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What we learned from the July 26, 2023 House Oversight Committee hearing on UAPs

UFO video Chili Navy UAP 2014

The House Oversight Committee hearing on UAPs was held today. Lawmakers from both parties are continuing to demand answers about unidentified aerial phenomena and possible threats to national security – and they are still meeting resistance from the military. Republican lawmakers told the committee that the Pentagon and Air Force recently restricted access to images and information related to UFOs, as well as testimony from witnesses who reported seeing possible alien aircraft. Some of their demands were ultimately met but it is quite clear that secrets are still deeply held within the US military.

The witnesses who spoke to Congress included David Grusch, a former intelligence officer in the US Air Force; David Fravor, a retired US Navy commander; and Ryan Graves, a former Navy pilot.

David Fravor testimony

David Fravor was witness to the famous November 4, 2014 “tic tac” UFO. He was a Navy pilot at the time. Fravor notes that he is not a “UFO fanatic”, but when he and four others witnessed the UAP, he says he knew the technology was not of this world. He noted that the object “jammed” their radars and video equipment and showed no signs of thermal propulsion.

David Grusch testimony

In June 2023, David Grusch, a former intelligence official and United States Air Force (USAF) officer, publicly claimed that the U.S. federal government has a highly secretive UFO recovery program. He alleges that the government is in possession of “non-human” spacecraft and “dead pilots.” Grusch filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) in 2022 to support his plan to share classified information with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He also filed a complaint alleging retaliation by his superiors over a similar complaint he made in 2021.

David Grusch gave startling testimony with several stunning revelations. For instance, Grusch noted that he had reviewed multiple reports that the US government was in possession of UAP technology and that he believed these reports were true. In fact, he believes the US government, and possibly other foreign governments, are in possession of alien lifeforms. He admitted he had not seen any of the purported “alien bodies” but had heard of them from several prominent persons.

Grusch noted that he had experienced “brutal” retaliation for his whistleblowing report. He would not say much because he noted there was a whistleblower investigation currently being conducted but admitted that he was experiencing retaliation from an upper-level government agency. He said some of his coworkers were “brutally attacked”. In fact, he noted publicly that he had been, at one time or another, “in fear for his life”.

When asked if our government had been in touch with extraterrestrial entities, Grush stated that was something he could not answer in a public forum.

Ryan Graves testimony

In 2014, Graves reported seeing what he calls UAP, or unidentified aerial phenomena, while stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Graves explained that upgrades to jet radar systems resulted in the detection of unknown objects in the airspace, which were later identified as UAP after tests and visual identification. The frequency of these encounters became so high that aircrews would discuss the risk of UAP during their regular pre-flight briefs.

During a training mission, Graves witnessed two F-18s being separated by a UAP which appeared to be a “dark gray or black cube inside a clear sphere.” Although the squadron submitted a safety report, the incident was not officially acknowledged.

During his testimony before Congress, Ryan Graves reiterated that the objects being witnessed demonstrate technology and maneuverability that we are currently incapable of doing. He explained how some objects were recorded as being completely motionless (0.0 Mach) in hurricane-force winds. They could then accelerate to over 4.0 Mach in an instant.

Graves described one of the objects he witnessed as “dark gray cubes inside a clear sphere”. He also revealed the objects had been detected in other areas of the world besides the East Coast.

In one instance, Graves said a 100-yard red square approached the base from the ocean and hovered for about 45 seconds before “darting off over the mountains”. A similar event occurred on another day around sunset. He reiterated that it was about the size of a football field.

Graves said he estimated 95% of UAP sightings by military were not reported.

Other testimony and Congressional statements

Congressman Gaetz stunned the room when noted he had been given access to some evidence that others had not. He also noted that he was on military committees, so he was somewhat informed on US and foreign military technologies. He saw a photo of the four objects in a diamond-shaped formation over Eglin Air Force Base. When he asked why they had not shot video, the crew noted that the objects took out all of their communication and video capabilities.

David Fravor Statement for the House Oversight Committee

I first want to thank you for the invitation to speak to this committee on the UAP topic that has been in the news for the past six years and seems to be continuing to gain momentum.

My name is David Fravor, and I am a retired Commander in the U.S Navy. In November 2004, I was the Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron Forty-One, the World Famous Black Aces! We were attached to Carrier Airwing Eleven and stationed onboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68). We were at the beginning of our workup cycle that would prepare us for a combat deployment to the Persian Gulf for operations supporting the ground forces in Iraq. The at-sea period was scheduled to go from early November to late December. During this period, we trained with the other units in the Battle Group while integrating and honing our skills that we would rely on during our deployment.

We had been at sea for roughly two weeks, and I was scheduled to lead a 2 V 2 Air to Air training exercise. My flight of two F/A-18Fs was the Blue Air, the good guys, and we were being controlled by the USS Princeton, CG-59. Keep in mind the F/A-18F’s are two-seat aircraft with the pilot in the front and the WSO (Weapons System Officer) in the back seat. The Red Air was being flown by our Marine F/A-18 squadron VMFA-232.

As we launched off the USS Nimitz, we checked in with the air controller on the USS Princeton. We were told that training was going to be suspended for real-world tasking. My wingman joined up, and we proceeded towards a contact to the west of our CAP (Combat Air Patrol) point. The CAP point is where we would hold before commencing our training runs, roughly 40 miles south of the ship.

As we proceeded to the west and as the air controller counted down the range, we had nothing on our radars and were unaware of what we were going to see when we arrived. The air controller on the ship also had no idea but had been observing these objects on their Aegis combat system for the previous two weeks. They had been descending from above 80,000ft and coming rapidly down to 20,000ft, would stay for hours, and then go straight back up.

When we arrived at the location at 20,000 ft, the controller called Merge Plot, which means that our radar blip was now in the same radar resolution cell as the contact. As we looked around, we noticed some white water off our right side. The weather on the day of the incident was as close to a perfect day as you could ask, clear skies, light winds, calm seas (no whitecaps from the waves), so the white water stood out in the large blue ocean. As all four looked down, we saw a small white Tic Tac-shaped object with the longitudinal axis pointing N/S and moving very abruptly over the white water. There were no rotors, no rotor wash, or any visible flight control surfaces like wings. As we started a clockwise turn to observe the object, my WSO and I decided to go down to get closer, and the other aircraft stayed in high cover to observe both us and the Tic Tac. We proceeded around the circle about 90 degrees from the start of our descent, and the object suddenly shifted its longitudinal axis, aligned it with my aircraft, and began to climb in a clockwise climbing turn. We continued down for another 270 degrees when we made a nose low move to head to where the Tic Tac would be when we pulled nose onto the object. Our altitude at this point was approximately 15,000ft with the Tic Tac at about 12,000ft. As we pulled nose onto the object at approximately ½ of a mile with the object just left of our nose, it rapidly accelerated and disappeared right in front of our aircraft.

Our wingman, roughly 8,000ft above us, also lost visual. We immediately turned to investigate the white water only to find that it was also gone. As we turned back towards our CAP point, roughly 60 miles east, the air controller let us know that the object had reappeared on the Princeton’s Aegis SPY 1 radar at our CAP point. This Tic Tac Object had just traveled 60 miles in a very short period of time (less than a minute), was far superior in performance to my brand-new F/A-18F, and did not operate with any of the known aerodynamic principles that we expect for objects that fly in our atmosphere.

We returned to Nimitz and mentioned what we had witnessed to one of my crews who were getting ready to launch. It was that crew that took the now-famous approximately 90-second video that was released by the USG in 2017. What is not seen is the Radar tape that showed the jamming of the APG-73 radar in the aircraft, but we do see on the targeting pod video that the object does not emit any IR (infrared) plume from a normal propulsion system that we would expect.

What is shocking is that the incident was never investigated, none of my crew were ever questioned, tapes were never taken, and after a couple of days, it turned into a great story to tell friends. Not until 2009 did Jay Stratton contact me to investigate what we observed. Unbeknownst to all of us, Jay was part of the ATIP (Anomalous Threat Identification Program) program led by Lue Elizondo out of the DOD. I refer to the report as the Unofficial Official Report, which is now available on the internet!

Years later, I was contacted by Alex Dietrich, the other pilot in my flight, asking if I had ever been contacted about the incident after 2009. I had since retired, and my answer was no, but I told her if folks wanted to talk, I was happy to meet with them. Alex stated that she had been invited to the Pentagon multiple times to discuss the event and view other videos of UAPs.

I was contacted by Mr. Elizondo shortly after talking with Alex in 2016. We briefly chatted, and I was told that he would be in contact.

In the weeks that passed, I was made aware that Lue had left the Pentagon in protest and joined forces with Tom Delonge, Chris Mellon, Steve Justice, and others to form To The Stars Academy. It was this organization that pressed the issue with leading industry experts and USG officials, worked with Leslie Keane, Ralph Blumenthal, and Helene Cooper to publish the articles in the NYT in December 2017 admitting the USG was looking at UAPs and removed the stigma of the UFO topic, which led to us being here today.

Those articles opened a door for the Government and the public that cannot be closed. It has led to an interest from our elected officials who are not focused on “Little Green men” but on figuring out what these craft are, where they are from, the technology they possess, and how they operate. It has also led to the Whistleblower protection act in the recent NDAA, which brings us to today.

There are multiple witnesses coming forward that say that they have first-hand knowledge, that I’m sure Mr. Grusch will or already has discussed. What concerns me is that there is no “Oversight” from our elected officials on anything associated with our government possessing or working on craft that we believe are not from this world. This issue is not about full public disclosure that could undermine national security, but it is about ensuring that our system of checks and balances works across all work done in our government using taxpayer funds.

Relative to government Programs, even Unacknowledged Waived programs have some level of oversight by the appropriate committee members in the House and Senate, and this work that is said to be occurring from Whistleblower testimonies should not be exempt.

In closing, I would like to say that the Tic Tac Object that we engaged in November 2004 was far superior to anything that we had at the time, have today, or are looking to develop in the next 10+ years. If we, in fact, have programs that possess this technology, it needs to have oversight from those people that the citizens of this great country elected to office to represent what is best for the United States and in the best interest of its citizens.

I thank you for this time to speak with you today, and God Bless America!

David Grusch opening and closing statement

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Members, and Congressmen,

Thank you. I am happy to be here to discuss this important issue and grateful for your time. My name is David Charles Grusch, and I was an intelligence officer for 14 years, both in the US Air Force (USAF) at the rank of Major and most recently, from 2021-2023, at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at the GS-15 civilian level, which is the military equivalent of a full-bird Colonel. I was my agency’s co-lead in Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) and transmedium object analysis, as well as reporting to UAP Task Force (UAPTF) and eventually the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).

I became a whistleblower through a PPD-19 Urgent Concern filing with the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) following concerning reports from multiple esteemed and credentialed current and former military and Intelligence Community individuals that the US Government is operating with secrecy – above Congressional oversight – with regards to UAPs. My testimony is based on information I have been given by individuals with a longstanding track record of legitimacy and service to this country – many of whom also shared compelling evidence in the form of photography, official documentation, and classified oral testimony. I have taken every step I can to corroborate this evidence over a period of 4 years and to do my due diligence on the individuals sharing it, and it is because of these steps that I believe strongly in the importance of bringing this information before you.

I am driven by a commitment to truth and transparency, rooted in our inherent duty to uphold the United States Constitution and protect the American People. I am asking Congress to hold our Government to this standard and thoroughly investigate these claims. But as I stand here under oath now, I am speaking to the facts as I have been told them.

In the USAF, in my National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) reservist capacity, I was a member of the UAPTF from 2019-2021. I served in the NRO Operations Center on the director’s briefing staff, which included the coordination of the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) and supporting contingency operations. In 2019, the UAPTF director tasked me to identify all Special Access Programs & Controlled Access Programs (SAPs/CAPs) we needed to satisfy our congressionally mandated mission. At the time, due to my extensive executive-level intelligence support duties, I was cleared to literally all relevant compartments and in a position of extreme trust in both my military and civilian capacities.

