THE US Congress held an official UFO hearing on Wednesday after whistleblower David Grusch claimed in June that the US Government is in possession of “intact and partially intact” alien vehicles.

Grusch, a former intelligence official, made the claims not due to his own eyewitness testimony but “based on interviewing over 40 witnesses over four years”, he said. According to Grusch, these were “extensive interviews with high-level intelligence officials”.

Grusch previously led analysis of unexplained anomalous phenomena (UAP) – a phrase now often used to refer to what would traditionally be called UFOs – within a US Department of Defense agency until leaving the post earlier this year.

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The shock revelations sparked calls for further investigation from across the US Republican-Democrat political divide, prompting the congressional hearing on Wednesday.

It saw Grusch claim under oath that he was denied access to secret government UFO programs, that the government has been trying to reverse engineer crashed UFOs for decades and that the US Government is in possession of “non-human” biologics.

Alongside star-witness Grusch, former US Navy pilot Ryan Graves and retired Navy commander David Fravor testified about their own sightings of UAPs, with Graves claiming that whatever the explanation, they represented “an urgent national security problem”.

What are Scottish UFO enthusiasts saying?

The main reaction from UFO believers and enthusiasts has been a sense of “vindication”.

Andy Mcgrillen – the Scottish host of That UFO Podcast, which has over 30,000 followers on Twitter – said the fact the issue was getting serious news coverage without “the X files music playing in the background” was a massive shift.

Mcgrillen said that before the hearing people in his audience were very pessimistic about it, expecting it to be neutered or shut down, but a poll after the event found that 82% were actually happy with how it played out.

“It was largely down to the language that was used in a public setting for the first time, and that these politicians who were grilling the witnesses weren’t laughing at them. They were asking very serious questions.

“It was a real serious conversation about a topic where for a long time it had the X Files music being played over it.

“I’ve done a bit of radio over the last year since the podcast got a bit of notoriety and usually it was hit and miss between whether they were going to play the X files music before it.

“[On Thursday] I did 9 interviews, TV and radio, and not once did they play the X Files music – which was a pleasant surprise.”

He added that even being placed alongside physicists and astrophysicists on radio shows, there was a lot more agreement and common ground between him and others than there often is.

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Malcolm Robinson is a Scottish paranormal investigator who for 40 years has delved into the likes of ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster and countless UFO sightings, including the famed cases of UFO hotspot Bonnybridge.

He said: “I’m really happy that this congressional hearing is taking place. I’m so pleased these Naval personnel came forward.

“At the same time, all of this happened in 2001 in America with the Press Club. A number of military personnel all lined up and they all told their stories.”

Robinson referred to a 2001 case in which 20 former government officials came forward to declare that they had seen evidence of aliens – calling for a congressional hearing.

“But it was yesterday’s news,” Robinson added, and no hearing materialised.

This time around things have gone one step further with a congressional hearing has taken place, but Robinson urged Grusch to come forward publicly with material evidence.

“I wouldn’t want to doubt the guy, but obviously if he’s saying this he needs to back that up and provide the names and ranks of these people he’s spoken to – and then these people need to come out and say ‘yeah, I can back this up’.

“We need more information because hearsay is not the greatest.”

Both Mcgrillen and Robinson admitted that at least 95% of UFO claims are “nonsense”, but said they believed that the final 5% could only be explained by “Black Project” military tech or by UAP.

The case which convinced Malcolm of the existence of UFOs was the “Dechmont Woods Incident” which took place near Livingston in 1979, which he is giving a lecture on at the The Mercure Livingston Hotel next Sunday. Tickets are £10 and are available for both believers and non-believers by emailing


What are experts saying?

Nick Pope, a former official for the British Ministry of Defence who used to investigate UFOs for the military in the 1990s – before the department was disbanded – said the claims should neither be taken on face value nor dismissed out of hand.

He told The National: “There's a dark side to some of the claims being made, and all three witnesses at Wednesday's hearing talked about UFOs representing a potential existential threat.

“But David Grusch went much further, alleging the existence of craft and bodies relating to a non-human intelligence that might not be entirely benign.

“If Congress can verify this – and that's what they're currently trying to do – the ramifications are immense, and would touch every aspect of our lives.”

Asked whether Scotland should look to replicate the process going on in the US, he said: “Because defence isn't devolved, there are limits on what the Scottish Parliament can do, but if MSPs liaise with their Westminster counterparts, perhaps they could play a part in setting up similar hearings in the UK.”

He added: “Scotland is a UFO hotspot, but there was always a sceptic versus believer debate about whether this involved extraterrestrial visitation, or secret prototype aircraft which were alleged to be flying in and out of RAF Machrihanish on the Kintyre peninsula.

“But given that the US is taking this subject so seriously, MSPs might at least want to ask why, and perhaps engage with the Ministry of Defence on the question.”

However, journalist and historian Garett M Graff, who will publish his book UFO: The Inside Story of the US Government's Search for Alien Life Here – and Out There in November, has urged caution in taking Grusch’s claims seriously.

He said on Twitter: “Very interesting to me that Dave Grusch is unwilling to state and repeat under oath at the #UFOHearings the most explosive (and outlandish) of his claims from his NewsNation interview.

"He seems to be very carefully dancing around repeating them.”

He said the claims mirror those made in the 70s and 80s which suggested that the US government had managed to keep UFO information secret for decades without ever being leaked – following traditional conspiracy theory tropes.


Should we be sceptical?

The All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (Aaro), which was created to investigate UAP, has categorically denied the claims made by Grusch – and scientists and experts have underlined the lack of sufficient evidence.

US Department of the Defense spokesperson Sue Gough said: “To date, Aaro has not discovered any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently.

“Aaro is committed to following the data and its investigation wherever it leads.”

Alongside US officials rejecting the claims, astrophysicists such as Michael Garrett, a radio astronomer at Manchester University’s Jodrell Bank, told The Guardian the idea of aliens regularly crash landing on Earth seemed implausible, as “it would imply that there must be hundreds of them coming every day [but not crashing], and astronomers simply don’t see them”.

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Scientist and TV presenter Professor Brian Cox was also among the thousands of intrigued members of the public to weigh in on the debate on Thursday, invoking the oft-repeated phrase that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. He said that, as of yet, none had been presented.

He said on Twitter: “I keep being asked what I make of the UFO thing in Congress yesterday, so here it is: I watched a few clips and saw some people who seemed to believe stuff saying extraordinary things without presenting extraordinary evidence.

“Therefore I have nothing more to say, other than: It would be great if true.”