In Washington on Wednesday night, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) spoke extensively on the UAP issue during a panel discussion held at the Washington National Cathedral.
The event, called “Our Future in Space” featured DNI Avril Haines, along with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson (who provided pre-taped responses to questions), Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, Rev. Prof. David Wilkinson of St. John’s College, Durham University, and Harvard Professor Avi Loeb, who heads the Galileo Project.
After moderator David Ignatius of the Washington Post provided a brief introduction, he was joined on stage by Haines, to whom he wasted no time directing questions regarding unidentified aerial phenomena.
“On this topic of life out there, you issued an extraordinary preliminary assessment in June on unidentified aerial phenomena,” Ignatius told Haines. “I want to ask you to share with the audience your takeaway after the completion of that report,” Ignatius said, “and what your own view is once you look at the evidence?”
“I think the bottom line is that we don’t understand everything that we’re seeing,” Haines told Ignatius during the event. “And that’s probably not surprising to anybody in many respects.”
Haines, who was appointed to the position of Director of National Intelligence by the Biden Administration and was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on January 21, 2021, said that the report, delivered by the Navy’s UAP Task Force in June to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was produced at the direction of Congress based on concerns many lawmakers have about the phenomenon.
“It was a report that, really, Congress asked us to produce a report that assessed what we saw as the threat, essentially, from unidentified aerial phenomenon,” Haines said, “and what our sort of best understanding was of the different reports that we had identified. And it stretched over from, I think 2004 until 2021…. and we had different categories, as you said.”
“The fifth one was ‘other’,” Haines added. “And that basically indicated that we were pretty sure we weren’t going to be able to characterize every single one of these reports in the various categories that we’d identified because, frankly, we were not able to understand everything about it.”
“A large portion of that is based on the fact that we don’t have a consistent way of reporting this information,” Haines further stated. “We need to integrate, frankly, a lot of data that we get. We need to get better at collecting data that’s useful to us from different sensors that are available to us, and we need to deepen our analysis in these areas.”
As far as the primary focus of the report, and what the intelligence community has managed to gather about UAP, Haines said, “The main issues that Congress and others have been concerned about are safety of flight concerns and counterintelligence issues.”
“But of course,” Haines added, “there’s always the question, ‘of is there something else that we simply do not understand,’ that might come extraterrestrially.”
Later during the event, Haines also said that in her view, there could end up being several ways that evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence may be discovered.
“I think that there’s a lot of different ways in which that might be revealed,” Haines said, “but certainly, we’re working to make sure that we understand what we do see, and what phenomenon is identified.”
Ignatius also asked Haines about what the “coolest thing” was that the intelligence knew about that she could openly discuss, although the DNI remained mum on such matters.
“I’m gonna get fired if I talk about the coolest thing that you don’t know about,” Haines joked with Ignatius, adding that those who would like to know should apply for jobs with U.S. intelligence to find out for themselves.
“We have some phenomenal stuff that we will show you,” Haines told the audience, “once you get your clearance.”