Welcome to this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief… with the latest in a series of Congressional hearings on unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) quickly approaching, this week in our analysis, we’ll be looking at 1) the latest news on next week’s National Security Subcommittee Hearing on UAP, 2) who the witnesses are that will be providing testimony during the hearing, and 3) what we can expect out of next week’s open session.
Quote of the Week
“The status quo on the part of the U.S. government has been to leave the American public in the dark regarding information about UAPs, refuse to answer questions posed by whistleblowers, avoid the concerns Americans have about the possible threats UAPs pose to our national security and public safety, and default to extreme and unnecessary over-classification.”
– Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.)
Latest News: This week in reporting from The Debrief, the mysteries of the Amazon rainforest that have been hidden for nearly five centuries may finally be revealed… by a NASA space laser called GEDI. Meanwhile, we take a look at the history of Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Spirit, the U.S. Air Force’s multi-role bomber and one of the most iconic military aircraft in modern history, as it celebrated three decades in service earlier this week. You can find links to all our latest stories at the end of this newsletter.
Podcasts: In podcasts from The Debrief, on The Micah Hanks Program, we look at what has been presented in draft language as “The UAP Disclosure Act of 2023” and the incredible measures it is calling for, which include the release of records pertaining to the collection of exotic UAP craft, biological representations of non-human intelligence, and much more. Also, be sure to catch The Debrief Weekly Report, where MJ Banias and Stephanie Gerk discuss the GWB discovery and a 25-year-old bet over the theory of human consciousness. You can subscribe to all of The Debrief’s podcasts, including audio editions of Rebelliously Curious, by heading over to our Podcasts Page.
With housekeeping out of the way, it’s now time to shift our attention toward next week’s National Security Subcommittee hearing on UAP, and what we can expect out of it.
National Security Subcommittee to Hold a New Hearing on UAP
On Thursday, details about a forthcoming hearing on unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) were announced in a press release issued by the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs.
The hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, July 26, will be titled “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency.”
Thursday, the official list of witnesses was also released at the website of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, confirming that former fighter pilots Ryan Graves, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Aerospace, and Rt. Commander David Fravor, Former Commanding Officer of the U.S. Navy’s Black Aces Squadron, will provide testimony alongside David Grusch, a former National Reconnaissance Officer who served as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s representative to the UAP Task Force from 2019 until 2021.
So what can we expect in advance of next week’s hearing, and what is the likelihood that there will there be any significant new information revealed?
Familiar Faces, New Perspectives
In advance of the release of the witnesses this morning, public speculation had focused primarily on who would be providing testimony at next week’s hearing. However, in a statement earlier this week, Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN) said that the testimony would be provided by “pilots,” strongly suggesting that some of those in attendance would be former Navy pilots who had encountered UAP in recent years.
Now that those suspicions have been confirmed, it prompted some to argue that we are unlikely to glean much new information about the UAP situation, given that Dave Fravor and Ryan Graves have spoken many times about their experiences in recent years.
Among those had been skeptic Mick West, who took to Twitter early on Thursday noting that “Fravor and Graves have already told their story countless times,” adding that “Grusch is not a firsthand witness. People have told him stuff.”
“Unless he’s going to name names (and hangers), then what are we going to get from this hearing?” West asked in a Tweet.
Of course, we simply won’t know what kinds of new information might be forthcoming until next week’s hearing actually takes place. However, it doesn’t seem likely that the three witnesses in attendance were chosen purely for a lack of there being any alternatives. Sean Kirkpatrick, the Director of the DoD’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, was quoted this morning saying, “We’ve interviewed almost 30 individuals who have come in to provide their testimony,” though adding that none of the testimony AARO has received “has yet led to any verifiable information that substantiates the claim that the U.S. government has those ships or has a reverse engineering program either in the past or currently.”
In likelihood, many of the witnesses Kirkpatrick and AARO have interviewed would currently be unable to appear during an open hearing overseen by the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, given their current line of duty and the problems that could arise from them coming forward publicly.
In any case, the widespread attention the UAP topic has received in recent days no doubt played a significant part in prompting next week’s hearing, and in no small part thanks to the claims of one of the witnesses who will be in attendance.
All Eyes on David Grusch
The statements of pilots Dave Fravor and Ryan Graves in recent years regarding their experiences have played a vital role in helping reshape public attitudes—as well as attitudes within the U.S. government—toward the UAP issue. However, much of the anticipation in advance of next week’s hearing involve the more recent explosive claims of David Grusch, which involve the alleged acquisition of technologies of non-human origin by our government.
Since his story was first revealed by The Debrief in early June, subsequent reporting that included a lengthy interview with Grusch by Australian investigative journalist Ross Coulthart has helped bring widespread attention to his story. According to Grusch, while employed with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and serving as its representative to the UAP Task Force, the predecessor to the DoD’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, he learned about an alleged U.S. government program involved in the recovery of craft believed to be of non-human origin, information about which has been withheld from Congress for decades.
For now, Grusch’s claims remain uncorroborated by any physical evidence supporting such vehicular recoveries or of the program that purportedly retrieved them. However, of significance had been the fact that he filed an official complaint with the Intelligence Community Inspector General, to which he says he provided “hours of recorded classified information transcribed into hundreds of pages,” as Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal reported for The Debrief in June, “which included specific data about the materials recovery program.”
What to Expect in the Latest Round of UAP Hearings
While it seems unlikely that any of the much-desired corroborative information about Grusch’s claims will come out in next week’s hearing, there remains a good possibility that new revelations may result from the testimony the witnesses provide.
Although many viewers seemed dissatisfied with April’s Senate hearing on UAP featuring testimony from AARO Director Sean Kirkpatrick, in it he shared a series of slides conveying newly declassified information on UAP characteristics that included common sizes, shapes, electronic signatures associated with them, and areas where they are frequently observed. This, in addition to a short video depicting a spherical object that AARO currently still characterizes as unidentified.
This information, previously withheld in a pair of assessments on UAP that appeared on the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, appeared publicly for the first time during April’s Senate hearing. Despite the lackluster responses it received, the hearing, and particularly the new UAP data provided by Dr. Kirkpatrick, represent an example of the kinds of useful new information that may arise from such hearings. Indeed, maybe next week’s hearing will bear similar fruit.
In a statement issued early on Thursday, Ryan Graves said that “Unidentified objects in our airspace present an urgent and critical safety and national security issue.”
“If UAP are foreign assets, we must respond appropriately,” Graves said. “If UAP continue to defy conventional explanation — we must invest in scientific research.”
Ultimately Graves thanked Congress “for holding hearings to ask hard questions and support UAP witnesses,” adding that he will “look forward to speaking about my experience and representing the pilots and aircrew who have shared their UAP accounts with Americans for Safe Aerospace.”
A potentially revolutionary unmanned pseudo-satellite that runs completely on solar power has just completed its first test flight by reaching the stratosphere over the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is leading a new effort to establish a commission to declassify United States government documents and other materials related to unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP).