Does Congress have to rely on the U.S. military to give them answers about UFOs? One group thinks there are more options on the table, and they believe they could absolutely fill the role with more efficiency and reliability than the military. The question is, will Congress take them up on it?
As the world awaits the second, but now nearly two-week-late, public UFO/UAP report published by the U.S. government, a different development has unfolded this week behind the scenes. For months, a group that specializes in investigating the phenomena, and “providing direct access to the general public of reviewed and analyzed data,” has been preparing a private briefing about UFOs to the Intelligence & Special Operations Sub-committee of the House Armed Services Committee.
That briefing was given this last Wednesday, and the group has offered The Black Vault an exclusive inside look at what all went down.
They are known as UAPx Inc., and according to their website, they “bring together a global network of researchers, physicists, scientists, trained observers, engineers, enthusiasts, communities, and individuals dedicated to the scientific method in studying Unknown Aerial Phenomena.”
The group was co-founded by Kevin Day, a retired United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer who was on board the U.S.S. Princeton during the November 2004 “tic-tac” encounter. Although Day has since moved on to the other endeavors, the group continues to be led by its other co-founder and President, Gary Voorhis. Voorhis also served in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Princeton during the “tic-tac” encounter.
Alongside Voorhis is Vice President Jeremy McGowan. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, McGowan built what he calls O.S.I.R.I.S., or Off-road Scientific Investigation & Response Informatics System. This highly customized S.U.V. has state of the art equipment which is able to deploy and track UAP using various sensors and recording instruments.
Some of the remaining team members of UAPx include Dr. Kevin Knuth, a former NASA research scientist and physicist who is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University at Albany (SUNY); Dr. Matthew Szydagis, a physicist and Associate Professor at the University at Albany Department of Physics pursuing experimental particle astrophysics; and Dr. Cecilia Levy, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Albany, who like the rest of UAPx, believes UAP should not be a taboo topic, but rather, receive serious scientific investigation.
Together, these five individuals were directly involved in the Congressional briefing on Wednesday, representing the efforts of UAPx and delivering their thoughts and findings thus far.
The Black Vault reached out to the House Armed Services Committee for comment. However, no response was received to confirm who attended the meeting from the Congressional side, or to address the committee’s reaction after the briefing. For privacy reasons, UAPx can not release a list of attendees from the Congressional side since they are unable to speak for the committee, and direct permission was not obtained to reveal who was involved.
UPDATE on November 17, 2022: UAPx further clarified on Twitter who was involved in the briefing. The tweet has been embedded here for further information.
Regarding our 9 Nov. briefing to the ISO. It was presented to the Staff Director, House Armed Services Committee Intelligence and Special Operations Subcommittee of the Democratic side & the Republican Staff Lead. Both parties were represented. The door remains open.
— UAPx Inc. (@UAPx2) November 17, 2022
For 45-minutes, in a virtual conference room setting, the team at UAPx went over their capabilities and findings from past expeditions, all laid out in a nine-slide PowerPoint presentation.
UAPx has given The Black Vault the exclusive right to disseminate two slides utilized in that briefing. First, is the title slide post above. However, the second, offers more of a glimpse into the scientific capabilities of the group, and how UAPx could capture and analyze the data they collect.
McGowan, who spoke on behalf of UAPx, sat down with The Black Vault to answer a few questions about the briefing, why they did it, and what they hoped the committee would get out of it:
1. What brought on the UAPx briefing on UAP to the Intelligence & Special Operations Sub-committee of the House Armed Services Committee?
UAPx is still in its formative stages. There are many things we plan for that will help us move in the direction we feel is right at the time. We completely understand the distrust of the US Government by many within the world of UFOs – and it’s with good reason. There is a grand history of potential lies, coverups, classifications, and broken promises. Members of UAPx have had multiple conversations with members of Congress over the past few years – we’ve had conversations with the offices of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Senator Marco Rubio, and a few others – to a wide range of discussions and reasons. So, our familiarity with Congress isn’t something new. The primary impetus for us to be willing to speak with Congress is that the 2021 Preliminary Assessment on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena directly referenced the limited amount of high-quality reporting on UAP. We have all seen many stories about how the DoD or various departments do not cooperate with information sharing and don’t necessarily always present to Congress as requested. So we felt it was time to provide an introduction to who we are, what we’ve collected so far, and what our capabilities are – so that Congress understood that they have different avenues for resources on information regarding UAP. The briefing took months of work, coordination, and effort. I worked several channels to get to the right people and made some solid contacts along the way. Finally, I was introduced to staff members of the Intelligence and Special Operations Sub-committee and laid it all out for them. They read what I sent and responded rapidly, inviting us to speak.
