The Florida senator Marco Rubio has urged American lawmakers to take the issue of mysterious flying objects seriously ahead of the expected release next month of a US government report on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), better known as UFOs.
The report follows a renewed push by former government officials and senators including Rubio to investigate reports of UFOs seen by the military.
“I want us to take it seriously and have a process to take it seriously,” Rubio told CBS’s 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday night.
The Florida Republican said a system was needed to catalogue data on these objects until answers had been found.
“Maybe it has a very simple answer,” Rubio said. “Maybe it doesn’t.”
When Rubio was acting Senate intelligence committee chair last year, he asked the director of national intelligence and the secretary of defense to provide an unclassified report on UAP by next month.
“Anything that enters an airspace that’s not supposed to be there is a threat,” Rubio said.
Rubio acknowledged that the military and others have a history of dismissing this issue.
“There’s a stigma on Capitol Hill,” Rubio said. “I mean, some of my colleagues are very interested in this topic and some kinda, you know, giggle when you bring it up. But I don’t think we can allow the stigma to keep us from having an answer to a very fundamental question.”
Despite this stigma, the issue has gained momentum in the past year.
En Enero, a website that archives declassified government documents, the Black Vault, published thousands of declassified CIA documents on UFOs.
En agosto, the Pentagon resurrected its program to collect and analyze information on mystery objects and military members are encouraged to report strange encounters to this UAP taskforce.
Luis Elizondo was part of the Pentagon’s earlier version of this group, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), desde 2010 a 2017.
He told 60 Minutes there were simple explanations for some of the mysterious sightings, but not all.
“We’re not just simply jumping to a conclusion that’s saying, 'Oh, that’s a UAP out there,” Elizondo said. “We’re going through our due diligence. Is it some sort of new type of cruise missile technology that China has developed? Is it some sort of high-altitude balloon that’s conducting reconnaissance? Ultimately when you have exhausted all those what ifs and you’re still left with the fact that this is in our airspace and it’s real, that’s when it becomes compelling, and that’s when it becomes problematic.”