Speaker 1: Chairman chef chairman Carson ranking member Crawford and committee members. Uh, thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today to highlight the ongoing work of the department of defense, uh, regarding unidentified aerial phenomena, since the early two thousands, uh, we have seen an increasing number of unauthorized and or identified aircraft or objects in military controlled training areas, uh, and training ranges and other designated airspace reports of sightings are frequent and continuing. We attribute this increase in reporting [00:00:30] to a number of factors, including our work to destigmatize reporting, an increase in the number of new systems, such as quad copers and unmanned aerial systems that are in our airspace, uh, identification of what we can classify as clutter, Mylar, balloons, and other types of, uh, of air trash and improvements in the capabilities of our various sensors to detect things in our airspace almost two years ago, in August of 2020, deputy secretary defense Norquist directed the establishment of the unidentified aerial phenomenon task force within the department, [00:01:00] uh, of the Navy, the AAP task force was built on the foundation of the Navy's initial efforts to respond to the reports from our aviators on unidentified objects observed in our training ranges, the basic issues then and now are twofold.
Speaker 1: First incursions in our training ranges by unidentified objects represent serious hazards to safety of flight. In every aspect of Naval aviation safety of our air crews is paramount second intrusions by unknown [00:01:30] aircraft or objects pose potential threats to the security of our operations, our aviators train, as they would fight. So any intrusions that may compromise the security of our operations by revealing our capabilities, our tactics, techniques, or procedures, uh, are of great concern, uh, to the Navy and the department of defense. From the very beginning, we took these reports very seriously. We instituted a data driven approach to the investigations where we could collect as much data [00:02:00] as possible and use all available resources to analyze and make informed decisions on the best ways to address our findings. Our main objective was to transition UAP efforts from an anecdotal or narrative based, uh, approach to a rigorous science and technology engineering focus study.
Speaker 1: The data driven approach, uh, requires input from a wide variety of sources, uh, in the early stages. Uh, the task force work to standardize the reporting mechanisms and processes to make it as easy [00:02:30] as possible, uh, for personnel to report any engagement so that we were getting that wide range of reporting that we needed. We also spent considerable efforts engaging directly with our Naval aviators and building relationships to help destigmatize the active reporting sightings or encounters. And we worked with Naval aviation leadership to provide additional equipment to record any encounter Navy and air force. Uh, crews now have step by step procedures for reporting on UAP on their kneeboard, uh, in their, in the cockpit [00:03:00] and, uh, in their post, uh, flight debrief procedures. The direct result of those efforts has been increased reporting with increased opportunities to focus a number of sensors on any objects.
Speaker 1: The message is now clear. If you see something you need to report it and the message has been received. In fact, recently I received a call from a senior Naval aviator with over 2000 flight hours. He called me personally from the flight line, uh, after landing, uh, to talk about, uh, an encounter [00:03:30] that he had just experienced. Those were just the initial steps. We also made a concerted effort to assemble subject matter experts from across the department of defense and the intelligence community and other us government agencies and departments. We forged partnerships with the research development and acquisition communities with industry partners and with academic research labs. And we brought many allies and international partners into our discussions on UAP. Additionally subject matter experts from a wide variety, uh, of fields, including physics optics, metallurgy, meteorology, [00:04:00] uh, just name a few have been brought into, um, uh, to expand our understanding in areas where meat, we may not have organic expertise in short we've endeavored to bring an all hands on deck approach, uh, to the, to better understand this phenomena. So what have we learned so far? Any given observation may be fleeting or longer. It may be recorded or not. It may be observable by one or multiple assets in [00:04:30] short. There's rarely an easy answer. For example, let me share with you the first video that we have here today, which shows an observation in real time.
Speaker 1: There it was that's in many cases, that's all that a report may include. And in many other cases, we have far less than this, [00:05:00] as we detailed in both the unclassified and classified versions of the preliminary assessment released by the office of the director of national intelligence last June, this often limited amount of high quality data, uh, and reporting hampers, our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent of UAP as detailed in the OD. And I report if and when individual UAP incidents are resolved, they likely fall into one of five potential explanatory categories, airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, us government, or us industry, developmental [00:05:30] programs, foreign adversary systems, or a other bin that allows for a holding bin of difficult cases and for the possibility of surprise and potential scientific discovery, we stand by those initial results since release of that preliminary report, UAP task force, uh, database has now grown to contain approximately 400 reports.
Speaker 1: The stigma has been reduced. We've also made progress in resolving the character of a limited number of UAP encounters. For example, let [00:06:00] me show you a couple of, uh, another video and image, uh, taken years apart in different areas in this video, U us Navy personnel recorded what appears to be triangle. Some flashing recorded several years ago off the coast of the United States. This was recorded while the us Navy ship, uh, observed a number of small unmanned aerial systems, uh, in the area. And importantly, the video was taken through night vision goggles with a single lens reflex camera. These remained [00:06:30] unresolved for several years,
Speaker 1: Several years later and off a different coast, [00:07:00] us Navy personnel, again in a swarm of unmanned aerial systems. And again, through night vision goggles and an SLR camera, uh, recorded this image, but this time other us Navy assets also observed unmanned aerial systems nearby. And we're now reasonably confident that these triangles correlate to unmanned aerial systems in the area. The triangular appearance is a result of light passing through the night vision goggles, and then being recorded by an SLR camera. [00:07:30] I don't mean to suggest that everything that we observe, uh, is, uh, is identifiable, but, um, the, um, uh, it, but this is a great example of how it takes considerable effort to understand what we're seeing, uh, in the examples that we are able to collect. Um, and this example, we accumulate sufficient data from two similar encounters from two different time periods in two different geographic areas to help us draw the, these conclusions.
Speaker 1: That's not always the case though. [00:08:00] We recognize that that can be unsatisfying or insufficient in the eyes of many. This is a popular topic, uh, in our nation with various theories as to what these objects may be and where they originate by nature. We are all curious and we seek to understand the unknown and as a lifelong intelligence professional, I'm impatient. I want immediate explanations for this, as much as anyone else. However, understanding can take significant time and effort. It's why we've endeavored to concentrate on this data driven [00:08:30] process to drive fact-based results. And given the nature of our business national defense, we've had to sometimes be less forthcoming with information in open forums than many would hope. If UAP do indeed represent a potential threat to our security, then the capabilities, systems, processes, and sources we use to observe record study or analyze these phenomena need to be classified at appropriate levels.
Speaker 1: We do not want, we do not want potential adversaries to know exactly what we're [00:09:00] able to see or understand, or how we come to the conclusions we make. Therefore public dis disclosures must be carefully considered on a case by case basis. So what's next, we're concentrating on a seamless transition to the new organization and future analysis of complicated, uh, issues of, uh, UAP issues will greatly benefit from the infrastructure of the process and the procedures that we've developed to date. I'm confident that the task force under Navy leadership has forged a path forward that will allow us to anchor assessments in science and engineering, vice anecdotal [00:09:30] evidence. We remain committed to that goal. As I know the U S D I um, uh, organization does as well. So thank you very much for your interest, uh, in continuing support for the UAP task force. The team's made a lot of progress, but we really are just establishing the foundation, uh, for the more detailed analysis that's yet to be done. And with your continued support, we can sustain that momentum necessary to produce data-centric analysis and understanding the phenomena. I look forward to your questions. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Bra.