WASHINGTON –Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) delivered opening remarks at a subcommittee hearing titled “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency.” In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Grothman stressed that the lack of transparency surrounding Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs) has fueled speculation and debate for decades, eroding public trust in the institutions that are meant to serve and protect the American people. He continued by highlighting the Biden administration’s handling of the Chinese Spy Balloon that violated U.S. airspace earlier this year as just one example of how the government is not prepared to tackle threats that UAPs may present. Subcommittee Chairman Grothman closed by thanking the witnesses for appearing before the committee and hoping to learn ways to increase transparency on the topic of UAPs.
Below are Chairman Grothman’s remarks as prepared for delivery.
Good morning and welcome to the most exciting Subcommittee in Congress this week, the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, for a discussion on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, or UAPs.
I’d like to thank the brave military pilots and personnel, such as the witnesses on the panel today, for sharing their stories on how they have engaged UAPs, which has brought attention to this matter.
Curiosity and speculation among people from all walks of life have generated interest in studying what UAPs are and what threats they pose.
I personally have had interest in this topic since Frank Edwards published his 1966 book, Flying Saucers – Serious Business.
However, the lack of transparency surrounding UAPs has fueled wild speculation and debate for decades, eroding public trust in the very institutions that are meant to serve and protect them.
This has led Congress to establish entities to examine UAPs.
The National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2022 established the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, or AARO, to coordinate efforts across the Department of Defense and other federal agencies to detect, identify, and investigate UAPs.
However, AARO’s budget remains classified, prohibiting meaningful oversight from Congress.
In addition to AARO’s efforts, NASA is leading an independent study on UAPs that will identify how UAP data is gathered from both civilian and government entities that can be analyzed to shed light on the topic.
However, despite these offices being established, there lies a pressing demand for government transparency and accountability that cannot be overlooked.
The Biden administration’s handling of the Chinese Spy Balloon that violated U.S. airspace earlier this year is just one example of how the government is not prepared to tackle threats that UAPs may present.
The Biden administration’s description of the events has shown that the government continues to not be forthright with the American people.
Between the Chinese spy balloon being shot down, and the two UAPs subsequently shot down following that event earlier this year, the U.S. government spent approximately $1.5 million in American taxpayer dollars on missiles alone.
Yet, we still have little clarity from the Biden administration on those events.
Transparency is the cornerstone of our republic, and it is incumbent upon Congress and the administration to provide clear answers to the American people.
We must demand transparency from the Department of Defense, our Intelligence Community, and our defense industry on their UAP work.
Congress recognizes that the subject of UAPs is multifaceted and requires a careful, data driven approach.
Today, we will seek clarity from these witnesses’ testimonies as to what can be done to improve reporting for the military and civilians and remain committed to objective inquiry.
Congress should work to ensure that knowledge is not driven by fear, sensationalism, or unfounded assumptions, but by dedication to scientific rigor.
Today, we are not just debating the existence of UAPs, we are deliberating on the principles that define our republic, which is a commitment to transparency and accountability.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about ways that we can improve government efficiency and openness when it comes to UAPs.
I thank each of you for your presence here today and for your dedication to safeguarding the interests of the American people.
I look forward to your testimony.