Tuesday, a Congressional subcommittee held the first public hearing on UFOs — or UAP, as the government has reclassified the "phenomena" — in over 50 years. As members of the intelligence community and others on Capitol Hill look for an increasingly clear understanding on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, one Navy official has promised an "all-hands-on-deck" response to any future investigations launch by members of the United States Armed Forces.
Scott Bray, a Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, was the one to make the comments at Tuesday's hearings, suggesting UAP pose a significant threat to the country given their unknown nature.
"In short, we've endeavored to bring an all hands-on-deck approach to better understand this phenomenon," Bray said during the hearing (via Space.com). "Any given observation may be fleeting, or longer. It may be recorded, or not. It may be observable by one or multiple assets. In short, there's rarely an easy answer."
As Bray and his colleague Ronald Moultrie reiterated during the public portion of the hearing, there's been nothing discovered throughout the Navy's latest investigations to suggest UFOs are of an otherworldly origin.
The hearing was set up after the intelligence community sent a report to Capitol Hill last summer, detailing the most significant UAP investigations of the past two decades. Like the hearing, the report could neither confirm nor deny the origin of the UAP investigated.
"UAP clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security. Safety concerns primarily center on aviators contending with an increasingly cluttered air domain," the report said. "UAP would also represent a national security challenge if they are foreign adversary collection platforms or provide evidence a potential adversary has developed either a breakthrough or disruptive technology."
"It has become increasingly clear that unidentified aerial phenomena are not a rare occurrence and our government needs a unified way to gather, analyze, and contextualize these reports," Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) said in a statement at the time. Schiff chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
At the time the report was released, the Pentagon said it had investigated 144 incidents reported by various members of the Armed Forces. During the hearing, Bray upped that number to approximately 400.
"We've seen an increasing number of unauthorized and or unidentified aircraft or objects and military control training areas and training ranges and other designated airspace," Bray added. "Reports of sightings are frequent and continuous."
The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force within the Office of Naval Intelligence will continue monitor and investigate such claims.