Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Aviator Francis Chichester's classic sighting - is the date wrong?

Background

On a flight between New Zealand and Australia, in 1931, the famous aviator and sailor Francis Chichester, reported an unusual observation. This has become somewhat of a classic "UFO" story on the Internet and in various books.

Introduction

The story which is related, is as follows:

10 June 1931, Tasman Sea

"Suddenly, ahead and to the left, there were bright flashes in several places, like the dazzle of a heliograph. I saw a dull grey-white airship coming towards me. It seemed impossible, but I could have sworn it was an airship, nosing towards me like an oblong pearl. Except for a cloud or two there was nothing else in  the sky. I looked around, sometimes catching a flash or glint, and turning again to look at the airship. I found it had disappeared.

I screwed up my eyes, unable to believe what I was seeing, and  twisted the seaplane this way and that, thinking that the airship must be hidden by a blind spot. Dazzling flashes continued in four or five different places, but I could not pick out any planes.

Then, out of some clouds, I saw another or the same airship advancing. I watched it intently, determined not to  look away for a fraction of a second. I'd see what happened to this one, if I had to chase it. It drew steadily closer, until perhaps a mile away, when suddenly it vanished. Then it reappeared, close to where it had vanished. I watched with  angry intentness. It drew closer, and I could see the dull gleam of light on its  nose and back.

It came on, but instead  of increasing in size, it diminished as it approached. When quite near, it suddenly became its own ghost one second I could see through it, and the next it had vanished. I decided it could only be a diminutive cloud perfectly  shaped like an airship and then dissolving, but it was uncanny that it should exactly resume the same shape after it once vanished.

I turned towards the flashes, but those too had vanished. All of this was many years before anyone spoke of flying saucers. Whatever it was I saw, it seems to have been very much like what people have since claimed to  be flying saucers."

[Source: Chichester, Francis. 1964. The Lonely Sea and the Sky. Coward-McCann. New York. p.165.]


Is 10 June 1931, the correct date?

Every source that I consulted, including The OzFiles (page 34) by Australian author Bill Chalker, and the Lord Howe Island Museum, cites the sighting as taking place on 10 June 1931. Did anyone consult contemporary newspapers to check on this date?  It appears not.

I therefore conducted a search of contemporary digitised newspapers in the National Library of Australia's TROVE collection. I put together a timeline of the trip.

Left Auckland, New Zealand at 11.30am on Saturday 28 March 1931.
Arrived Norfolk Island 4.45pm 28 March 1931.

[Source: Advocate, Burnie, Tasmania. Monday 30 March 1931 page5.]

Left Norfolk Island at 10am on Wednesday 1 April 1931.
Arrived Lord Howe Island at 4.30pm on 1 April 1931.

[Source: Advertiser & Register, Adelaide, South Australia. Thursday 2 April 1931 page 19.]

Left Lord Howe Island on the morning of Saturday 6 June 1931 bound for Sydney. Arrived Jervis Bay, New South Wales at about 3.30pm 6 June 1931.


[Sources: Sunday Times, Perth, Western Australia, Sunday 7 June 1931 page3;  Chronicle, Adelaide, South Australia 11 June 1931 page 39. Daily Examiner, Grafton, NSW, Monday 8 June 1931 page 3.]


Therefore, according to contemporary newspapers, the cited date of 10 June 1931 is incorrect, as the flight was over by 6 June 1931.

What is the correct date? Well, this depends on which part of the trip did the sighting occur? If it was between Auckland and Norfolk Island the date was 28 March 1931. If between Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island 1 April 1931, and if  between Lord Howe Island and Sydney, the 6 June 1931.

As an aside, the paper reports that Chichester flight between Lord Howe Island and Sydney was  delayed due to the fact that his aircraft had to be repaired after his aircraft sank in a lagoon on Lord Howe Island. See interesting historical photographs. This source also has a map of the entire trip.

Does an account of the sighting appear in any contemporary newspaper?


I conducted a search using TROVE and could not find any account prior to 1950. In the Goulburn Evening Post dated Thursday 2 November 1950 there is an account of the sighting from 1931, as recalled by Chichester in his book "Alone Over the Tasman Sea." This book was first published in 1945. The newspaper article includes the sentence "At the time he dismissed them as unexplainable phenomena."

YouTube

There exists a short Youtube video of an interview (in black and white) with Francis Chichester about the sighting. However, in does not assist with either the exact location or indeed the date.

Check the book

I therefore acquired a copy of  Chichester, Francis. 1964. The Lonely Sea and the Sky. Hodder and Stoughton. London. Seventh impression 1967.  Page 106 features a map of the flight. According to this:

* Chichester left New Zealand on 28 March 1931 and landed at Norfolk Island on that same day.

* He flew from Norfolk Island to Lord Howe Island on 1 April 1931.

These dates are both in agreement with contemporary newspaper accounts.

Here on page 165 of the book, I found:

"Suddenly, ahead and to the left, there were bright flashes in several places, like the dazzle of a heliograph. I saw a dull grey-white airship coming towards me. It seemed impossible, but I could have sworn it was an airship, nosing towards me like an oblong pearl. Except for a cloud or two there was nothing else in  the sky. I looked around, sometimes catching a flash or glint, and turning again to look at the airship. I found it had disappeared.

I screwed up my eyes, unable to believe what I was seeing, and  twisted the seaplane this way and that, thinking that the airship must be hidden by a blind spot. Dazzling flashes continued in four or five different places, but I could not pick out any planes.

