On May 10 2022, lawmakers on Twitter disclosed that an open hearing on unidentified aerial phenomena (or UAPs, formerly known as UFOs, or unidentified flying objects) would be held the following week in Congress.
California congressmember Adam Schiff (D) pledged “full transparency” to the American people, with respect to “one of the greatest mysteries of our time”:
There's much to learn about unidentified aerial phenomena.
But one thing is sure – the American people deserve full transparency.
Next week, @HouseIntel will give the public a chance to hear from experts on one of the greatest mysteries of our time.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 10, 2022
On the same day, Indiana congress member André Carson (D) tweeted about the pending May 2022 hearing. Carson indicated he would lead the hearing, and referenced a “national security risk” that UAPs apparently pose:
Congress hasn't held a public hearing on unidentified aerial phenomena (UFO's) in over 50 years. That will change next week when I lead a hearing in @HouseIntel on this topic & the national security risk it poses. Americans need to know more about these unexplained occurrences.
— André Carson (@RepAndreCarson) May 10, 2022
Both lawmakers tagged @HouseIntel, the official verified account for the House Intelligence Committee. In a tweet on the same day, @HouseIntel confirmed the hearing was scheduled for May 17 2022:
On May 17, the C3 subcommittee, led by @RepAndreCarson, will hold an open hearing on unidentified aerial phenomena.
This will be the committee's first open hearing on the topic – and members will push for greater transparency from the IC.https://t.co/4fybNNnGaQ
— House Intelligence Committee (@HouseIntel) May 10, 2022
A May 10 2022 New York Times article about the scheduled hearing explained:
The hearing comes after the release last June  of a report requested by Congress on “unidentified aerial phenomena.” The nine-page “Preliminary Assessment” from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence focused on 144 incidents dating back to 2004 and was able to explain only one.
The report declined to draw inferences, saying that the available reporting was “largely inconclusive” and noting that limited and inconsistent data created a challenge in evaluating the phenomena. But it said most of the phenomena reported “do represent physical objects.”
The assessment concluded that the objects were not secret U.S. technology and that “we currently lack data to indicate any UAP are part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary.”
The hearing, scheduled for [May 17 2022], is intended to focus on the work of a group within the Pentagon that is following up on the national security and flight-safety questions raised by the report.
The story added that the hearing would be the first since the “Air Force closed a public investigation known as Project Blue Book in early 1970,” adding:
In 1966, Gerald R. Ford, then the House Republican minority leader from Michigan, organized a hearing in response to reports of U.F.O.s by over 40 people, including 12 policemen. The Air Force explained them away as “swamp gas,” which Mr. Ford said was “flippant.”
“I believe the American people are entitled to a more thorough explanation than has been given them by the Air Force to date,” Mr. Ford said in a letter to two House committees on March 28, 1966. Air Force officials testified about the sightings.
Politico provided context about the June 2021 report underlying the hearing, referencing a spate of credible news reports in 2017 acknowledging confirmed sightings of unexplained aerial phenomena, or UAPs:
A number of congressional oversight committees have been grappling with the issue since revelations first reported by POLITICO and The New York Times in 2017 that the Pentagon had a secret UFO research office and multiple Navy pilots and radar operators came forward with their testimony of encounters with strange, high performance craft.
The scheduled hearing “is a deliberate attempt by lawmakers to ensure the American people have access to information that their tax dollars paid for in the first place,” said Luis Elizondo, the former Pentagon official who came forward in 2017 with his frustrations that not enough attention was being paid to understanding the aerial intrusions.
The director of national intelligence issued a public report in June 2021 at the request of the Senate Intelligence Committee that outlined 144 reports of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) in recent years, including 18 incidents in which observers “reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics.”
In May 2021, just ahead of the June 2021 release of the report, former U.S. President Barack Obama made compelling statements about the topic during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden. When asked, Obama acknowledged the existence of yet-to-be-explained aerial phenonena:
“What is true, and I’m actually being serious here, is that there are, there’s footage and records of objects in the skies, that we don’t know exactly what they are. We can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory. They did not have an easily explainable pattern. And so, you know, I think that people still take seriously trying to investigate and figure out what that is.”
Per CNN, the House Intelligence Committee’s subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation scheduled the hearing for 10 AM. The outlet noted the hearing would be “followed by a closed, classified hearing on the Pentagon program, known as the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.”