Just in time for Independence Day.
Capitol Hill lawmakers said Wednesday that UFOs could pose a pressing threat to America’s national security, as they emerged from a highly classified briefing with Navy and FBI officials on the unexplained phenomena.
Ahead of the release of a highly anticipated Pentagon report on unidentified flying objects before month’s end, members of the House Intelligence Committee received a hush-hush sneak preview inside a SCIF, or “sensitive compartmented information facility.”
As for the existence of extraterrestrial life, the lawmakers largely left the secrets inside the surveillance-proof room, declining to tell reporters what they learned.
But some did voice concerns that the UFOs — which may be espionage assets controlled by America’s foreign adversaries, in a possible explanation just slightly less terrifying than the vanguard of an alien invasion — could pose a danger to national security.
“We take the issue of unexplained aerial phenomena seriously to the extent that we’re dealing with the safety and security of US military personnel or the national security interests of the United States, so we want to know what we’re dealing with,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY).
“I think it’s important to understand that there are legitimate questions involving the safety and security of our personnel, and in our operations and in our sensitive activities, and we all know that there’s [a] proliferation of technologies out there,” he continued. “We need to understand the space a little bit better.”
Added Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), “You know it’s always about our safety and security — our national security is [priority] number one — and so that’s really the area where we really focused on this morning.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee’s chairman, implied that the briefing was eye-opening, but too declined to get into specifics ahead of the release of a public report.
“It was an interesting briefing,” the California Democrat said. “I did learn things that were certainly new to me. But I think I’m going to leave it at that.”
Republican Illinois Rep. Andre Carson, who has been heading efforts on the UFO inquiry, said that Americans should expect an eventual public hearing on the report’s findings.
“We’re looking forward to having a public hearing at some point,” he said. “I mean, there’s some national security concerns that we want to take into consideration.”
Fellow Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley said that, if anything, the landmark report shows that UFOs are finally being taken seriously.
“The stigma is gone,” said the Democrat. “Now that’s as big a change in policy as I’ve witnessed about this issue in my lifetime. So the fact that they are taking this sort of thing seriously for the first time, I think, is important.”
Referencing the 1997 sci-fi flick “Contact” — adapted from a Carl Sagan novel — Quigley admitted that the report won’t have all the answers and that some things remain unexplainable.
“What do they say in ‘Contact?’ Occam’s razor,” he said. “I still think that’s what’s real, and there are things we can’t explain.”
But with so many mysteries of the universe still beyond human understanding, Quigley cautioned Americans against getting their hopes up for the report.
“If I had to predict how the public will react to this, one word would be ‘disappointing,’” he said.
Added a clearly unimpressed Democratic Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, “I’m not on the edge of my seat.”