Then, out of some clouds to my right front, I saw another, or the same airship advancing. I watched it intently, determined not to  look away for a fraction of a second: I'd see what happened to this one, if I had to chase it. It drew steadily closer, until perhaps a mile away, when suddenly it vanished. Then it reappeared, close to where it had vanished: I watched with  angry intentness. It drew closer, and I could see the dull gleam of light on its  nose and back.

It came on, but instead  of increasing in size, it diminished as it approached. When quite near, it suddenly became its own ghost - one second I could see through it, and the next it had vanished. I decided it could only be a diminutive cloud perfectly  shaped like an airship and then dissolving, but it was uncanny that it should exactly resume the same shape after it had once vanished.

I turned towards the flashes, but those too had vanished. All of this was many years before anyone spoke of flying saucers. Whatever it was I saw, it seems to have been very much like what people have since claimed to  be flying saucers.

...After six hours and five minutes in the air I saw land again, and it was still there ten minutes later...Well, this was Australia."

In short

This description of seeing Australia shortly after his sighting, places the date of the sighting as 6 June 1931 and not 10 June 1931.

Where did the error arise?

The map of the book on page 106, states the following. "June 10 1931 Lord Howe Island Jarvis Bay."

So, it would appear that the error lies with whoever drew the map and inserted the 10 June 1931 date, and everyone since has simply assumed this was the correct date.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

When did Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies start and where is the AAWSA contract?


Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program

In a previous post, I established that former Marine Corps aviator, Douglas Kurth, one of the witnesses to the 2004 USS Nimitz, "tic tac" UFO, commenced working for Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) in December 2007, some nine months before that company is said to have been awarded a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) contract under the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSA) program.

Part of Kurth's LinkedIn profile page stated that he was "Program lead - novel and emerging space technologies targeting operational deployment in 2040" and that he "Directed and managed a team of 40 scientists, engineers, analysts and researchers" and that he was a "Technical expert in advanced aerospace concepts and aerodynamics."

When did BAASS start?

I went looking through official records of the US state of Nevada, for clues as to when BAASS came into being.

I found a website which allowed me to conduct a search using the business name Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies. This led me to business entity E0056412008-7, namely Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies. This in turn led me to another area of the site providing numerous details of the business. 


It can be seen from this, that BAASS commenced on 29 January 2008, some eight months before being awarded the AAWSA contract, and up to two months after Douglas Kurth commenced work. 

What is also of interest is the section labelled "Officers." here, where you would expect to find the name of an individual, instead it reads " Managing member - International Space Hardware Services LLC."


I looked up International Space Hardware Services LLC. I found that the file date for this business was 31 October 2007. 



Who were the officers of this entity? "Managing member - Bigelow Aerospace SPC, In."


You guessed it, I looked up "Bigelow Aerospace SPC, Inc." The file date for this entity was 18 January 2005.


When I looked at who the officers were for this third entity, I found the names were:

President - Robert T Bigelow; Treasurer - Robert T Bigelow; Director - Robert T Bigelow; Secrtary - Rickie Lee Golightly.


The AAWSA contract

Having failed to locate any documentation that the AAWSA DIA contract was awarded to  Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies as suggested by numerous Internet sources; in such places as usaspending or the Department of Defense's contract awarded site; of on the Federal Business Opportunities 2008 archive website, I wondered if the contract had been awarded to International Space Hardware Services LLC or Bigelow Aerospace SPC, Inc?

However, a search of all the above websites for any contract awarded to any of these entities, failed to find any such documentation.

FOIA request

I thought that the next step was a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the US Department of Defense. I realize that this is likely to be a lengthy process, and that dozens of other researchers have already bombarded the DID through the DoD. I even know that some have asked for a copy of the DIA Bigelow contract, which is the same thing I am searching for. However, it is worth the effort, so today I submitted the following request:
A copy of the contract resulting from solicitation number HHM402-08-R-0211, dated 18 August 2008, issued by the Virginia Contracting Activity, on  behalf of the Defense Intelligence Agency, for the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program.

Now for the wait. Or do we need to wait?

George Knapp

On 4 May 2018, KLAS TV in Las Vegas carried a news item, and written report by George Knapp. 
Among various documents flashed across the screen was the image below:


This partial document would appear to show that Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies LLC was the "Contractor/Offeror." However, it is possible that this is a copy of part of the submission for Bigelow for the AAWSA contract, and not part of the contract they were awarded. However, seconds later another part image appears as below:





As you can see, section 26 of this form "Total Award Amount (For Govt. Use only) shows a figure of $10,000,000.00 which seems to indicate that this is indeed an image of part of the awarded contract.

So, does KLAS TV have a copy of the actual contract? Perhaps a concerted campaign of emails to the station might release a copy? Over to blog readers to see if they consider whether this approach is worthwhile.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The BAASS team - some of their roles and some of their names


MUFON Journals

I have been reviewing copies of the MUFON Journal for the period April 2009 to February 2010, to further explore what is known about the MUFON STAR Team Impact Project, and its interaction with Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS.)

Source: MUFON
The first page of the April 2009 Journal shows: "STAR Team Impact Project - a bold and aggressive step forward in tracking the alien presence among us."

James Carrion, the then MUFON Director, in the "Director's Message" announced that "it has been subcontracted to provide rapid response UFO investigation services to Bigelow Aerospace Advances (sic) Space Studies (BAASS) and has initiated the STAR Team Impact Project (SIP)to provide these services...BAASS will pay for laboratory testing of physical evidence collected..."

