Florida Senator Marco Rubio urged U.S. lawmakers to take the issue of mysterious flying objects seriously ahead of the expected release next month of a U.S. government report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), better known as the name of UFOs.
The report follows a new push by former government officials and senators, including Rubio, to investigate reports of UFOs seen by the military.
“I want us to take it seriously and have a process to take it seriously,” Rubio told CBS 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday night.
The Florida Republican said a system was needed to catalog data on these objects until answers were found.
“Maybe he has a very simple answer,” Rubio said. “Maybe that’s not the case.
When Rubio was acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee last year, he asked the director of national intelligence and the defense secretary to provide an unclassified report on the UAP by next month.
“Anything that enters airspace that isn’t supposed to be there is a threat,” Rubio said.
Rubio admitted that the military and others used to dismiss this issue.
“There is a stigma on Capitol Hill,” Rubio said. “I mean, some of my colleagues are very interested in this topic and some, you know, giggle when you bring it up. But I don’t think we can allow the stigma to keep us from having an answer to a very basic question.
Despite this stigma, the problem has grown over the past year.
In January, a website that archives declassified government documents, the Black Vault, released thousands of declassified CIA documents on UFOs.
In August, the Pentagon relaunched its program for collecting and analyzing information on mysterious objects, and the military is encouraged to report strange encounters to this UAP task force.
Luis Elizondo was part of the Pentagon’s earlier version of this group, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), from 2010 to 2017.
He told 60 Minutes that there were simple explanations for some of the mysterious sightings, but not all.
“We’re not just jumping to a conclusion that says, ‘Oh, that’s a PAU over there,’ Elizondo said. “We are doing our due diligence. Is this some kind of new kind of cruise missile technology that China has developed? Is it some kind of high altitude balloon that performs reconnaissance? Ultimately, when you’ve exhausted all of those what-ifs and still end up with the fact that it’s in our airspace and it’s real, that’s where it becomes compelling, and that’s where it becomes problematic.