Thursday, November 8, 2018

Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) and Vallee's "Capella" Project

Introduction

Twitter user @Jay09784691 keeps coming up with interesting information regarding Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS). His latest was contained in a tweet dated 6 November 2018.

"As far as I can tell there's a data warehouse from Bigelow called "Capella" (2008-2011). It's referenced in this Vallee presentation from 2014. Also BAASS ended in the 00's.Contained photos, radar data, recordings, videos, maps & satellite views. www-togepain02.cnes.fr/fileadmion/documents/15-VALLEE_sli.pdf."

Further information

I went to the slide presentation and the following are the three relevant slides:



Although these three slides do not state that the "Capella" Project belonged to BAASS, a fourth slide titled: "A brief history" (concerning data collection activities) lists NIDS and BAASS. In addition,  the 2008-2011 date range is indicative of the BAASS era, especially their contract with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for work on the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP.)

Another file 

I then found another PDF file which contained the text of Vallee's Paris presentation. Here, on page four there is:

"In the United States the National Institute for Discovery Science ("NIDS") and the Bigelow Aerospace Corporation have initiated a series of special catalogues to safeguard their own reports from public source and from their staff. The author was tasked with the development of a data warehouse consisting of 11 separate data bases to support this research. The project is known as "Capella."

So, we are now sure that it was Vallee who developed "Capella."

Later on page six we find:

"The "Capella" Data Warehouse concept. The overall data structure for Capella has been published in both French and English on the author's website (www.jacquesvallee.com) under the title: "A system of Classification and Reliability Indicators for the Analysis of the Behavior of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena." The data warehouse uses a 6-layer system to describe the behavior of the phenomenon. It is detailed in reference 10 below, which is also available on the website."

Reference 10 is "Vallee, Jacques F. and Davis, Eric W." "Incommensurability, Orthodoxy and the Physics of High Strangeness: a 6-layer model  for anomalous phenomena." In Proceedings of the International Forum "Ciencia, Religiao e Consciencia, Fernando Pessao University, Porto (Portugal) 23-25 October 2003, pp 223-239." The paper refers to six layers of UAP information, namely:

1. Physical.
2. Anti-physical.
3. The psychology of the witnesses and the social conditions which surround them.
4. Physiological reactions.
5. Psychic.
6. Cultural.

I found no reference to "Capella" in this paper.

Classification paper

The system of classification paper was published in April 2007 and provides a classification of anomalies


It then goes on to describe a classification system for observed maneuvres, and flybys. Finally it describes a system for the report's credibility where S = reliability of source; V = did a site visit occur? and p = probability of a natural explanation. Vallee notes that this system was in use by NIDS. There is no mention of either BAASS or "Capella" in this paper.

When was "Capella" in use?

I note that the 2014 Paris presentation states, that "Capella" was in use 2008-2011. I also note that on this slide Vallee has himself stated:

"As in the case of many prior efforts, secondary level of screening and follow-up were not implemented, hence signal/noise remained poor;" and "Data mining on messy data is worse than doing nothing!"

Five more pieces of information

1. I checked copies of Vallee's books for references to "Capella" as a project (not the star named Capella). I found one and only one reference. This appeared in "Forbidden Science" Volume two page 72 which read:

"At Hynek's request I have updated my proposal for a research center, Project Capella. He is still trying to get it funded by the Oklahoma heiress."

2. Hal Puthoff, in his 8 June 2018 address to the Las Vegas SSE/IRVA conference stated:

"We as part of this program looked at some cases that were really good from Brazil. In 1977, 78, it was like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. A thousand pages of documents all done by the Brazilian Air Force investigative team, 500 photographs, 15 hours of motion film, a lot of medical injuries..."

Is this the sort of material which was coded for "Capella" databases?

3. I looked at the roles described on the LinkedIn website by a number of former BAASS employees. There I found:

a. Research analyst- French translator.
January 2009- January 2011.
"Started the translation department to develop accurate procedure to analyse and process data translation French to English."

b. Research analyst.
April 2009-May 2010.
No other information shown.

c. Senior data analyst.
March 2009 - May 2010.
"Database developer, tableau evaluation and reports."

