The Hill: It is now irresponsible not to report on UFOs

Now that a House intelligence subcommittee has held the first public hearings in more than half a century on the subject of UFOs, it feels as if there has been a seismic shift in the field of journalism. There were decades when the subject was considered to be far too unserious for mainstream publications, so the idea of unknown anomalous objects in the skies was met with silence or, worse, ridicule. Once the New York Times broke the story of a formerly unpublicized UAP investigative program in the Pentagon in 2017, that began to change. But most of the coverage was still couched in caveats, suggesting “possibilities,” while leaving room for the idea that they were all just Russian or Chinese drones.

But if you watched that House hearing two weeks ago, you’re aware that both the military and Congress are taking this very seriously. Members of the House were putting very blunt and serious questions to witnesses from the intelligence community. Senate hearings on the same topic are expected when they return from recess. The message has been clear and unambiguous this year. The UFOs are real and concerns have been raised among our military officials that they could represent a national security issue or at least a flight safety issue. (During the hearing, one witness reported that our military pilots have experienced eleven “close calls” where they nearly collided with a UAP.) And with these revelations, the mainstream media has been rushing to catch up.

One of the latest examples comes to us this week from author and columnist Douglas MacKinnon writing at The Hill. He first reveals a personal experience from his childhood involving a UFO. He then addresses the hearing I referenced above with particular emphasis on the impactful statements and questions coming from committee Chair Andre Carson.

Carson wasted no time cutting to the chase by calling out the Department of Defense (DOD) for ignoring a potential threat: “For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis. Pilots avoided reporting, or were laughed at when they did,” he said. “DOD officials relegated the issue to the back room, or swept it under the rug entirely, fearful of a skeptical, national security community. Today, we know better. They are real; they need to be investigated, and the many threats they pose need to be investigated.”

Carson could not be more correct, and should be applauded for dragging this subject out of the shadows. Whether UAPs are advanced foreign weapons systems or something infinitely more complicated, there have been too many sightings, from too many credible witnesses, to pretend they don’t exist. From this moment forward, turning a blind eye to these sightings would be not only irresponsible but a dereliction of duty.

To his credit, MacKinnon seems to have drawn his own line in the sand. And given the current climate surrounding this topic, I doubt he will pay a price for it. In fact, he will likely be applauded. But he did more than simply publish a story about military and government activities involving UFOs. I’ve been doing that here since 2017 as well as at a couple of other outlets I sometimes contribute to. As I mentioned above, MacKinnon took it to a personal level. If you follow the link, you will see that he opens with a story from when he was eleven years old and he and a friend saw “a pure white, cigar-shaped object” in the sky. His parents and several neighbors witnessed it as well as Air Force jets chased it toward the horizon. The object he describes is what is now commonly referred to as a Tic Tac, similar to the one seen by fighter pilots David Fravor and Alex Anne Dietrich in the 2004 Nimitz encounter.

It’s one thing to publish articles about what the Pentagon or members of Congress are doing about UFOs. If any of your readers think you’re crazy you can simply point them to the Department of Defense and tell them to take their complaints up with Washington. It’s quite another to lower your mask in front of your readers, raise your hand, and say, ‘Yeah. Me too.’ But if Douglas MacKinnon is bold enough and serious enough to do so in the name of responsibly reporting what’s going on, perhaps we all should be.

I went through a change in how I covered the UFO topic in November of 2020 and there’s a reason for that. For those of you who don’t follow me on social media and haven’t seen any of the interviews I’ve done on several UFO-related podcasts, I will go ahead and confess. I’ve had an interest in this subject for most of my life, though mostly from a hypothetical perspective. Then, after 61 years of never seeing anything anomalous myself (beyond the occasion odd light in the night sky that could have been almost anything), 18 months ago, my wife and I saw an actual UFO for the first time. It would turn out to be the first of five sightings we would have between then and last autumn.

The first one was a glowing ball in the sky over the ridge to the east of our house after dark that kept changing colors. I filmed it for six minutes as it traveled back and forth and up and down. I still have no idea what it was.

Later that same week my wife attempted to film what appeared to be a massive black triangle that flew over our house, also in the dark. It had strange, moving, multicolored lights underneath it and it made no sound. Then, on three occasions last summer, we saw the same thing that MacKinnon did. I don’t know what to call them but Tic Tacs and they showed up in the middle of the day in a clear blue sky. I managed to catch one of them on video, but as with so many cell phone videos, the quality is terrible and the camera refused to focus on it. A videographer pal on Twitter took the source file and slowed it and colorized it for added clarity, though there still weren’t a lot of pixels to work with. I can assure you that the experience of seeing it in real life was far more clear and more dramatic. It flew above my neighbor’s house and then stopped and hung there in midair for a few moments, seeming to rotate slightly in a clockwise direction. And then it disappeared while we were looking at it and I had a camera pointing at it. It didn’t fly away or land or crash. It just vanished.

I had a difficult time processing all of this activity and I wasn’t sure how or if I should talk or write about it. But eventually, everything seems to come out sooner or later, I suppose. So if it seems as if I take this subject more seriously than some others who cover it and perhaps am a bit more invested in it, there’s a reason. I’ve seen them. They’re real. I have no idea what they are, but there are definitely bizarre things in our skies sometimes. Next time you’re outdoors with some free time on your hands, try putting down your phone and just staring upward for a while. You never know what you might see.

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