Pages 3-5 of the Journal has an article by James Carrion included "Last year MUFON announced the formation of its Strike Team for Are Research...Data gathered from cases that we feel warrant a deployment will be shared with BAASS, and physical or trace evidence will be lab tested by BAASS. BAASS will share lab results with MUFON and MUFON is free to publish its own related research a or to seek independent testing...The SIP Coordination Manager position was filled by Richard Lang from North Carolina, and Jessica Johnson of Fort Collins, Colorado was hired for the SIPM Operations Manager position...The Director of research determines what experts and consultants should be involved in the analysis phase and coordinate with BAASS personnel. The raw data is summarized in a report to BAASS along with corroborative data, lab analysis submittals and research implications and recommendation."

STAR team cases

I took the time to compile a spreadsheet of the 69 STAR team investigated reports in the relevant time frame (ie April 2009 - January 2010.)  I did this by searching through the MUFON Journal issues, which contained some summaries of the sightings involved; then obtained additional information from the MUFON database (CMS.)


The 69 cases were divided into two categories:

Category two - The unidentified light(s) or object(s) is observed to have landed on the ground or in some ways affected the immediate physical environment.

Category three - The witness also experienced one or more of the following during or after the event: A) Observations of beings or entities B) Interactions with nonhuman entities C) Episodes of missing time D)Wounds or trauma to body of unknown origin E) Taken onboard a craft F) Telepathic communications G) Out of body experience H) Encounter with an unknown animal."

I wanted to get a "feel" for the types of cases which MUFON were documenting, and then passing to BAASS.

Post MUFON

After the official MUFON STAR Team date (January 2010) when MUFON ceased sending their reports to BAASS, there were indications that BAASS continued to investigate US sightings:

1. The 27 March to 26-27May 2010 Isles Of Capri sightings. MUFON CMS - Marco Island, Florida.

2. The Lake Erie area sightings - MUFON CMS has reports spread between 14 March 2010 and 15 June 2010.

I wrote about these two cases and BAASS involvement in a previous blog post. There may well be other examples which I have not come across.

BAASS PERSONNEL

So, we know BAASS was investigating UFO reports within the USA. Who was doing the investigation? Using the resources of the LinkedIn website, I found numerous individuals who said that they had worked for BAASS during the relevant time frame. The following information, shows the roles of some of those within BAASS, which these individuals said they undertook. A number of individuals have already been publicly identified with the BAASS program and I use their names here. Others, have not yet been publicly identified, and out of respect for their privacy I have not named them. I have been trying to reach out to these unnamed individuals via LinkedIn. 

Law Enforcement Professional

Las Veags, Nevada Area
Specialties Clandestine Operations/Covert Operations * Intelligence Operations
* Criminal Investigations * Tactical/Special operations * Analytical Investigations
* Technical Surveillance/Electronic Surveillance operations* Technical
Surveillance Counter Measures * Personal Protection
Investigator
Company Name Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
Dates Employed June 2009 - Oct 2009
Employment Duration 5 mos
Conducted Classified Investigations

Research Scientist

Company Name Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
Dates Employed Jul 2009 -Jun 2010
Employment Durations 1 yr
Location Las Vegas, NV
Classified Research

Research Engineer

Worked in an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers studying advanced aerospace weapon system applications including lift, propulsion, control, power generation, signature reductions, materials and armament.Further tasks included:

* Develop company research topics requiring ANSYS FEA calculation and carry out research within the fields of aerodynamics, heat transfer, stress analysis and chemical reaction

* Perform field measurements collecting data regarding ionizing radiation as well as performing chemicals/metal/soil and spectrum analysis across the united States in accordance with the code of federal regulations, ANSI, IEEE and ASTM standards and EPA, USGS, DOE and DOD procedures.

* Responsible for training engineering/scientist team on proper use of equipment safety/procedure guidelines

* Responsible for compiling, formatting and ensuring technical accuracy of completed scientific analysis reports

Field investigations


Source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-hernandez-60764b50/
Hernandez, Gary
Bigelow Advanced Space Studies
Jan 2009 - May 2010
1 yr 6 mos
CONUS/OCONUS
Classified investigations.

Field investigator

Experienced Investigator, Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness &
Training, Emergency Management
Field Investigator
Company Name BAASS
Dates Employed May 2009 - June 2010
Employment Duration 1 yr 2 mos
Location Las Vegas, Nevada Area
Working through Department of Defense contractor, facilitated/directed security/field investigation operations at Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) under Top Secret SSBI Security Clearance.
Managed contract associated with other Government or associated (classified) agencies.
Managed a team of investigators, Mechanical, Electrical and Nuclear Engineers who were responsible for the design, development and maintenance of specialized equipment of a classified and clandestine nature.

Deputy Administrator


Source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colm-kelleher-834a05112/
Colm Kelleher
BAASS
2008 - 2014 4 yrs

* Interviewed, hired and trained a team of 50 scientists, engineers, analysts, and created the classified security infrastructure for an IC contract to study proprietary advanced aerospace technology and threat analysis

* Briefed government department undersecretary and senior United States senators on threat analysis and advanced technology programs

* Worked closely with IC to develop and execute multiple programs involving advanced aerospace technology including negotiating and executing multi-disciplinary subcontracts for database creation, physics and engineering analysis and medical science studies

* Led in the creation of all scientific programs and strategic initiatives for the company

* Interfaced with Congressional staff, political consultants, Washington DC think tanks and other organizations in the furtherance of company goals

*COMSEC Custodian and Facility Security Officer for the IC latter contract period.

