Sunday, September 19, 2021

Luis Elizondo , ICER, and that San Marino conference

Background

On 27 October 2018, the Italian UAP research group Centro Ufologico Nazionale held a conference in Rome, Italy. One of the speakers was Luis Elizondo. I wrote up details of his presentation in a blog post dated 31 October 2018.

Introduction

A triple symposium, again run by CUN, was held between 11-12 September 2021. Themes were UAP; space and paloeastranautics. The event was held in the microstate of San Marino, which is a small state, surrounded by north central Italy, population 34,000. 

The CUN website advertised that two of the speakers on the 12 September would be Luis Elizondo and Chris Mellon. The details shown on the website at that time were:

"ICER, cover up and disclosure

0900 Gary Heseltine

1015 L Elizondo

1200 C Mellon

1230 R Pinotti."

ICER

ICER is short for International Coalition for Extraterrestrial Research. A 28 May 2021 media release advised that 

"ICER is a not-for-profit organization, is comprised of scientists, academics and leading UFO/UAP researchers from 27 countries on 5 continents who are unanimous in their recognition that we are not alone in the cosmos."

"ICER believes that all countries now need to prepare for confirmation that the Earth is being engaged by non-human intelligences and proposes awareness programs be established..."

"ICER aims to take this discussion to the highest level of governance, including the United Nations."

Gary Heseltine and ICER

"Gary Heseltine, a researcher (and former police detective) based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, has been sufficiently emboldened by the forthcoming report [ODNI report to Congress -KB] to set up the International Coalition for Extraterrestrial Research (ICER) in order to coordinate the global response and 'prepare awareness classes for the public.'"

"Heseltine, met with Luis Elizondo prior to ICER's launch on 25 May...and says the former AATIP programme director is 'fully supportive' of the group's global approach."

What was in Elizondo's presentation?

I looked for an online video of Elizondo's presentation at San Marino, but failed to locate one. I asked around my networks and no one else has come across one yet. I did however, come across a series of interviews with Elizondo, by Max Moszkowicz, a film maker and journalist from the Netherlands. In one of those interviews, Moszkowicz, asks the question of why Elizondo was in San Marino, and answers his own question when he titled the interview "Luis Elizondo in San Marino to build international UFO disclosure coalition."

During that interview, when asked what he would be presenting at his San Marino symposium session, Elizondo responded that he would be covering what had been achieved during the last three years, and what could be achieved in the future. This strongly suggests that his San Marino presentation would be similar to his talk at the recent International UFO Conference , where his presentation included three slides labelled " Yesterday;" "Today;" and "Tomorrow." If any blog reader has a link to an actual video of the presentation I'd be happy to receive that. 

Update: 21 September 2021

There was a change in the list of speakers, Chris Mellon's name was deleted and in place there was Col. Roberto Doz. 

Colonel Roberto Doz is a former Italian Air Force officer, head of the Italian "UFOs and Pilots" study team. 

The CUN website also revealed that the event had Governmental patronage of the Secretariats of State for Tourism and Culture, of the Republic of San Marino. 

Elizondo chatted with Gary Heseltine, Max Moszkowicz and Sean Raasch in a Yoytube video, where Elizondo referred to meeting various officials. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The latest developments from U.S. Congress

Introduction

There have been some recent, interesting, developments within various Committees of the U.S. Congress which have created waves of excitement within the global UAP researcher community. However, there has been quite a bit of misinformation and careless reporting, about exactly what will eventuate. Living in Australia, with a limited understanding of the U.S. Congressional system, places me at a disadvantage when it comes to a good understanding of exactly what the processes are. However, in this blog post I have tried to report accurately on what the numerous pieces of Congressional documentation which I have found, actually say. The limitations of tweets on Twitter, and brief comments on Facebook pages, about the new documentation, shows yet again that they are not a very good way of conveying the complexity of Congressional processes. U.S. researcher D. Dean Johnson has been trying very hard to educate us all on these processes, so I apologize in advance if any errors creep in. Always happy to correct them. 