2. What was UAPx’s specific objective for the presentation?
It’s imperative for UAPx to know that Congress realizes that citizen science is nearly as capable of researching UAP as the military-industrial complex. Sometimes, perhaps even more so. We approached the briefing as a “warm introduction” of sorts presenting our Astro Particle Physicists, the senior counsel of our representative law firm, and the rest of the team in a manner that separated us from what we imagined they would expect. Once they had a full realization of the professionalism and reach of UAPx, our objectives were directly stated to the ISO – those were, quite frankly, our ability to function as a liaison between the US Government and Academia, providing the gap analysis and cover for the identified weaknesses in the 2021 UAP report, and our ability to provide agencies and individuals with access to our scientists to craft messaging and talking-points for Government to Public events. We also wanted to make sure the government understood our full capabilities and that there is a high likelihood that we have/will measure some activity from foreign state advisories, criminal cartels, and even potential black ops. They need to know that we have these capabilities.
3. Can you give a brief overview of the briefing and some of the main points it conveyed to the committee?
The ISO was interested in our organizational structure and our sources of funding. We spoke about our formation and how we are 99.999% fully self-funded and do this work out of our own pockets on our own dime. We discussed how our processes are formed around the basis of scientific investigation and discovery and how we provide that gap-filler that was identified in the 2021 report. We discussed our data from our Catalina expedition, described what we measured, and what we captured on video. We also explored how we are currently processing that data, and that the correlations of timing between certain events could potentially constitute both a flight safety risk as well as potential health risks – but that analysis was still on going. We spoke about our custom Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Neural nets, our obtainment of data that corroborates certain aspects of our recordings from Catalina, and many of our capabilities that have not yet been deployed. One of the most important things we discussed is how UAPx can provide assistance to the HASC, ISO as a resource for potential analysis, determinations, crafting of messaging, and education on the science behind the phenomena.
4. What type of questions, if any, were asked during the briefing? Did UAPx as a whole have an overall takeaway of how the committee reacted to the briefing?
Most of the questions were about what we have already recorded or captured; if we had capabilities for undersea monitoring; and then is shifted mostly to our funding. I can only assume they needed to know our funding sources to ensure that we were not getting our strings pulled by a foreign entity. Which, obviously we are not as we are self-funded. While I was the one leading the briefing, Gary Voorhis, Dr. Knuth, Dr. Szydagis, and Dr. Levy all contributed to specific portions during the discussion. Some of the questions seemed to center around getting an idea of whether or not we had the capability to analyze information or how long the analysis could take rapidly. Before we ended the briefing, we as a team and the ISO members developed a few minor next steps to take – those should be developing in the short to near term, so I’d say, overall, the UAPx team is cautiously optimistic that this is a door that will remain open.
5. With the slides you are allowing The Black Vault to publish, one describes an array of “capabilities” of UAPx. Is UAPx seeking a government contract in the future? And if so, secrecy will likely come along with it. How will UAPx balance those secrecy oaths taken by its research team, and the stated objective of providing a “public repository of knowledge on Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon”?
I want to acknowledge the concern of the classification of our work. Immediately after our briefing ended, we held an internal debrief and discussed this aspect. Internally, UAPx remains committed to open data sharing (when that data is fully analyzed.) We are not seeking contracts per se. But we are a service provider and organization that requires financial support to do what we do. Should the US Government ask us to do a specific task, we will evaluate that and determine if it fits within our ethics and mission statements. Our registration with the System for Award Management and our SDVOSB certification process is to enable us to apply for Federal Grants for research and study – not for contracting opportunities in the defense sector. If Congress decides (and this is a far-fetched hypothetical) to ask us to set up a research location on Coronado or Catalina – we will entertain the request, provide them with a solid research proposal – complete with a Basis of Estimate and give them our requirements. It will be up to them whether or not they accept our proposal. One aspect of the proposal is that unless our data reflects information on actual US Government classified projects (e.g., we measure ELINT/SIGINT from a classified fighter or stealth aircraft) or if it would expose a gap in National Defense in a way not related to UAPs, our data will be eventually, post analysis, made public.
But to clarify, our process is not to disseminate raw data directly to the public. We process, analyze, and then create scientific publications for submission to high-impact scientific journals for peer review. Once that process is complete, then we can provide that information to the general public. We have a responsibility to ensure that our data maintains integrity – releasing nonsensical data to the public would only fuel conspiracy theories, and confirmation bias, and be irresponsible in the overall approach. We must ensure that what we release has passed academic scientific review and that all our Is are dotted and Ts are crossed. Otherwise, it means nothing. We made a series of comments early on that we would release everything – but just like Elon Musk recently said, “Twitter will do a lot of dumb things in the coming months” – we are constantly improving our processes and policies. We aren’t holding back because we want to or because it’s classified – we want to ensure that what we put out is correct, and actually improves understanding of UAP and doesn’t create more noise.
Moving forward, UAPx has stated they will offer more information when it is available, but are keeping the next steps away from the public eye, at least for now.
When those developments happen, they will be covered right here on The Black Vault.
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