- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 23, 2021

The public profile of UFOs and unidentified aerial phenomenon — UAPs — continues to intensify following the recent public releases of telling military videos offering proof of such phenomena — followed by serious media coverage of the possibilities.

A veteran in the field, however, has already been at work seeking out the truth of the matter. Stephen Bassett is a registered lobbyist, director of the Paradigm Research Group and founder of X-PPAC, the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee, launched in 1999. Mr. Bassett has leaned on lawmakers, the White House and assorted officials for years, urging them to disclose what they know about the extraterrestrial presence on Earth.

Mr. Bassett has been way ahead of the game, though — staging his own “Citizen Hearing on Disclosure” at the National Press Club in the nation’s capital featuring 42 witnesses which included six former congressmen, law enforcement personnel, experts and journalists. The year was 2014. A DVD of the event was sent to all members of Congress in the aftermath.

Congress last addressed the issue formally in 1968, Mr. Bassett says. But things have changed.

“I am convinced since early 2019 that the stage is being set for full congressional hearings on the UAP and extraterrestrial phenomenon before multiple committees, with primarily active or retired military witnesses from the standpoint of national security,” Mr. Bassett tells Inside the Beltway.



“Congressional hearings of this size and scope have always been a necessary condition for ending the truth embargo on confirming an extraterrestrial presence. Once the hearings are underway, formal confirmation of that presence from President Biden will be inevitable — and soon,” Mr. Bassett continues.

“In May of 2017, billionaire space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow told Lara Logan on CBS’s ‘60 Minutes’ twice there is an extraterrestrial presence on Earth” and the “60 Minutes” segment on UAPs which aired on CBS on May 16 “has now engaged the subject again.”

“After decades of public denial, the Pentagon now admits there’s something out there, and the U.S. Senate wants to know what it is,” CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker told his audience.

“Of the three broadcast networks, CBS now owns this issue. ABC and NBC had better get on their bicycles very soon and start pedaling very fast. The disclosure train is getting ready to leave the station, and ABC and NBC haven’t even bought a ticket,” Mr. Bassett observes.

JUST THE FAX

It’s the end of an era. Sort of.

“The Central Intelligence Agency still uses fax machines to share secret information with its private contractors. That’s to change later this summer. The CIA will retire its secure faxes and shift procurement-related discussions with contractors to a special email network known as Gray Magic, according to Margaret Augustine, the CIA’s procurement executive,” reported Marcus Weisgerber, global business editor for Defense One, a news organization.

“Our communications with industry, at the classified level, is through secure fax machines,” Ms. Augustine told participants in a recent Intelligence and National Security Alliance virtual event.

“In this day and age, embarrassingly, we probably would see fax machines in the Smithsonian,” she said, adding that 100 agency vendors have signed up for the new email network. The secure fax machines will be gracefully retired in August.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Make crime illegal again.”

That’s the official campaign motto of congressional candidate Matt Larkin, a Republican with a pro-police, tough-on-crime platform in response to civil unrest, homeless issues, attacks on local law enforcement and other public challenges faced by the city of Seattle.

Mr. Larkin is challenging Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier in Washington’s 8th Congressional District.

“There is an astounding failure of left-wing prosecutors to pursue charges against criminals and it makes us all unsafe. They refuse to prosecute crime, and I’m running on a platform to make crime illegal again,” Mr. Larkin tells Fox News.

THE GIANT DIVIDE

A Gallup poll reveals that President Biden has a 54% job approval rating at the moment.

Here’s the partisan breakdown: 8% of Republicans give Mr. Biden the thumbs up, as do 54% of independents and 92% of Democrats. Congress, meanwhile, has a 31% job approval rating; 8% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 54% of Democrats agree.

The poll of 1,016 U.S. adults was conducted May 3-18.

AND ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and officers nationwide have been receiving “numerous calls” from U.S. residents who report they are getting unsolicited calls from scammers posing as these very same agents and officers.

“Residents are reporting the calls are a pre-recorded message stating, that ‘a box of drugs and money being shipped, has your name on it and it has been intercepted.’ The caller is then instructed to press #1 to speak with a CBP officer/agent, who then attempts to get the callers banking information,” the federal agency said Friday, citing the city of Chicago as a particular trouble spot.

“When the residents receive these calls, the spoofed caller ID registers the call as coming from CBP’s Chicago office, which gives it an air of legitimacy,” the agency said, also noting that Miami, Detroit and Grand Forks, North Dakota are also current target cities for the scam.

POLL DU JOUR

38% of U.S. adults would vote for the Democratic candidate in during the 2022 midterm elections; 4% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 80% of Democrats agree.

33% overall would vote for a Republican candidate who supports former President Donald Trump; 77% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.

7% overall would vote for a Republican candidate who does not support Mr. Trump; 10% of Republicans, 9% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

15% overall do not plan to vote; 5% of Republicans, 18% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

6% overall will vote for “someone else”; 3% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 1% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted May 15-18.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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