Senior Investigator/Team Leader

Experienced Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the law enforcement, security and investigations industry. Skilled in Crisis management, Emergency management, Police Leadership, Tactical Operation, Criminal Investigations
Senior Investigator/Team leader
Company name Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
Dates Employed Jan 2009 - Jul 2010
Employment Duration 1 yr 7 mos
Provide direction and supervision to a squad of professional investigators tasked with conducting investigations into threats against National Security
Clearance TS SSBI 6/4, Secret.

Program Lead


Source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglas-kurth-25195b145/
Douglas Kurth
Enthusiastic and results-driven former Marine Corps Senior Officer, Commander and Naval Aviator with a diverse background in program management, aviation, safety, training,  maintenance and administration.
Program manager.
Company name Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies.
Dates Employed Dec 2007 - Jun 2013
Employment Duration 5 yrs 7 mos
Location Lase Vegas, Nevada

* Program lead - novel and emerging space technologies targeting operational employment in 2040

* Directed and managed a team of 40 scientists, engineers, analysts, and researchers

* Business Development - initiated, developed, and directed critical collaborative contracts

* Tasked with international marketing of Bigelow Aerospace private space station

* Technical expert in advanced aerospace concepts and aerodynamics.

Equipment Manager/Lead Investigator

Company name Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
Dates Employed Mar 2010 - Sep 2011
Employment Duration 1 yr 7mos
Managed investigative and scientific efforts involved in the highest profile case in the company.
Managed contract associated with other Government or associated (classified) agencies.
Managed a team of Mechanical, Electrical and Nuclear Engineers who were responsible for the design, development and maintenance of specialized equipment of a classified nature.
Compiled technical reports and proposals and created quality assurance procedures for fieldwork, operations and troubleshooting of equipment.
Managed the procurement of a wide variety of electronics, materials, thermal night vision equipment and detectors for the purposes of completing interdisciplinary experiments and/or gathering of necessary quality affecting scientific data.


Senior Scientist Microbiology

Company Name Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
Date Employed Jan 2009 - Jun 2010
Employment Duration 1 yr 6mos
Location Las Vegas, Nevada

Project/Duties Lead biological senior scientist at BAASS. The primary duties involve responsibility for the development of laboratory capabilities for the evaluation of novel aerospace technologies including novel materials and propulsion systems for possible detrimental effects on humans and the environment. Additional duties involve the development of research protocols and techniques in support of ongoing research projects and oversight of daily science operations which include supervision of BAASS technicians. The project required employees to obtain government security clearances which preclude precise discussion of objectives.

SCIF/Dod Contractor

Company Name Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
Date Employed Sep 2008 - Aug 2010
Employment Duration 2yrs
Location North Lase Vegas, Nevada.

Senior Data Analyst

Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
Date employed Mar 2009 - May 2010
Employment Duration 1yr 4mos
Locations Las Vegas
Database developer, tableau evaluation & reports.

Sub-contractors

Eric W Davis
Chief Science officer
EarthTech Int'l Inc. and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin
Nov 2004 - present - 13yrs 7mos
EarthTech Int'l Inc.& the Inst. for Advanced Studies at Austin is a privately funded research organization dedicated to the exploration of new frontiers in physics. Our activities primarily center around investigations into various aspects of the Zero-Point Field. We routinely perform evaluations of reported "over-unity" energy devices. We specialize in performing accurate power-balance measurements using calorimetry.

Additionally, ETI supports academic pursuits via the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, its theoretical and publications division.
CEO?Chief Scientist
Warp Drive Metrics
January 2002 - present - 16 yrs 5mos

Director of aerospace physics/and astrophysics research
NIDS/Bigelow Aerospace Co
June 1996 - April 2002 5yrs 10mos
Design, develop and conduct research on sensor system discrimination of unique target signatures embedded in traditional background environments (collaborations: IASA, DSP-Sandia Nat'l Lab, Geoanalysis & Meteorology-LANL).

Phenomenology research on unique uncorrelated and correlate target events.
Conducted forensic science and field investigations of unique target events.

Hal Puthoff
President & CEO
EarthTech International inc.
1991 - present - 27 years
Directing research into advanced energy and propulsion for spaceflight.

The Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin was founded in 1985 and later incorporated under Earth Tech International Inc.in 1991 as an innovative research facility with high-powered creative staff dedicated to exploring the forefront reaches of science and engineering. ETI and IASA are engaged in many collaborations with industry, the US government,scientific research foundations, and academia in order to implement our organization's mission: Shaping the future by innovating breakthroughs that inspire new modes of space transportation and new sources of energy.


In summary

We now better understand the nature of the roles undertaken by some of the BAASS personnel.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A new type of IFO (Identified Flying Object)

Hi all,

Australian UFO groups and individuals are constantly receiving digital photographs and videos showing what are, to the photographer, unusual images. Groups and individual researchers are asked to comment as to the nature of the object.

The "UFO" in the picture/video frequently turns out to be an out of focus bird/insect; a sun dog; searchlights on clouds; internal lens reflections of such sources as the Sun and Moon; and of course, fake, computer generated images.

Plastic bag - to the right above the lampost

Searchlight on clouds above houses (Moon in top centre)
Sun dog to left of Sun plus internal lens reflection below sun dog

Internal lens reflections from the Sun  at two o'clock position
Out of focus bug - top right in sky
An out of focus bird

A new report

In March 2018, UFO Research (NSW) Incorporated received the following sighting report:

"Central Coast, NSW. 11 March 2018. 11am.

I was in my garage searching for some information about my car when I heard the local bird life in an uproar. I went outside to see what was disturbing the birds, thinking it was the resident sea eagles or maybe a falcon flying about.

The majority of birds were magpies, 10-20 in all, crows and a couple of curruwongs with a few silver eyes.

