After a number of high-profile congressional hearings and disclosures on UFOs—or, in the more bureaucratic, less sci-fi parlance of our time, “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena”—a bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to take congressional investigations to the Capitol Hill equivalent of the final frontier: a special committee.
Specifically, lawmakers want more hearings, more investigations, subpoena power, and some ability to declassify U.S. intelligence on mysterious UFO sightings.
“We can’t over-classify this stuff,” Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) told The Daily Beast in an interview. “The American people have a right to know. They have a right to some level of disclosure.”
Moskowitz is the only Democrat among a group of four members who signed a letter last month calling for a select committee. He was joined by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) and Tim Burchett (R-TN).
Although his party is in the House minority, Moskowitz is hoping Republican leadership, which would have to approve a select committee being established, will join in.
“Look, I’ll work across the aisle on this and other issues, obviously. But we gotta get the majority leadership to make this a priority,” Moskowitz said.
Backers of the select committee idea say it’s a tipping point for UFO transparency.
The congressional movement for more information has been building slowly but surely for years. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was a big proponent of investigating UFO sightings, and had the ability to push government agencies for more disclosures.
But the more Congress has learned about these sightings—sometimes from pilots sharing their accounts, sometimes from footage caught by the military—the more questions lawmakers and the public seem to have.
While UFO theories still draw scoffs from some, Congress has looked at them through a familiar lens: national security.
UAPs, as the more serious-minded lawmakers prefer to refer to them, are an obvious area of study for those who are concerned about what these sightings could be.
And as more and more footage is released to the public, the public just has more and more questions.
“The cake is baked. It’s just been taken out of the oven,” said Steve Bassett, executive director of Paradigm Research Group and a registered UFO lobbyist.
“Not everybody is in the kitchen yet. That’s OK. That's all right. I mean, this is still a massive thing, and everybody was on top of it, but it’s irreversible,” Bassett said.
What Bassett means is that the more lawmakers—and the public—learn about UAPs, the harder it is to ignore them.
At the July hearing, David Grusch, a former intelligence officer-turned-whistleblower, alleged critical information on UFOs is being kept from Congress, including evidence of “non-human” biologics that was recovered from a UFO. Grusch was joined by David Fravor, who spotted and documented an apparent UFO in 2004, and Ryan Graves, a former Navy pilot who claims to have encountered UFOs during his work.
Members of a House Oversight subcommittee questioned the trio—and several lawmakers, from both parties, expressed outright concern over what agencies could be keeping from Congress.
The hearing also followed an uptick of public UFO interest in the federal government in recent years. In 2021, the Pentagon confirmed the validity of several newly released videos that showed UFOs. In 2022, Congress held a hearing with Pentagon officials and urged more transparency into what the government does and doesn’t know about the phenomena.
Now, a switch in party control later, lawmakers say it’s time to deliver.
“This is a cover-up. The American public understands it,” Burchett said on Fox Business in July. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of it. And the only way we’re going to do that is with a Select Committee on this issue, so that we can expose it to the public.”
“We need subpoena power,” Gaetz said on Newsmax. “We need to access secure spaces. The White House doesn’t have answers, but we have to get them.”
Lawmakers say they were also left with questions about the use of tax dollars for UFOs after Grusch alleged Pentagon UFO programs are fueled by a “misappropriation of funds.”
“The funding issues that were brought up about how some of these projects are funded… I’d like to hear more about that,” Moskowitz said. “That’s the American taxpayer. That’s their money.”
“If these are programs that are being set up without congressional oversight and are responsible for, you know, billions of dollars being lost, that could be going towards other things,” Luna told a local Fox station. “I think that that's something that absolutely is pertinent.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) earlier this year authorized a couple of select committees in order to appease conservatives who were blocking his bid for speaker across 15 rounds of voting. Both the “House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government” and the “House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party” have since tackled a grab-bag of issues, like the so-called “Twitter files” and allegations of online censorship.
Gaetz, Luna, and Burchett are among the conservatives in the House who haven’t been adverse to leveraging their votes on critical policy bills in order to gain something from McCarthy. They could leverage that same power again with high-stakes negotiations over government funding on the horizon.
Nick Gold, another UFO lobbyist and founder of the group Declassify UAP, told The Daily Beast he’s organizing to have UFO-believers contact their members of Congress urging them to support continued investigation, including a select committee.
“It needs to be something that has a life of its own,” Gold said.
Gold doesn’t make any promises about what will or won’t be unveiled by declassifying UFO records. But he says it’s a matter of government transparency—and argues it's a bipartisan issue for any lawmaker to adopt.
“We need to give them time and very loud support and public needs to stand up and say: We want them to have these authorities. We want them to give them a try,” Gold said.