The Defense Department reportedly briefed Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., on Wednesday, along with two other senators as part of what appeared to be heightened efforts to inform politicians about naval encounters with unidentified aircraft.
Warner’s spokesperson indicated that the senator sought to probe safety concerns surrounding «unexplained interference» naval pilots faced, according to Politico. The outlet reported more briefings were being requested as news surfaced that the Navy revised its procedures for personnel reporting on unusual aircraft sightings.
As part of a program investigating the issue, Navy personnel reportedly told Pentagon officials that they encountered aircraft that appeared to defy the laws of physics and aerodynamics while in military airspace.
Navy strike group pilots also reported seeing strange objects flying above 30,000 feet at hypersonic speeds with no visible engine or infrared exhaust fumes, according to the New York Times.
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Since that program started, military officials have reportedly briefed President Trump and other government figures on the sightings. When Trump acknowledged the briefing in an interview released on Saturday, he doubted that navy personnel actually saw «UFOs.»
«I did have one very brief meeting on it. But people are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly,» he said.
Asked if he knew if there was evidence of extraterrestrial life, Trump said: «I think our great pilots would know. And some of them see things a little bit different from the past. We’re watching, and you’ll be the first to know.»
Christopher Mellon, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, has said that the U.S. knew UFOs existed. «We know that UFOs exist. This is no longer an issue,» he said. «The issue is why are they here? Where are they coming from and what is the technology behind these devices that we are observing?»
While the Navy didn’t immediately comment on Wednesday, it previously told Politico in April that it briefed officials on reported safety hazards.
“In response to requests for information from Congressional members and staff, Navy officials have provided a series of briefings by senior Naval Intelligence officials as well as aviators who reported hazards to aviation safety,” it said.
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Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who requested the Pentagon’s program investigating the matter, pushed, in a June interview, for Congress to learn more about the issue.
«They would be surprised how the American public would accept it,» he said, referring to the military.
Reid, who was able to get $22 million in funding for the study of military sightings of UFOs, said that his office produced a plethora of reports on the subject. «That money was spent developing page after page of information,» he added. «Where people in the past had seen things and not one person but hundreds of people as a result of that there’s been a lot of activity since that.»