What struck me as being unusual is the number of magpies. Usually you see them in a family group of 2 adult birds with 2-3 young ones flying around them.

On further investigation to see what had made them become so distressed I saw an object drifting away from me at about 60-80 metres above the ground travelling at about 1-2 metres a second. It was travelling in an easterly direction and did not change course or alter its height above the ground. There was no noise. Thinking it was a drone no change of direction. When I first saw it, it was probably 200 metres away. It was a dark colour with a round appearance in the top half with a ridge around this section and the lower section looked like a hoop hanging below it with some sort of grey object attached to the lower section of the loop. I managed to get some pictures of it and the best one is attached to this report. Do you think this is a UFO?"

What was it?

Immediately upon seeing the pictures I thought that I knew what it was. Anthony spoke to the witness and emails were exchanged between the two of them. Here are the pictures.





Close-up of object

Do you know what it was?

It was a Mylar, helium filled party balloon! The witness himself arrived at the same conclusion.


Another IFO (in this case an Inflated Flying Object) to add to our list.

P.S. A check of the weather for the location from where the photographs were taken, revealed that on that day, at that time, the wind was blowing at 9km/hr from the West, which would naturally cause the balloon to drift gently to the east.

Acknowledgement:

I would like to thank the individual who took this latest photograph, for their permission to reproduce the photos and the text of their report to UFO Research (NSW) Inc.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The tale of three BAASS field investigations

Introduction

There are some, who are saying, that although they accept the fact that Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) received a contract from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)  regarding the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSA) program, there is no mention of UFOs or UAPs in that solicitation/contract. The contract was granted sometime after the solicitation closing date of 5 September 2008.

As early as 13 September 2008 Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies was advertising jobs which are directly related to the AAWSA. I have identified at least four individuals who were employed as investigators (one as "senior investigator/Team Leader;" (employed January 2009) ; two as "field investigators; (one from January 2009 the other from May 2009); and one as "investigator/security officer" (from June 2009.)

I explored the Internet looking for some evidence that these field investigators for BAASS actually conducted UFO investigations.

Taking a step back

The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) after negotiations with Robert Bigelow and BAASS, entered into a joint contract to work together. There were two main results arising from this. Firstly, that BAASS was given access to the MUFON CMS UFO reports database; and secondly that MUFON formed their STAR group. An individual named Richard Lang acted as the STAR Team Manager between February 2009 and January 2010.
 

In a 6 March 2011 blog post Lang provided detailed information about the relationship between BAASS and MUFON.

"The STAR Team Impact Project (SIP) was a MUFON project funded in part by Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) where MUFON was subcontracted to provide information from the CMS data base (website) and witness reports related to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) directly to BAASS."

"BAASS investigators were given full access ( password and user ID) to the CMS database, in all cases where the witness answered "Yes" to the "third party release question" BAASS personnel and investigators could see all case information in CMS including witness contact information."

"MUFON also provided data to BAASS about significant events that were reported in CMS."

In short, BAASS were able to monitor almost all of the reports being received by MUFON CMS; had access to witness contact details, and could undertake their own investigations into any of the cases which they deemed of interest to them.

So, to critics who maintain that the AAWSA program was not about investigating UFO reports, the answer is, that it was. From the dates obtained from LinkedIn profiles there was at least, a team leader,/senior investigator and a field investigator in place with BAASS by January 2009. The arrangement with MUFON came into place from February 2009.

A BAASS field investigation in 2009

On 25 November 2009, an anonymous male was driving a four door sedan on the Port Jervis area of Orange County, in the state of New York, in the USA. He reported seeing strange lights in the sky, then it became a cigar shaped object with five lights across it. The object was moving slowly and rotating clockwise. It was gun grey metal in colour, and made s a sound like a "purring cat."

As the object passed directly over the car, the car's electrical functions failed, including the  electric windows which did not work when he tried to open the windows. His cell phone also failed to function. The lights on the object turned off and his car suddenly was running again. He was unable to say if the object left or the lights just turned off. He later reported his observation to MUFON by phone, who were on the scene within two days.

MUFON STAR team members Chuck Modlin and Vicki LeBlanc investigated. Later, Richard Lang and and Chuck Modlin conducted a second interview. "Using a tri-field meter near the vehicle, a 2009 4-door sedan, the meter maxed out indicating a very strong magnetic field."

Comparisons were made of the affected car's magnetic signature with that of car of an identical make and model, but this control car did not register any significant electrostatic , or electromagnetic fields. "In a follow up investigation 20 days later, the fields were still present but had dissipated by approximately 60%."

In a blog piece dated 1 March 2018, Australian researcher Bill Chalker, who had been looking into this case, says that "Bigelow was keen to buy the car involved, but I gather the witness did not want to part with it....The Port Jervis case is a striking example of a case that might yield possible 'disruptive technological breakthroughs.' Yet it seems that the details of this may have been passed on to BAASS, rather than being a part of the public MUFON report."

A BAASS field investigation in 2010

A 20 May 2010 report stated that MUFON investigated sightings over the Isles of Capri, Florida, USA, which occurred between 27 March 2010 and early May 2010. The report goes on to say:

"Gary Hernandez, field investigator with Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, is interested in follow-up studies on the Capri UFO reports."

"We have a highly sophisticated system of investigative tools that can help led insight into strange phenomena such as those seen by the residents in your area." Hernandez said in a telephone conversation on May 13.

"I was down in your area several years ago investigating similar sightings, and would very much like to return and speak with eyewitnesses there now," Hernandez said.

