Unidentified flying objects – some people believe there is life outside of our planet, and with technological innovations like the James Webb telescope broadcasting pictures of the far end of the galaxy, more and more are likely to believe we aren’t the only life in the universe. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which would make the reporting of unidentified flying objects easier.
The bill, co-sponsored by Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI), said “Congress must ensure the military and intelligence community are armed with the best possible information . . . and scientific resources . . . to maintain military and technology superiority.” The bill focuses primarily on military personnel as well as other government employees; these individuals would be able to report a sighting without “fears of retaliation.” These individuals would be able to immediately share without having to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
The bill would also make it easier for Congress to gather information about unidentified objects in our skies. Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), also a co-sponsor of the bill, said that the bill would empower service members to be more transparent about UFOs. Gallego expressed a hope that the bill would help to “drop the stigma” around unidentified phenomena.
More and more Americans are showing renewed interest in UFOs. The House Intelligence Committee held its first hearings on UFOs in over five decades. Some members said that the stigma around sightings should be alleviated.
One Congressman said he’d been told stories of Naval service men being “laughed at” when they reported sightings of unidentified craft in the skies.
One Pentagon official, however, said that the legislation could “open the floodgates” of reports.
The amendment is a bipartisan effort that was passed by audible vote with no debate earlier this week.
Both Gallagher and Galleo say they want to make both the Pentagon and intelligence officials be more transparent with both Congress and the American people.
The amendment calls for a dedicated internal reporting system; both current and former members of any branch of service are encouraged to report sightings or information now that they will no longer be bound by an oral or written NDA. Not only will government employees – including contractors – and military personnel be able to share about sightings, but they are also encouraged to report “any government or government contractor activity or program related to unidentified aerial phenomena.”
The only exception would be reporting of aircraft that is found to be top secret.
However, this isn’t the first time that Congress has tried to promote the reporting of UFOs or other aerial phenomenon that isn’t easily identifiable. As a result, the Pentagon set up the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.
Of course, the amendment has yet to be made official. Later this year, any legislation regarding the National Defense Authorization Act will have to be reconciled with any work the Senate does. However, there is chatter on Capital Hill that the Senate is working on a similar measure in that chamber of Congress.