“We have tackled many strange stories on 60 Minutes, but perhaps none like this,” CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker said on Sunday night’s show. “It’s the story of the U.S. government’s grudging acknowledgment of unidentified aerial phenomena, UAP, more commonly known as UFOs. After decades of public denial, the Pentagon now admits there’s something out there, and the U.S. Senate wants to know what it is.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee is demanding that the directorate of national intelligence and the Pentagon hand over a declassified report outlining past UFO sightings by June of this year.
Whitaker sat down with experts in the field: Luis Elizondo, former head of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), retired Navy Cmdr. Dave Fravor, whose F/A-18F squadron encountered a UPA off California in 2004, Christopher Mellon, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence, and Lt. Cmdr. Alex Dietrich.
The 60 Minutes special showed some declassified footage previously leaked to The New York Times by Mellon and Elizondo. “It’s bizarre and unfortunate that someone like myself has to do something like that to get a national security issue like this on the agenda,” Mellon said.
Everyone Whitaker spoke with emphasized that unidentified does not necessarily mean extraterrestrial. There is no evidence that these objects are extraterrestrial. They are a potential national security risk no matter who created them because the technology seems far beyond what the U.S. can currently produce.
Mellon said the UFOs are not secret U.S. government technology. “I can say that with a very high degree of confidence in part because of the positions I held in the department, and I know the process.”
Former Navy pilot Lt. Ryan Graves told Whitaker that fellow pilots began seeing UAP’s hovering over restricted airspace off Virginia Beach in 2014 after upgrades to their radar, and continued seeing UAP’s off the Atlantic Coast “every day for at least a couple years.”
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