The Senate 

S.2610 - Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2022, was introduced by sponsor Senator Mark Warner on 4 August 2021. Warner is Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Committee prepared a report, S. Report 117-37 dated 10 August 2021. 

Section 345 of that report reads:

"Section 345. Support for and oversight of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.

Section 345 directs the DNI and the Secretary of defense to require each IC element and the Department of Defense to make data relating to unidentified aerial phenomena available immediately to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. Section 345 further requires the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force to submit quarterly reports to Congress on its findings."

Elsewhere, in the Congressional documentation, Calendar 116, for S. 2610, we find:

"SEC. 345. SUPPORT FOR AND OVERSIGHT OF UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL PHENOMENA TASK FORCE

(a) DEFINITIONS - In this section:

(1) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS - The term 'appropriate committees of Congress" includes

(A) The Congressional intelligence committee.

(B) The Committee on Armed Services of the Senate.

(C) The Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

(2) UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL PHENOMENA TASK FORCE - The term "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force" means the task force established by the Department of defense on August 2020, to be led by the Department of navy, under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.

(b) AVAILABILITY OF DATA ON UNIDENTIFED AERIAL PHENOMENA - The Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense shall each, in coordination with each other, require each element of the intelligence community and the Department of defense with data relating to unidentified aerial phenomena to make such data available immediately to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

(c) QUARTERLY REPORTS TO CONGRESS -  

(1) IN GENERAL - Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and not less frequently than quarterly thereafter, the Unidentified Aerial phenomena task Force or such other entity as the Deputy Secretary of Defense may designate to be responsible for matters relating to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress quarterly reports on the findings of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force or such other designated entity as the case may be.

(2) CONTENTS - Each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include, at a minimum the following:

(A) All reported unidentified aerial phenomena-related events that occurred during the previous 90 days.

(B) All reported unidentified phenomena-related events that occurred during a time period other than the previous 90 days but were not included in an earlier report. 

(3) FORM - Each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in classified form. "

The House of Representatives

House of Representatives report 117-118 , dated 10 September 2021, is a report of the Armed Services Committee, House of Representatives, on H. R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2022. In section 1652 there is the following:

"Establishment of Office to Address Unidentified Aerial phenomena.

This section would establish an office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to carry out the mission currently performed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and would require an annual report."

Union Calendar No. 83 provided us with more details on section 1652.

"SEC 1652. ESTABLISHMENT OF AN OFFICE TO ADDRESS UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL PHENOMENA.

(a) Establishment - Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Director of National intelligence, shall establish an office within the Office of the Secretary of defense to carry out, on a department wide basis, the mission currently performed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force as at the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b) Duties - the duties of the office established under subsection (a) shall include the following:

(1) Developing procedures to synchronize and standardize the collection, reporting and analysis of incidents regarding Unidentified Aerial phenomena across the Department of defense.

(2) Developing processes and procedures to ensure that such incidents from each military department are reported and incorporated in a centralized repository.

(3) Establishing procedures to require the timely and consistent reporting of such incidents.

(4) Evaluating links between Unidentified Aerial phenomena and adversarial foreign governments, foreign governments or non-state actors.

(5) Evaluating the threat that such incidents present to the United States.

(6) Coordinating with other departments and agencies of the Federal government as appropriate.

(7) Coordination with allies and partners the United states, as appropriate to better assess the nature and extent of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. 

(c) Annual report - 

(1) Requirement - Not later than December 31, 2022 and annually thereafter, until December 31, 2026 the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate committees a report on Unidentified Aerial phenomena.

(2) Elements - each report under paragraph (1) shall include, with respect to the year covered by the report, the following  information.

(A) An analysis of data and intelligence received through reports of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. 

(B) An analysis of data relating to Unidentified  Aerial Phenomena collected through:

(i) geospatial intelligence.

(ii) signals intelligence.

(iii) human intelligence and

(iv) measurement and signals intelligence.

(C) The number of reported incidents of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena over restricted air space of the United States.

