Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett described the House Oversight Committee’s meeting with members of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as “elusive” as lawmakers continue to push for answers on unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
House members were briefed Thursday on NASA’s independent report regarding UFOs, also known as unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), that was released earlier this month. Congressmen on both sides of the aisle have demanded greater transparency from the Pentagon regarding the issue of UAP after hearing from three witnesses in late July who testified about their experiences with unexplainable phenomena while working for the Defense Department.
But Burchett, a Republican who was one of the leading voices ahead of July’s hearing to push for additional Congressional oversight on the issue of UAP, said that he left Thursday’s meeting with NASA “disappointed,” telling his followers in a video message to X, formerly Twitter, that the report “didn’t say a whole lot to me.”
“My colleague [Alabama Representative] Gary Palmer asked about classified stuff at NASA, and they said, ‘We don’t have anything classified,'” Burchett said regarding the meeting.
According to the congressman’s video, when pressed further about the issue of classified information, the representatives from NASA gave a “very elusive” response.
“And so, what I think they’ve done is, they sent these two folks in here, like the Pentagon did, that have very little knowledge of the issue,” Burchett continued. “So they can say they can hold up their hand before Congress and swear that they know nothing about the issue, and it doesn’t exist.”
Burchett said that he also pressed the NASA representatives about the testimonies that came out during July’s hearing, as well as videos of UAP that have been declassified and shared with the public.
“So anyway, didn’t get a lot from that, and I’m a little disappointed,” the congressman concluded.
“We’re probably going to have to get some more people from the Pentagon in there to tell us what exactly is going on.”
“I just want the truth,” he added. “Give me the facts.”
Newsweek reached out to Dr. Daniel Evans, assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA who served as the designated federal official on the agency’s UAP report, for comment Thursday evening.
NASA’s report was compiled by a team of 16 experts and was intended to look at how the agency could use data to better understand UAP. The group concluded in its review that there was no “conclusive evidence” that suggested UAP is the source of extraterrestrial origins and suggested that the agency should play a “prominent role” in working to better understand the phenomena.
The report also called for greater transparency around UAP and suggested that the agency could help remove the negative stigma that witnesses feel when reporting experiences.
“NASA’s long-standing public trust, which is essential for communicating findings about these phenomena to the public, is also crucial for destigmatizing UAP reporting,” the report read. “The scientific processes used by NASA encourage critical thinking and skepticism; within this framework, there should be no credulous acceptance of unlikely reports with unlikely explanations.”