Congress passed a bill Monday that directs the United States government to publicly disclose information pertaining to unidentified anomalous phenomena, more commonly known as UFOs, but the catch is they have many years to do so.

A portion of the annual defense policy bill contained a directive to all government agencies maintaining that all records pertaining to UFOs be disclosed to the general public within 25 years of their creation. President Biden is expected to sign the bill, which also gives the president the power of blocking certain records from becoming public in the interest of national security.

“Closely modeled on the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, this Act would establish under the National Archives a government-wide collection of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) records and a mandate to declassify and publicly release these records,” a portion of the bill read. “The conference agreement includes only the requirements to establish a government-wide UAP records collection; to transfer records to the collection; and to review the records for disclosure decisions under a set of authorized grounds for postponing disclosure.”

Some legislators have argued the bill does not go far enough to force the hand of certain arms of government which appear to have gone to great lengths to prevent information about UFO sightings from being released. Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the bill, originally wanted a presidential commission to be formed which would review the collection of UFO-related documents to determine what, if any, the public interest of such information may be.

“It is really an outrage the House didn’t work with us on adopting our proposal for a review board,” Schumer said to The New York Times. “It means that declassification of U.A.P. records will be largely up to the same entities that have blocked and obfuscated their disclosure for decades.”

Co-sponsor of the bill Senator Mike Rounds (R – South Dakota) reinforced disappointment to the Time with regard to the somewhat weak language of the final bill.

“We are lacking oversight opportunities, and we are not fulfilling our responsibilities,” Senator Rounds said.

Rep Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) wanted to avoid the review process entirely and directly disclose UFO-related documents to the public so long as doing so would not endanger national security or reveal the sources and methods of such information.

“We got ripped off,” Burchett said to the Times. “We got completely hosed. They stripped out every part.”

Schumer still chose to praise the bill’s passing as a momentous step forward in the name of public transparency surrounding a topic long since shrouded in government red tape and mystery, even in the face of mounting public and congressional scrutiny as members of the military have come forward to report what they’ve seen on podcasts and broadcast media channels. 

“This is a major, major win for government transparency on U.A.P.s, and it gives us a strong foundation for more action in the future,”Schumer said to the Times.

Congress has been ramping up pressure in recent years on the Pentagon and other government agencies to increase UFO-related transparency. A Congressional hearing in July of this year heard three U.S. military members attest that not only is the government hiding information about UFO sightings, they may also have recovered crashed ships and non-human biologics, which is a fancy phrase meaning alien corpses. 

One of those military members, Retired Navy Cmdr. David Fravor, whose UFO video was released by the Pentagon in 2020, said at the hearing that what he witnessed was unlike any technology he has ever seen and far beyond the U.S. military’s technological capacities.

“The technology that we faced was far superior than anything that we had,” Fravor said. “I’m not a UFO fanatic. But what we saw with four sets of eyes — we have nothing close to it. It was incredible technology.”

Another of the military members who testified that day, a former Navy fighter pilot named Ryan Graves, testified he had been involved in a similar incident where he saw a dark gray cube inside a clear sphere capable of remaining stationary in the skies even in the face of hurricane-force winds. Graves was also the one who testified about the possibility of non-human biologics.

“I urge us to put aside stigma and address the security and safety issue this topic represents,” Graves said at the hearing. “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, unidentified objects are a concern for flight safety. The American people deserve to know what is happening in our skies. It is long overdue.”

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