Pentagon: ‘Rigorous Scientific Analysis’ to Be Applied to UFOs

During the first public hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years on Tuesday, the Pentagon’s top intelligence official promised that “rigorous scientific analysis” would be used to learn more about the mysterious objects.

Ronald Moultrie, the Department of Defense’s undersecretary for intelligence, told the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation Subcommittee that the department is committed to “a focused effort to determine their origins.”

“It is the Department’s contention that, by combining appropriately structured collected data with rigorous scientific analysis, any object that we encounter can likely be isolated, characterized, identified, and, if necessary, mitigated,” he said.

Moultrie, a former National Security Agency official who has been in his current position for just under a year, gave the committee a narrow definition for “unexplained aerial phenomena” (UAP), what the government calls UFOs.

Describing them as “airborne objects that, when encountered, cannot be immediately identified,” Moultrie’s testimony did not touch on reported UFO characteristics that challenge known aerodynamics or reports of objects seemingly transitioning to and from the air, sea, and space.

The hearing comes as lawmakers gripe about being left in the dark and an internal battle quietly rages between the Pentagon and intelligence agencies over how much to reveal.

Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray also testified at the hearing and said the Pentagon “is fully committed to the principles of openness and accountability to the American people. However, we are also mindful of our obligation to protect sensitive sources and methods.”

“Our goal,” he continued, “is to strike that delicate balance — one that will enable us to maintain the public’s trust while preserving those capabilities that are vital to the support of our service personnel.”

Bray said that the “cultural stigma” associated with UFOs has thwarted efforts to explain them by making witnesses think twice about coming forward.

“We also understand that there has been a ‘cultural stigma’ surrounding UAP reporting,” he said. “Our goal is to eliminate this stigma by fully incorporating our operators and mission personnel into a standardized data-gathering process.”

“We believe that making UAP reporting a mission imperative will be instrumental to this effort’s success,” Bray added, pledging to coordinate with other intelligence and law enforcement agencies and international allies.

As the hearing opened, subcommittee members were skeptical about the department’s commitment to moving forward with the initiative.

Panel Chair Andre Carson, D-Ind., noted that no one has been named to head up the new group that Congress mandated to investigate UAP reports.

“The deadline for implementation is fast approaching, but the group does not even have a named director,” Carson said. “We need to know the status of the organization and any obstacles to getting up and running.”

The chairman also hinted at future public hearings on the subject.

“The last time Congress had a hearing on UAPs was a half century ago,” he said. “I hope that it does not take 50 years for Congress to hold another. Because transparency is desperately needed.”

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