FOR the first time in half a century, the US Congress will today hold a public discussion about UFOs.
The hearing is set for 09:00 a.m. EST (14:00 BST) and will cover evidence of what the U.S. military calls unidentified aerial phenomena, or "UAPs".
Tuesday's hearing is expected to cover the possible origins of the unidentified objects, which move unlike anything known to science.
Some have suggested they are top-secret aircraft built by foreign adversaries while others believe their origins are extraterrestrial.
The US House Intelligence Committee's Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation Subcommittee will take the floor and unpack what they know about unexplained sightings for the American public.
Pentagon officials and intelligence directors will testify.
"The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence to seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks — especially those we do not fully understand," Representative André Carson said.
Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the public hearing will "break the cycle of excessive secrecy and speculation with truth and transparency."
Among other related topics, the hearing will discuss a nine-page 2021 report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).
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The report added: "UAPs clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to US national security.”
The hearing will stream on the House Intelligence official YouTube channel, with coverage beginning at 7:00 a.m. EST (12:00 BST) on the day of the hearing.
In an interview with NPR, technology history Kate Dorsch highlighted the fact that UFO lore is a uniquely American phenomenon.
"Of course, we will never have complete sighting data because not everyone reports," Dorsch said. "But it is fair to say that Americans seem more willing to talk about their experiences than people in other places in the world."
Dorsch said that other countries and cultures are more likely to ascribe unexplained sightings to be advanced technologies from Earth-based militaries.
"For example, UFO sightings in the '50s and '60s in Germany very rarely had the sort of alien-extraterrestrial bend," she added.
"Instead, Germans saw things they couldn't explain and assumed that they were American or Russian technology, that the global superpowers were testing new kinds of war technology over their skies."
The discussion on UFOs will come to a new head when lawmakers come together today.
It'll be the first open hearing on the subject since the 1960s.