Have we already been visited by aliens? US Congress discusses UFO evidence
The UFO phenomenon is an incessant source of fascination. The latest occurrence: a series of images and videos of "unexplained aerial phenomena" that were shown in the United States Congress, of all places.
A series of photographs and moving images, that until now were classified material, were presented in the United States Congress on May 17, 2022, at the first public hearing on UFO sightings held in the United States in more than 50 years. It was described as a "historic testimony" by The Washington Post.
The Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence of the United States, Scott W. Bray, was the one who showed the US Congress a series of images that could make even the most skeptical, be full of doubts about the UFO phenomenon. Bray himself pointed out during his exhibition in reference to one of the images: "I don't have an explanation about what this object is."
One of the images that Scott W. Bray showed and that was captured by a night vision camera of the US Naval Air Systems Command was that of a triangular object that flies over the sky of the United States and stops for a moment. The object, as explained by Bray, did not appear to have any propulsion system, and eventually flashed and then disappeared.
Image: Naval Air System Command
In a second example, Scott W. Bray, showed images that were captured by a military aircraft as it was operating in a training field. The pilots identified a spherical object that crossed the plane quickly, passing by the cabin, according to the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence.
Image: Naval Air System Command
Scott W. Bray stressed that US intelligence teams have yet to discover anything of "non-terrestrial origin" in any of these incidents, as no organic or inorganic material, or unexplained debris has ever been recovered. And no attempts have been made to communicate with the objects nor have they received any communication attempts from them.
US congressmen were concerned about these incidents being threats from other countries through the use of unknown technologies. However, the possible extraterrestrial origin of the events was in the mouths of the entire audience.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, Ronald Moultrie (in the image), admitted, in statements collected by BBC News, that they have not been able to give a reasonable explanation for some of the incidents registered in their database.
The enigmatic incidents are a minority though, according to Moultrie. He said that most reported UFO sightings can be explained. "Any objects we find can probably be isolated, characterized, identified and, if necessary, mitigated", he said.
"There's a small handful (of events) where there are flight characteristics that we can't explain with the data we have available. Those are obviously the ones we're most interested in", Bray said.
The United States military assures that the objects that have starred in these UAPs (unexplained aerial phenomena), all of them registered in this database, seem to have no means of propulsion, something that is technically impossible to decipher.
According to information published by BBC News, out of 400 UFO-related incidents reported in the United States, 11 almost ended in accidents with American planes. Similar events have also occurred in Canada.
The belief that Area 51 is a military base cover for alien research has been mythologized by pop culture over the years. It is said that, somewhere amid the Nevada desert, there's a guarded underground lab where the US government keeps and studies captured UFOs, and possibly aliens themselves.
In 1947, Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release stating that they had recovered a "flying disc", but they quickly retracted the statement saying that the crashed object was a conventional weather balloon. Ufologists then began promoting conspiracy theories, claiming that one or more alien spacecraft had crashed and that aliens had been recovered by the military, who engaged in a cover-up, contributing to the Area 51 myth.
In 1989, a man named Bob Lazar claimed to have worked at Area 51 and, according to his testimony, saw pictures of aliens there. He assured that the United States Government used the facilities to examine UFOs. However, he never presented conclusive evidence about these claims.
Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), maintains, according to the BBC, SAID that the evidence for the existence of UFOs or extraterrestrial presence at Area 51 is "poor and anecdotical". "Eyewitnesses are the worst kind of evidence" he said in a SETI video.
In 1967 there was a reported impact of an unknown large object that crashed on Canada's Atlantic coast before the eyes of some fishermen. It was the so-called 'Shag Harbor incident', which even motivated the Royal Canadian Mint to issue a commemorative stamp.
Image: Shag Harbor UFO Incident Society
The fever for ufology in Canada has even led to the construction of a UFO landing strip in St. Paul, a small town in Alberta. It is an elevated platform of 30 tons built in 1967, which was the idea of the former mayor of the city, Jules Van Brabant, and which was inaugurated by Paul Hellyer, former Minister of National Defense.
Image: Official website of the City of St. Paul
Conspiracy theories and anecdotical constructions intended to welcome extraterrestrial civilizations aside, the latest news about "unexplained aerial phenomena" makes extraterrestrial contact a feasible possibility.
Avi Loeb, the man who has chaired the Department of Astronomy at Harvard for the longest time, assured in an interview with The Independent that he is convinced that humanity will find aliens and that he will be able to witness it.
In his 2021 book 'Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth', Avi Loeb ventures that Oumuamua, a space rock the size of a football field, that was only visible from Earth for 11 days, could be some kind of technology built by aliens and not a comet or an asteroid.
Avi Loeb said to The Independent: "Oumuamua's extreme dimensions, disconcerting brightness, ship-like motions and spectacular acceleration of 87 kilometers per second as it left the solar system", convinced him that it was the first sighting humanity had of intelligent extraterrestrial life by locating an object that is, presumably, alien technology.
Before the 2022 public hearing, the last time these issues were discussed in the United States Congress was in 1966, in two sessions convened by Gerald Ford (who years later would become president). At the time, he talked about a UFO sighting that took place in Michigan and had numerous witnesses.
The investigation of that incident was called 'Project BLUE BOOK' by the US Air Force. At first, what happened was explained by attributing it to swamp gas and, finally, the investigation was closed by concluding that it was not possible to confirm what object had been seen and that, in any case, it did not pose a threat to the security of the country.
In 2017, several US media such as The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon was trying to investigate UFO sightings by army pilots who claimed to see them almost on a daily basis and that they had even interfered with nuclear weapons facilities.
Following a request from the United States Congress in 2020, the Donald Trump administration promised to publish a report on the information it had on UFO sightings after several unexplained cases in the last two decades.
Just a year later, in 2021, the US Director of National Intelligence released a report saying he had no explanation for dozens of UFO incidents, a figure well below the 400 that have been declassified this year.
Are UFOs displays of extraterrestrial technology or foreign powers doing infiltration work? For rational minds, the extraterrestrial explanation is hard to believe. But as the motto of the famous poster that agent Mulder in the series X-Files hung in his FBI office said: "I want to believe".
RELATED: Drought reveals deadly Las Vegas secrets hidden in Lake Mead