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At UFO hearing, Republican rep asks about ‘glowing red orb’

Congress held its first public UFO hearing in more than 50 years. One lawmaker’s reference to a “glowing red orb” stood out for a reason.


As a rule, prominent politicians in the United States tend not to say much about UFOs. Officials have plenty of terrestrial challenges to focus on, and don’t want to appear foolish by turning their attention to other-worldly concerns.

With this in mind, Congress did something unusual this week: It held its first public UFO hearing in more than 50 years. In fact, a House Intelligence Committee panel heard directly from Scott Bray, the deputy director of naval intelligence, and Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security.

As Dana Milbank noted soon after in a column, the subcommittee and its witnesses “did their best to keep things rational.” There were references to unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), for example, instead of unidentified flying objects.

Milbank added that the panel “emphasized that such things are real, if not exactly evidence of space invaders,” and stressed “that they have nothing ‘that would suggest it’s anything non-terrestrial in origin,’ and they cautioned against conspiracy theories.”

The line of questioning from one subcommittee member, however, stood out as especially notable. Politico took note of the inquiries of Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin.

One of the most eye-popping moments during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on UFOs on Tuesday was when the Wisconsin Republican pressed Pentagon officials on claims that a “glowing red orb” once shut down nuclear weapons in Montana and that a recently leaked document revealed that other-worldly vehicles — and possibly even extraterrestrial bodies — are being kept from government leaders and the public.

In case this isn’t obvious, it’s important to emphasize that these questions and answers were taken quite seriously during the hearing. Gallagher seemed entirely sincere, for example, about the Pentagon examining a 1967 “incident” that “allegedly occurred at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in which 10 of our nuclear ICBMs were rendered inoperable. At the same time, a glowing red orb was observed overhead.”

Politico’s report noted that government documents “made public in the ensuing years also suggest that a technical malfunction, however rare, could have been responsible.”

Nevertheless, the GOP congressman told the witnesses, “I would like you to look into it.” They said they would.

Gallagher also inquired about an unverified 2002 document known as the “Wilson-Davis memo.” As Milbank’s column described it is "a document of dubious provenance that purports to reveal information about government UFO programs.”

Bray and Moultrie said they were unaware of the memo, so the Wisconsin Republican entered it into the official record. Milbank added, “As a result, the hearing record now includes mentions of: an alien ‘cabal,’ ‘crashed UFOs/alien bodies,’ autopsies of alien bodies in Roswell, N.M., alien-derived technologies and, yes, alien abductions.” Politico also noted:

The document, which emerged publicly in 2019, purports to reveal a secret meeting with the then-director of the Defense Intelligence Agency outlining a labyrinth of secret government programs hidden from top officials and congressional oversight committees about crashed UFO materials and efforts to reengineer the technology. The claims have been hotly debated among ufologists but never corroborated. The DIA director at the time, Vice Adm. Thomas Wilson, has reportedly denied it all. Numerous national security experts and researchers have also dismissed it as a hoax.

Whether it’ll be another five decades before Congress holds another such hearing remains to be seen.