In recent news, a Tennessee Republican congressman, Rep. Tim Burchett, has accused the U.S. government of a “huge cover-up” following a spike in “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP) sightings, commonly known as UFOs. On January 12th, 2022, the Office for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) published an unclassified report on UFO sightings. The report revealed a total of 510 UAP sightings, with the overall reported sightings since the previous year’s report jumping by 366. This includes both sightings reported since the 2021 report was published and a further 119 sightings “either discovered or reported late,” but still within the previous report’s timeframe.
Of the new sightings, just over half were deemed “unremarkable,” the report stated. The majority of these were categorized as “balloon-like entities,” with others dismissed as clutter, such as plastic bags or drones. Of the 171 remaining reported sightings, some “appear to have demonstrated unusual flight characteristics or performance capabilities, and require further analysis,” according to the report. The Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office is tasked with investigating reported sightings.
Speaking in the wake of the report’s publication, Rep. Tim Burchett stated that “we’ve been covering this up since the 40s,” adding to NewsNation on Saturday that he doesn’t “trust [the] government, [and] there’s an arrogance about it, and I think the American public can handle it.” He called for the government to “release everything,” following up by adding that “we need to find out what’s going on.” He also mentioned that this includes “a craft which I believe at some point […] we have obtained some materials that are not of this world that are being studied by different members of industry I’ve been told,” he said.
Later on in the segment, the Tennessee Republican alleged there was a “huge cover-up, for whatever reason,” adding that “America is ready to know, and stop with all the shenanigans.” He believes that the American public has a right to know what’s happening and that the government should not be hiding information on UFOs.
The DNI report also acknowledged that the majority of the new sightings of UAPs had come from American military personnel, notably from the U.S. Navy and Air Force “during the course of their operational duties.” Many of these sightings could not produce data that is detailed enough to have a high degree of certainty about the sighting, according to the report. The report also states that these “unidentified aerial phenomena” could pose safety risk as an “unauthorized presence in the airspace, operating outside of air traffic control standards and instruction.” However, there are currently no reported collisions between UAP and U.S. aircraft.
In a press release accompanying the report, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder stated that they “take reports of incursions into our designated space, land, sea, or airspaces seriously and examine each one.” Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon’s under secretary of defense for intelligence and security, told reporters on December 16, 2022, that U.S. intelligence had not come across anything “that would lead us to believe that any of the objects that we have seen are of alien origin.”
Back in April 2020, the Pentagon published three videos captured by U.S. navy pilots after their “unauthorized releases” into the public domain. “The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified,'” the Defense Department said.
Overall, the recent report and statements by Rep. Tim Burchett have brought attention to the issue of UFOs and the possibility of a government cover-up. As more and more