Former Navy fighter pilot Ryan Graves said he is confident that lawmakers will continue to push for transparency on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) following Wednesday’s congressional hearing.
Graves was one of three witnesses who spoke in front of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs about their repeated encounters with UAP. Lawmakers also heard from former Navy Commander David Fravor and ex-U.S. intelligence officer David Grusch.
Investigations into the Pentagon’s knowledge of UAP has become a bipartisan effort in Congress, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle calling on the U.S. government to provide more transparency about the topic. All three witnesses said Wednesday that unexplainable aircraft pose a potential national security threat, and Graves emphasized the need for safer channels for witnesses in both the public and private sectors to report UAP encounters.
From left, Ryan Graves, David Grusch and David Fravor on Wednesday are pictured at a House Oversight Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP). Graves told Newsweek on Thursday that he is “confident” that lawmakers will sustain pressure for more transparency from the U.S. government regarding UAP.
“The House lawmakers at the hearing clearly understood that there is a domain awareness gap created by the lack of a direct UAP reporting system for commercial pilots, and committed to bipartisan legislation to address it,” Graves told Newsweek via email on Thursday.
Last summer, the Pentagon established the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) to investigate reports of UAP, and as of May, the office was reviewing nearly 800 reported encounters, although only a small amount have been unexplainable.
Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson Sue Gough previously told Newsweek that the office “has established a safe and secure process for individuals to come forward” with any information on UAP, and that the AARO “welcomes the opportunity to speak with any former or current government employee or contractor.”
Gough gave a similar statement to NBC News after the hearing this week, reiterating that the DoD had “not discovered any verifiable information” to support claims from witnesses like Grusch, who testified that the Pentagon has had knowledge of non-human life form since the 1930s.
Graves testified Wednesday that roughly 5 percent of all UAP sightings are reported to the AARO, and told Newsweek via email that there was a lack of trust between witnesses and the Pentagon. He also said that the DoD’s statement after this week’s hearing was “misleading,”noting that there is no domain or “public reporting mechanism” for military members to share their encounters with the AARO.
“The disconnect between pilot witness testimony under oath at the Congressional hearing and the Pentagon Press Office’s dismissal is a perfect example of why witnesses are reluctant to come forward,” Graves said. “It makes zero sense that our military would undermine its own servicemen and women when they are reporting serious flight risks.”
Newsweek reached out to the DoD via email Thursday for information on how witnesses can contact the AARO.
According to Graves, Congress’ interest in the topic “is key to solving the mystery of UAP, and the public will not get answers without their continued commitment to this issue.” One such way that transparency could be achieved is by pushing the Pentagon to declassify videos and data on UAP reports so that the information is available “to the public and scientific researchers,” Graves added. Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently proposed bipartisan legislation to make government records related to UAP and UFOs available to the public.
“In the weeks leading up to, and the day before the hearing, I was personally surprised by how engaged Members of Congress and staff were on this issue. They want answers,” Graves told Newsweek.
“Right now I have a lot of confidence in Congress to make progress on this issue in a way that [it] is Constitutionally empowered to do,” he added.
Gough previously told Newsweek that the DoD was “fully committed to openness and accountability to the American people” about UAP, but added that the department “must balance with its obligation to protect sensitive information, sources, and methods.”
Source : Newsweek