Exactly 180 days after President Joe Biden signed the law, the UFO Institute should be around. This was stated in the amendment originally submitted by Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This is really historical,” says philosopher Teddy Smedes, involved with ufomeldpunt.nl. “The phenomenon of unidentified flying objects is about seventy years old, but this is the first time that it has appeared in an official legal text.”
Last year, the US Department of Defense published its first official report on 144 sightings of flying objects — think fighter pilots who suddenly saw strange moving places with their infrared cameras. Of those scenes, 143 remain unexplained. One of them turned out to be an deflated balloon.
The “Gilllibrand Amendment,” as the legal text has come to be known in UFO circles, consists of a total of fifteen pages. The rest of the law (2,000 pages long) deals with how the United States finances and makes up its defense system.
The new UFO institute should, among other things, professionalize the procedures surrounding UFO reports, investigate whether these flying objects were developed by ‘hostile foreign governments’, consult with friendly states and institutes such as NASA, and most importantly , published annually by publicly available reports. Incidentally, the amendment explicitly allows those reports to contain classified appendices accessible only to members of Congress. “However, the text at least expresses a desire for more openness,” says Smedis.
Part of the amendment, which explicitly called for the inclusion of independent scholars, was not included in the final version. “It’s not known why, but my suspicion is that otherwise they would have given a lot of people the highest safety,” Smids says.
The amendment also calls for research into new propulsion technologies that UFOs may have, health problems in people who have been in contact with UFOs, and visits by UFOs to nuclear facilities.
“In the text and the selected topics, you basically see the wish list of people who have been pushing for more interest in UFOs for decades,” says UFO skeptic Pepijn van Erp of the Skepsis Foundation. Although Van Erb says he’s not opposed to researching this phenomenon in principle, he basically wonders if Congress isn’t exaggerating it. “I think you could have spent the money on all this research better.”
The adoption of the Gillibrand modification comes less than a month after the Pentagon announced another, more modest, research institute into the UFO phenomenon. This announcement was met with a great deal of mistrust among UFO followers. Luis Elizondo wrote: “This is a direct and blatant attempt to circumvent and undermine the Senate.” At that time on Twitter. Elizondo is the former head of the now-defunct Pentagon Investigative Program on Unidentified Flying Objects. He is now active as a producer of television programs on the phenomenon of UFOs.
He was more excited about the new law. “This is a historic day for our country”, Wednesday evening wrote After accepting the text. Thank you to our brave members of Congress. You are heroes!