Washington, D.C. – Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) are leading an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which would mandate government records related to Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) carry the presumption of disclosure. The Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Disclosure Act of 2023 is modeled on the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 and will create a UAP Records Collection.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity for the Armed Services Committee, are leading an amendment – Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Disclosure Act of 2023 – along with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Committee; Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities for the Armed Services Committee; Senator Todd Young (R-IN); and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) which would increase transparency around Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) and further open scientific research. The legislation introduced as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will be on the Senate floor next week, would direct the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to create a collection of records to be known as the UAP Records Collection and direct every government office to identify which records would fall into the collection. The UAP Records Collection would carry the presumption of immediate disclosure, which means that a review board would have to provide a reasoning for the documents to stay classified.
During his time in Congress, former Majority Leader Harry Reid sponsored a project to investigate incidents surrounding UAPs. After that project became public, Senators, Congressmen, committees, and staff began to pursue this issue and uncovered a vast web of individuals and groups with ideas and stories to share. While these stories have varying levels of credibility, the sheer number and variety has led some in Congress to believe that the Executive Branch was concealing important information regarding UAPs over broad periods of time. Congress recognizes that these records – if they exist – were likely concealed under the good faith goal of protecting national security. However, hiding that information from both Congress and the public at large is simply unacceptable. Our goal is to work cooperatively with the executive branch to responsibly disclose these documents and bring the topic into the public sphere in a process that the American people can trust.
“For decades, many Americans have been fascinated by objects mysterious and unexplained and it’s long past time they get some answers,” said Leader Schumer. “The American public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence, and unexplainable phenomena. We are not only working to declassify what the government has previously learned about these phenomena but to create a pipeline for future research to be made public. I am honored to carry on the legacy of my mentor and dear friend, Harry Reid and fight for the transparency that the public has long demanded surround these unexplained phenomena.”
“Our goal is to assure credibility with regard to any investigation or record keeping of materials associated with Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs),” said Senator Rounds. “Relevant documents related to this issue should be preserved. Providing a central collection location and reputable review board to maintain the records adds to the credibility of any future investigations.”
“There is a lot we still don’t know about these UAPs and that is a big problem,” said Vice Chairman Rubio. “We’ve taken some important steps over the last few years to increase transparency and reduce stigmas, but more needs to be done. This is yet another step in that direction, and one that I hope will spur further cooperation from the executive branch.”
“Understanding UAPs is critical to our national security and to maintaining all-domain awareness,” said Senator Gillibrand. “When Senator Rubio and I created the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), we sought to increase transparency to the American people and reduce the stigma around this issue of high public interest. Declassifying previous records related to UAPs is part of that mission and I’m proud to support this important amendment.”
“The American people deserve transparency on all issues related to UAPs. Our bipartisan effort will protect and better organize government materials related to UAPs and promote disclosure of this information,” said Senator Young.
“The American people deserve transparency. And the federal government needs to be able to explain what is happening in our skies,” said Senator Heinrich. “This legislation will devote real resources and take a unified approach to gathering data to fully understand UAPs and better address their national security implications.”
After the UAP Records Collection is created, the legislation will create a UAP Records Review Board, an independent agency, which would consider if a UAP record would qualify for postponement of disclosure. Additionally, the federal government shall have eminent domain over any and all recovered technologies of unknown origin (TUO) and biological evidence of non-human intelligence (NHI) that may be controlled by private persons or entities in the interests of the public good. After the Review Board has made a formal determination concerning public disclosure or postponement, the President will have the sole ability to overturn or concur such determination. At the latest, each UAP record must be publicly disclosed in full and made available in the Collection no later than 25 years after the law is enacted, unless the President certifies that continued postponement is necessary because of a direct harm to national security.
The amendment will be modeled on the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 which required that documents regarding the Kennedy Assassination be made public no later than 25 years later after enactment.