Why Kirsten Gillibrand’s UFO amendment deserves bipartisan support – Washington Examiner

On Thursday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand submitted an important amendment for inclusion in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act requiring the government to strengthen its investigations of unidentified aerial phenomena
, otherwise known as UFOs.

As reported by the researcher Douglas Dean Johnson, the amendment would center on the establishment of an “Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office.” This office would assume the responsibilities of the Navy-led Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.

Gillibrand’s amendment deserves bipartisan support. It has policy merit, but it also hints at things the U.S. government knows or suspects about UFOs.

First, Gillibrand would require the intelligence community and the Department of Defense to formalize their handling of the UFO phenomenon. The new Anomaly Office would have access to resources and capabilities across the government and military. The office would engage in information sharing with allies. UFO reporting by government or military personnel would also be moved to a “central repository,” with reports “including adverse physiological effects.” Furthering democratic accountability, the office would be required to provide regular public reports on its findings.

The central repository appears designed to reduce stigma among military personnel and to enforce reporting compliance by the Air Force, which has been traditionally reticent to report UFO incidents. The office would be supported by a new “Aerial and Transmedium Phenomena Advisory Committee” made up of both government and private sector individuals.

The inclusion of “transmedium” in that committee’s name reflects witness reporting and military data that indicate some unidentified objects appeared capable of moving with unexplained ease between air, space, and underwater media. Three members of the committee would be selected by the NASA administrator and three by the head of Harvard University’s Galileo Project for the Systematic Scientific Search for Evidence of Extraterrestrial Technological Artifacts (presently led by Professor Avi Loeb). The “physiological effects” reference suggests Gillibrand’s concern over some reports, including by military personnel, of adverse health effects after close exposure to reported UFOs.

Moreover, the new office would be charged with “[e]valuating links between unidentified aerial phenomena and adversarial foreign governments, other foreign governments, or non state actors.” Crucially, it directs the office’s pursuit of “scientific theories to account for characteristics and performance of unidentified aerial phenomena that exceed the known state of the art in science or technology, including in the areas of propulsion, aerodynamic control, signatures, structures, materials, sensors, countermeasures, weapons, electronics, and power generation, and to provide the foundation for potential future investments to replicate any such advanced characteristics and performance.”

That “known state of the art in science” language is a reference to those most extraordinary UFOs that have been witnessed by trained observers (naval aviators, for example) and also caught on various sensor systems, such as radar, sonar, and infrared camera, and satellites. While many UFOs turn out to be balloons, aircraft, and foreign military intelligence activities, some of the most extraordinary UFOs are assessed to be intelligently controlled vehicles of a truly unconventional nature.

Gillibrand’s language gives implicit reference to the confident belief of those in the U.S. government and military who have studied these UFOs that they are not of U.S., Chinese, or Russian origin. Sitting on the Intelligence and Armed Services committees, Gillibrand has received classified briefings (including classified imagery) that make conventional terrestrial explanations of some UFOs difficult to accept because, for example, of their lack of obvious control surfaces, their unconventional flight patterns and behavior, the lack of obvious means of propulsion capabilities, their extraordinary propulsion capabilities (tens of thousands of miles an hour in the air, and hundreds of knots underwater), and their apparent means of cloaking or concealing their presence.

Finally, the report would require more government attention to the UFO connection point with nuclear weapons and powers. Gillibrand requires the office to provide the “number of reported incidents, and descriptions thereof, of unidentified aerial phenomena associated with military nuclear assets, including strategic nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered ships and submarines.” She also requests similar reporting on UFO-related incidents at civilian nuclear sites, which some government officials believe has been of particular interest to the most sophisticated type of UFOs

Put simply, Gillibrand’s amendment would take the necessary next step in getting to the bottom of a complex phenomenon that demands prudent research rather than casual stigma

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