No Joke: UFOs Go Mainstream

LONG MOCKED AS “FLYING SAUCERS” flown by little green men, unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have suddenly gone mainstream — and Congress wants answers.

A WAVE OF CREDIBLE SIGHTINGS — and a Pentagon study mandated by Congress, due in June — will keep this issue in the limelight. There’s simply too much video evidence to ignore, and the threat to airspace is a potential national security issue.

TUCKED INTO A RECENT APPROPRIATIONS BILL is a provision that requires the Pentagon to release its files on UFOs by next month. This has generated a torrent of publicity, including a detailed article in the May 10 New Yorker magazine and a 60 Minutes segment last weekend on CBS.

IN THE 60 MINUTES SEGMENT, former Navy Lt. Ryan Graves said he saw “unidentified aerial phenomena” in restricted airspace “every day for a couple years,” near the Mid-Atlantic Coast. Other pilots have made similar claims.

THE U.S. HAS “a massive intelligence failure on its hands,” said Christopher Mellon, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence. “We’ve had vehicles operating in restricted military airspace with impunity on a recurring and sustained basis for many years,” said Mellon, who served under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. At the least, the Pentagon is expected to pledge an investigation on how these encounters have been handled.

THE 60 MINUTES PIECE, AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE, has some grainy UFO footage but also some astonishing film of objects that seemingly defy all known laws of physics. Could it be a new U.S. or Russian weapon, or weather balloons, or optical illusions? Or do these objects come from another world? No one knows, and that’s why the upcoming report in June is so eagerly anticipated.
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CHINA UNIFIES THE U.S. SENATE: A bipartisan bill — quite the rarity these days — is likely to pass in the Senate this spring to confront China on a wide range of issues. Beijing is “eating our lunch,” President Biden has frequently complained.

IN AN 86-11 VOTE YESTERDAY, the Senate agreed to continue debate on the Endless Frontier Act, which would boost U.S. technology research and development, spending billions to revitalize manufacturing sectors.

THE KEY PLAYER IS SENATE MAJORITY LEADER Chuck Schumer, who said recently that the bill is a “once-in-a-generation investment in American science and American technology.” Schumer, working with GOP Sen. Todd Young, said yesterday that “we can either have a world where the Chinese Communist Party determines the rules of the road for 5G, artificial intelligence and quantum computing — or we can make sure the U.S. gets there first.”

THE FINAL LEGISLATION is likely to include bipartisan provisions to boost semiconductor manufacturing, push back against China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property, and confront Beijing’s threats to U.S. national security, according to this morning’s Politico. Aides said they expect the Senate to wrap up its work by Memorial Day.

ANOTHER SUPPORTER is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), an outspoken China hawk. He said last week that “if we can’t agree on a bill regarding China, we should probably close this place.” The Biden administration strongly supports the measure, as do most Republicans.

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