News

No, Congress (or the US Government) Hasn't Confirmed Aliens Are Real

Witness David Grusch said he was sharing his own personal views and opinions at a hearing, not the Defense Department’s.

Published July 28, 2023

 ( Drew Angerer/Staff, Getty Images)
Image Via Drew Angerer/Staff, Getty Images

In July 2023, claims began to spread on social media platforms that the U.S. Congress (or the government in general) had confirmed aliens were real.

"Congress has confirmed that they have non-biologically human in custody (ALIEN), in a nutshell the aliens and UFOs are real," a Twitter post said on July 26, 2023.

We also found the tweet on TikTok. We found posts about the claim on other social media platforms, like Reddit, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, as well.

But that was a bit of an overstatement.

On July 26, 2023, the U.S. House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee held a hearing on unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), which is the military's term for UFOs, according to National Public Radio (NPR). We found "nonhuman biologics" were discussed during the hearing, but that Congress did not "confirm" during the hearing that aliens and UFOs were real.

In this story, we'll break down what the hearing covered, as well as who testified and what the government has said when asked about the claims.

What Did US House Hearing Cover, and Who Testified?

First, a bit of background. According to the Library of Congress, a hearing is:

a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest.

The U.S. House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee hearing on July 26, 2023, was titled, "Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency." U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., said at the beginning of the hearing that it would be focused on what could be done "to improve reporting" of UAPs "for military and civilians."

Three people testified: Ryan Graves, executive director for the nonprofit Americans for Safe Aerospace, which is focused on UAPs; retired U.S. Navy Commander David Fravor; and David Grusch, a former member of the U.S. Defense Department's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.

What Was Said About 'Nonhuman Biologics'?

Many headlines focused on what Grusch said during the hearing. He did not produce hard evidence for his claims, though.

During the hearing, the former intelligence officer said that he had faced retaliation for coming forward about a "multi-decade UAP crash-retrieval and reverse-engineering program," to which he was denied access. We found this beginning around 32:42 in the C-SPAN video:

Around 1:49:29 in the video, Grusch was asked by Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., if he believed the U.S. government had made contact with intelligent extraterrestrials. He said it was something that he couldn't discuss in a public setting.

They then had the following exchange:

Mace: If you believe we have crashed craft, as you stated earlier, do we have the bodies of the pilots who piloted this craft?

Grusch: As I've stated publicly already in my NewsNation interview, biologics came with some of these recoveries, yeah.

Mace: Were they, I guess, human or nonhuman biologics?

Grusch: Nonhuman, and that was the assessment of people with direct knowledge on the program I talked to that are currently still in the program. 

What Has the Government Said?

Congress, or the government in general, has not confirmed extraterrestrial life. Grusch told the subcommittee he was sharing his own personal views and opinions, not the Defense Department's, beginning around 1:03:09 in the C-SPAN video.

In a statement published by reputable media publications like the Associated Press (AP) and NPR, Defense Department spokeswoman Susan Gough said investigators had not discovered "any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently." 

The AP previously reported in December 2022 that Ronald Moultrie, under secretary of defense for intelligence and security, said that the Pentagon's All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office had not seen anything indicating any unidentified flying objects observed were of alien origin. Moultrie also said they were still "very early on," as the office was only established in July 2022.   

We reached out to the Defense Department and will update this story if we hear back.

In Summary

One witness said during a U.S. House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee hearing that "nonhuman biologics" had been recovered, though offered no empirical evidence. He was not speaking on behalf of Congress, the U.S. Defense Department, or the U.S. government.

Sources

Americans for Safe Aerospace. https://www.safeaerospace.org/. Accessed 28 July 2023.

Ball, Marissa. Research Guides: Finding Government Documents: Congressional Committee Hearings. https://guides.loc.gov/finding-government-documents/congressional-committee-hearings. Accessed 28 July 2023.

Copp, Tara. "Pentagon Has Received 'several Hundreds' of New UFO Reports." AP News, 16 Dec. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/7227512231fa206da624f813455c2f0b.

"Establishment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force." U.S. Department of Defense, https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/2314065/establishment-of-unidentified-aerial-phenomena-task-force/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.defense.gov%2FNews%2FReleases%2FRelease%2FArticle%2F2314065%2Festablishment-of-unidentified-aerial-phenomena-task-force%2F. Accessed 28 July 2023.

Kilander, Gustaf. "UFO Congress Hearing Asks Whistleblower about 'Murders' – Live." The Independent, 28 July 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ufo-hearings-congressional-testimony-whistleblower-b2383458.html.

Hearing on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena | C-SPAN.org. https://www.c-span.org/video/?529499-1/hearing-unidentified-anomalous-phenomena. Accessed 28 July 2023.

Merchant, Nomaan. "Whistleblower Tells Congress the US Is Concealing 'multi-Decade' Program That Captures UFOs." AP News, 26 July 2023, https://apnews.com/article/ufos-uaps-congress-whistleblower-spy-aliens-ba8a8cfba353d7b9de29c3d906a69ba7.

Romo, Vanessa, and Bill Chappell. "U.S. Recovered Non-Human 'biologics' from UFO Crash Sites, Former Intel Official Says." NPR, 27 July 2023. NPR, https://www.npr.org/2023/07/27/1190390376/ufo-hearing-non-human-biologics-uaps.

"Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency." United States House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, 8 Aug. 2023, https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/unidentified-anomalous-phenomena-implications-on-national-security-public-safety-and-government-transparency/.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

Article Tags