4. Thanks to Twitter user Dennis @UAPreality for a lead to a 27 July 2014 interview on "Coast to Coast." This was between journalist George Knapp and Jacques Vallee, and titled "George Knapp the secret UFO conference that no one knows about." They discussed the 2014 Paris meeting. During this interview Vallee stated that 15 years ago he developed a data warehouse called Capella. He implemented it with Bigelow and NIDS. Vallee said that the warehouse had now grown, and he was ready now to take it to the next level. He had conversations after the Paris meeting with other experts in data bases and UFO researchers. He then said that we had missed a number of things that the data bases did not contain. He went on to mention Dick Haine's pilot reports and Chris Aubeck's ancient ufo cases. A lot had been undertaken outside of formal UFO groups, usually by a single individual assisted by a small team.

5. Thanks to Face Book user M J Banias for a lead to an article by author Diana Walsh Pasulka  This was an interview between Pasulka and Jacques Vallee, dated 21 November 2016. Part of the response by Vallee read:

"For those who have just discovered the world of "big data" because of the exploits of super computers winning at chess or GO against the best human champions, the technology seems almost magical: dump unstructured threads of information into a large binary warehouse and let "deep thinking" extract the salient patterns.

The technology works when the data itself is well-behaved, in particular for consumer trends, industrial maintenance and medical research. When the subject area lacks an ontology, as in the case of unidentified aerial phenomena, the same techniques are problematic because the software is likely to extract spurious or misleading patterns."

Has any blog reader further information on the "Capella" Project?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Twitter user @Jay09784691, in a tweet dated today, tweeted that:

"Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies released a newsletter in 2010 that links BAASS with a 'Nuclear Materials Group.'"

@Jay09784691 provided a link to a seven page PDF file.

Newsletter

The PDF file was a copy of the Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Spring 2010 Newsletter titled "HRCeNews -2010, Spring." Page three carried a short item which read:

"The Nuclear Materials Group (lead: Dr Thomas Hartmann) has established a formal collaboration with the Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS). The collaboration provides analytical assistance to BAASS for characterizing solid phases and precipitates."

Question

@Jay09784691 posed a question in his tweet:

"Do we know if BAASS studied normal issue, or were specifically tied to phenomena?"

My thoughts on this question are reflected in a statement on the Bigelow Aerospace website of September 2008.

"Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), a sister company to Bigelow Aerospace, is a newly formed research organization that focuses on the identification, evaluation and acquisition of novel and emerging future technologies worldwide as this specifically relates to spacecraft. BAASS is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada."

A search of Nevada State records reveals that BAASS was created in January 2008. In September 2008 BAASS received a contract as a result of its bid arising from the 18 August 2008 Defense Intelligence Agency's solicitation for work on its Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP.) 

It would seem to me, that the answer to Jay's question, was that in the time period September 2008 to 2010 (at least), BAASS was focused solely on phenomena related work.

Search for more data

I conducted a search of the websites for both the University of Nevada, at Las Vegas, and the University of Nevada, at Reno, for additional references to BAASS in the 2008 to 2010 time frame, but found nothing more. 

I checked my list of Defense Intelligence Reference Documents (DIRDs) as supplied to us by KLAS-TV reporters George Knapp and Matt Adams, to see whether or not Dr Thomas Hartmann was one of the 37 named authors. He was not. (A 38th DIRD author's name was redacted.)

I found one "Research scientist/Engineer" who according to their LinkedIn profile, worked at BAASS between July 2009 and June 2010. In August 2010, {Spring 2010 is March to May 2010] this individual went to work as a Nuclear Engineering researcher at the University of Nevada, at Las Vegas. Whether or not this was in the "Nuclear Materials Group" is unknown. 

I found that Dr Thomas Hartmann was still at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and so I sent him an email, and quoted the relevant paragraph from the Spring 2010 HRCeNews. I have asked Dr Hartmann if he can provide any further details of the University/BAASS connection? I will report back if I receive any response.

Source: https://www.unlv.edu/people/thomas-hartmann-phd
Dr Hartmann is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. His areas of expertise are listed as "Nuclear waste forms, advanced nuclear fuels, x-ray crystallography and solid phase analysis." He holds a Diploma in Mineralogy, University of Heidelberg; and a Ph.D in Minerology from the University of Heidelberg.

