uap caucus
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In the run-up to the blockbuster Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) hearing on July 26 during which former intelligence officer-turned-whistleblower David Grusch made extraordinary allegations of black-budget crash retrieval and reverse engineering programs, UFO Twitter was buzzing about how the hearing could impact the public debate.

In the immediate aftermath of the hearing, a handful of representatives from both sides of the aisle promised the American people a concerted push for transparency. This group (later designated the UAP Caucus), as well as their allies in Congress, have pursued further access.

On July 27, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) โ€” alongside Reps. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) โ€” co-signed a letter to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) asking for a Select Committee "outside the jurisdiction of any standing committee" and "with subpoena authority."

Speaking with The Daily Wire on Tuesday, Burchett said that the request for a Select Committee had been denied, adding that the move would "limit us."

In August, the UAP Caucus sent a letter to Thomas Monheim, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), asking him to provide information relating to Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena that had allegedly been provided to him by Grusch.

Monheim responded to the letter on September 15 (the deadline set by the UAP Caucus), claiming that the ICIG "has not conducted any audit, inspection, evaluation, or review of alleged UAP programs within the responsibility and authority of the DNI that would enable this office to provide a fulsome response to your questions."

While the public-facing battle for transparency lights up the stage, what's taking place behind the curtain may prove more consequential.

According to a new report by Public, more than two dozen whistleblowers โ€” government employees and contractors โ€” have over the last few months provided information to the ICIG, the Department of Defense Inspector General, and Congress. Others, according to individuals who spoke with Public, have taken their testimony to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).

As Public's Michael Shellenberger notes in the piece, the mere presence of additional whistleblowers does not, without further data, validate claims of crash retrieval and reverse-engineering programs โ€” but it could indicate that something undisclosed is indeed occurring outside the watch of Congress.

Speaking with The Daily Wire about the article, Shellenberger noted that one of his sources "claims to have been part of a legacy program," and that another source "claims to have seen a craft operating without conventional propulsion."

"All of [them] were very scared โ€” and with the kind of fear that I think is really hard to fake, and struck me as very genuine," Shellenberger said. "I'm not saying that it's not possible that there's not some psychogenic or social contagion going on, but if there is, it's really a peculiar one."

Public states that testimony "has included both first-hand and second-hand reports of crash retrieval and reverse-engineering programs by U.S., Russian, and Chinese governments; the testing of materials obtained from retrieved craft; active and ongoing government disinformation operations; kinetic military action with UAPs; contact and collaboration with nonhuman intelligence (NHIs); and the successful reverse-engineering of a triangle-shaped craft with unconventional propulsion."

According to Public, the whistleblowers who spoke with the publication did so on condition of anonymity due to fear of retribution โ€” up to and including death โ€” which echoes a claim made by Grusch during his testimony in July.

Many skeptics have asserted that claims of crash retrieval and reverse-engineering programs are a psy-op designed as a cover for a black-budget U.S. weapons program, or to distract the American public from current political crises.

Public addresses this perspective, noting that UAP disinformation campaigns do appear to have been waged โ€” citing former Air Force intelligence officer Richard Doty, who has stated on numerous occasions that he spread UFO-related disinformation while at the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. However, as noted to Public by former Pentagon appointee Marik von Rennenkampff, a disinformation campaign waged through the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) would put individuals at risk of prosecution, jail time, and fines, and is, therefore, an unlikely avenue for such an endeavor.

Another possibility is social contagion. "And I continue to believe that there is some probability that this is a social contagion, psychogenic in some way," Shellenberger said. However, the journalist also posed a rhetorical question โ€” why is there such apparent pushback from various elected officials and intelligence personnel to something that is psychogenic?

"And this is among grown adults who have high levels of access to intelligence and high levels of clearance โ€” and so if it is psychogenic, you've got a completely different problem on your hands," Shellenberger noted.

Regardless of the source of the phenomenon โ€” disinformation, social contagion, non-human intelligence โ€” disclosure advocates note that transparency is vital.

As for what's next, the UAP Disclosure Act, which was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), and would be signed into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, is being debated among members of House committees.

The act, which is based on legislation aimed at declassifying records related to the JFK assassination, would create a nine-member UAP Records Review Board, and would mandate that every government office turn over records pertaining to UAP in a timely fashion. Additionally, it would give the government "eminent domain" over "all recovered technologies of unknown origin and biological evidence of non-human intelligence that may be controlled by private persons or entities in the interests of the public good."

"Any and all such material, should it exist, shall be made available to the Review Board for personal examination and subsequent disclosure determination at a location suitable to the controlling authority of said material and in a timely manner," the text of the Disclosure Act reads.

The nine Review Board members will be nominated by the president following recommendations from several groups, including the leaders of the House and Senate, as well as the UAP Disclosure Foundation โ€” and none of the nominees "shall have had any previous or current involvement with any legacy program or controlling authority related to the collection, exploitation, or reverse engineering of technologies of unknown origin, or the examination of biological evidence of living or deceased non-human intelligence."

"All review board nominees shall be granted the necessary security clearances and accesses, including any and all relevant Presidential, departmental, and agency special access programs, in an accelerated manner," according to the text of the bill.

The panel must include at least one of each of the following: a current or former national security official, a current or former foreign service official, a scientist or engineer, an economist, a professional historian, and a sociologist.

The Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hold confirmation hearings shortly after the nominations.

According to Public, sources have said that Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) โ€” whose district includes Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and who, according to Open Secrets, received almost $200,000 from individuals and PACs associated with the defense industry in the 2022 election cycle โ€” has "tried to kill" the UAP Disclosure Act.

Others in prominent positions are also attempting to seed doubt about the legislation, per Public.

The Daily Wire reached out to more than 70 representatives on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee to ask for comment on the UAP Disclosure Act.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a member of the UAP Caucus, responded with the following statement: "I support full disclosure of UAP incidents and encounters because the United States government is not being honest with the American people. I'm going to continue fighting in conference to keep language in the Disclosure Act that achieves nothing less than full disclosure."

We received additional responses from the communications staff of several other representatives asking for deadlines, stating an intent to get back to us, or deferring to other staff. No further contact has been made.

The result of the debate on the UAP Disclosure Act language should be made available in the near future.

While there isn't another UAP hearing scheduled yet, certain members of the House and Senate seem intent on having one โ€” and with the number of whistleblowers gaining in the wings, disclosure advocates are hoping it could make an even bigger splash than the first.