Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation, U.S. House of Representatives,

The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:00 a.m., in Room HVC-210, Capitol Visitor Center, the Hon. Andre Carson [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.

Present: Representatives Carson, Schiff, Welch, Himes, Krishnamoorthi, Wenstrup, Crawford, Gallagher, Mullin, and LaHood.

Carson (chairman): The subcommittee will come to order. Without objection, the chair may declare a recess at any time. Before we get started, I want to recognize a moment of silence for the victims of the White supremacist hate crime in Buffalo, New York. The subcommittee has focused intently on that threat in both open and closed hearings. It is utterly devastating to see more victims of this violence. Buffalo, our heart breaks for you.

[Moment of silence.]

With that, I ask my colleagues to join -- pardon me. We will now turn to the business of this hearing.

More than 50 years ago, the U.S. Government ended Project Blue Book, an effort to catalogue and understand sightings of objects in the air that could not otherwise be explained. For more than 20 years, that project had treated unidentified anomalies in our airspace as a national security threat to be monitored and investigated.

In , we learned for the first time that the Department of Defense had quietly restarted a similar organization, tracking what we now call unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs. Last year Congress rewrote the charter for that organization, now called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group, or AOIMSG for short. Today we will bring that organization out of the shadows.

This hearing and oversight work has a simple idea at its core. Unidentified aerial phenomena are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way. For too long the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis. Pilots avoided reporting or were laughed at when they did. DOD officials relegated the issue to the back room or swept it under the rug entirely, fearful of a skeptical national security community.

Today we know better. UAPs are unexplained, it is true, but they are real. They need to be investigated, and any threats they pose need to be mitigated.

Under Secretary Moultrie, Mr. Bray, thank you for coming today. First, we need you to update us on the status of AOIMSG. The legislation creating it was passed in December. The deadline for implementation is fast approaching, but the group does not even have a named director. We need to know, sirs, the status of the organization and the obstacle to getting it up and running.

Secondly, you have to convince the audience today, and most especially our military and civilian aviators, the culture has changed, that those who report UAPs be treated as witnesses, not as kooks.

Thirdly, you need to show us, Congress, and the American public, whose imaginations you have captured, you are willing to follow the facts where they lead. You know, we fear sometimes that the DOD is focused more on emphasizing what it can explain, not investigating what it can't. I am looking for you to assure us today that all conclusions are on the table.

One final note. We are mindful today that AOIMSG is not starting from scratch. This is the third version of this task force in DOD, and civil society groups like the Mutual UFO Network, Mr. Corbell, and others have been collecting data on this issue for years. I hope you will explain how you can leverage the knowledge and experience of our prior work on this matter to move the AOIMSG along.

The last time Congress had a hearing on UAPs was half a century ago. I hope that it does not take 50 more years for Congress to hold another because transparency is desperately needed.

I now turn to Ranking Member Crawford for comments he would like to make.

[The statement of Chairman Carson follows:]

Mr. Crawford: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Honorable Moultrie and Mr. Bray, thank you for coming here today -- we appreciate it -- to begin the open dialogue between Congress and the executive branch on this important topic.

While this topic evokes the creative imaginations of many, aside from all the hype and speculation, there are important underlying issues posed by UAPs. Despite the serious nature of this topic, I have to say I am more interested in our understanding of Chinese and Russian hypersonic weapon development or understanding why this administration was so slow to share actionable intelligence with the Ukrainians. However, in as much as this topic may help us better understand unknown activities of Russia and China, I am on board.

The Intelligence Community has a serious duty to our taxpayers to prevent potential adversaries, such as China and Russia, from surprising us with unforeseen new technologies.

As overseers of the Intelligence Community, this committee has an obligation to understand what you are doing to determine whether any UAPs are new technologies are not, and if they are, where are they coming from? In general, the IC spends much of its time and resources trying to understand what we call known-unknowns. When it comes to foreign nations' weapons systems and sensors, known-unknowns are these features we don't fully understand yet. The challenge associated with UAP is that they are completely unknown and require a more expansive collection analysis effort.

The Intelligence Community must balance addressing known threats to our national security with preventing technical surprise. We must continue to follow the facts where they lead us and ensure that there are no technical surprises.

The IC must take it seriously when there are credible observations of phenomena that seem to perform in ways that could pose a threat to safe flight operations or that could be signs of a foreign adversary's attempt to develop a strategic technological surprise against the United States.

It is also essential that our pilots and others feel they can report UAPs they observe without any stigma for doing so. This is the open, unclassified portion of our hearing. We will have a closed, classified part later. It is important for the public to know that the classification of information exists to protect national security, not to try to hide the truth.

When we are trying to determine if any UAPs are new technologies being developed by foreign governments, we are inevitably going to run into classified information about what new systems and technologies we do know are in the works here or abroad. But more information does not risk national security. It should be shared with our allies and the public when feasible. I hope that we can have your assurance to this end today.

It is my hope that the Intelligence Community will continue to try to determine the nature of UAPs we have observed and will keep Congress fully apprised of all developments. I look forward to this hearing and continued dialogue and oversight with the Intelligence Community on this topic.

And, with that, I yield back.

[The statement of Mr. Crawford follows:]

Carson (chairman): The gentleman yields back. Now I will turn to our distinguished chairman, Adam Schiff, for any commence he wishes to make.

Mr. Schiff; Thank you, Chairman Carson, for holding this open hearing on unidentified aerial phenomena and for your leadership on this issue.

Holding a portion of our discussion today in open session is critical to the cause of transparency and openness which was Congress' intent in authorizing and funding this new task force.

The larger effort that is being undertaken to study and characterize UAP reports is an important step towards understanding these phenomenon, what we know and don't know. And I look forward to hearing more during both the open session and the closed setting about how DOD and the IC are undertaking that task.

UAP reports have been around for decades, and yet we haven't had an orderly way for them to be reported without stigma and to be investigated. That needs to change. UAP reports need to be understood as a national security matter. And that message needs to go out across DOD, the IC, and the whole of the U.S. Government.

When we spot something we don't understand or can't identify in our airspace, it is the job of those we entrust with our national security to investigate and to report back. That is why it is important that we hold this open hearing for the public to hear directly from the Department of Defense on the steps it is taking to track, analyze, and transparently communicate the work that is being done on this issue.

It is also the responsibility of our government and this panel to share as much as we can with the American people since excessive secrecy only breeds distrust and speculation.

I look forward to hearing how the UAP task force is being stood up, what challenges they still face, and how this committee can make sure the task force is able to shed light on one of the world's most enduring mysteries.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your work and will be very interested to hear what you have to say. To me, among the most fascinating questions: Are these phenomena that we can measure? That is, instruments report there is something there. It is not the human eye confusing objects in the sky. There is something there, measurable by multiple instrument. And yet it seems to move in directions that are inconsistent with what we know of physics or science more broadly. And that, to me, poses questions of tremendous interest and as well as potential national security significance.

So we look forward to hearing what you are able to report to us today in open session, and I want to thank Chairman Carson, again, for his extraordinary leadership on this issue.

And I yield back.

[The statement of Mr. Schiff follows:]

Carson (chairman): The chairman yields back.

Thank you.

With that, we will start our hearing.

Under Secretary Moultrie, the floor is yours, sir.

Carson (chairman): Thank you, Mr. Bray.
This is the third version of this task force. And to be frank, one of Congress' concerns is that the executive branch in administration, both parties, has been sweeping concerns about UAPs under the rug by focusing on events that can be explained and avoiding events that cannot be explained.
What can you -- what can you say to give the American people confidence that you aren't just focusing our attention on low-hanging fruit with easy explanations?

Mr. Moultrie: Congressman, I will start.
And then, Mr. Bray, please feel free to weigh in.
So the way we are approaching this is with a more thorough standardized methodology than what we have in the past.
First and foremost, the Secretary of Defense is chartering this effort. This is not someone lower in the Department of Defense. And he has assigned that task to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Under Secretary for Intelligence and Security -- that is me -- because I am responsible for looking at intelligence matters. I am responsible for security matters. This is potentially both.
So, when you start concerning ourselves with the safety of our personnel, the safety of our installations and bases, there is no other higher priority than what we have than actually getting after this. And, as you have stated, we have been assigned that task to actually stand up the office, the AOIMSG, which I believe the name, sir, will likely change. But we have moved forward.
In terms of moving to establish that office, we have, as of this week, picked the Director for that effort, very established and accomplished individual. We have identified spaces. We have worked with personnel across the Department of Defense with the services. And we have worked with the IC, which is on board in helping us work through this standardized methodology for now, bringing in data, analyzing that data, and reporting that data in the appropriate method and appropriate means so we can either get it to our service personnel to ensure their safety or get it to you in the Congress and to the public to ensure you have oversight to what we are doing.
So, chartered by the Secretary of Defense, standardized, and really a methodical approach is something that we are doing that has not been done before.

Can we get some kind of assurances that your analysts will follow the facts where they lead and assess all hypotheses?

Absolutely. So we are open to all hypotheses. We are open to any conclusions that we may encounter.

Quickly, before I pass it to the ranking member and Chairman Schiff, I want to thank you both for taking the time.
And I had a good time meeting with you last week, Director Moultrie, Under Secretary Moultrie.
It is fair to say that you are a science fiction fan. Is that correct?

It is fair to say that I am an inquisitive mind who has spent 40 years in the intelligence field and has focused on both science and science fiction. That is fair.

Could you tell us about it?

Yeah, well, look, my generation grew up looking at space sagas and the Apollo program. So all of us who grew up in the sixties were just thrilled by watching our first astronaut land on the Moon. That was a momentous occasion. People who were of different generations, some of them didn't believe that happened. I still have relatives and friends who don't believe it happened. Right? It is science fiction to them, but to us, it was, no, that is the progress that we have made.
And so I was enthralled by that, and I have taken that to heart. I enjoy the challenge of what may be out there. I have mentioned to you that, yes, I have followed science fiction. I have gone to conventions. Even I will say it on the record. Got to break the ice somehow.
But, you know, I have done that. Right? But there is nothing wrong with that. I don't necessarily dress up. But I do, you know, I do believe that it is important to show that the Department of Defense has, you know, we have character, and we are people just like you, just like the American people. We have our -- we have our inquisitiveness. We have our questions. We want to know what is out there as much as you want to know what is out there. We get the questions not just from you. We get it from family members. And we get them night and day, not just in committee hearings.
So finding what is out there is important. But, first and foremost, it is important for us to do that so we can ensure that our people, our personnel, our aviators, our bases, and installations are safe. And then that curiosity factor is something else that we just want to know because that is the human race. It is just, you know, that insatiable desire to know.

Thank you, sir.
Ranking Member Crawford.

Crawford: Mr. Moultrie, you said you don't necessarily dress up. That wasn't a real strong statement.
Gentlemen, thank you for being here today. We appreciate it.
And thank you, Mr. Moultrie, for breaking the ice the way you did. I appreciate that.
The inability to understand objects in our sensitive operating areas is tantamount to an intelligence failure that we certainly want to avoid. This is not about finding alien spacecraft but about delivering dominant intelligence across the tactical, operational, and strategic spectrum.
So my question is: How can AOIMSG lead to prevention of intelligence surprises?

Moultrie: Sure. I will start with that. So the goal of our effort is to integrate it into what we already do on a normal basis which is look for the unknown-unknowns, Congressman, as you stated in your opening remarks, across all domains.
So we have been doing this for decades. We have been looking at the space domain, looking at space objects, looking at space weather, looking at space phenomenon. We have been looking at things in the air domains. And as you know, we -- and I will talk more about this in classified session. But we have a very concerted effort to understand adversarial platforms and adversarial development programs. And we do that also on the ground domain. And, of course, we are very interested in what happens in the underwater or sea domain, if you will, subsurface domain.
So, if there are objects that our aviators or air crews are encountering in this air domain and their sensors are discovering or detecting some of these objects, we want to just bring that in to the normal process that we have for identifying unknown-unknowns. We want to make sure we have the intelligence requirements that allow us not only to look at that event from the time that it occurs forward, but maybe retrospectively we want to go back and see if we can Government the left of that event to say, was there some developmental program that we, to get to your technical surprise issue, sir, that we should have known about? And, if so, how do we put that intelligence requirement in place to ensure that we are following an adversarial development or any other development that may be out there?
So that is what we want to do in terms of normalizing this and bringing it in to the normal process of how we identify unknown-unknowns.

Crawford: You mentioned fidelity, and I think it is important to talk about the relationship from the Navy is the lead agency on this. How do you interact with Space Force, Air Force to create that degree of fidelity? We are talking about sensors and so on. And I guess where I have some concerns is that many of the images that we see commonly in this committee and even in open source, the resolution and the clarity that would allow a robust technical intelligence analysis is challenging.
So is AOIMSG prepared to address the quality and quantity of data collected on UAP to advance intelligence collection? Do you have the adequate sensors you need to collect that high-quality data?

One of the lines of effort that we have is looking at our sensor capabilities and to understand whether or not, as the video showed that Mr. Bray displayed sometimes it is very fleeting data that we have on some of these objects.
And we want to make sure that, one, our systems are calibrated to actually be able to collect on the objects. You know, our sensors today are calibrated for specific things. We want to make sure they are calibrated for things of this nature, things of this size, things of this velocity, if I can use that term.
We want to make sure that, once we have that, that that data is stored in some standardized method that we can then extract and that we can feed into our system real time. So we do not, like, want this to take some prolonged period of time for us to get that data.
But our goal is absolutely to have that high-fidelity information that we get from all sensors, and we want to be able to integrate that with what we may have off of ground-based sensors. So whatever we may have on the platform, whatever we may have on the ground, whatever we may have from other sensors that we may have in different domains, we want to be able to integrate that all and get this integrated picture as we would, as I said, with any other unidentified objects or things we are tracking as a part of our normal intelligence responsibilities.

Crawford: Thank you.
Last question, Mr. Bray, if you would, I am a Navy pilot. I have encountered a UAP. Walk me through the reporting protocol once I see something that I think needs reporting.

Bray: The first thing that aviator would do after landing as a part of their normal debriefing is they would contact their intelligence officer. Their intelligence officer would then walk them through, first, filing a -- first, actually, data preservation to ensure that, whatever sensor data may be on the aircraft, that we preserve that so that it is available for later analysis.
Second, they would actually fill out a form that includes details like where they were operating, altitudes they were operating, speeds, what they observed, whatever sensor data they may have recorded from that.
And then that report is filed. It goes two places. One, it goes through the operational chain of command so that operational units are aware of what is being observed and also to the UAP Task Force so that they can take that data, database it, and quite often have individuals from the task force contact the aviator and ask them additional questions if there were things that weren't clear in the report.
That then goes into a database where we then compare it with other observations that we have, again, comparing for locations, comparing for altitudes, speeds, shapes, if any RF emissions were detected from the platform, all of that so that we can try to reach some conclusions on that.

Crawford. Thank you.
I yield back.

Carson (chairman): The gentleman yields back.
Chairman Schiff.

Schiff: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Bray, can you rerun that first image that looked like it was outside the plane window? And if you wouldn't mind going up to the screen and tell us what we are seeing, not that you can necessarily tell us what we are seeing but...

Bray: Right.

...explain what we should be looking at in that first image.

Absolutely. And, Lexi, what I will ask is if you can stop it at a certain point.

[Video played.]

So back up.

Are we looking outside of a civilian aircraft window? Is that what we are looking at?

You are looking outside a U.S. Navy F-18, and it shows how difficult the analysis is.
Go a little farther forward, absolutely. As you can see, finding a UAP is harder than you may think. What you will find eventually on this, when we find the right frame, is for literally about one frame here is a spherical object that passes right through here, passes right through there, because the aircraft is moving pretty fast in this direction of the flyby of it. And it is a...

Is that it right there?

That is it, there we go, off in the distance.

Can you point to the screen, again, what we are supposed to be looking at?

Absolutely. Right here. It is right...

Okay. If you could stop that frame.

No, that is not the one.

That is not the one.

Lexi, just push "play." Let's see if -- here, what you will see coming up right here is -- there it went. Now back up just a -- a spherical object right here zooms by the window right in this area right there. There we go.
Could you see that part right there again going by? I think we are having a hard time stopping at the right spot.


So, as you can see, it is difficult. And I think a part of the issue here is the laptop we are working with is not as easy for us stopping that video in the right spot.

Well, describe what we have seen in that. What are we observing?

What you see here is aircraft that is operating in a U.S. Navy training range that has observed a spherical object in that area. And, as they fly by it, they take a video. You see it looks reflective in this video, somewhat reflective. And it quickly passes by the cockpit of the aircraft.

And is this one of the phenomenon that we can't explain?

I do not have an explanation for what this specific object is.

And is this one of the situations where it is -- that is the object that we are looking at right there? Thank you.
And is this a situation where it was observed by the pilot, and it was also recorded by the aircraft's instruments?

We will talk about the multisensor part in a later session, but in this case, we have at least that.

In the Director of National Intelligence 2021 unclassified report, the ODNI reported 144 UAPs between 2004 and 2021, 80 percent of which were recorded on multiple instruments.
And I take it, with respect to some of those, you had the pilot, a pilot seeing them, if it was observed by a pilot...


...and you had multiple instruments recording it. So you really have three sensors, the human sensor and two technical sensors detecting the object. Is that correct?

