WASHINGTON — A $840 billion defense bill passed by the House last week includes a new secure system for reporting of unidentified aerial phenomena.
A bipartisan amendment to create a system encouraging reporting of unexplained phenomena by the government, contractors or federal programs was tucked into the bill that passed 329-101.
The new system for reporting unidentified aerial phenomena has support in the Senate from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee.
U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., who sponsored the House amendment with U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., said efforts would be made “to improve this bill” as it moves to a House-Senate conference committee to finalize the authorizing legislation.
The new system to be created comes after Congress held its first hearing in more than 50 years on what were once known as unidentified flying objects.
Pentagon officials testified in May that the number of unexplained aerial phenomena has increased, but there has been no evidence found to indicate the activity is from otherworldly origin.
The officials testified before a House Intelligence subcommittee, a half century after Congress held a hearing on UFOs in 1969.
Since then, Pentagon officials said they tried to eliminate the stigma of reporting unexplained sightings, many by military pilots. They also acknowledged the curiosity of the American people over reports that have captured the public’s imagination.
“We want to know what’s out there just like you want to know what’s out there,” said Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon’s top intelligence and security official, in testimony before the subcommittee in May.
The new system would fall under the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group, which was established in November 2021 on behalf of the Defense secretary and director of national intelligence, which takes the place of a Navy task force studying the program.