UFO sightings are “frequent and continuous,” a naval intelligence officer told members of a Congressional intelligence committee Tuesday morning.

In his opening statements before the committee, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray told members of the US House Intelligence Committee’s subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation that UFO sightings — or Unidentified Aerial Phenomona (UAPs) in the Pentagon’s new terminology —  have been common on military ranges since the 2000s.

Mr Bray’s testimony comes as part of the first Congressional hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years. He was joined by US Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie, who oversees the Pentagon’s Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG).

AOIMSG was setup to investigate UFOs the release of an intelligence report on UFOs in 2021. The report concluded more than 140 UFO sightings since 2004 could not be explained, and and were not tricks of light or sensors.

“It’s clear that many of the sightings are physical objects, based on the data that we have,” Mr Bray affirmed at Tuesday’s hearing.

Most of these sightings fall into one of five categories, he says: airborne clutter, national atmospheric phenomena, US industry development programs, foreign adversaries, or “other.” The eventually identifiable observations have included pieces of Mylar from balloons and commercial and military drones, Mr Bray said, and improvements in military sensors may be responsible for some of the increase in sightings.

Scott Bray, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, points to a video display of a UAP

Another ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ is shown on a TV monitor

A still of a UAP is seen during the hearing

At the same time, both Mr Bray and Mr Moultrie noted that many sightings remain unexplained, and potentially hazardous, with Mr Bray noting there have been 11 near-collisions between UFOs and military assets. AOIMSG is setting up a formal reporting process to help reduce the stigma around reportin UFO sightings in order to collect more data and better understand any potential risks.

“When we start concerning ourselves with the safety of our personnel and bases, there is no higher priority,” Mr Moultrie said. “We believe that making UAP reporting a mission imperative will be key to our success.”

Follow the Independent’s live blog for more news and update’s from Tuesday’s hearing on UFOs.

This content was originally published here.