For the... for the majority of incidents that we had in the last year's report, the majority had multisensor data. When I talk about the 400 reports that we have now, that number will certainly go down because a lot of those new reports that we have are actually historic reports that are narrative-based. So that percentage will go down just as a factor of the fact that the destigmatization has resulted in more narrative reports.

And that is the object we are looking at right now.

That is it right there.

Okay. Last year's report also said that of those 144, 18 of them reportedly appeared to exhibit unusual flight characteristics, appeared to demonstrate advanced technology, and some of them appeared to remain stationary and winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed without discernible means of propulsion.
That is pretty intriguing. And, if you are able to answer this in this setting, are we aware of any foreign adversary capable of moving objects without any discernible means of propulsion?

I think I would -- without discernible means of propulsion, I would say that we are not aware of any adversary that can move an object without discernible means of propulsion.
The question then becomes, in many of these cases where we don't have a discernible means of propulsion in the data that we have, in some cases there is likely sensor artifacts that may be hiding some of that. There is certainly some degree of something that looks like signature management that we have seen from some of these UAP.
But I would caution -- I would simply say that there are a number of events in which we do not have an explanation in which -- and there are a small handful in which there are flight characteristics, there are signature management that we can't explain with the data that we have.
We will continue -- those are obviously the ones that are of most interest to us. Earlier, when we asked about how you avoid technological surprise, the biggest way you avoid technological surprise is by collecting this type of data and by importantly calibrating the assumptions that you go into with how you do that analysis.
I will tell you, within the UAP Task Force, we have one basic assumption and that is that, generally speaking, generally speaking, our sensors operate as designed. And we make that assumption because many times these are multisensor collections. We make no assumptions about the origin of this or that there may or may not be some sort of technology that we don't understand. That is, I think, the key to avoiding technological surprises, by calibrating those assumptions.

And, finally, with respect to the second two videos, showing the small triangles, the hypothesis is that those are commercial drones that, because of the use of night vision goggles, appear like triangles? Is that the operating assessment?

Some type of drone, some type of unmanned aerial system, and it is simply that that light source resolves itself through the night vision goggles onto the SLR camera as a triangle.

And have we, in order to prove that hypothesis, flown a drone and observed it with that same technology to see whether we can reproduce the effect?

The UAP Task Force is aware of studies that have done that.

Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I yield back.

Carson (chairman): The gentleman yields back.
Dr. Wenstrup.

Dr. Wenstrup: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for being here.
My first question is through this process where there has been sightings, have the sightings been stationary? Or have they always been sighted from a moving object, from a plane or a ship that may be moving? Have these reports ever come from a stationary object being observed in the sky?

The UAP Task Force does have reports from stationary, from -- reports from a stationary observer.

There is a difference observing something when you are moving...


...as well as it is physics, right?


That is why I asked that question.
Are we capable or have we made any breakthroughs or anyone made any breakthroughs to be able to sight something and make some determination at all of its composition, whether it is a solid or a gas? Is there any such capability?


Dr. Wenstrup. I am not asking what. I am just...

Right. From some of the returns, I mean, it is clear that the majority -- well, it is clear that many of the observations we have are physical objects from the sensor data that we have.

Well, gas is physical, is a physical object. It can be. And so -- you see where I am going with this? I am trying to determine what it is we are looking at so if we can decide if something is a solid or a gas. Have there been any conclusion on its capabilities, like its capabilities of movement, of turning, going, you know, 180 degrees or a 90-degree turn, anything along that line that we have been able to determine?

Within the -- and, again, I should point out that, you know, that there is not a single explanation for UAP. They make up -- there are a lot of different things that are unidentified aerial phenomena.

Basically, we really don't know much on that. That is all I am trying to get at. And I am pleased that you have protocol right now for our military. But are there any nonmilitary reports coming forward of similar events, or is it all coming from military?

The UAP Task Force has a very good working relationship with the FAA. They have a very good working relationship with other parts of the U.S. Government so that we can ingest reports from...

Do we have any reports nonmilitary?


Thank you. That is my question.
And do we need to put out protocol for civilians that may be in that arena like through FAA? Do you think that would be appropriate and helpful?

I think standardized reporting without a doubt is key to helping us get to the -- to ascertain what some of these are.

I think it would be important as well.
Do we -- there are other people besides the U.S. that have had these experiences and reported them. Is that correct?

There are. That is correct.

Is it all of our allies, or is it allies and adversaries? What have we learned publicly?

Moultrie: So some of that, sir, I think we will save for closed session.

Well, that goes to my next question. Publicly have others made Dr. Wenstrup. anything, which would not have to be considered closed. I don't want you to answer what they have said necessarily.

Bray: Allies have seen these. China has established its own version of a UAP task force. So clearly a number of countries have observations of things in the airspace that they can't identify.

And do we share data with some, with all? Are they sharing with us?

We share data with some, and some share data with us.

But not necessarily all that have publicly reported something?

That is correct.

Okay. And I think that is an important thing and for the other session actually that we don't discuss that now because, you know, obviously something like this can be a national security challenge for us, no doubt about it. If they are developed by an adversary through some breakthrough technology, they can be very disruptive to our military actions or at least serve as a destruction.
So my caution would be: Be careful who we share our data with and don't necessarily trust some of the data that we may get from someone else.
And, with that, I yield back.

Carson (chairman): The gentleman yields back.
Mr. Himes.

Himes: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
One of the objectives of this open hearing is to try to erode some of the stigma that attaches to, in particular, our military men and women reporting this. It is obviously really very serious because, should one of our adversaries have developed a technology that we don't know about it, we need to know about it yesterday. And, obviously, any sort of stigma that prevents our military from reporting this data as comprehensively as possible is a national security threat.
So I really just have two questions in the service of that goal. The first is the chairman asked that we run that video again. Most people, when they see a video, we are all used to seeing things from a car, seeing things from a sidewalk. Very few people have the experience of observing something through night vision goggles at Mach 1.5.
So just talk for a minute about, if you would, whichever of you is most appropriate, how radically different observation is at high speed and three dimension than it is for most of us who walk around and drive cars.

