(NewsNation) — Congress held its second hearing in as many years on UFO sightings on Wednesday, and a former Navy fighter pilot says it’s imperative to get all the data possible about the aircraft to improve safety.
Lt. Ryan Graves is one of several Navy pilots who have come forward in recent years to describe their encounters with unidentified objects, formally classified by the government as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).
“What we really need to focus on is ensuring that we can get more data from our frontline operators such as the pilots, not only in the military but on the commercial side as well,” Graves said Wednesday on “Elizabeth Vargas Reports.”
The Pentagon’s leading UAP expert testified Wednesday on Capitol Hill about the increased sightings. Dr. Sean M. Kirkpatrick, director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, said there is no evidence any objects were of extraterrestrial origin.
In May 2022, the House Intelligence Subcommittee held its first congressional hearing on UFOs in nearly 50 years, just months after the Pentagon promised it would investigate sightings more seriously.
All of that came after The New York Times published cockpit footage from a Navy pilot who encountered a UAP in the air. The Pentagon then said it would make more UAP footage public.
It’s a idea embraced by Graves.
“I just want to encourage people this isn’t about drawing conclusions about what these objects are, where they’re from. There’s really no reason to have any disregard for what these are, because we just simply don’t know at this point,” he said. “In that uncertainty potentially is going to be national security problems, and if not, we still need to be scientifically curious about what those could be.”
During his time in the Navy, Graves witnessed one of the aircraft himself.
“The object was described as a dark gray or black cube inside of a clear sphere, and it was estimated to be about 5 to 15 feet in diameter, which is similar to the orbital objects that were described in (Wednesday’s) hearing,” he said.
Graves’ advocacy group, Americans for Safe Aerospace, is also pushing for more congressional action to aid civilian and commercial pilots who encounter unidentified objects.
“One of the problems I’ve been hearing about in the commercial sector is that the pilots simply don’t have the same agency to report on this topic as has been recently initiated in the military. Pilots are receiving cease and desists and other warnings not to communicate outside,” Graves said. “It’s a safety issue, and yet the company doesn’t want to really combine data and work to solve this problem.”