Former Senator Urges More Study On UFOs
KPBS Midday Edition Segments / August 3, 2021
It’s been about a month since the US Defense Department released a report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena...commonly referred to as UFO’s. That report was dropped on a Friday evening in June with little fanfare – and quite a few Americans may have missed the extraordinary nature of the document.
Speaker 1: 00:00 It's been about a month since the U S defense department released a report on unidentified aerial phenomena, commonly referred to as a UFO's that report was dropped on a Friday evening in June with little fanfare and quite a few Americans may have missed the extraordinary nature of the document. After decades of dismissing UFO sightings out of hand, the government admitted that of the 144 UFO studied 143 remain on identified. Their reports suggests the sightings may be the result of sensor errors or even advanced technology developed by other nations. But there is no mention of a possible extra terrestrial explanation. Former democratic Senate majority leader, Harry Reid was instrumental in the creation of a government program to officially collect UFO information back in 2007, he's written about his curiosity about UFO's the unfortunate stigma attached to the issue and his hope for scientific answers. Senator Harry Reid, welcome to the show.
Speaker 2: 01:08 My pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.
Speaker 1: 01:10 The government's report. Didn't quite stir up the excitement one might've expected. Why do you think that is?
Speaker 2: 01:16 Well, first of all, they did it on a night. That news goes nowhere Friday night, is it? I want to kill the story. File a paper on Friday evening. What they did. They obviously in reading the report, it was so cursory so thin. So marginalized. I am very disappointed. I would hope that people in Congress understand that that is not the way to satisfy the American people. The one thing we need to do is be transparent and this shows no transparency. We need to get to the bottom of this, continue working on. It seems to me, the more we study it, the more we don't know. And I think that's important that people understand that this is not some conspiratorial theory. This is real facts we need to get to the bottom line.
Speaker 1: 02:07 Even considering the, uh, small amount of information that was released, what did you find as the most intriguing data in the government's UFO room?
Speaker 2: 02:17 I found very little of this new cut new ground, but I have said, and I believe this, this can't be a one I don't we're through with it. This has to be an ongoing program for the federal government is involved in studying these unidentified flying objects. They can no longer say they don't exist because they exist and we need to find out what they are. And the more we try to hide it, the more parent becomes at work trying to hide something from the American people. That's a long way to go.
Speaker 1: 02:50 The only citing studied in this report occurred between the years, 2004 and 2021. And those that were reported largely by military personnel. Yet you believe the government has decades of information on UFO's. Why wasn't that part of this?
Speaker 2: 03:06 I do not know. I also believe that we all we do know at the Pentagon, the United States, military is now being really, I think, upfront, it used to be the criticizer pilots and sea captains for even talking about this. Now they're asking their pilots in their man at sea to report these findings. You, the identified they should report. I believe that's the case. I'm glad that kind of gone to step forward and are doing this.
Speaker 1: 03:37 You know, it was speaking of, uh, sightings by military personnel, the so-called tic TAC, UFO sighting by pilots from the USS Nimitz off the coast of San Diego is one of the videos that's been released to the public. And that's a sighting involving multiple sensors and multiple observers of objects flying in ways that would not be possible in any technology we know of. Now, as you say, it doesn't seem that it's enough for us just to say, we don't know what they were. So what should be the next step in this process?
Speaker 2: 04:09 Well, I think the next step should be the step that should have been taken initially study now study in the future, kind of continue the study, find out what's going on here. We've been talking about these UFO's for 70 years and we have not gotten any place other than to understand that the more we learn, the more we need to learn. And so I am satisfied that the medical Pentagon is doing the right thing. You use the example of the USS Omaha. I think that's important. The situation we had. I'm sorry. Did you mention the online?
Speaker 1: 04:47 No, I didn't. I just mentioned the Nimitz. Well
Speaker 2: 04:50 With Omar, this was a very interesting thing anymore. It's not just mirror people saying they saw it. They had this object shaped like football. It was probably almost as long as a football field and it flows around and around the ship for a while. And then just goes into the ocean is disappears. This is really, to me, it's intriguing something. We shouldn't just forget about it. Move onto something else. This is something we need to study and study art.
Speaker 1: 05:20 You think it was wrong for the defense department to release this document without including even the possibility of an extraterrestrial explanation for the UFO's?
Speaker 2: 05:30 Well, I, I don't know why they decided to let us know a little bit more when I'm glad they did it. And I think that, uh, they they've made a decision that, that they don't know what it is. And I'm satisfied that science get a community kind of convinced me that it comes from someplace else. I'll accept that, but we can't just ignore it.
Speaker 1: 05:54 According to polling a third Americans, and this includes both Democrats and Republicans believe that UFO's are evidence of alien visitors. As more documentation comes out, verifying the existence of UFO's. Do you expect that number to go up?
Speaker 2: 06:11 It definitely will go up without any question. And I think that's the way it should be. This isn't something that's going to, we're not suddenly gonna have no UFO's to talk about or look at, but we need to stay on top of it, have an ongoing government program. That's why I was very disappointed. They released the press account of it on a Friday evening way to kill it, and they need to pick up where they left off and continue the program members of Congress be to go forward. Who's happy to see Senator Marco Rubio from Florida. Talk about the need to continue to work on that tonight. Help Marco proceeds further on that.
Speaker 1: 06:54 No, I know you don't a truck with conspiracy theories, but let me just mention that a common conspiracy theory about the government and UFO's is that officials are engaged in the slow release of information to kind of warm up the public for the eventual reveal that we have been visited by extra terrestrials and your time as Senate majority leader, did you get the sense that the government had a lot more intelligence about UFO's than they were telling you?
Speaker 2: 07:22 I think the government has not been forthcoming as they should now. I don't know what information I have, but I, I think all we've gotten from them so far is little tidbits, little bits of integration. I think they have a lot more of that if they want to do. And I hope they decide quickly that they want to give us more.
Speaker 1: 07:41 A friend Robert Bigelow of Bigelow aerospace is a big proponent of the fact that we've been visited by extra terrestrials. And I'm wondering if you, and he have discussed that in any way. And if any of his arguments have been compelling to you,
Speaker 2: 07:55 I've known Bob Bigelow for three or four decades. He's a man who puts his money where his mouth is. He spent millions of dollars studying UFO's and doing other things. So I think that people of Goodwill like Bob Bigelow should applaud the work being done by others know that I really admire Bob Bigelow for doing what he's done. And he's, as we speak, he's going for more, he's getting put up a different cash rewards for studies you're in overstock, adolescent Vegas guess learn more about the work he's been doing.
Speaker 1: 08:33 Not only Americans, who've seen unidentified aerial phenomena it's happened all over the world. Do you think the investigation into UFO's should be international?
Speaker 2: 08:44 I would hope that we're sharing the information with France, China, Russia. They have ongoing programs to study thoughts. And I think it's an area where we don't have all the answers, but we have some of the answers and the more we share better, or we for all the countries, this is something that's beyond a nationalism. That should be something that we recognize the world needs to know more.
Speaker 1: 09:11 Now, Senator you've said that you're prepared to go where science leads you on this topic, but do you think of it in science leads us to the conclusion that we have been visited by people from other worlds is the American public ready for that?
Speaker 2: 09:27 I don't know if the American public suede work, but I am. If you can prove scientifically that these UFOs are coming from someplace else, I'll accept that there's a great world. We live in. We're just a little blip and there's nothing to suggest that we are the only intelligences anywhere in this world who talk about this universe.
Speaker 1: 09:47 I really appreciate your spending some time with us. I've been speaking with former Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Senator Reed. Thank you so much for your insight call anytime.