So the first thing I think that is important to note about this is there are lots of things, when you are moving very fast and an object is between you and a stationary reference point like the ground, it gives a lot of different impressions about how quickly something is or isn't moving. And it actually means it is a challenge, especially with narrative-based data, to get a lot of information on that.
That is why the sensor data is so important, because things do happen very quickly, as you see there. And sometimes things that happen very quickly, something may be moving very slow.
That aircraft is moving quite fast. How fast that object is moving that goes by is probably very slow.

So I guess my point is that an observation, either a visual observation or an electronic observation, infrared or whatever, looks radically different than it does to most people. Even instruments, instruments are on gimbals and that sort of thing. So that creates a very unusual view to, again, those of us who are seeing things in two dimension largely.
Second question, I think, Mr. Bray, you said something that I want to unpack a little bit. A number of these UAPs, you said, we can't explain. Again, in the service of sort of reducing speculation and conspiracy theories, "we can't explain" can range from a visual observation that was distant on a foggy night, we don't know what it is, to we have found an organic material that we can't identify. Right? Those are radically different worlds.
So, when you say "we can't explain," give the public a little bit better sense of where on that spectrum of "we can't explain" we are. Are we holding materials, organic or inorganic, that we don't know about? Are we, you know, picking up emanations that are something other than light or infrared that could be deemed to be communications? Give us a sense for what you mean when you say we can't explain.

Sure. When I say we can't explain, I mean exactly as you described. There is a lot of information like the video that we showed in which there is simply too little data to create a reasonable explanation. There are a small handful of cases in which we have more data that our analysis simply hasn't been able to fully pull together a picture of what happened, and those are the cases where we talk about where we see some indications of flight characteristics or signature management that are not what we had expected.
When it comes to material that we have, we have no material. We have detected no emanations within the UAP Task Force that is -- that would suggest it is anything nonterrestrial in origin.
So there is, when I say unexplained, I mean everything from too little data to we simply -- the data that we have doesn't point us towards an explanation, but we will go wherever the data takes us.
Again, we make no assumptions about what this is or isn't. We are committed to understanding these, and so we will go wherever that data takes us.

Thank you. That is very helpful.
And so I think it bears emphasis. When you say "we can't explain," everything that you can't explain is in a bucket called data. Is that correct? And that would mean data collected by sensors, visual observations, everything that "we can't explain," quote/unquote, is in the bucket called data.

Right. A narrative report from the early 2000s, if it just had a little bit of information on it, would be in our database, and it would be unresolved.

Moultrie: I would add to that it is insufficient data. I mean, that is one of the challenges we have. Insufficient data either on the event itself, the object itself, or insufficient data or plug-in with some other organization or agency that may have had something in that space at that time. So it is a data issue that we are facing in many of these instances, Congressman.

Understood. Thank you very much.
. I yield back.

Carson (chairman): The gentleman yields back.
Mr. Gallagher.

Gallagher: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for allowing me to join this hearing. I really appreciate the witness's testimony.
Mr. Moultrie, as the chairman mentioned, DOD had initiative to study UFOs in the 1960s called Project Blue Book. It has also been well reported in our briefing and in other places that we have more recent projects, specifically AATIP. Could you describe any other initiatives that the DOD or DOD contractors have managed after Project Blue Book ended and prior to AATIP beginning? Did anything also predate Project Blue Book?

So I can't speak to what may have predated Project Blue Book. I mean, of course, there is Roswell and all these other things that people have talked about over the years. I am familiar with Blue Book. I am familiar with AATIP. I haven't seen other documented studies that have been done by DOD in that regard.

So you are not aware of anything between Project Blue Book and AATIP.

Not aware of anything that is official that was done in between those two.


Hasn't been brought to my attention.

Okay. Additionally, are you aware of any other DOD or DOD contract programs focused on UAPs from a technological engineering perspective? And by that, I mean, are you aware of any technology initiatives focused on this topic, other than initiatives focused on the individual case investigations?

I am not aware of any contractual programs that are focused on any anything related to this, other than what we are doing in the Navy task force and what we are about to launch in terms of our effort.

Same question for you, Mr. Bray.

Same answer. Not aware of anything outside what we are doing in the UAP Task Force.

So, just to confirm, you are not aware of any technology or engineering resources that have been focused on these efforts besides what we have mentioned today.

Moultrie: Once again, I will say no contractual or programmatic efforts that are involved. The reason why I qualify that...

Would you explain?

Yeah, let me qualify it that way. I can't speak to what people may be looking at in the Department. Somebody says: I am looking at something, I am looking at something that may be identified.
I can't speak to that. I speak to official programs that we have on the record.

It has also been reported that there have been UAP observed and interacting with and flying over sensitive military facilities, not just ranges but some facilities housing our strategic nuclear forces. One such incident allegedly occurred at Malmstrom Air Force Base in which ten of our nuclear ICBMs were rendered inoperable. At the same time, a glowing red orb was observed overhead.
I am not commenting on the accuracy of this. I am simply asking you whether you are aware of it and whether you have any comment on the accuracy of that report.

Let me pass that to Mr. Bray. He has been looking UAPs for the last 3 years.

Bray: That data is not within the holdings of the UAP Task Force.

Okay. But are you aware of the report, that the data exists somewhere?

I have heard stories. I have not seen the official data on that.

So you have just seen informal stories, no official assessment that you have done or exists within DOD that you are aware of regarding the Malmstrom incident.

All I can speak to is, you know, what is within my cognizance of the UAP Task Force. We have not looked at that incident.

Well, I mean, it is a pretty high-profile incident. I don't claim to be an expert on this, but that is out there in the ether. You are the guys investigating it. I mean, who else is doing it?

[10:00 a.m.]

