Congress holds first public UFO briefing in 50 years

Congressional lawmakers are holding a hearing on UFOs Tuesday for the first time in more than 50 years.

A House Intelligence subcommittee began the meeting at 9 a.m. EST to discuss findings related to unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAP (the military designation for unexplained sightings in the air, including unidentified flying objects).

Testimony from top U.S. intelligence and defense officials is expected at the briefing.

It's the first hearing since the 1969 closure of the Air Force's Project Blue Book, which tried to determine the source of UFO encounters or sightings. Before that, several hearings were held throughout the 50s and 60s about unusual aerial sightings. 

More recently, Washington has released a number of reports and files on UFOs and UAPs. Last year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released findings that noted 144 UAP encounters documented by the agency between 2004 and 2021

While the exact nature of the purported extraterrestrial threats was unknown, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe spoke with FOX News’ Maria Bartiromo saying "there are a lot more sightings" than the public is aware of.