"I'll do my best to objectively research and investigate each occurrence and gather as much supporting information to come to a potential conclusion." Hernandez wrote in an e-mail on May 13.

"Hernandez said he did not agree with MUFON's conclusion that the photo captured by the Isles of Capri Fire/Rescue Department's webcam was likely the moon setting."

A second BAASS field investigation in 2010

In a blog post dated 27 January 2015, an individual named Michael Lee Hill advised that an investigator from BAASS contacted him in 2010 concerning sightings in the Lake Erie area.

"In August of 2010, Hernandez sent a message on Michael's Face Book page, inquiring what Michael knew about the Eastlake UFOs."

"In November, curiously enough, Investigator Hernandez, in a face book message I have in my possession, told Michael there were certain things he couldn't tell him due to the nature of a contract Hernandez had signed..."

Another individual named Eugene Ehrlikh filmed lights over Lake Erie, but MUFON suggested they were aircraft. On 8 April 2010, Ehrlikh reportedly received a telephone call from someone who identified themselves as an investigator from BAASS. Hill identifies them as being Hernandez and goes on the say that Hernandez believed the lights were of extra-terrestrial origin.

LinkedIn profile

I looked in LinkedIn and found a Gary Hernandez whose profile in part says:

"Field Investigator
Bigelow Advanced Space Studies
Jan 2009 - February 2010 1 yr 6mos
CONUS/OCONUS
CLASSIFIED INVESTIGATIONS."

It should be noted that although details available on the Isles Of Capri sightings mention Hernandez's involvement on 13 May 2010; and his involvement in the Lake Erie sightings as being on 8 April 2010 and August 2010, Hernandez's LinkedIn profile states he was employed by BAASS only between January 2009 and February 2010. These sets of information can not be reconciled. By February 2010 Hernandez himself, says he was not working for BAASS.

In summary

A number of UFO investigations were reportedly undertaken by BAASS field investigators, after BAASS received the AAWSA contract. 

I would welcome hearing from any reader who may be add to the above. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Federal Sources Inc. may already have a copy of the DIA AAWSA contract

I have been browsing the Internet for any additional information about the 2008 Defense Intelligence Agency's Advanced Aerospace Weapon System (AAWSA) program's solicitation number HHM402-08-R-0211, and a subsequent contract issued, I understand, to Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies.

Quincy Wilkins and Federal Sources Incorporated

Imagine my interest when I located a PDF file for the DIA's FOIA log for FY 2010.  This 23 page document lists the DIA FOIA reference number; the name of the requestor and a summary of the request. Buried in the document is a one liner that says:

FOIA-00065-2010, Wilkins, Quincy, FOIA request documents for contract #HHM40208R0211.


Further Internet research led me to find out that Quincy Wilkins worked for a US company named Federal Sources Incorporated. One source stated that:

"Federal Sources Inc.provides research,market intelligence, budget analysis, survey method,management, and technology consulting services to the Federal government...The company serves federal and state government officials, contracting officer technical representatives and program manager...The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. As of 10/23/2003, Federal Sources Inc. is a subsidiary of Washington Management Group."

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20100717161311/http://www.fedsources.com

From the Federal Sources website, I learnt that:

"FedSources' team of librarians proactively submit FOIA requests for information on awarded contracts greater than $5 million...As a client, these documents are available to you in our extensive online library of over 5,000 downloadable documents..."

So, Quincy Wilkins as an employee of Federal Sources Inc., was asking the DIA for a copy of the contract to enter it into the Federal Source Inc. library.

Can we find a copy of the contract this way?

The question is, did the DIA supply a copy of the contract, and it possible to locate a copy of this contract today, rather than wait for the DIA to respond to our mutual FOIA requests? I am pursuing my investigations into these questions, as the WayBack machine under www.fedsources.com captured multiple images of the website, both in 2008 and 2010, and it will take a little time to go through these. If any blog readers would also like to take a look at these multiple website snapshots they would be welcome.

One possible short cut available to us, if any blog readers is, or knows anyone who is, a current client of Federal Sources Inc., would be to ask you or them to log into the Federal Sources Inc. website and submit a request to their contract library database for contract#HHM402-08_R-0211. In the meantime I will send off an email asking Federal Sources Inc if they would conduct a pro bono, once off search for me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Did the AAWSA program/AATIP really start in 2007?

One of the aspects of the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSA) program/Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program(AATIP), which has aroused my interest is, if the project was not funded by Federal contract until sometime after 5 September 2008, why does almost everyone state that the program started in 2007? I decided to undertake some research based on the available public information.

Senator Harry Reid

I started off by reading material which made mention of Senator Harry Reid.

Source: New York Times 16 December 2017

The  New York Magazine, edition dated 19 March 2018, contains an interview between Eric Benson and Senator Reid, and quotes Reid at length, about how the program started.

"I'm in Washington in the Senate and Bob Bigelow called me - I kept in touch with him over the years. He called me and said, "I got the strangest letter here. Could I have a courier bring it to you?" I said, "Sure." He didn't want to send it to me over the lines for obvious reasons. I read the letter. The letter was from a federal national security agency. Okay. The letter said, "I am a senior, long-time member of this security agency, and have a PhD," - I can't remember in what, in physics for sure, maybe math also." And  the letter said "I'm interested. I'm interested in talking to you, Mr Bigelow. I have an interest in what you've been working on. I want to go to your ranch in Utah."

"...I called Bigelow back and said, "Hey, I'll meet with the guy." I called the guy. He said, "I don't want to meet at my office. I don't want to meet at your office. Where can we meet?" I said, "Come to my home." The two of us met and I was terribly impressed with him. Very low key scientist. He told me of his interest. I called Bigelow and I said, "This guy, I've checked him out and he seems like a pretty nice guy and his credentials are as he says."