Moultrie: If it is officially brought to our attention, we would look at it. There are many things that are out there in the ether that aren't official brought to our attention.

So how would it have to be officially brought to your attention? I am bringing it to your attention. This is pretty official.

Sure. So we would like to take a look at it, but generally there is some authoritative figure that says: There is an incident that occurs. We would like you to look at this.
But, in terms of just tracking what may be in the media that says that something occurred at this time, at this place, there are probably a lot of leads that we would have to follow up on. I don't think we are resourced to do that right now.

Well, I don't claim to be an authoritative figure, but for what it is to look into it.


If for no other reason, you can dismiss it and say this is not worth wasting resources on.

Will do.

And, finally, are you aware of a document that appeared around the Admiral Wilson memo or EW Notes Memo?

I am not. Are you?

Bray: I am not personally aware of that.

Okay. This is a document against -- again, I am not commenting on veracity; I was hoping you would help me with that -- in which a former head of DIA claims to have had a conversation with a Dr. Eric Wilson and claims to have sort of been made aware of certain contractors or DOD programs that he tried to get full access to and was denied access to. So you are not aware of that?

Moultrie: I am not aware, Congressman.

In my 10 seconds remaining, then, I guess I would ask Mr. Mr. Gallagher. Chairman unanimous consent to enter that memo into the record?

Carson (chairman): Without objection.

[The information follows:]

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate it.

Carson (chairman): Mr. Krishnamoorthi.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.
And thank you to both of you for appearing today and for your public service. The first question is -- there have been no collisions between any U.S. assets in one of these UAPs, correct?

We have not had a collision. We have had at least 11 near misses, though.

And maybe we will talk about those 11 near misses or any place where there is close proximity. I assume -- or tell me if I am wrong -- there has been no attempt -- there is no communications or any kind of communication signals that emanate from those objects that we have detected, correct.

That is correct.

And have we attempted to communicate with those objects?


So we don't even put an alert saying, you know, U.S. -- you know, "identify yourself, you are, you know, within our flight path," or something like that? We haven't said anything like that?

We have not put anything out like that. Generally speaking, what -- you know, for example, in the video that we showed earlier, it appears to be something that is, you know, unmanned. It appears to be something that may or may not be in controlled flight. And so we have not attempted any communication with that.

Okay. So -- and I assume we have never discharged any armaments against a UAP, correct?

That is correct.

How about wreckage? Have we come across any wreckage of any kind of object that has now been examined by you?

The UAP Task Force doesn't have any wreckage that isn't explainable -- that isn't consistent with being of terrestrial origin.

Do we have any sensors underwater to detect on submerged UAPs? Anything that is in the ocean or in the seas?

Mr. Moultrie. So I think that would be more appropriately addressed in closed session, sir.

Okay. I think one of the biggest questions that I have is we say with a lot of probability, we say that they, quote/unquote, probably do represent physical objects, close quote. When we say "probably," is that because we cannot conclusively say that they are physical objects?

In a task force report, when I say probably represent physical objects, most of them represent physical objects. There could be some that are more of a, of a, you know, meteorological phenomena, or something like that, that may not be a physical object in the sense that most people think of something you go up and touch.

But the ones where you say most of them represent physical objects, can you say that they are definitely, like with a hundred percent certainty, that they are physical objects?

I can say with certainty that a number of these are physical objects?

Okay. So we can't rule out that some of them may not be physical objects?

Mr. Bray. Some certainly could be a sensor anomaly or something like that. Some could be.

Now how about with regard to UAPs? We have talked about UAPs on training areas. But, obviously, there is some sense or bias. I would think we put sensors in training areas. How about with regard to nontraining areas? Do we track what is in open source and what civilians and others have tracked, and have we found similarities to what they have observed in terms of UAPs in nontraining areas to the ones that are in training areas?

The UAP Task Force has worked very hard to make sure the data set that we are working with is a data set that we have very good control over that data. So we have some partnerships with FAA so that we get some of that -- so we get that reporting in. But if it comes to just, you know, open-source reports or someone says that they saw something, that generally does not make it into our database.

So, basically, it sounds like we have a good partnership with FAA. But, apart from FAA, we don't have partnerships with other agencies or other entities that might be tracking so that we could enlarge our dataset to make comparisons.

Moultrie: We will. So that is the next goal of this next effort will be to expand that relationship with the rest of the government and the interagency. So we can understand what they are seeing, what we are seeing. We can correlate on each other's holdings...

Because I think...

...to try to resolve this.

...because I think -- sorry to interrupt. But I think that we are -- we might have a bias right now going on with regard to just reporting on UAPs being in training areas when we don't really track what is happening elsewhere. Last question, have our encounters with UAPs altered the development of our -- either of offensive or defensive capabilities or even our sensor capabilities?

We would save that for the closed session.

Okay. Great. Thank you.

Carson (Chairman): Mr. LaHood.

LaHood: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I want to thank the witnesses for being here today. Obviously, this topic of UAPs has attracted a lot of interest in people that are curious about this hearing today. As we talk about -- and I would say there is a lot of what I would call amateur interest groups that are involved in the UAP field. My question is, when there are unsubstantiated claims or manufactured claims of UAPs or kind of false information that is put out there, what are the consequences for people that are involved with that or groups that are involved with that?

So one of the concerns that we have is that there are a lot of individuals and groups that are putting information out there that that could be considered to be somewhat self-serving. We are trying to do what is in the best interest of, one, the Department of Defense, and two, what is in the best interest of the public to ensure that we can put factual-based information back into the mainstream and back into the bloodstream of the reporting media that we have, so people understand what is there. It is important because we are attempting, as this hearing has drawn out, to understand, one, what may just be natural phenomenon; two, what may be sensor phenomenology or things that were happening with sensors; three, what may be legitimate counterintelligence threats to places that we have or bases or installations, or security threats to our platforms. And anything that diverts us off of what we have with the resources that have been allocated to us send us off in these spurious chases and hunts that are just not helpful. Well, they also contribute to the undermining of the confidence that the Congress and the American people have that we are trying to get to the root cause of what is happening here and report on that, and then feed that back into our national security apparatus so we are able to protect the American people and our allies. So it is harmful. It is hurtful, but hopefully, if we get more information out there, we will start to lessen the impact of some of those spurious reports?

