‘Have you seen alien bodies?’ Missouri lawmaker wasn’t convinced after hearing on UAPs

In a congressional hearing about the existence of unidentified anomalous phenomenon — the most recent term for what have long been called UFOs — Rep. Eric Burlison passed on a question for a witness from a Missouri constituent.

“Have you seen alien bodies?” asked Burlison, a freshman Missouri Republican.

The witness, David Grusch, was a former intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force who worked as an intelligence officer and worked with the Department of Defense office in charge of investigating UAPs, called the All Domain Anomaly Resolution Office. He has claimed the government is covering up their knowledge about “non-human aircraft” and “pilot bodies.”

“That is something I have not witnessed myself,” Grusch responded. He also said he couldn’t reveal any non-human aircraft he’s personally witnessed in a non-classified setting.

In a more than two-hour hearing that flirted with allegations that the federal government is covering up evidence of aliens, the witnesses and lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee’s national security subcommittee denounced the military’s lack of transparency around UAPs, saying the stigma and lack of reporting mechanism creates a national security threat.

“I think this hearing is going to show the American people their government takes this issue seriously,” said Ryan Graves, a former F-18 pilot with the U.S. Navy who founded the Americans for Safe Airspace for the purpose of making pilots comfortable sharing their encounters with UAPs.

In 2022, NASA and the Department of Defense started using the term UAPs for what have long been called UFOs — unidentified flying objects — to cover a broader range of unexplained sights and objects.

There has long been widespread public interest in the idea of unrecognizable objects in the sky — which has helped make movies like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T.” cultural touchstones. In the hearing, Rep. Glen Grothman, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the subcommittee, said he read a book about flying saucers as a child and said both Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter claimed they saw UFOs.

Over the past decade there has been increasing pressure for the government to release what it knows about UAPs— even as the military and NASA have said they have no evidence of extraterrestrial life.

Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act would include a provision requiring the National Archives to collect records about UAPs that would then be declassified for the public, similar to how documents around President John F. Kennedy’s assassination were handled.

“For decades, many Americans have been fascinated by objects mysterious and unexplained and it’s long past time they get some answers,” Schumer said in a press release announcing his bill. “The American public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence, and unexplainable phenomena.”

Burlison helped push for the hearing, saying there are too many areas where the government covers up information.

“We need to get down to the bottom of it, if what he’s saying is true,” Burlison said. “Because he’s saying pretty fantastical statements, right?”

But Wednesday’s hearing did little to enlighten Burlison or the public about what is known about UAPs.

Grusch, who has made claims of a government cover-up, was cautious about saying much in a non-classified setting. Burlison said lawmakers were blocked by the Department of Defense from hearing from Grusch in a classified setting.

He said he was disappointed with the hearing because he felt like many questions were not answered because of the public nature of the hearing. Grusch went as far as he has in interviews with news outlets, claiming the federal government is in possession of non-human aircraft and that the government has collected non-human pilots from crash sites.

“I’m pretty skeptical about this,” Burlison said. “As I said before, I think the idea that an alien race would travel hundreds of light years, or thousands, or whatever it takes to get here, and is capable of traveling at that speed, and get here is not capable of surviving our atmosphere and surviving this planet. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

But the witnesses swore that the aircraft they’ve seen, both personally and in reports, were beyond modern science.

Retired Navy Pilot David Fravor testified he was on a training run in 2004 when he saw a white “Tic Tac” shaped object hovering over the ocean. He flew in to get a closer look, but as he approached, it disappeared traveling more than 60 miles in less than a minute. Fravor said what he observed was beyond any science he was aware of at the time or now.

“I’m not like a UFO fanatic,” Fravor said. “It’s not me. But I’ll tell you that what I saw, with four pairs of eyes, was incredible to see.”

He was referencing the other people flying with him who witnessed it and called it the “most credible” UFO sighting in history.

Another account came from Graves, who said a pilot in his unit saw a gray cube in a clear sphere while on a training mission off the coast of Virginia Beach in the 2010s. He said his squadron issued a safety report, but never heard back from their higher ups.

Burlison said he suspects that the objects were research projects by defense contractors.

While there were varying degrees of skepticism among lawmakers about whether the UAPs are coming from another planet, there appeared to be a bipartisan consensus that the Department of Defense could be more transparent about what it knows, in an effort to protect national security and quell conspiracy theories.

“We unfortunately live in a time in which many people distrust government and our institutions,” said Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Florida Democrat. “Overclassification of information away from the American public or even Congress, contributes to today’s politics.”