I was informed, in the course of my official duties, of a multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse engineering program to which I was denied access to those additional read-ons. I made the decision based on the data I collected to report this information to my superiors and multiple Inspectors General and, in effect, become a whistleblower. As you know, I have suffered retaliation for my decision. But I am hopeful that my actions will ultimately lead to a positive outcome of increased transparency.

Thank you. I am happy to answer your questions.

Closing Statement

It is with a heavy heart and a determined spirit that I stand, under oath, before you today, having made the decision based on the data I collected and reported to provide this information to the committee. I am driven in this duty by a conviction to expose what I viewed as a grave congressional oversight issue and a potential abuse of executive branch authorities. This endeavor was not born out of malice or dissatisfaction, but from an unwavering commitment to truth and transparency, an endeavor rooted in our inherent duty to uphold the United States Constitution, protect the American People, and seek insights into this matter that have the potential to redefine our understanding of the world.

In an era fraught with division and discord, our exploration into the UAP subject seems to resonate with an urgency and fascination that transcends political, social, and geographical boundaries. A democratic process must be adhered to when evaluating the data, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that public involvement is encouraged and respected. Indeed, the future of our civilization and our comprehension of humanity’s place on earth and in the cosmos depends on the success of this very process.

It is my hope that the revelations we unearth through investigations of the Non-Human Reverse Engineering Programs I have reported will act as an ontological (earth-shattering) shock, a catalyst for a global reassessment of our priorities. As we move forward on this path, we might be poised to enable extraordinary technological progress in a future where our civilization surpasses the current state-of-the-art in propulsion, material science, energy production, and storage. The knowledge we stand to gain should spur us toward a more enlightened and sustainable future, one where collective curiosity is ignited, and global cooperation becomes the norm, rather than the exception.

Thank you.

Ryan Graves testimony

Chairman Grothman, Ranking Member Garcia, and distinguished Members of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, Representatives Burchett and Luna, thank you for holding the first public hearing on UAP to hear from military pilots and whistleblowers.

My name is Ryan “FOBS” Graves, and I am a former F-18 pilot with over a decade of service in the U.S. Navy, including two deployments in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve. I have witnessed advanced UAP on multiple sensor systems firsthand, and I’m here to voice the concerns of countless commercial aircrew and military veterans who have confided their similar encounters with me.

I can tell you that advanced UAP are a national security and aviation safety problem. It has been more than a decade since my squadron began witnessing advanced UAP demonstrating complex maneuvers on a regular basis, and we still don’t have answers. I founded Americans for Safe Aerospace to create a center of support, research, and public education for aircrew impacted by UAP encounters. We now have nearly 5,000 members and are actively working with more than 30 UAP witnesses who have approached us. I am also the Chair of the UAP Integration & Outreach Committee for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where we have assembled a volunteer team of almost 80 PhDs and aerospace engineers dedicated to tackling the science around this issue.

Today, I would like to center our discussion around three critical issues that demand our immediate attention and concerted action:

As we convene here, UAP are in our airspace, but they are grossly underreported. These sightings are not rare or isolated; they are routine. Military aircrews and commercial pilots, trained observers whose lives depend on accurate identification, are frequently witnessing these phenomena.

The stigma attached to UAP is real and powerful and challenges national security. It silences commercial pilots who fear professional repercussions, discourages witnesses, and is only compounded by recent government claims questioning the credibility of eyewitness testimony.

The government knows more about UAP than shared publicly, and excessive classification practices keep crucial information hidden. There’s a lack of transparency around UAP that’s unsettling. Since 2021, all UAP videos are classified as secret or above. This level of secrecy not only impedes our understanding but fuels speculation and mistrust.

My experience: UAP encounters in W-72

I joined the U.S. Navy in 2009. As a pilot, I was trained to be an expert observer, tasked with identifying any aircraft within our operating area. In 2014, I was near Virginia Beach as part of VFA-11, a Navy Fighter/Attack Squadron made up of F/A-18F Super Hornets. Upon an upgrade to our radar system, we began to detect unknown objects in our airspace. Initially dismissed as software glitches, we soon corroborated these radar tracks with infrared sensors, confirming their physical presence.

