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Congress is taking UFOs more seriously, but many questions remain

WASHINGTON — Unidentified flying objects were a punchline for years, but now Congress is taking these unexplained encounters more seriously.

“For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis. Pilots avoided reporting, or were laughed at when they did,” said Rep. André Carson, D-Ind.

Carson presided Tuesday over the first public hearing of its kind in half a century, as a House Intelligence subcommittee heard testimony about so-called unidentified aerial phenomena. Lawmakers couldn’t resist a few cracks about science fiction, but for the most part, the tone was clinical and somber.

No one scoffed about little green men or dismissed the whole thing as a crock. Instead, the idea of breaking through the “stigma” came up again and again.

“UAP reports have been around for decades, and yet we haven’t had an orderly way for them to be reported — without stigma — and to be investigated. That needs to change,” said House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif.

 

—CQ-Roll Call

Road deaths in US jump to highest level since 2005 as driving rebounds

Traffic fatalities surged last year to the highest level since 2005 as drivers increasingly returned to the roads following a dip during the early days of the pandemic.

Almost 43,000 people died in car crashes in 2021, a 10.5% jump from the prior year, according to a statement Tuesday from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That initial estimate represented the largest-ever one-year increase.

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