UFO Whistleblowers Would Get Immunity Under New Amendment
The language would give government employees and contractors immunity from reprisal for coming forward about UFO encounters and programs.
In an effort to protect those with information about unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) and increase the influx of reports about them, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc) has introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
"The amendment would establish a process within the government for reporting UAPs and provide whistleblower-like protections,” Gallagher’s spokesman Jordan Dunn told The War Zone Thursday morning.
For a multitude of reasons, U.S. troops and government contractors have traditionally been reluctant to come forward with information about these incidents, regardless of their validity. Beyond that, there have also been long-standing allegations that the government and defense contractors could be hiding previous UFO-related programs and evidence. This would allow those with information to come forward without retribution.
Some have even posited that language like that in Gallagher's amendment could lead to "UFO disclosure."
In essence, it says that regardless of any previous written or oral non-disclosure agreements “that could be interpreted as a legal constraint on reporting by a witness of an unidentified aerial phenomena,” those with information about UAPs, more commonly known as UFOs, would not be violating federal classified information laws if they come forward.
The amendment also calls for the head of the new Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG), tasked with investigating UAPs on behalf of the Defense Secretary and Director of National Intelligence, to establish “a secure system” for receiving reports of “any events relating to” UAPs and any government or government contractor activity or program related to UAPs.
The reporting system shall be administered by "designated and widely known, easily accessible, and appropriately cleared Department of Defense and intelligence community employees or contractors" as part of AOIMSG, which is a much enhanced and more deeply mandated effort that replaced the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.
Any information would first be screened "to prevent unauthorized public reporting or compromise of properly classified military and intelligence systems, programs, and related activity, including all categories and levels of special access and compartmented access programs, current, historical, and future."
However, federal agencies and contractors working with the government would be precluded from taking actions, including suspending security clearances, for those who report UAP incidents and information.
And those who are retaliated against “may bring a private civil action for all appropriate remedies, including injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages, against the Government or other employer who took the personnel action, in the United States Court of Federal Claims,” the amendment states.
Gallagher has long been a proponent of increasing the flow of information about UAPs.
During a congressional hearing on the subject May 17, the first of its kind in about 50 years, he asked a Pentagon official about a supposed incident from the 1960s at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.
“One such incident allegedly occurred at Malmstrom Air Force Base in which 10 of our nuclear ICBMs were rendered inoperable,” he said. “At the same time a glowing red orb was observed overhead. I'm not commenting on the accuracy of this. I'm simply asking you whether you're aware of it and whether you have any comments on the accuracy of that reporting.”
Deputy Director of Navy Intelligence Scott Bray responded.
"That data is not within the holdings of the UAP task force," Bray said.
The day after the hearing, Gallagher made eyebrow-raising statements that UFOs could actually be the product of time-traveling humans during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, according to the National Review.
“Go back 200 years, and you would say, ‘You guys don’t have cars, Internet, good machine guns; what’s going on?'” Gallagher told McAfee. “So go from our point in history, forward 200 years, and whoever’s left, at that point, if we can avoid nuking ourselves, is gonna say, ‘Wait, you guys can’t bend space and time? We figured that out like 50, 100 years ago.”
The May 17 hearing came as U.S. officials have a heightened concern about UAPs. But really, this latest chain of events began with a New York Times article in late 2017 detailing the existence of a past DoD program that looked into UFOs (among other bizarre things) and how the issue remains unresolved according to new claims and reports.
Since then, there has been a five-year trickle of new evidence, the emergence of a Pentagon UFO whistleblower of sorts, a media blitz by other DoD employees and intelligence officials, and closed hearings on Capitol Hill, all of which resulted in a highly anticipated but inconclusive official report on the issue that was made public in June of 2021. Not long after, the Pentagon created a new organization to search for answers about mysterious objects in the sky, especially over military installations and training ranges, and the demand from Congress to take the topic seriously was codified into law.
Some people, including Gallagher, felt the hearing did not go far enough.
After the hearing, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn), who sells UFO-related apparel on his website, said more should have been done.
"I was correct in that I learned the coverup continues," he told reporters after the hearing when asked what he learned.
Burchett also called for improved protection for those coming forward, akin to what Gallagher proposed with his amendment this week.
"By telling you that they have whistleblower protection or something, that's bogus until it's in the law," he said. "For us to sit here and talk about it is bogus. And you really need to provide them with some sort of ability to come in here and not be persecuted and not have a blemish on those records."
On May 31, former deputy assistant Defense secretary for intelligence Christopher Mellon, who has been instrumental in accruing massive public attention to UFOs in recent years, penned an opinion piece for The Hill publication, laying out steps that should have been taken, but weren't:
- Determine if the government’s new UAP classification guide strikes a proper balance between public transparency and national security;
- Assess the progress being made in establishing the new, congressionally mandated Department of Defense-Director of National Intelligence (DOD-DNI) organization to investigate UAPs;
- Determine whether America’s massive space surveillance apparatus is detecting anomalies in space comparable to those being detected in the atmosphere and in the ocean;
- Determine whether progress has been made in overcoming Air Force resistance to sharing information with the UAP task force and its successor, a problem acknowledged in the unclassified UAP report provided to Congress last June.
- Validate or eliminate a number of prolific, sensational rumors involving UAP and the U.S. government.
"Regrettably, members of the House subcommittee failed to make headway on any of these important issues," he wrote.
Last year, Lou Elizondo, a retired counter-intelligence agent and UFO whistleblower of sorts who claims he ran a secretive government UFO program, said he would come forward with a lot more information with the proper protection.
"If God forbid, Congress wants to go ahead and have a public hearing on this and I get called, hey, I'm going to tell Congress the truth," he said. "I'm going to tell Congress everything I know, to the level that they are allowing me to talk about it without violating my security oath. And if we can do it in a closed session where it can talk about that out, then we'll do that too. And there are people in Pentagon that didn't want that to happen because there is a lot of information and data. There's names that were part of this effort..."
But sometimes, deeper dives into these incidents reveal less than otherwordly circumstances, as our investigation into a series of enigmatic drone swarm events that occurred in the waters off Southern California in 2019 showed. This amendment could help offer more insight into similar incidents that could potentially be explained but are not publicly due to sensitivities around the general subject and the nature of the events themselves. The Air Force, in particular, has been absolutely silent on this issue and they have the job of protecting America's airspace. This is a highly peculiar situation we have detailed deeply in the past. By giving its personnel immunity, new information could provide key insights into these events and how the flying force has dealt with them, or not, over the years, let alone what the service knows about their origins and circumstances surrounding them.
Regardless of the origin of these objects, UFO enthusiasts appeared buoyed by the Gallagher UAP amendment.
Already, an outreach effort has been set up, with voters urged to call their representatives next week in support of the amendment.
“Please call your Member's office between 10-11am OR 2-3pm eastern time to maximize impact,” Katie Howland tweeted.
There is a long way to go before this amendment clears all the legislative hurdles needed to become law.
But if it does pass, it could likely help open the spigot of information about UFO incidents from those who have been either precluded by law, or contract, to say what they've seen or what they know.
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