The Canadian government has confirmed its participation in a first-of-its kind international meeting on unidentified flying objects hosted at United States military headquarters.
The gathering at the Pentagon late last month comes amid a burst of activity in Washington and eye-popping news reports related to so-called Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP).
It featured a U.S.-led briefing to visitors from nations of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which includes Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
The Canadian Department of National Defence told CBC News in an email that Canada attended the meeting, led by a Royal Canadian Air Force representative.
"The details of the meeting remain classified," DND said in an email. "It can be characterized as the sharing of information on the subject of UAP and no further details can be shared at this time."
The meeting featured a presentation by Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick — the veteran scientist in the U.S. national-defence establishment who leads the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), a new entity created in 2022 to lead UAP-related activities for the U.S. military.
Kirkpatrick publicly revealed the Five Eyes gathering last week while speaking at a public conference hosted by NASA.
"I have just held our first Five Eyes forum on this subject," Kirkpatrick said.
He explained the goal of meeting allies: to co-ordinate more closely with friendly nations in pooling information on UAP sightings.
The creation of his office is part of a surge in activity following a 2017 report in The New York Times on bizarre sightings kept secret by the U.S. military.
In the wake of that report, Kirkpatrick's office was created, the U.S. government now produces an annual report on UAP sightings and Congress created a system for government whistleblowers to report sightings.
Now two of the journalists who wrote that watershed 2017 report have taken one giant leap forward — and reported extraordinary new allegations.
This week they described jaw-dropping new claims from a decorated former combat officer who served as the U.S. Department of Defense's representative to a UAP task force from 2019 to 2021.
Jaw-dropping new claims
And not just one aircraft, he says — but many.
He says the discoveries are numerous, involving everything from wreckage up to intact vehicles, and he says these items have been collected for decades — by the U.S. government, by allies and by defence contractors.
He says this information is being illegally withheld from members of Congress and he's alerted them as well as the inspector general for the American intelligence community.
Authors who reported on his allegations for the science site The Debrief quoted other U.S. officials vouching for Grusch's credibility, including Jonathan Grey, an officer in the intelligence community with a top-secret clearance.
"The non-human intelligence phenomenon is real. We are not alone.… Retrievals of this kind are not limited to the United States. This is a global phenomenon, and yet a global solution continues to elude us," Grey says in the report.
This, to be clear, is not the official United States government line.
There is no credible evidence to date of extraterrestrial activity, non-earthly technology or objects that defy the known laws of physics, Kirkpatrick said in recent testimony before the United States Senate.
Additionally, the latest annual UAP report did not cite any evidence of extraterrestrial technology.
It said that of 366 recorded sightings, 163 wound up being balloons or balloon-like entities, 26 were categorized as unmanned aerial vehicles and six were aerospace clutter.
However, it said 171 sightings remain unexplained.
The U.S. military disputes Grusch's suggestion that it holds evidence of alien aircraft.
In an email to CBC News, Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough said, "AARO has not discovered any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently."
She said AARO is committed to following the data and its investigation wherever it leads.