(ABC4) – For the first time in almost 50 years, Congress will be holding a public hearing next Tuesday to address questions regarding unidentified flying objects (UFOs), according to Politico.

This comes after the military recently set up a permanent UFO research office to collect and investigate reports of UFOs.

“The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence to seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks — especially those we do not fully understand,” the panel chair, Rep. André Carson, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Since coming to Congress, I’ve been focused on the issue of unidentified aerial phenomena as both a national security threat and an interest of great importance to the American public.”

The government has mostly kept information about UFOs secret and unavailable to the public in the past. An investigation by Politico and The New York Times in 2017 revealed the Pentagon had a secret UFO research office.

The scheduled hearing is being held as a way to be more open with the public and to hopefully better understand these strange aerial phenomena.

The Director of National Intelligence released a report in June 2021 covering unidentified Aerial Phenomena in detail. 144 reports were listed in the past few years.

“Some UAP appeared to remain stationary in winds aloft, move against the wind, maneuver abruptly, or move at considerable speed, without discernable means of propulsion,” the report said. “In a small number of cases, military aircraft systems processed radio frequency energy associated with UAP sightings.”

This briefing marks the first time Congress has addressed the issue since the Air Force published its UFO investigation, Project Blue Book, in 1969.