(D) An analysis of such incidents identified under subparagraph (c)

(E) Identification of potential aerospace or other threats posed by Unidentified Aerial phenomena to the national security of the United States.

(F) An assessment of any activity regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena that can be attributed to one or more adversarial foreign governments.

(G) identification of any incidents or patterns regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena that indicates a potential adversarial government may have achieved a breakthrough aerospace capability.

(H) An update on the coordination by the United States with allies and partners efforts to track, understand and address unidentified Aerial phenomena.

(I) An update on any efforts understanding on the ability to capture or exploit discovered Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

(J) An assessment of any health related effects of individuals that have encountered Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

(d) Task Force- Not later than the date which the secretary of defense established an office under subsection (a) the secretary shall terminate the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.

(e) Definitions - in this section:

(1) The term "appropriate congressional committee" means the following:

(A) The Committee of Armed Services , the Committee on Foreign Affairs; the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; The Committee of the Armed Services; the Committee of Foreign relations; and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate. "

What does it all mean?

In short, there are Congressional members with a serious interest in the topic of UAP, who are providing legislative framework for future work. Although the general sentiment of the Senate and House of Representatives comments are similar, there are slight different approaches in terms of what they require, and the when. 

As U.S. researcher D. Dean Johnson reported in a tweet dated 12 September 2021:

"More likely than not, a single set of UAP-related requirements applicable to both military and intelligence community components will be hammered out during the months ahead."

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Luis Elizondo on "Yesterday;" "Today;" and "Tomorrow" - the current state of UAP research

"That UFO Podcast"

Episode 54 of  a recent  "That UFO Podcast"  featured Luis Elizondo answering questions put by listeners to that podcast. During the show he stated "We are probably doing more now behind the scenes than we ever have before." I, like many other podcast listeners wondered just what he meant by that? Now, thanks to the diligent eyes of blog readers Paul Reddington and Steven West, we have further information.

Luis Elizondo presented at the recent International UFO Congress, and as part of his presentation featured the following three slides. 


This first slide "yesterday" summarized the actions which have been achieved to date.


The second slide "Today" summarized some of the activities which are going on right now. 


The third slide "Tomorrow" features hoped for, and speculative objectives in the future.

The "Today" slide

This is the one which most interest me, so I am going to take a closer look at it and see if I can draw out any further information that than the one line summary provides.

1. Senior academics are involved in the serious study of the UAP phenomenon.

The recent formation of "The Galileo Project for the Systematic Scientific Search for Evidence of Extraterrestrial Technological Artifacts" has brought a number of leading academics into our research field. There are many others associated with such organizations as the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena and The Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies. Of course, there have always been a small number of academics interested in the topic of UAP ever since the 1950's, but there are now more than ever being willing to be publicly identified with studying UAP. 

2. Renown universities are expressing interest in studying UAPs.

The Galileo Project is housed at Harvard University in the U.S. It would be interesting to hear of any other university which is looking to get involved with UAP studies. I have not heard of any to date. 

3. Scientific enclaves are being created to study the physics.

I haven't heard any more about this aspect.

4. Scholarship programs focusing on the study of UAP performance is being developed. 

Nothing further has come to light from my perspective. Which scholarly institution(s) are interested?

5. Defense Intelligence University and National Intelligence University are accepting thesis' on UAP.

The National Intelligence University is an institution for higher learning in intelligence and national security. As part of the process for education qualifications, students prepare a thesis on a selected topic. I deduce from Elizondo's statement that the two Universities has not previously been allowing students to prepare a thesis dealing with UAP, but now are prepared to?

Over the years a variety of higher education institutions have allowed students to write about UAP. Indeed there is a long list of "University UFO Theses and Dissertations - 1948-2016" compiled by Paolo Toselli." I scrolled through the lengthy list but was not able to find any from the two Universities named by Elizondo. 

