The 118th Congress has found itself captivated by conspiracy theories surrounding unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs), commonly referred to as UFOs. Former intelligence officer David Grusch has made claims about the existence of non-human aircraft and the withholding of evidence by US intelligence officials. While skeptics and believers abound, lawmakers from both parties are investigating these claims. However, there are concerns that the merging of “deep state” theories with claims about extraterrestrial activity will only add to the confusion and misinformation already present in today’s political landscape.
While some congressional leaders laughed off the claims or dismissed them, there is a vocal faction of far-right lawmakers who view them as validation. Representative Tim Burchett believes that the Pentagon’s budget is inflated due to funding secret UAP programs, while Representative Matt Gaetz claims to have seen evidence of unknown aircraft. These far-right members, along with others, are leading the inquiry into UAPs in the House of Representatives.
The Senate has also shown interest in UAPs in recent years, and the increased pressure has led to a significant rise in the number of UAP sightings monitored by the government. Senators are particularly concerned about accusations that the federal government is hiding Special Access Programs (SAPs) from Congress. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is sponsoring an amendment to mandate reporting on SAPs to Congress. While some senators remain skeptical, they acknowledge the need to collect data and investigate these phenomena further.
Lawmakers are also awaiting more answers regarding the spy balloons that made headlines earlier in the year. The Biden administration held classified briefings for members of Congress, during which UAPs were brought up, revealing thousands of sightings over the years. The reports of UAPs hovering over military sites have raised concerns among lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
The investigation into UAPs by Congress reflects the current political climate, where conspiracy theories have gained traction and alternative facts have become increasingly influential. While there is a desire to seek the truth and address legitimate concerns, there is also a risk of perpetuating confusion and misinformation. It remains to be seen how Congress will navigate this complex issue and whether any substantial evidence will emerge to support the claims made by Grusch and others.