Gillibrand is sponsoring an amendment she hopes to attach to this year’s must-passto mandate that no money can be spent on SAP’s unless it’s been reported to Congress. “So if there are SAPs out there that are somehow outside of the normal chain of command and outside the normal appropriations process, they have to divulge that to Congress,” Gilibrand says.
As for whether she thinks there’s any veracity to the whistleblower’s claims? “I have no idea,” Gillibrand says. “So I’m going to do the work and analyze it and figure it out.”
Other senators say there isn’t much to figure out. “Generally, I would look skeptically at many of these reports,” says Senator Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat who serves on the Intelligence Committee. While Heinrich remains dubious of the whistleblower, he says UAPs are a conundrum the federal government must address.
“What I take seriously is sometimes we just have these really good, decorated pilots and navigating officers who are experiencing things that we can’t explain, so we need to collect data so that we can figure out what is going on,” Heinrich says.
Still, among other senators, radio silence. WIRED sent an inquiry to Senate Intelligence Committee chair Mark Warner; in less than a minute, the Virginia Democrat’s staff replied, “We’re a no comment on this—thank you!”
When we caught the senator in the Capitol’s marble halls, Warner kept tripping over his own thoughts. “There’s been a lot of incoming. Frankly, I just need to find out more information on this,” Warner says.
As for the accusation that the federal government has lied to Congress and hidden some SAPs for decades? “We’ve heard these accusations before,” Warner says, before stopping himself, again. “Let me get some information first.”
“None of It’s Good”
Lawmakers are still awaiting more answers on the spy balloons that dominated the news—and American air space—at the start of the year, especially in regard to thewithin an eight-day period this February. In the wake of those military engagements, the Biden administration held closed-door classified briefings for members of Congress, but they were less than straightforward, at least initially, until lawmakers pushed officials on UAPs.
“They were talking about the balloons, and then several senators pointed out, ‘Now hold on: We’ve had a lot of unidentified anomalous phenomenon for years now,’ and that’s when the military briefer was like, ‘True. True,’” says Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican. “The takeaway from that is, they had thousands of sightings of these things over the years, which was news to me. So I’m not surprised, necessarily, by these latest allegations, because it sounds pretty close to what they kind of grudgingly admitted to us in the briefing.”
While not necessarily surprised by Grusch’s claims, lawmakers of all stripes are disturbed by reports of UAPs hovering over US military sites.
“It’s not good. None of it’s good,” Hawley says. “I think we want to get to the bottom of this. I think it’s disturbing.”