KEY POINTS

  • Intelligence officials and agencies will hold a public hearing on UFOs Tuesday
  • They are feuding over how much to cooperate with demands to investigate and share what they know, a report says
  • A "forcing mechanism" is required to hold people accountable and give them a chance to come out clean, an official says

Intelligence leaders and agencies are set to hold a public hearing in Congress this week on unidentified flying objects (UFOs), the first such meeting in more than half a century, according to reports.

Pentagon officials are expected to testify Tuesday about how the Department of Defense (DoD) is organizing reports of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), the military's term for UFOs, CBS News reported.

The public hearing before the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation Subcommittee will be the first of its kind since 1966, according to Politico.

"It will give the American people an opportunity to learn what there is to know about these incidents," Rep. André Carson of Indiana, the panel's chair, said last week.

Among those expected to testify are Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security Ronald Moultrie, the Pentagon's top intelligence official, as well as Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray.

Pentagon officials and spy agencies have been pressured to carry out a congressional mandate to establish a permanent effort to coordinate research into reports of UAPs intruding into protected airspace.

They are also required by law to give regular classified and public reports to oversight committees on new incidents involving the mysterious flyers, including previous information or investigations that are uncovered in government repositories or testimony.

However, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies are now feuding internally over how much to cooperate with demands to investigate and share what they know, current and former national security officials said.

"Without forcing peoples’ hand, it is going to be very difficult to uncover legacy ventures and programs that we know about based on oral interviews we dug up. There has to be a forcing mechanism," a DoD official who is involved in the new effort but was not authorized to speak publicly told Politico.

"There has to be something to hold people accountable but also give them a chance to come out clean for a period of time," they added.

Additionally, there are people with knowledge of UAPs who have yet to contribute to the oversight effort, according to the unnamed official.

"These people exist and they are protecting very interesting information," they added.

Christopher Mellon, a former top Pentagon intelligence official who has been pressing Congress to take more aggressive steps, described one faction inside military and spy agencies as having a "kind of Skull and Bones-type vibe."

"They fetishize their secret society. ... They take it seriously, but they have no accountability. Zero. There is a whole group of us that know in great detail this subject, a lot of which has not been reported to Congress because of security issues," Mellon said.

Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough reportedly declined multiple requests to discuss the progress of the new Pentagon-led effort.

An intelligence official from the department who was also not authorized to discuss internal deliberations claimed that an analysis team will be needed "to meet the will of Congress."

pentagon-80394_1920 Representation. The Department of Defense "needs to take this issue much more seriously and get in motion," an aide for New York Sen. Kirsten Gilligrand said. Photo: 12019/Pixabay