So, just taking that a step further, that misinformation, false narratives, manufactured -- so what are the consequences? Are there legal consequences? Are there examples that you can give us where people have been held accountable by this misinformation or disinformation?

I can't give you, you know, any examples where somebody has been legally held liable for putting something out there, but...

Well, I guess, what is the deterrent from people engaging in this activity?

I don't know. I don't have that answer. That is something that, you know -- I would welcome a dialogue with Congress to talk about that with the Members who, you know, helped legislate those laws to say, what should be the legal ramifications that we could use to potentially hold individuals accountable, whether the citizens or information that might be injected into our media by other forces or other countries, if you will?

And, in terms of DOD's review and analysis in this field, I mean, is there a standard in place when it comes to UAPs? I mean, is there any guidance you look to that is codified in law or otherwise within DOD that kind of sets out the standard for UAPs and what to look for?

I think that is part of what the group that we are standing up now would be chartered to do. We are actually -- from my organization, we will be looking at policies and standards that we have to come to you and work with you to actually put in place and promulgate across our government

Thank you. I yield back.

Carson (Chairman): The gentleman yields back.
Mr. Welch.

Welch: Thank you.
I am going to follow on the line of questions from Mr. LaHood.
Gentlemen, what seems incredibly difficult for you is that there is two almost competing but different narratives. One is it is -- no one knows whether there is extraterrestrial life. It is a big universe. And it would be pretty presumptuous to have a hard and fast conclusion. And, if there is, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that there is some exploration coming here, and that underlies a lot of the reports you get. I think Mr. LaHood was asking about that. People think there must be extraterritorial life, and it is not at all beyond the pale that there would be a visit here.
On the other hand, as the DOD, you have the responsibility to make sure that our national security is protected and that if there are surveillance drones or active drones, it can disable our systems that has to be analyzed and has to be stopped. So how do you divide these -- how do you separate the responsibilities where you get all of these reports from folks who may be in good faith, maybe not, believe that you should be investigating every possible report of an extraterrestrial incident? I will start with you, Mr. Moultrie.

Sure. Indeed, Congressman, and thank you for the question. It is important that we, as a part of this effort, really build out the relationship that we have with others, including NASA, and for the reasons that you just pointed out. So there are elements in our government that are engaged in looking for life in other places, and they have been doing that for decades. They have been searching for extraterrestrial life. There are astrobiologists who have been doing this too. We are a part of that same government. And so our goal is not to potentially cover up something if we were to find something, it is to understand what may be out there, examine what it may mean for us, if there are any, from a defense perspective, any national security implications or ramifications, but then to work with organizations, as appropriate, if it is a weather phenomenology with NOAA, if it is a potential for extraterrestrial life or indication of extraterrestrial life with someone like NASA.

So the transparency actually is very important...


...for public consumption.


We are going to have a classified briefing. Without going into the details of what kinds of secrets that we can't share here, what is it -- what are we protecting? I don't know if you can answer this question in this open forum, but, in fact, your perception of what it is we have to, quote, protect.

Well, I think right now what is really important for us to protect is how we know certain things. So there are a lot of things that we know -- whether it be about the thinking of other leaders around the world, the weapon systems that are being developed, or how we detect things that may be threats to us. Many of those things are the result of some of our most sensitive sources and methods. And we will use those things not just for this effort, but those same sources and methods are used to help protect us from adversaries and from others who might mean to do us harm.
There aren't separate UAP sensors. There is not a separate UAP processing computer. There is not a separate UAP dissemination chain, or whatever. So it is the same process. It is the same system that we have -- that helps us do all that. We need to protect them because this is something that we are looking at, but there are going to be other things that we will look at in the future that we will need those same sensors, we will need those same sources and methods to help us do. So we are protecting the fact that this Nation has developed capabilities that enable us to know what may be threats to us and to counter those threats before they become something of a national issue.

Thank you very much. I want to thank you both you, Mr. Bray, and you, Mr. Moultrie, for your appearance today.
I yield back.

Carson (Chairman): The gentleman yields back.
Gentlemen, beyond videos, is there a range of other information that the executive branch has that would be valuable to the American people while protecting sources and methods, obviously? The details of individual encounters, including the time, place, and details of an encounter? And does the AOIMSG have a clear and repeatable process for considering public release as part of the process?

Bray: Chairman Carson, the...

And do you commit to building that process if it is not in place?

The UAP Task Force, you know, the security classification guide that UAP Task Force has been operating under that I approved really was meant to protect those sources and methods and meant to protect any knowledge that an adversary intelligence entity may gain from understanding what we are tracking, how we track it, or when we are tracking it, or if we are not. And so that has been an important piece in the balance between transparency and preserving our warfighting advantage because the U.S. military does train as it would fight.
What I will commit to is at least for that material that is under my authority as a Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, for information that we have when it does not involve sources and methods or -- and when we can with a reasonable degree of confidence determine that it does not pose a foreign intelligence or national security threat, and it is within my authority to do so, I commit to declassifying that. So I believe very much in the transparency of this, and we work very hard to balance that with our national security needs.

Moultrie: And I will just add, Congressman, just over the last 3, 4 months, I think that the Intelligence Community and the national defense apparatus have disclosed more information on various events than it has probably seen in the previous 10 years. You have our commitment to work closely with the Director of National Intelligence and others in the declassification and downgrading of intel apparatus to ensure that we can get whatever information that we can out to the American people and to the public writ large.

I greatly appreciate it, sir.
Ranking Member Crawford.

Crawford: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Representative Stefanik is en route, I believe. Just real quickly, but in the interim, if I could, if you will indulge me, I just have a couple real small questions. One is, do we have an example? Can you cite a specific example of an object that can't be explained as having been human-made or natural?

I mean, the example that I would say that it is still unresolved that I think everyone understands quite well is the incident from Nimitz. We have data on that, and that simply remains unresolved. It does not mean it resolves to being something, right, that is easily explainable or difficult -- obviously, it resolved to being something that is difficult to explain. But I can't point to something that definitively was not manmade, but I can point to a number of examples which remain unresolved.

Gotcha. With regard to videos that have appeared in open-source channels, for example, a TikTok video, does AOIMSG maintain control of videos? And how to you prevent leaks of potentially classified videos or other material?

So the AOIMSG, as we establish that organization, we will have a process for classified and compartmental holdings, and we will find a way of getting positive control over those. We have our sensitive access programs and special access programs that allow us to put what we call SAPs around things, and there is controlled access programs that allow us to put CAPs around things. So we will have that in place. Our goal would be ensuring that we are sharing that with the appropriate analysts and the appropriate exploiters, if you will, who can look at that data too. What we don't want to do is bring something into a DOD database or a DOD holding and then have somebody wrap us around it is not available to those who really need to look at it and to exploit it. And so that is one of the reasons we are establishing relationships with the interagency, with the IC, and others to be able to do that, sir. But we will do our best to maintain positive control over the materials that we have within our holdings.

Thank you.

Carson (Chairman): Chairman Schiff.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am just going back to the report, you know, under the category of UAP appear to demonstrate advanced technology, those 18 incidents in which some of the UAP appeared to remain stationary, winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly or move at considerable speed without discernible means of propulsion. It goes on to say, in a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency energy associated with UAP sightings. I couldn't tell from that whether that small number of cases was a part of the subset of 18, that is, among the 18 which appeared to move with unusual pattern of flight characteristics, did some of those also emit radio frequency energy?

Bray: I would to have check with our UAP Task Force on that. I believe -- without getting into specifics that we can do in the closed session -- at least some that we have detected RF emissions from were not behaving oddly otherwise.

And the significance of measuring that radio frequency energy is what, that we suspect that this was some form of aircraft in which there were radio transmissions?

The biggest thing that you are looking for there is any indication of an effort to jam whatever sensors that we may have looking at it.

Moultrie: But I would also add to that that radio frequency, as you know, Congressman is used to control various platforms too. So the fact of emanations coming off of any platform, whether it be a UAV or another platform, could be radio frequency activity related to that entity transmitting out or something transmitting to that platform, and, of course, we have a sensitivity with our airborne platforms of picking it up, which is one of the reasons that we try to prevent people from using their cell phones on airplanes and things like that. It is very sensitive to RF simulation. So that is a part of what we will be looking at in the AOIMSG. What is... is this something we can collect on? And can we start to characterize the signaling environment around the emanations that may be coming off of some of these UAPs?

So that energy then that was recorded could be either an effort to jam, or it could be an effort to control UAV or any other communication with that craft?

I would say that is accurate.

Bray: Right.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Carson (chairman): Thank you, Chairman.
As the ODNI report makes clear, one possible explanation for UAPs is that we are detecting U.S. aircraft, either secret air programs or even test prototypes. I won't ask you in this setting, obviously, to describe any secret DOD programs. That said, I do want to make sure the U.S. Government isn't chasing its own tail.
Firstly, do you have a clear and repeatable process to check with compartmented programs about whether a UAP sighting is attributable to a U.S. aircraft? Secondly, does the AOIMSG staff have the clearances and read-ons that they need to investigate all of these incidents? And, thirdly, when your staff cannot be read on, are your questions to those who are read on even being answered?

Moultrie: Well, I will start, and then I will pass that to Mr. Bray. So we are very conscious of the potential blue-on-blue issue or U.S. on U.S. And so we have established relationships with organizations and entities that are potentially flying or developing platforms for their own interest, if you will. And our goal is to continue. And we have a repeatable process -- I think we have had that process for some time -- to deconflict activities that we may have to ensure that we are not potentially reporting on something that may be a developmental platform or a U.S. operational platform that is performing, either testing or performing a mission.
So we will have that in place. We have already had those discussions with organizations and entities. We want to ensure that we are protecting their equities. We want to ensure that we are protecting their sources and methods while also getting at we have here; we want to be able to deconflict those.

Bray: Absolutely. The UAP Task Force has had a process in place to work with other elements of the Department of Defense and other elements of the government to ensure that there is as simple a way as possible to deconflict those. And, when we reference that in the report, I should say that we were simply accounting for the fact that there could possibly be one or two data points that had leaked through, but we were quite confident that was not the explanation.

How are you all liaising with space command? Specifically, how are you partnering with the parts of the U.S. base command responsible for space domain awareness? And how, if at all, are you partnering with the Space Force to analyze UAPs?

The UAP Task Force has a very good relationship with Space Force as it does with the rest of the Department of Defense. We have pulled analysts in from Space Force to ensure that we are availing ourselves of that expertise as well as any other material they may have that would be helpful.

Moultrie: And, Congressman, as you know, Space Force and Space Command, they have responsibility for space domain awareness. So what we have done, we coordinated with Space Force, we coordinated with their J-2. And she is on board in terms of helping us plug into what they have and for us to have this interactive exchange of information and data. And we are doing that with all the services, not just with Space Force or Space Command.

Thank you, sir.
Ranking member, any additional questions? All right.
Chairman Schiff? All right. With that, I want to thank you all for taking the time out.
I also want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for participating in this very historical and important hearing. I think it is one of the few times we can demonstrate some degree of bipartisanship around UAPs and UFOs. So I love it. I appreciate it. Thank you.
We will see you all. We will recess this hearing for the moment and return in a closed session at noon.

[Whereupon, at 10:28 a.m., the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene in closed session at 12:00 p.m., the same day.]