Solid phase analysis

Typing the words "solid phase analysis" into a search engine leads to articles about "solid phase extraction" (SPE). Here, SPE "is a sample preparation process by which compounds that are dissolved or suspended in a liquid mixture are separated from other compounds in the mixture according to their physical and chemical properties. Analytical laboratories use solid phase extraction to concentrate and purify samples for analysis."

In short

It would seem that Jay has discovered that BAASS, in mid 2010, contracted the University of Nevada, at Las Vegas, to assist with analysis of materials.Whether these materials were related to UAP is not known for certain. However, on the basis of probability,and what we already know that BAASS was undertaking; my guess, is that it was related to UAP.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Dr James T Lacatski, AAWSAP Program Manager's career "ruined"

Who is Dr James Thomas Lacatski?

In a blog post dated 1 May 2018, and titled  "AATIP or AAWSA" I wrote, in part, about those Defense Intelligence Reference Documents" (DIRDs) which had been circulating on the Internet since December 2017. Each of the three available DIRD's made mention of the fact that the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) Program Manager, at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was one James T Lacatski, D. Eng.

Research

I undertook some research into who James T Lacatski was, and wrote up my then findings in the 1 May 2018 blog. Since then I have been able to find out a little more about him. To recap, I found that his full name was James Thomas Lacatski with a date of birth of 9 January 1951.

Between 1984-1986 he was a joint author of a number of technical  papers about plasma engineering studies in Torsatron reactors. In 1986 he was an Engineer Assistant in the Nuclear Design Section of Duke Power Company, responsible for reactor core design, startup and operating predictions and plant support.

I failed to locate any publicly available information on him during the 1987-2003 period. In June 2004 a James Lacatski, Intelligence Officer, Missile Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency, attended a UK conference titled "Ballistic Missile Defence." In January 2005, James T Lacatski was promoted to GG-14 within the DIA.

In August 2008, Dr James T Lacatski was designated as the COR and government project leader in the DIA's AAWSAP solicitation number HHM402-08-R-0211.

In April 2009, the DIA's own internal magazine "Communique" showed him as celebrating 10 years Federal service. 

In August 2016 Lacatski attended an energy conference, and listed a DIA email address as his contact details.

I located details showing that his wife Wisal Abouo Lacatski had worked for NASA (at least around 1997.)

That then is a summary of publicly available information about James Thomas Lacatski. Using public data, I spent some time trying to contact Lacatski to ask him a number of questions about his involvement with the AAWSAP/AATIP. I was unsuccessful. Indeed, I know of no one who has successfully located and interviewed Lacatski about his knowledge in this area. He certainly has not publicly surfaced and given a widely reported interview. On a number of occasions, the former (second) AATIP manager, Luis Elizondo has referred to the former (first) manager of the program, without using his name.

A rare 1986 photograph of Lacatski

New information

On 1 November 2018, the To The Stars Academy (TTSA) website blog featured a blog post  by Luis Elizondo, titled "What We Know And What We Believe Are Not Always The Same Thing. How our perception of Fact Influences Our Worldview." Part of this blog post provides some new information about James T Lacatski (although Elizondo, again, does not name him.)

"UAP has even been associated with demons and anti-Judea Christian beliefs.

I experienced this first hand during my time working at the US Government's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), where certain senior government officials thought our collection of facts on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) was dangerous to their philosophical beliefs.

In fact, my AATIP predecessor's career was ruined because of misplaced fear by an elite few. Rather than accept the data as provided by a top-rank rocket scientist, they decided the data was a threat to their belief system and instead, destroyed his career because of it."

This is a very interesting statement by Elizondo, and goes a long way to explaining why Lacatski has not appeared in the public realm discussing his knowledge of the program and topic.

Friday, November 2, 2018

More documents on the Boiani CE3 case found at CUFOS

Collecting material

For many years, I have had a large collection of material on the June 1959, Boiani, Papua New Guinea CE3 case involving the Reverend Father William Booth Gill.

