House Intelligence Subcommittee Chairman on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) said Sunday that he wants Congress to conduct hearings on sightings of UFOs after the release of the Pentagon report that examines “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAPs).
“We have a pretty ambitious schedule. Chairman Schiff has a pretty ambitious agenda and my own committee we’re planning on having a series of hearings … and hopefully we will discuss UAPs in the very near future I can’t give a definitive date right now,” said Carson.
The congressman told CBS’s “Face the Nation” host in an interview Sunday that the newly unclassified report on UFOs (pdf) was “inconclusive” on the origins of more than 140 objects.
The June 25 Pentagon report stated, “UAP clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security,” adding that the phenomena “probably lack a single explanation.”
“In a limited number of incidents, UAP reportedly appeared to exhibit unusual flight characteristics. These observations could be the result of sensor errors, spoofing, or observer misperception and require additional rigorous analysis,” it added.
“What we do know is that … there have been nearly 150 sightings,” Carson added. “Eighty of those sightings have been detected with some of the best technology the world has ever seen.”
The Pentagon report gave one possible explanation for the sightings, stating that the UAP could be advanced technologies developed by U.S. adversaries such as China or Russia, potentially posing a national security threat.
The Congressman said that this possibility warrants additional investigations.
“People want members of the government to say it’s extraterrestrial. We won’t stop there but certainly, it poses a technological concern for us and it poses a national security concern for us because we don’t want our adversaries to have a technological advance over us in terms of what they can do and their capabilities but what is curious, is that many of these sightings have occurred around many of our military assets, our naval bases, our military installations,” said Carson.
Meanwhile, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox News in a June interview that UAP appear to display technology that the United States doesn’t have and can’t defend against.
“I’m actually glad that there’s a report out there,” Ratcliffe said in the interview. “The bottom line is with unidentified aerial phenomenon—many, many cases we’re able to explain it away for reasons like visual disturbances or weather phenomenon, or foreign adversaries and their technologies, or even our own experimental technologies with certain aircraft and vehicles.”
At the same time, Ratcliffe said there are a number of cases where no such explanations apply.
“What this report really underscores … is that there are a number of instances—and the specific number remains classified—but a number of instances where we’ve ruled all of that out,” he said.
The Pentagon in its report wrote that a large number of sightings around U.S. military bases “may result from a collection bias as a result of focused attention, greater numbers of latest-generation sensors operating in those areas, unit expectations, and guidance to reporting anomalies.”
Carson also said Sunday that it would be “arrogant to say that there isn’t life out there.” He said officials “can’t rule out something that’s otherworldly,” and that it was possible in only a “very small percentage” of cases.
“If it is otherworldly, we have to take into account our advancements in terms of our cell phone technology and why aren’t these images being captured?” Carson continued. “We have to think about the nearly 4,000 satellites that are orbiting the Earth right now. Most of those satellites have cameras attached to them. Why hasn’t any of that information been released? And so, we still want to make sure that our adversaries don’t have a technological edge on us, but we still can’t rule out that 2 to 6 percent that could be something we can’t explain, maybe even otherworldly.”
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff said in a June 25 press statement, “We should approach these questions without preconceptions to encourage a thorough, systematized analysis of the potential national security and flight safety risks posed by unidentified aerial phenomena, whether they are the result of a foreign adversary, atmospheric or other aerial phenomena, space debris, or something else entirely.”
Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.