Over time, UAP sightings became an open secret among our aircrew. They were a common occurrence, seen by most of my colleagues on radar and occasionally up close. The sightings were so frequent that they became part of daily briefs.

A pivotal incident occurred during an air combat training mission in Warning Area W-72, an exclusive block of airspace ten miles east of Virginia Beach. All traffic into the training area goes through a single GPS point at a set altitude. Just at the moment the two jets crossed the threshold, one of the pilots saw a dark gray cube inside of a clear sphere — motionless against the wind, fixed directly at the entry point. The jets, only 100 feet apart, were forced to take evasive action. They terminated the mission immediately and returned to base. Our squadron submitted a safety report, but there was no official acknowledgement of the incident and no further mechanism to report the sightings.

Advanced UAP defy conventional explanation

The UAP we encountered and tracked on multiple sensors behaved in ways that surpassed our understanding and technology. The UAP could accelerate at speeds up to Mach 1, hold their position against hurricane-force winds, and outlast our fighter jets, operating continuously throughout the day. They did not have any visible means of lift, control surfaces, or propulsion — nothing that resembled normal aircraft with wings, flaps, or engines. I am a formally trained engineer, and I have no explanation for this.

Recently, I have received confirmation that these encounters were also a shock to the chain of command from one of our advisors at ASA, Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, former head of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Oceanographer of the Navy. While serving as an Admiral with Fleet Forces Command, he received a classified email on SIPRNET in 2015 from his boss, the Operations Commander, to all 1- and 2-star Admiral subordinates. The title of the email was “Urgent safety of flight issue.” He attached the now-famous GO-FAST UAP video from a Navy F/A-18, asking if anyone knew their origin and expressed safety of flight concerns about multiple near mid-air collisions with UAP in the early warning area off Virginia Beach where my encounters occurred, noting they might shut down the exercise for safety reasons.

Admiral Gallaudet reviewed it with his deputy. The next day, the email was removed from his system and that of his deputy, and despite meeting with this group routinely in person, no one ever discussed it. He presumes the email was removed in connection with a classified special access program. He couldn’t believe there was no discussion of an urgent safety of flight issue. He has stated publicly that after seeing the report, he didn’t believe these UAP represent any known human technology.

Aircrews along the East Coast continue to encounter advanced UAP nearly a decade later, and the identity of these UAP remains unknown.

Americans for Safe Aerospace aircrew and military UAP witness program
Recognizing the need for action and answers, I founded Americans for Safe Aerospace, which now has nearly 5,000 members. What I did not anticipate was how many UAP military veteran and commercial aircrew witnesses would reach out to us. The organization has since become a haven for more than 30 UAP witnesses who were previously unspoken due to the absence of a safe intake process. Most do not want to speak publicly. They are afraid of professional consequences. They just want to add their account to the data set.

Commercial pilots

The majority of witnesses are commercial pilots at major airlines. Often they are veterans with decades of flying experience. Pilots are reporting UAP at altitudes that appear to be above them at 40,000 feet, potentially in low earth orbit or in the grey zone below the Karman line, making inexplicable maneuvers, like right-hand turns and retrograde orbits, or j-hooks. Sometimes these reports are recurring, with numerous recent sightings north of Hawaii and the North Atlantic. What commercial pilots tell us can defy belief, often beginning with an apology like “I apologize, I realize this will sound crazy.” I have met with highly credible commercial pilots at major airlines with decades of experience, often veterans, describe UAP operating at altitudes that appear to be above them at 40,000 feet, potentially in low earth orbit or in the grey zone below the Karman line, making inexplicable maneuvers, like right-hand turns and retrograde orbits, or j-hooks. Sometimes these reports are recurring, with numerous recent sightings north of Hawaii and the North Atlantic. They are trained observers, often former military pilots, who say they understand Starlink flares and are adamant that is not the explanation.

