Nearly all of these individuals also claim that the government transferred multiple craft to defense contractors for scientific and technical analysis.
Key members of Congress, drawing on testimony from dozens of whistleblowers, appear to find these extraordinary allegations credible.
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aimed to establish a process with the ostensible goal of revealing the existence of "non-human intelligence" to the public. But the legislation, which is co-sponsored by three Republican and two Democratic senators, is now in jeopardy.
In comments yesterday on the Senate floor, Schumer stated that "House Republicans are also attempting to kill another commonsense, bipartisan measure passed by the Senate, which I was proud to cosponsor... to increase transparency around what the government does and does not know about unidentified aerial phenomena."
According to reports, Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, are leading efforts to prevent any meaningful version of this provision from being added to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.
Members of Congress generally clamor for enhanced government oversight — a core function of the legislative branch — and transparency. So what could cause a small group of influential lawmakers to suddenly resist it?
Notably, the legislation calls for the U.S. government to reassert control over "recovered technologies of unknown origin" currently held by defense contractors. Some analysts suspect that corporations potentially holding such exotic technology are exerting undue pressure and influence to oppose the provision in Schumer's legislation.
In his only public comments on the legislation to date, Turner denied "holding up" the measure, while adding, "I do think it's a poorly drafted piece of legislation."
A closer analysis of Schumer's 64-page bill tells a starkly different, and intriguing, story.
At its core, the Schumer legislation strongly hints that elements of the U.S. government, in collaboration with defense contractors, have long operated surreptitious "legacy programs" to "reverse engineer" retrieved UFOs. Other secret programs supposedly "examine biological evidence of living or deceased non-human intelligence."
The remarkable nature of Schumer's bipartisan legislation is only trumped by revelations that key members of Congress appear intent on blocking or neutering it for what seems to be no good reason.
As Schumer and his co-sponsors suggest, "credible evidence and testimony indicates" that government records describing UFO retrieval and reverse-engineering programs have been concealed from Congress and the public for decades.
The legislation largely mirrors the allegations of David Grusch, a decorated former military officer and intelligence official. The intelligence community's internal watchdog deemed Grusch's whistleblower complaint "credible and urgent." At the same time, an eyebrow-raising report citing multiple sources alleges that a secretive CIA unit is overseeing clandestine retrievals of "non-human craft."
A core objective of the Schumer legislation is to "restore proper oversight over [UFO] records by elected officials in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government."
As analysts have noted, there are only two elected officials in the executive branch. So one of the highest-ranking U.S. senators is implying that some presidents and vice presidents have not been informed of clandestine efforts to retrieve and reverse engineer "technologies of unknown origin" — UFOs — or examine "biological evidence of non-human intelligence."
As a remedy to this startling inference, Schumer's legislation mandates sweeping government transparency with subpoena powers.
The legislation would establish an independent panel, composed of "distinguished persons of high national reputation" in the fields of national security, foreign affairs, science, economics, sociology and history, to review UFO records deemed too sensitive to release immediately.
At a recent academic symposium on unidentified anomalous phenomena, retired U.S. Army Col. Karl Nell described how this review board might guide the president in methodically revealing the existence of "non-human intelligence" to the public.
Moreover, according to Nell, a core objective of the legislation is averting "catastrophic" or "uncontrolled" disclosure. As the Daily Mail put it, "catastrophic disclosure" is characterized by "a chaotic release of earth-shattering revelations" which may result in profound geopolitical, social or economic turmoil.
In stark contrast to "catastrophic disclosure," the Schumer-envisioned "controlled disclosure campaign" would facilitate a measured, deliberate process to reveal the apparent existence of "non-human intelligence."
Of note, there appears to be some geopolitical urgency to "disclosure." High-ranking military and intelligence officials allege that China and Russia may also be attempting to reverse-engineer craft of "non-human origin." This is echoed in congressional language warning of the "increasing potential for technology surprise from foreign adversaries."
Moreover, as former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence Christopher Mellon aptly notes, a strategic, methodical disclosure of the existence of "non-human intelligence," while potentially destabilizing, could ultimately bear profoundly positive results.
Describing the compounding shocks of climate change, geopolitical rivalries, artificial intelligence and extreme political polarization, Mellon states that "we need a powerful ontological jolt to promote the collaboration required to manage these common global threats."
Take, for example, climate change. If, as congressional legislation implies, the U.S. government or defense contractors possess advanced craft of unknown origin that utilize "propulsion technology other than chemical propellants, solar power, or electric ion thrust," a "controlled disclosure" to facilitate broader scientific study of such remarkable technology is long overdue.
On what grounds, then, would a handful of influential members of Congress oppose the sweeping transparency outlined in Schumer's extraordinary initiative?
Marik von Rennenkampff served as an analyst with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, as well as an Obama administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense.