15 key questions for today’s UFO hearing

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The House Oversight Committee is set to hold an extraordinary hearing featuring three former military officers who have made eyebrow-raising statements about UFOs in recent years.

David Grusch, a former intelligence official, alleges that elements of the U.S. government oversee an illegal, decades-long UFO crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program.

Former U.S. Navy commander David Fravor, a Top Gun-trained ex-squadron commander, was one of four aviators who observed in person an object demonstrating apparently physics-defying maneuvers off the coast of San Diego in 2004.

Ryan Graves, another former Navy fighter pilot, is among dozens of aviators who observed unidentified objects exhibiting remarkable flight characteristics daily off the U.S. East Coast in 2014-2015. Graves is the executive director of Americans for Safe Aerospace.

So here are 15 key questions that should be put to these witnesses.

For David Grusch:

1. How significant is the UFO-related legislation currently working its way through Congress?

On July 13, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), along with a bipartisan group of five other senators, introduced a remarkable amendment that defines “non-human intelligence” and “legacy [UFO crash retrieval and reverse-engineering] program.” It requires that the U.S. government seize any UFOs and “biological evidence of non-human intelligence” held by private companies. The legislation also includes a sweeping provision that all government UFO records “carry the presumption of immediate [public] disclosure.”

Schumer’s amendment follows several years’ worth of remarkable UFO-related legislation, including a recent, bipartisan proposal to immediately halt all government funding for clandestine UFO retrieval and reverse-engineering programs.

According to Schumer, Congress “uncovered a vast web of individuals” who claim that the U.S. government “was concealing important information regarding [UFOs] over broad periods of time.” Based on the language in the legislation, the UFO whistleblowers who spoke to Congress appear to have corroborated the broad contours of Grusch’s stunning allegations of long-standing illegal UFO recovery and analysis activities.

2. What investigative steps did you take that ultimately led you to conclude that the U.S. government or defense contractors have recovered and are reverse-engineering multiple craft of “non-human” origin? In general terms, characterize the background and credibility of your sources.

According to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “Either what [Grusch] is saying is partially or entirely true, or we have some really smart, educated people with high clearances and very important positions in our government who are crazy and are leading us on a goose chase.”

“Most of these people,” Rubio continued, “have held very high clearances and high positions within our government. So, you ask yourself: ‘What incentive would so many people with that kind of qualification — these are serious people — have to come forward and make something up?’”

3. Investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger reported that the U.S. government or private entities are in possession of at least a dozen craft of “non-human” origin. Are Shellenberger’s sources independent of your investigation?

4. Describe the intelligence community inspector general’s conclusions regarding your claims, as well as the significance of a former intelligence community inspector general representing you as you proceeded through the whistleblower process.

As Rubio confirmed, the intelligence community inspector general, the powerful internal investigative authority that oversees the U.S. government’s spy agencies, deemed Grusch’s allegations “credible and urgent.” Moreover, the intelligence community’s first inspector general — appointed by President Obama, confirmed by the Senate and now a high-profile attorney in private practice — filed Grusch’s complaint with the current inspector general.

5. Were you retaliated against as a result of your investigation? If so, how?

6. Are you aware of any former Cabinet secretaries, agency heads or other high-profile officials with knowledge of the UFO retrieval and reverse-engineering activities that you allege exist?

In recent years, former CIA directors, an ex-director of national intelligence, the sitting director of national intelligence, the current NASA administrator and Presidents Obama and Clinton (among others) have made very curious comments regarding UFOs. According to Rubio, “There are still a lot of people that I think are starting to edge towards coming forward and we hear may be coming forward but are still trying to see how it plays out for the people that came forward first.”

7. The Pentagon cleared your comments to the media. How were your more extraordinary statements approved?

If elements of the U.S. government have been withholding extraordinary information from Congress illegally, it seems unlikely that such activities would be disclosed to the Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review.

8. What is your response to the Department of Defense’s meticulously worded denials of your allegations?

9. You stated that elements of the U.S. government maintain “a sophisticated [UFO] disinformation campaign targeting the U.S. populace.” Can you elaborate?

10. In May 2021, you were the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) representative the UAP Task Force when an NRO surveillance satellite captured multiple images of an airborne “Tic Tac”-shaped craft. What can you tell us about this incident?

In addition to stating that UFOs exhibit “technologies that we don’t have and, frankly, that we can’t defend against,” former director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe confirmed that U.S. surveillance satellites have captured images and video of UFOs.

For Commander Fravor and Lt. Graves:

11. In media interviews, internet bloggers claim that the now-famous 2004 “Tic Tac” and 2015 “Gimbal” U.S. Navy UFO videos show distant, misidentified jets. Do you disagree? Why?

A scientific analysis of the “Gimbal” video, which was presented at a recent American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics conference, finds that the object demonstrated extraordinary flight characteristics. (Full disclosure: I am a co-author of the paper.)

A geometrical analysis of the 2004 “FLIR1” (Tic Tac) video, utilizing identical methods, is forthcoming. Separately, three-dimensional recreations of the incident, which account for the position of the sun, yield remarkable results.

Lastly, a mathematical analysis of the “GoFast” UFO video presented at a recent NASA public meeting omitted a key variable — the effect of strong winds — which resulted in inaccurate findings. Airplanes, after all, do not fly in a vacuum.

12. Could secret U.S. technology explain your UFO incidents?

Military personnel inadvertently exposed to highly classified technology are debriefed and required to sign non-disclosure agreements. Moreover, the U.S. government operates designated testing ranges so that secret, experimental craft are not flown in tightly controlled training airspace over international waters.

For Commander Fravor:

13. The well-documented “Tic Tac” incidents involving your fighter squadron and carrier strike group occurred 19 years ago. Despite observations by three radar systems, an infrared video camera and at least five aviators, the Pentagon refuses to speculate on your extraordinary encounter. What is your response?

For Lt. Graves:

14. What kind of technology could account for the remarkable flight characteristics that you and dozens of your fellow aviators observed daily, over the course of years, in designated training airspace off the U.S. East Coast?

Recent Department of Defense statements confirmed and validated Graves’ descriptions of spherical objects capable of remaining stationary over the ground (sometimes, according to Graves, against hurricane-force winds) or traveling at the speed of sound for anomalously long durations.

15. How would you characterize the government’s response to the flight safety hazard and national security threat that exasperated you and your fellow aviators nearly a decade ago?

Nine years have elapsed since aircrews filed multiple hazard reports about UFOs posing a “critical risk” and “a several threat to Naval Aviation” — particularly after two fighter jets from Graves’ squadron nearly collided with one of the reported spherical objects. To date, aviators have received few answers.

Marik von Rennenkampff served as an analyst with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, as well as an Obama administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense.

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