Asked June 26 about allegations of secret UFO retrieval and reverse-engineering programs, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) made several stunning statements.

In an exclusive interview, Rubio told NewsNation Washington correspondent Joe Khalil that multiple individuals with “very high clearances and high positions within our government” “have come forward to share” “first-hand” UFO-related claims “beyond the realm of what [the Senate Intelligence Committee] has ever dealt with.”

Rubio’s comments provide context for a bipartisan provision adopted unanimously by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which would immediately halt funding for any secret government or contractor efforts to retrieve and reverse-engineer craft of “non-earth” or “exotic” origin.

This extraordinary language added to the Senate version of the Intelligence authorization bill mirrors and adds significant credibility to a whistleblower’s recent, stunning allegations that a clandestine, decades-long effort to recover, analyze and exploit objects of “non-human” origin has been operating illegally without congressional oversight.

Additionally, the bill instructs individuals with knowledge of such activities to disclose all relevant information and grants legal immunity if the information is reported appropriately within a defined timeframe. Moreover, nearly 20 pages of the legislation appear to directly address recent events by enhancing a raft of legal protections for whistleblowers while also permitting such individuals to contact Congress directly.

Researcher and congressional expert Douglas Johnson first reported on and analyzed the remarkable bill language, which, if it passes the House, could become law this calendar year.

Beyond the Senate Intelligence Committee, the powerful investigative body that oversees the nation’s intelligence agencies found the aforementioned whistleblower’s allegations — that secret UFO-related programs are illegally withheld from Congress — to be “credible and urgent.”

Moreover, according to two reports, multiple military, intelligence and contractor officials corroborated claims that the U.S. government or private companies possess multiple craft of possible “non-human” origin.

Importantly, this intelligence bill is not the first instance of Congress addressing the possible existence of surreptitious UFO retrieval and reverse engineering programs.

The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden last December, established robust whistleblower protections for individuals with knowledge of secret UFO programs engaged in “material retrieval, material analysis, reverse engineering [and] research and development.”

But the Senate Intelligence Committee’s legislation goes significantly further than previous laws. If enacted as drafted, the legislation would immediately halt funding for any secret, unreported programs that engage in “analyzing” retrieved UFOs “for the purpose of determining properties, material composition, method of manufacture, origin, characteristics, usage and application, performance, operational modalities, or reverse engineering of such craft or component technology.”

At the same time, the legislation would cease funding for any personnel engaged in “capturing, recovering, and securing [UFOs] or pieces and components of such craft.”

Funding would also be cut for “the development of propulsion technology, or aerospace craft that uses propulsion technology, systems, or subsystems, that is based on or derived from or inspired by inspection, analysis, or reverse engineering of recovered [UFOs] or materials.”

Perhaps more importantly, the bill language prohibits legal prosecution of individuals with knowledge of surreptitious retrieval and reverse engineering of “non-human” craft. To avoid legal jeopardy, such individuals would have two months after passage of the legislation to inform the director of the Pentagon’s new UFO analysis office of the existence of relevant UFO-related information.

These individuals would then have six months to turn over “all such material and information,” as well as “a comprehensive list of all non-earth origin or exotic [UFO] material.”

Importantly, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s legislation contains a “sense of Congress” provision. Such resolutions typically convey a particular message from either the House or the Senate or, as in this case, from Congress as a whole.

The “sense of Congress” is that any illegally hidden craft of “non-earth” or “exotic” origin must be brought out of the shadows for broader scientific and industrial analysis. In particular, the goal of the legislation is to “avoid technology stovepipes” — a reference to the non-sharing of information due to excessive secrecy and compartmentalization — and to integrate any recovered “exotic technology” into the nation’s broader “industrial base.”

The “sense of Congress” provision aligns closely with concerns expressed by multiple officials that extraordinary secrecy prevents the robust scientific analysis required to make sense of the advanced, “non-human” craft allegedly retrieved in recent decades.

Of note, there are indications that at least one law enforcement entity is engaged in a sweeping investigation of the U.S. government’s handling of UFOs.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are one of the few pathways through which private citizens can obtain government information on UFOs. Official documents and other data released under FOIA are frequently redacted to prevent the release of classified information. Importantly, each redaction must be grounded in a legal justification for why the relevant information is withheld.

Recently, the U.S. government denied in full five FOIA requests encompassing a broad range of UFO-related topics. In a striking departure from previous practice, the government denied the requests on the grounds that release of the information may interfere with “enforcement proceedings” and “law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.”

The application of such novel justifications for withholding government UFO information is circumstantial evidence that a law enforcement entity, such as the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, is engaged in a broad, and possibly criminal, investigation of the U.S. government’s involvement with UFOs.

After all, what government oversight body, explicitly charged with preventing unlawful activities, would fail to initiate a sweeping investigation of extraordinary and seemingly credible allegations of illegality?

Marik von Rennenkampff served as an analyst with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, as well as an Obama administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense.        

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