Other domain military witnesses

Other veterans are also coming forward to us regarding UAP encounters in our airspace and oceans. Veterans from all branches of service, who are authorized to come forward by the NDAA of 2023 to Congress and the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, are hesitant to do so due to stigma and a confusing process within government. Currently, there is no public-facing way for them to report their accounts. We are filling that gap. The most compelling involve observations of UAP by multiple witnesses and sensor systems, with supporting documentation or a roadmap to find it. I believe these accounts are only scratching the surface, and more will share their experiences once it is safe to do so. In multiple cases, contemporaneous notifications were made up the chain of command, and in several, sensor data was escalated for analysis, and there were profound irregularities in how the data was handled.


There are credible reports from both military and commercial aircrew of unidentified objects in our military and commercial airspace occurring with regularity. The UAP Task Force reported in 2021 that there were 11 near misses with UAP, and I understand that number has grown. In April 2022, the FAA issued an alert to its operation managers that a commercial aircraft over West Virginia experienced a double attitude and double autopilot failure while flying under a UAP. Stigma surrounding UAP should not undermine the seriousness of this domain awareness gap. If UAP are foreign drones, it is an urgent national security problem. If it is something else, it is an issue for science. In either case, it is a concern for safety of flight.

Next steps

To identify and evaluate the nature and intent of UAP, we need (1) accurate reporting to determine scope, (2) empowered, unbiased investigation authority, (3) a transparent process to share the findings and data publicly to be studied by scientists.

Commercial pilot reporting

Today, FAA regulations direct pilots to make UAP reports to civilian organizations. Commercial aircrew who witness UAP are extremely frustrated that there is no reporting system for UAP and no protections against retaliation. They are hesitant to discuss anything “weird” on the radio with air traffic control or in any official company forum and are only more recently talking freely amongst themselves. They are afraid of professional consequences and they deserve protection. The absence of UAP reporting for commercial pilots creates a domain awareness gap in our airspace. If China is operating advanced UAP near Hawaii, and commercial pilots are observing it routinely, today there is no way to connect those dots.

Empowered, unbiased investigation into UAP

We need to restore decades of mistrust with the public and UAP witnesses. My lived experience over the past few months has been that as stigma is pushed back and witnesses develop trust in the process, remarkable accounts begin to emerge. The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office is supposed to serve as a central clearing house for the analysis of UAP incidents, but it must have the authority it needs to do its job, and it must build trust with witnesses. Director, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick said in the recent NASA Independent Study Team meeting that “metallic orbs” traveling up to Mach 2 with no visible lifting surface or propulsion are being seen all over the world, but that AARO needs access to scientifically calibrated instruments to evaluate these UAP. Dr. Kirkpatrick has also indicated that eyewitness testimony SOMETHING. We also heard him say in testimony to Congress that he only operated under Title 10 authority and that additional authorities related to Title 50 would help AARO execute its mission. In the NASA IST public meeting, he elaborated he needs access to the scientifically calibrated sensors available to the intelligence community that can characterize UAP, and my understanding is that he would need it to proactively investigate witness accounts. However, last week, in his first public interview, he indicated he has what he needs. I am unsure why or if his statement has changed. He also indicates with respect to witnesses, that he “believes them now.” I respect the challenge of the role and the obligations of a scientist to speak responsibly on this issue, but the American people want straightforward communication.

Declassification and scientific research

There are two different conversations happening regarding UAP because of overclassification of UAP data. The government has compelling UAP data that is only being disclosed in classified settings. If everyone could see the sensor and video data that I have, there is no doubt in my mind that UAP would be a top priority for our defense, intelligence, and scientific communities. My understanding is that all UAP videos since 2021 are classified Secret or above, which prevents the American people and even some Members of Congress from seeing UAP videos like the full GIMBAL video recorded by my squadron. In the aftermath of the PRC spy balloon and the recalibration of NORAD radar filters, the American people still want to know why three UAP were shot down over several days as a threat to civilian air traffic. What were they? If they posed a threat to commercial air traffic, why is nothing else being done? The overclassification of UAP data prevents us from a true scientific investigation to get answers. The bottom line is, why are we allowing objects in our sky, particularly objects displaying advanced technology, to go unidentified? I believe we should pursue these questions about the nature of UAP with a scientific method and an open mind.

In closing, thank you for your leadership today on this important issue. The American people deserve to know what is happening in our skies. It is long overdue.

Thank you.

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