Last month, Republican representative Mark Walker of North Carolina wrote a letter expressing concern over the recent surge in UFO-related events affecting American military forces.
Walker’s concerns stem from the December 2017 article in the New York Times about the now defunded secret Pentagon UFO program called AATIP and the revelations that several Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015 engaged in bizarre encounters with anomalous aerial objects off the coast of California and Florida. The news that the Navy is now changing its protocols for personnel to report UFO sightings has spurred a renewed interest in the potential safety and security risks these unknown objects pose.
"The reports mention the existence of these encounters both domestically and abroad during various missions and trainings," Walker wrote. "Based on pilot accounts, encounters with these UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena) often involved complex flight patterns and advanced maneuvering, which demand extreme advances in quantum mechanics, nuclear science, electromagnetics, and thermodynamics.”
What's most notable is that what Walker is asking for closely aligns with what Blink 182 singer Tom Delonge's To the Stars Academy (TTSA) has been uncovering and publishing over the last few years. While TTSA has made some odd claims, the sheer amount of attention the media is giving the UFO topic in the last two years has undoubtedly increased.
“What we see here with Mark Walker’s letter to the Secretary of the Navy is the undiscussed, but most successful component of TTSA—a political lobby," Tim McMillan, a law enforcement consultant and intelligence analyst interested in UFOs, said in an interview. "It’s abundantly clear by the language of his letter, Rep. Walker is acting on information brought out by TTSA or their proxies.”
“The Navy’s response to Rep. Walker will be the most interesting aspect of all this,” McMillan added. “Will Rep. Walker make the Navy’s response public? If he feels the Navy’s response is inadequate, will Rep. Walker push the issue further?”
Noting the various reports made by pilots expressing their amazement at how the objects in question seemed to easily outmaneuver their fighter planes, Walker states, "If the accounts are true, the unidentified crafts could pose a serious security risk to our military personnel and defense apparatus."
Walker concludes the letter by asking two key questions on everyone’s mind; does the Department of Defense “continue to dedicate resources to tracking and investigating these claims” of unidentified objects and has the DoD found “physical evidence or otherwise that substantiates these claims?”
This letter seems to suggest that the study of UFOs is becoming serious political business and has many within the UFO community stating that this is a pivotal moment in the study of the phenomenon. Perhaps Walker just likes UFOs. Whatever the case, politicians and high-ranking officials have been addicted to UFOs for decades and Walker’s letter is just another example in a long history of politicians trying to get answers. (No, Bernie Sanders doesn't count.)
One of the most unique, and politically shrewd, UFO discussions occurred on the floor of the Canadian House of Commons in 1967 and 1968 when Ed Schreyer and Barry Mather, two Ministers of Parliament from British Columbia, demanded more information concerning UFOs from the Department of National Defence. They made a public motion that all relevant government departments be forced by the House to “issue a copy of all letters, reports, studies or other data” with respect to unidentified flying objects be made public.
Author and researcher Chris Rutkowski, an expert in Canadian UFO history, told Motherboard that this type of public and open dialogue on the House floor is unheard of. Rutkowski stated that it led to a formal motion to have all related UFO documents released. But ultimately, the Canadian government didn't release the files mentioned. However, “it shows that politicians have demanded action on UFOs for decades,” he said.
Former presidential candidate and Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater tried, on multiple occasions in the late 1960’s and 70’s, to gain access to certain areas of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base but was denied access where, he alleged, the Air Force was hiding evidence regarding flying saucers.
“I think the government does know [about UFOs]," Goldwater said in a 1994 radio interview. "I can’t back that up, but I think that at Wright-Patterson field, if you could get into a certain place, you’d find out what the Air Force and the government knows about UFOs.”
“I called Curtis LeMay [Goldwater's running mate and former Air Force General] and I said, ‘General, I know we have a room at Wright-Patterson where you put all this secret stuff. Could I go in there?’ I’ve never heard him get mad, but he got madder than hell at me, cussed me out, and said, ‘Don’t ever ask me that question again!’”
In 1993, New Mexico Congressman Steven Schiff made several inquiries to the DoD regarding the infamous Roswell UFO crash of 1947. While his letters were shuffled around between several bureaucrats and offices for two years, it was finally investigated by the General Accounting Office (Government Accountability Office today). The GAO launched an investigation into the Roswell crash. Its findings came out in July of 1995, which established the Roswell crash to be nothing more than a balloon from a military project called MOGUL. Indeed, Schiff’s letters and the GAO response was big UFO news in the mid-90’s, yet did not provide any answers or hard evidence to sate the UFO community.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.