UFO hearing key takeaways: cover-up claims and Pentagon denials

Ryan Graves, the executive director of Americans for Safe Aerospace, and David Grusch, the former intelligence official who made the whistleblowing claims, on Wednesday. Photograph: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

In scenes that felt reminiscent of a science-fiction movie, the US Congress held a public hearing on claims the government is covering up its knowledge of UFOs.

Unsurprisingly, the hearing generated huge interest in the US and around the world as it heard from three key witnesses, including David Grusch, a whistleblower former intelligence official who in June claimed the US has possession of “intact and partially intact” alien vehicles.

UFOs have become a high-profile news story in recent years. The US military says it is actively trying to investigate the small number of sightings for which there is no obvious explanation.

Whistleblower and former representative on the defense department's UAP task force David Grusch testifies before Congress in Washington DC on Wednesday.

As the hearing unfolded there were no new revelations about aliens, but there were startling allegations from witnesses, and a general sense that a cover-up exists somewhere in the US government – as well as skepticism that that has anything to do with “little green men”.

Here are the key takeaways:

Claims of a cover-up

The US government conducted a “multi-decade” program which collected, and attempted to reverse-engineer, crashed UFOs, David Grusch told the hearing. Grusch, who led analysis of unexplained anomalous phenomena (UAP) within a US Department of Defense agency until 2023, claimed he had been denied access to secret government UFO programs, said he has faced “very brutal” retaliation as a result of his allegations. He claimed he had knowledge of “people who have been harmed or injured” in the course of government efforts to conceal UFO information.

Hints of violence

Congressman Tim Burchett asked Grusch if he has any personal knowledge of people who have been harmed or injured in efforts to cover up or conceal extraterrestrial technology. Grusch replied: “Yes.”

Burchett asked Grusch if he has heard of anyone being murdered. The former intelligence official answered: “I directed people with that knowledge to the appropriate authorities.”

Pentagon denials

But the Pentagon has denied Grusch’s claims of a cover-up. In a statement, a defense department spokesperson said investigators had not discovered “any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently”.

Other witnesses, other claims

Other witnesses at the hearing were David Fravor, a former navy commander who recalled seeing a strange object in the sky while on a training mission in 2004. Ryan Graves, a retired navy pilot who has since founded Americans for Safe Aerospace, a UAP non-profit, claimed that he saw UAP off the Atlantic coast “every day for at least a couple years”.https://08e7fd25f896ee987d3663801d7a3f26.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html

The sightings were “not rare or isolated” and were being witnessed by military aircrews and commercial pilots “whose lives depend on accurate identification”, Graves said.

Graves said UAP objects had been detected “essentially where all navy operations are being conducted across the world”. Asked if there were any common characteristics to the UAPs that have been cited by different pilots, Graves says sightings were primarily of “dark grey or black cubes inside of clear sphere” where “the apex or tips of the cube were touching the inside of the sphere”.

Doubts linger

Not everyone was convinced by Grusch’s testimony. At times, he appeared less forthcoming under oath than he had been in media interviews.

In the interview with NewsNation in June, Grusch claimed the government had “very large, like a football-field kind of size” alien craft, while he told Le Parisien, a French newspaper, that the US had possession of a “bell-like craft” which Benito Mussolini’s government had recovered in northern Italy in 1933.

On Wednesday, he was reluctant to go into details on those claims, citing issues of security.

Garrett Graff, a journalist and historian who is writing a book on the government’s hunt for UFOs, tweeted: “Very interesting to me that Dave Grusch is unwilling to state and repeat under oath at the #UFOHearings the most explosive – and outlandish – of his claims from his NewsNation interview. He seems to be very carefully dancing around repeating them.”

Legislation to come

In his closing remarks, Republican congressman Glenn Grothman described the hearing as “illuminating” and said he believed legislation would follow.

Grothman, the chair of the House subcommittee on national security, the border and foreign affairs, said: “Obviously, I think several of us are going to look forward to getting some answers in a more confidential setting. I assume some legislation will come out of this.”

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