There are numerous Australian documents in that collection, e.g. the 28 October 1959, Melbourne, Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society (VFSRS) transcript of a talk by Gill himself; and the 25 November 1959 letter to the Right Honorable R G Menzies, signed by the heads of the five main Australian flying saucer groups of that time.

The former US government Project Blue Book had a case file, based on information forwarded by the US Air Attache for Australia, one Mance C Smith, Major, USAF.

The Project Blue Book record card
US researcher Michael Swords' digitised collection contains two Reverend Gill files, one of 65 pages, and the other of 161 pages in length. Here we find photographs of the area; sketches of the village layout; location maps; and copies of the articles which appeared in such publications as the International UFO Reporter, and the English Flying Saucer Review.

Other PNG material

To add to the information on reports from that area, and based on a search through a variety of Australian government files, I compiled a catalogue of reports from Papua New Guinea, between 1953 and 1971. In addition, I located a number of relevant Australian government agency files, namely:

File series A452, control symbol 1969/4393 titled "UFOs and mysterious happenings Papua and New Guinea," 1957-1973.

File series MT1131/1,  control symbol A31/1/133 titled "Unidentified aircraft Papua and New Guinea," 1958-1959.

Barry Greenwood and CUFOS

So, when Boston researcher and historian Barry Greenwood visited the files of the Center for UFO Studies in Chicago recently, and later advised that he was sending Melbourne researcher Paul Dean and I a batch of four PDF files relating to Boiani, I eagerly awaited their arrival. In due course along they came.

PDF 1. This consisted of two pages, which were new to me. They were two photographs of the view from where Gill stood, looking away from the ocean and towards the surrounding mountains.One was a colour photograph of the scene and on the other someone had drawn shapes and notations which read "from w. door" and "from behind store." These locations can be seen in a sketch I have attached at the end of this post.





PDF 2. This consisted of a one page artist's impression of the event, which I had previously seen.

PDF 3.Here were 131 pages of documents. New to me here were:

1. A series of newspaper clippings, which included:

 "The New York Times" 29 Sep 1959 "Flying saucer spotted"

"New Zealand Herald" 17 Aug 1959 "'Saucer activity' in New Guinea"



"Sun" (Melbourne) " 29 Oct 1959 "He saw 'mystery craft in the sky'"



"Daily News" (Taranaki, New Zealand) "17 Aug 1959 "Priest reports Flying Saucers carrying 'men'"

"Sun" (Melbourne) 17 Aug 1959 "12 saw a saucer says NG Priest."

These examples of articles about the sightings, indicate that by as early as mid August 1959, details of the events at Boiani were appearing in the world press.

2. A series of correspondence which included:

a. Letters between Peter Norris of the VFSRS and the US UFO group National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP.) I show examples below:


This shows that Norris was providing copies of relevant documents, including copies of correspondence with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and members of the Australian parliament to NICAP. In addition, he provided his views on the main witness, the reverend Gill, e.g.

"In essence, Gill is scholarly, detached and conservative and I am satisfied that his report, sensational though it is, has been understated rather then exaggerated." [Norris to NICAP, 31 Oct 1959.]


b. Letters between Peter Norris of VFSRS and members of the Australian parliament:


One parliamentarian, S P Cash, MP, asked a question in the Australian Parliament on 24 Nov 1959:

"Unidentified Flying Objects
Mr Cash - My question is directed to the Minister for Air. Do the Australian and overseas Air Forces exchange information about the frequent sightings throughout the world of unidentified flying objects usually known as UFOs? Further, have RAAF officers investigated reports of recent sightings of mysterious objects in the skies over Papua and New Guinea?"

There were other pieces of correspondence in this PDF between Norris and the RAAF, but the contents of these have been known for some time.

c. Miscellaneous letters, including between the Reverend Gill and J Allen Hynek.




3. Miscellaneous items which included:

a. Various sketches eg:



In conclusion

I wish to thank Barry Greenwood for his untiring efforts to preserve such material for us all to be able to read. The additional material, new to me, which I have outlined above, adds to our understanding of the events of June 1959.

Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) and Vallee's "Capella" Project

Introduction Twitter user @Jay09784691 keeps coming up with interesting information regarding Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (B...