) <___@___.gov>
Jun 25 at 6:08 AM
Kevin: My name is Kirk McConnell. I work on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. We have been researching the 2004 Nimitz incidents, and have met with two of the F-18 pilots multiple times. We heard about you last week. It would be great if you could meet with our staff to tell your story. Are you anywhere close to DC or do you have any reason to travel to DC on other business? We don’t have a subscription to Coast-to-Coast – can you send me a transcript or the video of the interview? Have you otherwise published a full account of what happened from your vantage point in ’04?
This was posted today onto a Phenomenon-related Facebook group that I am a part of. Take it for what you will, but this is potentially “big if true.”
So, that’s extremely encouraging. Mind you, it was only at the Senate/Congressional staffer level when that email was written but it’s a start. And almost four months later, who else have they interviewed? I’m cautiously excited.
Kevin Day followed up with this post, found in the comments section of Keith Basterfield’s excellent blog:
And here’s more from the blog of Keith Basterfield that shows the interest of members of Congress. This is only an excerpt so I highly recommend you go to his blog and read the entire article where Basterfield also touches on the previous times (twice) Congressional hearings were held on the subject of UFOs.
On 12 April 2018, Bryan Bender and Jacqueline Klimas of Politico, hosted a panel which included House of Representatives, Representative Ami Bera, and Representative Randy Hultgren, both members of the Space Subcommitte of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
The following is my transcription of a video recording of the panel.
Bryan Bender: “I thought I would get all of you to weigh in on something that’s a little bit out there, but we reported, as others did, late last year that the Pentagon for a number of years had run a UFO research office, that Senator Harry Reid got funded. Something he thought was important. Reports from military pilots of – they don’t call them UFOs anymore. I think the term is unexplained aerial phenomenon. But I am curious of your take. I mean, you hear these reports. We have been hearing them for decades. From many credible people. Other countries take it more seriously. They have dedicated researchers in government who in the open, not in secrecy, try to explain the unexplainable. Maybe all three of you. Should we be doing more? Or is this just crazy sci-fi stuff that is a waste of time?”
Representative Bera” “Certainly piqued my interest, and I mean, I think it piques a lot of the public’s interest. So yes, I got to talk to the Chairman of the subcommittee Brian Babin, as well as Lamar Smith, Chairman of the full committee. I said we ought to have a hearing on this. We ought to bring some folks in. Look, if we want to boost our C-SPAN ratings – a lot of people would be really interested, and since Lamar is retiring this year. This, this would be a great hearing to go out on.
On the media side, another encouraging sign that we’re getting closer to some action by Congress on this issue comes from an article in “Metro,” the most circulated newspaper in Britain with 1.5 million copies given away each week. H/T to Rich Hoffman of the Scientific Coalition for Ufology:
The case is now being looked at by the Senate Armed Services Committee on the one hand and the House Armed Services Committee on the other.
‘It’s now beyond dispute that the US Congress is taking an interest not just in the Pentagon’s AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program) project, but in the UFO phenomenon more generally,’ explained Nick Pope, who used to head up the Ministry of Defence’s UFO investigations here in the UK.
‘I’ve said that if current Congressional interest evolves into formal hearings, I’d be happy to testify,’ Pope, who is now a journalist and speaks widely on aerial phenomenon, told Metro.co.uk.
‘I’ve already supplied Congressional staffers with some limited briefing material based on my experience of handling this issue for the MoD, and have supplied a number of documents, on the basis that the UK government has already declassified and released most of the files relating to my old MoD job.’
Continuing on the Congressional front…
Alejandro Rojas of Open Minds UFO Radio, interviewed Chase Kloetzke, Director of Investigations for MUFON, in late September. Kloetzke shared some exciting news. H/T to Paul Scott Anderson and Danny Silva:
Chase Kloetzke: “What I’ve done is really work this. MUFON has a great case…we’ve got this great package of evidence and today’s type of a threat. And I’ve been promised ten minutes…with a threat assessment subcommittee from intelligence. This is exactly who could start the process. So I have ten minutes to convince them to give me thirty minutes or an hour. And I’m pretty sure I could do this.
Alejandro Rojas: “We’ve learned, at least if you’ve been reading, especially some of the articles that Luis Elizondo has written lately…he’s kind of outlined why the group that you’re speaking to is the right group to talk to, That they’re the ones who are paying the most attention because…as we all know…it make sense. If we’ve got these incursions in our air space of these unknown aircraft, that needs to be a concern.
Chase Kloetzke: “And we have to be careful how we present to them because they don’t care about Roswell. They don’t care about Rendlesham. They don’t have any concern whatsoever to even waste thirty seconds on any of our past, great cases. And the reason is, that happened in the 80s. How does that turn into a threat today? That’s what they care about. What’s going on today. And this case that we’re working on…I’ll be able to walk in and actually present something, extremely recent, well documented…This case is going to be a door opener. I have no doubt. But presenting it well and presenting it with the science. They don’t wanna hear UFO. They don’t wanna hear aliens…motherships. They wanna hear…this unknown technology. What do you think this is? It’s most likely not the Russians because this is what our data shows. How could that come in and you know, what is this?
“And we have to follow the money. $22 million dollars. It didn’t go beyond me or past me that Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had a meltdown over that money. Oh, that might be an in. See, this is how it works, right? So I see him have a fit. So you call his office and say, ‘Yeah, $22 million dollars. How come you guys didn’t know that? Shouldn’t you approve that?’ Well, if AATIP and that program is still around. ‘Well, how’s it funded now? How much money is going into that? And when you find out, can you let me know?’ You’re working on their interests. So something like that…that’s how you play it in DC. It’s a chess match and we’re finally getting some checks on that board.”
It’s not clear exactly who Kloetzke will be presenting to but researcher Keith Basterfield has an idea:
So, if Chase is presenting to the “threats assessments subcommittee” this is likely to be the US Congress’ Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities (or a staffer for this subcommittee.)
It should be noted that while the US Congress House of Representatives also has an Armed Services Committee, subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities it would appear that the Senate subcommittee of the same name, is in the lead at the moment.
I’d love to know more details about the case Kloetzke will be presenting. And hopefully, she’ll be able to impress these committee member quickly and they’ll want to hear more. Ten minutes isn’t a lot of time. And if anybody reading this does reach out to their representative about funding more UFO research, tell them you support it 100%.
I’ll leave you with this quote Luis Elizondo quote, from his keynote presentation at the 2018 MUFON Symposium on July 29th. The next several months can’t get here soon enough!
“I am confident and I am cautiously optimistic, that in the next year we’re gonna have a fundamentally different conversation than we’re having today. I think there’s gonna be additional fidelity to a lot of the things that have come out recently that are gonna help us have a better understanding of what it is we’re actually seeing here.” ~Luis Elizondo