6. Data from previous U.S. projects are being consolidated under a a single entity.

The obvious question here is who is this single entity? The DNI report to Congress advised that copies of UAP reports will go to both the UAP Task Force/new entity under consideration and the U.S.A.F's National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

Civilian UAP researchers have been commenting on the fact that the recent UAP report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence only went back to 2004. There are some 13,000 UAP reports with around 700 "unknowns" in the Project Bluebook archives alone. Note the use of the plural "projects." What else besides Bluebook? 

7. DoD is developing a "strategic plan" to study UAPs for years into the future.

As part of the DoD response to the report on UAP to Congress, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks issued a memorandum to the Department. In it she directs the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSDI) to develop a plan  which includes procedures for collection of data, analysis of this data, staffing and associated budget for a long term study of UAP. 

8. UAP information is being integrated into the U.S. Intelligence collection cycle.

As part of the OUSDI process it would make sense that in order to collect data on UAP, procedures would need to be put into place so that various U.S. Intelligence agencies each have a process to undertake that collection, and analysis. 

9. Certain allies are expressing interest in working with the U.S. government.

Japan

In April 2021 media reports stated that the Japan Self Defense force was to draft UFO  protocols following the release of US UAP videos. 

"Minister Kono confirmed at the Japan-US Defense Ministers meeting last month that the SDF and US Forces had agreed to cooperate on UFOs." 

Other countries 

The Five Eyes agreement, is an intelligence sharing agreement between the U.S.; Canada, the United Kingdom; Australia and New Zealand. These countries would be a logical place for an extended global study of UAP. In the case of Australia, the Australian Department of Defense have indicated that they have no protocols concerning UAP.  

We also know from media reporting that the British Parliament discussed UAP, after the release of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence report was released. The British Defense Minister stated that the United Kingdom would not be instituting any new research on UAP. 

I have not come across any interest being expressed by either Canada or New Zealand, in working with the U.S. on new UAP studies. Canada, of course is part of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which maintains sensor systems capable of detecting UAP.

10. DoD Inspector General is conducting "evaluation" and inquiries into DoD's handling of the UAP topic.

On 3 May 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General announced it was conducting a new study related to UAP, titled "Evaluation of the DoD's Actions Regarding the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena." No date has been given for the completion of the project or the release of a public report. 

11. Certain members of Congress have expressed desire for public hearings.

A number of members of the U.S. Congress have called for classified hearings on UAP, with a few indicating they would like to see public hearings. For a history of such hearings please click here. 

12. Study of UAPs are being included in annual budget cycles both MIP and NIP.

Organizations will not have funds for studying UAP unless such funding is appropriated through their normal agency processes. I believe MIP stands for Military Intelligence Programs and NIP is National Intelligence Programs, though I stand to be corrected if any blog reader has information on these. 

13. Former senior members of the intelligence community are assisting with USG efforts involving UAPs.

Former senior intelligence community members such as former ODNI John Ratcliffe have commented about UAP, so it is great to see that some of them are actively involved in the process. 

14. ODNI, OSD, Navy, SPACECOM, NORAD and other elements of the IC are actively working up UAP issues.

It will be interesting to see if we ever hear any detail of what is going on with agencies other than ODNI, OSD and Navy. 

15. Planning for state, local and tribal authorities to integrate UAP data is underway. 

Although I have heard Luis mention this before, I have not come across any detail. Has any blog reader?

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Black Vault receives copies of U.S. Department of Defense "Briefing Cards" on UAP related matters

John Greenewald

On 9 September 2021, John Greenewald of the Black Vault, advised that the U.S. Department of Defense, under the FOI Act had released, "Briefing Cards" on "UAPs, UAP Task Force, and Navy UFO Videos."Greenewald wrote that these cards are "...used to assist public affairs officers, spokespeople and those from other agencies dealing with questions on various topics." This follows the earlier release to Greenewald of a single briefing card  dated 17 May 2021. 

The Cards



Given that they are now in the public domain, what was released? I will provide a snapshot of what interests me, and add some comments to these notes.

