(NewsNation) — As in decades past, the question of whether aliens exist continues to captivate Americans. Following Wednesday's widely-watched Congressional hearing on UAPs and UFOs, people flocked to social media — many proclaiming the government confirmed aliens exist.
But that's not actually what happened at the hearing. While witnesses and lawmakers discussed the issue of UFOs, the government has not issued any official confirmation of alien life and what was said at the hearing, by witnesses and even a lawmaker, remains unverified.
As lawmakers continue to probe the issue, join NewsNation's Brian Entin at 9 p.m. ET Sunday night for a two-hour special report on the hearing, including analysis from UFO experts. Find out how to tune in to NewsNation on your local channel lineup.
Here's what we do (and don't) know after the hearing:
- Whistleblower David Grusch largely recounted second-hand testimony and provided no evidence to support his claims. Grusch is a former member of the UAP Task Force.
- Former Navy Commander and pilot David Fravor recounted a first-hand experience with the so-called Tic Tac UFO but said he was never briefed on the object or its potential origins.
- Former Navy pilot Ryan Graves, who founded the Americans for Safe Aerospace, also recounted an encounter he had with an object he described as a black sphere floating inside a clear cube. Graves indicated such encounters were extremely common among pilots. There was no evidence presented to support this claim.
- While lawmakers seemed largely accepting of the witness testimony, only Rep. Matt Gaetz, R.-Fla., said he had seen any evidence of alien life firsthand.
- Grusch was unable to answer a number of inquiries regarding specific evidence or proof in an open setting, though he indicated he would be willing to say more in a secure, classified briefing.
- All three witnesses agreed these unidentified objects constituted a potential national security threat.
- Official government bodies, including the White House, Pentagon, and NASA have all stated they have no reason to believe unexplained objects are extraterrestrial in nature.
- National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said after the hearing there are "no hard and fast" answers to the question but that the administration is taking it seriously.
This wasn't the first time the U.S. government undertook investigations to address the question of UFOs, nor is it the first time the official response was that there was nothing "alien" going on.
However, at the heart of Grusch's whistleblower complaint is his claim that the government, specifically the Department of Defense, is operating programs to retrieve material from crashes that are extraterrestrial in nature and are keeping those programs secret from the public while also operating without appropriate Congressional oversight.
Grusch spoke exclusively to NewsNation regarding his experiences, which he said include the U.S. government recovering the "non-human" pilots of downed craft.
In light of his claims, lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee have vowed to continue to hold more hearings, including classified briefings where Grusch could speak more freely. Members have also vowed to seek the power to subpoena documents and images that Grusch says back up his claims.
Lawmakers have also called for a centralized reporting system for both military and civilian reports of UFOs, to better analyze and understand the possible threat.
There is also the possibility of the creation of a new committee to specifically investigate UAPs/UFOs. It's not entirely clear how Congress could compel the DoD or military to release information on any secret programs, should they exist, though, in the past, lawmakers have attempted to work UFO reporting into funding requirements for the Pentagon.