US Senator Pushes 'Urgent' Bipartisan Proposal to Create UFO Investigation Agency
If the efforts led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) end in success, the United States government could welcome a new bureau - the "Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office" - entirely dedicated to investigating "unidentified aerial phenomena" (UAP), or UFOs.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with several other sponsors from both the Democratic and Republican parties, has rolled out a proposal to create an expansive intelligence programme to investigate UFOs, saying that the need for such an initiative is "urgent".
"We've not had oversight into this area for a very long time", Gillibrand said as cited by Politico. "I can count on one hand the number of hearings I had in 10 years on this topic. That's fairly concerning given the experience our service members have had over the last decade".
She referred to a number of alleged UFO or UAP sightings reported by the Navy and Air Force that prompted not only curiosity but also concerns as to whether they may pose any kind of threat.
Gillibrand advocates an amendment
to the 2022 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) that would envisage the creation of a separate bureau dedicated entirely to probing such sightings and determining whether they can be considered evidence of extraterrestrial life or a threat from adversaries. The bureau would be called the "Anomaly Surveillance and Resolution Office", or ASRO.
"If it is technology possessed by adversaries or any other entity, we need to know", Gillibrand said, commenting on the initiative. "Burying our heads in the sand is neither a strategy nor an acceptable approach".
The NY senator listed "drone technology", "balloon technology", "other aerial phenomena", and "the unknown" as being among the potential technologies behind the UAP sightings that prompted her concerns.
"Regardless of where you fall on the question of the unknown, you have to answer the rest of the questions. That's why this is urgent. That's why having no oversight or accountability up until now to me is unacceptable".
ASRO, if greenlighted, would have the authority to pursue "any resource, capability, asset, or process of the department and the intelligence community" in order to investigate the sightings of "unidentified aerial phenomena". It would also have the power to designate other agencies - plausibly the Office of Naval Intelligence and Air Force Intelligence - to conduct field investigations of the sightings.
According to Gillibrand, the initiative has already received bipartisan support - from Republicans Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Roy Blunt, as well as fellow Democrat Martin Heinrich.
This is not the first public effort to ramp up investigations into UAPs in the United States. In 2020, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAP TF) was created within the Department of Defence in order to pursue tasks similar to those posed for ASRO.
However, a final report
released in June of this year turned out to be "largely inconclusive" to the frustration of many UFO enthusiasts.
"The limited amount of high-quality reporting on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) hampers our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature or intent of UAP", the report said.
It only determined that UAPs "clearly" pose a safety of flight issue and "may pose a challenge" to US national security, adding that they "probably" lack a single explanation.
It is expected that ASRO, should it be created, will roll out both classified and unclassified reports on its findings every six months. Gillibrand's amendment also envisages the body assembling experts from NASA, the FAA, the National Academies of Sciences, the head of the Galileo Project at Harvard University, the director of the Optical Technology Centre at Montana State University, the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies, and the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics.