Along with their counterparts in Congress, there is growing interest in the subject of UFOs amongst members of the U.S. Senate, with three senators having received a high-level briefing from Pentagon officials on June 17. This growing concern over a previously-ridiculed subject has been sparked by the revelation of encounters between U.S. Naval personnel and unidentified aerial phenomena, specifically incidents involving the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in 2004 and the USS Roosevelt in 2014 and 2015.

“If naval pilots are running into unexplained interference in the air, that’s a safety concern Senator Warner believes we need to get to the bottom of,” according to Rachel Cohen, a spokesperson for Senator Mark Warner (D-Va), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and one of three senators that received the June 17 classified briefing. These high-level briefings in the Senate coincide with Congressional briefings unveiled by KLAS-TV reporter George Knapp.

“They started interviewing Navy pilots, the aviators themselves, very credible people, credible witnesses, who had backup data, radar data, about these [UFO] encounters,” according to Knapp, regarding the initial involvement of congressional staffers, an interest that eventually led to elected members of Congress being briefed on the subject.

“Navy officials did indeed meet with interested congressional members and staffers on Wednesday to provide a classified brief on efforts to understand and identify these threats to the safety and security of our aviators,” spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Day announced in a statement, confirming the June 17 briefings.

“Follow-up discussions with other interested staffers” were also scheduled for June 18, according to Day. “Navy officials will continue to keep interested congressional members and staff informed. Given the classified nature of these discussions, we will not comment on the specific information provided in these Hill briefings.”

According to anonymous sources, these briefings aren’t the first time officials on Capitol Hill have been briefed on UFOs, but rather the latest in a series of meetings representing the Intelligence, Armed Services and Defense Appropriations panels.

“There are people coming out of the woodwork,” according to one former government official who has participated in a number of the meetings. And lawmakers’ interest in the military’s encounters with UFOs shows no signs of waning, with one intelligence official saying that “more requests for briefings are coming in.”

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