He went, met Bigelow, and after I don't know how much time went by, he came to me and said "Something should be done about this. Somebody should study it." I was convinced he was right. I said "Well, if you were me, what would you say to people in power in the United States Senate who have huge control over the spending of defense money?" And here's what he said "What I will do is to prepare something for you that anyone can look at that wants to, it's strictly science." He put it in scientific language - what the study should consist of.

"I, at the time, was the leader of the Senate and I called two of my friends who for many, many years were like brothers. One a Democrat, one a Republican. They controlled for quite a number of years the Defense Appropriation Subcommittee. It was Stevens and Inouve.

"...What we decided to do - it would be black money; we wouldn't have a big debate on the Senate floor over it. They would put it in their defense appropriation bill, 11 million bucks. The purpose of it was to study aerial phenomena. The money was given, a directive was given to the Pentagon, to put out this bid, which they did."

Unfortunately, this article contains no mention of the dates all this happened.

DIA "solicitation"

We now know that the "solicitation" from the DIA re the AAWSA program was dated 18 August 2008, with a closing date for bids, of 5 September 2008.

Front page of "Solicitation."

I have searched the "Congressional Record" for both FY2008 and FY2009 but failed to find any mention at all of the actual passage of money for the program. For example the Congressional Research Service document "Defense: FY2009 Authorization and Approriations" by Towell, Daggett and Belasco, doesn't mention the program. I combed sources such as www.usaspending.gov , and other such resources, but nowhere did I find any evidence for the date the contract was awarded to Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies.

Other sources of starting date

During the January 2018 interview between Giuliano Marinkovic and Luis Elizondo, Elizondo himself stated that the program started in 2007.

George Knapp during a "Coast to Coast" interview with Hal Puthoff, on 28 January 2018, stated that the start date was 2007, and Puthoff did not correct this statement of date.

In another "Coast to Coast" Knapp interview, this time with Luis Elizondo on 28 February 2018, Elizondo recalled that his initial discussions with the program manager (a PhD and rocket scientist) occurred sometime in 2008. There was no mention of a program start date in this interview.

In a MUFON Journal article of May 2018, on page 18, Luis Elizondo says "They're going back to the fact that Bigelow got the contract back in 2007/2008."

Most mentions of the start date out there on the Internet, use the year 2007 as the program start date.

Is there any more definitive statements as to the commencement date?

Douglas Kurth

One of the almost invisibly, yet publicly named individuals involved in the  2004 "tic tac" sighting was Lieutenant Colonel "Cheeks" Kurth, who at the time was the Commanding Officer of Marine Hornet squadron VMFA-232. On the day of the "tic tac" sighting Kurth was in the air completing a post-maintenance check. According to an article authored by pilot Paco Chierici, a friend of Dave Fravero, one of the pilot witnesses:

"He was the first fast-mover contacted by Princeton. The communication was strange and intriguing. He was asked to investigate an unidentified airborne contact...As Cheeks approached the spot he was being vectored to, Princeton advised him to stay about 10k as the section of Super Hornets were approaching the target. His radar picked up the FASTEAGLE twoship, but no other contacts.

A moment later Princeton directed him to "skip it" and return to the ship. Since he was so close, he decided to fly over the action and sneak a peek. The sea was calm, almost glassy smooth and it was late morning on a beautiful SoCal day. Perfect conditions. As Cheeks flew over the spot he saw a disturbance on the surface of the ocean. A section of turbulent water about 50-100 meters in diameter.
It was the only area and type of what he called, "white-water" describing that it looked as if there was something below the surface like a shoal or what he'd heard a sinking ship would look like. He overflew the disturbance and circled back in the direction  of Nimitz without ever seeing what caused the water to froth. As he turned away, which happened to be the moment the Super Hornets converged on the location, the white water cleared and the ocean surface returned to its smooth state. The spot of the previous disturbance was completely indiscernible."

So, who do you think Kurth went to work for?

I wish to thank US researcher Dave C Beaty, for locating Douglas Kurth's employment history on the LinkedIn website. Here we find, after Kurth describes himself as a former Marine Corps Senior Office; Commander and Naval Aviator:
Source:https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglas-kurth-25195b145/
"Program Manager
Company Name: Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
Dates Employed: Dec 2007-Jun 2013
Employment duration: 5 yrs 7 mos
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
* Program Lead - novel and emerging space technologies targeting operational employment in 2040
* Directed and managed a team of 40 scientists, engineers, analysts, and researchers
* Business Development - initiated, developed, and direct critical collaborative contracts
* Tasked with international marketing of Bigelow Aerospace private space station
* Technical expert in advanced aerospace concepts and aerodynamics."

So, in summary, one of the US Navy witnesses to part of the "tic tac" sighting in 2004, three years later goes to work for BAASS on what clearly is the AAWSA program.

Wait though, note the date he commenced. Kurth states it was December 2007, some ten months before BAASS received the DIA's AAWSW contract! Perhaps herein lies the reason the program is said to have started in 2007?  

Update:
Journalist Giulino Marinkovic located Douglas Kurth, and on 28 October 2017 managed to contact Kurth ny telephone. Giuliano posed some questions to Kurth, but Kurth's response effectively was "I did something and I can't talk about it."

Monday, May 14, 2018

Dr. Colm Kelleher and the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program

To the Stars Academy

The other day, I was re-reading the list of team members of the To The Stars Academy (TTSA) , to refresh my memory of who was on the team. One of the members is Dr. Colm Kelleher. The TTSA website states that Dr. Kelleher is their "Biotech consultant" and provides the following information:

"Dr. Colm Kelleher is a biochemist with a twenty-eight-year research career in cell and molecular biology currently working in senior management in the aerospace industry. He served as Laboratory Director at biotech company, Prosetta Corporation, leading several small molecule drug discovery  programs focused on viruses of interest to the United States Department of Defense. He worked for eight years as Deputy Director of the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) a research organization using forensic science methodology to unravel scientific anomalies.

From 2008-2011, he served as  Deputy Administrator of a US government funded threat assessment program focused on advanced aerospace technology. Dr. Kelleher has authored more than forty peer  reviewed scientific articles in cell and molecular biology, immunology and virology as well as two best selling books, "Hunt for the Skinwalker" and "Brain Trust." He holds a  Ph.D in biochemistry from the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

Note, part of the statement
What caught my eye this time around was the statement "From 2008-2011, he served as  Deputy Administrator of a US government funded threat assessment program focused on advanced aerospace technology." This strongly suggests that he worked on the Defense Intelligence Agency's Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program.
LinkedIn
I visited the LinkedIn website and looked at Dr. Kelleher's profile, and found:
"Experience
Deputy Administrator
BAASS
2008-2012 4yrs
* Interviewed, hired and trained a team of 50 scientists, engineers, analysts, and created the classified security infrastructure for an IC [Intelligence Community -KB] contract to study proprietary advanced aerospace technology and threat analysis
* Briefed government department undersecretary and serving United States Senators on threat analysis and advanced technology programs
* Worked closely with IC to develop and execute multiple programs involving advanced aerospace technology including negotiating and executing multi-disciplinary subcontracts for database creation, physics and engineering analysis and medical science studies
* Led in the creation of all scientific programs and strategic initiatives for the company
* Interfaced with Congressional staff, political consultants, Washington DC think tanks and other organizations in the furtherance of company goals
* COMSEC Custodian and Facility Security Officer for IC latter contract period."
Dr. Kelleher is currently the Vice President & Chief Scientist Environmental Control & Life Support Systems, at Bigelow Aerospace.
Roger Glassel
Swedish researcher, Roger Glassel in his recent piece on AAWSA/AATIP in one section wrote that he had found a person in the Nevada area that had worked for Bigelow Aerospace between 2009 and 2010. More specifically, he was employed "in a interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers studying advanced aerospace weapon system applications including lift, propulsion, control, power generation, signature reductions, materials and armament." Neither Roger nor I have named this individual in our respective blog posts about the AAWSA program. However, this individual is not Dr. Colm Kelleher. I  believe Roger Glassel missed Dr Kelleher's LinkedIn profile as it did not specifically mention the AAWSA program.
Statement from a senior manager of BAASS
On 4 May 2018, a piece appeared on the LasVegasNow website titled "I-Team: Documents prove secret UFO studies based in Nevada" by George Knapp and Matt Adams. Embedded in the text was a link to a "Statement from a senior manager of BAASS." The statement included:
"The investigations by BAASS provided new lines of evidence showing that the UFO phenomenon was a lot more than nuts and bolts machines that interacted with military aircraft...The exclusive focus on nuts and bolts machines could be considered myopic and unproductive in solving the larger mystery of UFOs..."
"...One of the major successes of BAASS was in adopting the novel approach of utilizing the human body as a readout system for dissecting interactions with the UFO phenomenon...The evidence was multiplying that the UFO phenomenon was capable of manipulating and distorting human perception and therefore eyewitness testimony of UFO activity was becoming increasingly untrustworthy..."
"...The approach aimed to bypass UFO deception and manipulation of human perception by utilizing molecular forensics to decipher the biological consequences of the phenomenon..."
Who was the author of this statement?
Based on the language and content of the statement, it is a reasonable deduction that the author of the statement was Dr. Colm Kelleher.

Update 12 June 2018.

A number of people have pointed out that it is more likely to have been Dr Hal Puthoff who was the author of this statement. I have been unable to confirm who it was, at this point of time. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Fuller version of the Defense Intelligence Agency Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications "solicitation" found

Background

I previously reported that I had located a copy of the 2008 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSA) program "solicitation" which called for bids to undertake the work in this area for the DIA. My blog post reported some of the details contained in this "solicitation." Since then, I have continued to look for further "solicitation" documents. I can now report that I have located a fuller version.

Fuller version

This 32 page document titled "Solicitation/Contract/Order for Commercial Items" is a 32 page document calling for bids for the AAWSA program work, and was issued by the Virginia Contracting Activity, the contract arm of the DIA, on 18 August 2008. Later, in this post, I will provide a link to the document so that blog readers may examine it, in its entirety. Others may well pick up important points that I have so far missed.

The front page

Security requirement section

LasVegasNow story

On 4 May 2018, KLAS TV Channel 8, posted a story to the LasVegasNow website, titled "I-Team: Documents prove secret UFO study based in Nevada." Embedded in the story was a video of the story going to air. During that five minute news segment, a number of documents were flashed onto the screen. I can now say, that some of these snapshots, came from the document I have just found, for example:

The source of some of the other KLAS TV item documents, is still to be determined.

The link

https://www.fbo.gov/utils/view?id=7944c316a35a20e1f9b5ac6cbc72bc90


Many digitised Australian periodicals now available for download

Background Thanks to the combined efforts of the Swedish Archives for the Unexplained (AFU); UK researcher Isaac Koi; Boston based resear...