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This week’s congressional UFO hearings are long overdue

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On a warm summer evening in 1995, my father and I witnessed what we believed was a UFO hovering silently over the Saint Lawrence River in Central New York state. I was 12 years old at the time and had no idea what I was looking at or how drastically that encounter would affect my life. 

Fearing ridicule, I didn’t speak about what I saw for many years. But I did begin researching UFOs and would spend the next three decades interviewing witnesses, like myself, who claimed to have encountered alien spacecrafts — along with former military and intelligence officials who alleged that information on UFOs was being hidden from the nation. But no matter how many claims I heard, the public simply refused to pay attention. Until now. 

This week, a House Oversight Subcommittee held an unprecedented public hearing on UFOs. The hearing included detailed testimony by, among others, the former intelligence officer David Grusch — who’s become known as the UFO “whistleblower.” The bipartisan-led effort was a response to an increase of UFO reports by military pilots along with stunning claims that the United States was in possession of “craft of non-human origin.”


Former Intelligence Officer David Grusch — aka, the UFO whistleblower — testifying at the July 26th Congressional hearings where he detailed government efforts to hide information about alien encounters.
Former Intelligence Officer David Grusch — aka, the UFO whistleblower — testifying at the July 26th Congressional hearings where he detailed government efforts to hide information about alien encounters.
JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The movement to expose the government’s involvement in apparent UFO “cover-ups” began back in 2017, when The New York Times revealed a highly secretive Pentagon-run UFO program, AATIP — along with investigations into supposed encounters between UFOs and the US Navy. Suddenly, the topic of UFOs took on the level of gravitas I’d been waiting for since I was a kid.


Sen. Chuck Schumer (l) is leading efforts to force the government to release UFO records.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (l) is leading efforts to force the government to release UFO records.
AFP via Getty Images

The road to acknowledging these UFO programs by the Pentagon was tumultuous and hampered by push-back. Under the banner of “national security,” information on UFOs was deemed classified. Which is why Grusch’s revelations were so spectacular. Those revelations detailed special-access programs Grusch claims are studying recovered UFOs and operating without congressional oversight. This lack of transparency has not only kept Americans in the dark, but Congress as well – leaving many  in Washington demanding accountability for these tax-funded efforts.


An audience member at the July 26th Congressional hearing demonstrates their support for the belief in UFOs.
An audience member at the July 26th Congressional hearing demonstrates their support for the belief in UFOs.
AP

This week they got it. Grusch is a former combat officer who also served as a representative of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force (“UAP” is government-speak for UFOs). At this week’s hearing, he swore under oath that during his time with the Task Force, he interviewed 40 witnesses who collectively described a “multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program.” More intriguingly: when asked by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) about the pilots of these supposed UAP crafts, Grusch replied, “Biologics came with some of these recoveries.” In other words, the “pilots” were entities of non-human origin. 

I watched this momentous hearing almost unable to believe it was happening under oath and for the entire world to see. Finally, military and intelligence officials were acknowledging reported UFO sightings — along with the government programs that study them. Most crucially, the world learned of the vast trove of data purposely withheld from the American public – data the government has an obligation to make known.  

Of course Grusch’s claims hardly prove that either aliens or UFOs truly exist. But his testimony provides a long overdue opportunity for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to fully commit to additional inquiry and openness. Decades of official denials and obfuscation have now been revealed to the public and must remain there unchallenged. 

I reached out to Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-NY), who co-led this week’s bipartisan congressional effort. He described the hearings as “a good start to a continuing conversation about greater government transparency.” With federal dollars paying for apparently classified UFO-detention initiatives, “we all deserve to know where our taxpayer dollars are going,” Moskowitz continued, “the time has come for disclosure.” 


Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-NY), who co-led this week’s bipartisan congressional effort.
Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-NY), who co-led this week’s bipartisan congressional effort.
Getty Images

For folks like myself searching for answers to what we believe are coursing through the skies, the hearing was vindication that UFOs are not only real —  but real enough to warrant extensive government inquiry. True, much of the public not only remains skeptical, but even unsettled by efforts to prove the existence of alien beings. 

But it’s only within these gaps of uncertainty that we can begin to fully unravel the mystery of the UFO phenomenon. A lack of transparency leads to a wealth of speculation — which only results in conjecture, confusion and conspiracies. What we should want, instead — and what the United States government owes us — is the whole truth and nothing but the truth about what is known about UFOs. Not what is not

Sprague is the host of the Somewhere in the Skies podcast and author of “Stories from Somewhere in the Skies



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