1. Briefing Card dated 19 September 2019 titled "Navy Confirmation of "UFO" videos. 3pages. 

Under the heading of "Media interest" the card notes that:

"A History Channel program over the summer on government investigations into "UFOs" highlighted several videos from Navy aircraft of Unidentified Aerial phenomena. The program generated significant interest in limited-reach outlets that focus on "UFO" theories and conspiracies."

Comment: This seems to be downplaying the fact that the program carried first hand interviews with Navy personnel, who clearly described "unknown" phenomena. 

Under the questions and answers section, one definition of UAP is given as:

"When an unmanned aerial system (UAS) is not immediately identifiable, we refer to it as UAP."

Comment: This is helpful as many of the objects in question, and especially those in Navy safety reports, which have been released under FOIA, have split the UAP researcher community. Some arguing for "drones" other "genuine UAP."

Later, under Q & A comes one on the New Navy UAP guidelines. After saying that guidelines have been released it adds:

"More formal guidance is in staffing and will be promulgated fleet-wide when completed." 

Comment: This seems to have been a two stage release. Firstly guidelines, then further guidance. I know of no researcher who has been able to obtain copies of either the preliminary guidelines or the later, formal guidance

A Q and A about how the 2004 Nimitz video came to be know. 

"...that the video was widely shared throughout the ship at that time. In 2007, one of those crewmembers posted the video onto the public web. In 2009, the online post of the video came to the attention of Navy officials who, in consultation with Navy law enforcement personnel, decided not to pursue the matter." 

Comment: Simply put, they had no idea who released it to the net. Interesting that the 2007 online post came to light in 2009. 2009 was, of course, during the time of the AWSAP project, and there was a multi page investigation report of the 2004 Nimitz incident prepared by someone, unknown if DOD Navy or AAWSAP. 

2. Briefing card dated 30 April 2020 titled "UAP Videos." 3 pages. 

"As the investigation into UAP reports involves intelligence methods, we will not be providing any further information on these videos."

Comment: This suggests that the DoD had or was carrying out an investigation into the three incidents shown in the videos. I am not aware of any released detailed DoD investigation reports on the three incidents. 

"After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos doe not reveal an sensitive capabilities or system..."

Comment: It would be interesting to know who exactly, undertook the analysis of the videos to determine  this, and how lengthy this process was. Did they interview the Navy pilots in this process?

"...special interest media interest in AATIP and the videos has been unceasing."

Comment: I don't think that the New York Times can be described as "special interest media." I guess they are referring to UAP researchers who have been using the FOIA to uncover additional details.

"Investigations could involve multiple DoD and Intelligence Community organizations."

Comment: So, not just the Navy.  We have become aware that the FBI have been involved with some investigations of UAP. 

"One copy of the FLIR video had been erroneously marked classified during the intelligence investigation process."

Comment: It would be nice to see details of this "intelligence investigation process." 

3. Briefing Card dated 6 August 2020 titled "UAP Task Force and Report." 2 pages.

Noting that both National and special interest media were reporting about the formation of a UAPTF, the Card went on to state:

"NYT ran an article in late July on a forthcoming "Pentagon report on UFOs" that many other outlets subsequently reported (all without ever asking for DoD comment); the article included an alleged briefing slide that mentioned alleged "Off-world" vehicles on material that the Pentagon allegedly had found."

"[On the slide NYT published:] That slide was not used in by DoD in any briefing on this subject and does not represent the department's position. "Off-world" is not an official term or designation in DoD." 

Comment: 

“Mr.  Davis, who now works for Aerospace Corporation, a defense contractor, said he gave a classified briefing to a Defense Department agency as  recently as March about retrievals from “off-world vehicles not made on  this earth.”Mr. Davis said he also  gave classified briefings on retrievals of unexplained objects to staff  members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Oct. 21, 2019, and to  members of the Senate Intelligence Committee two days later.” (New York Times, 23 July 2020.)

4. Briefing Card dated 18 August 2021 titled "UAP Task Force." 3 pages. 

The Q and A section featured a question "is there someone we can speak to/interview/will there be a press briefing on the UAPTF" The short answer was "No." The longer answer was:

"No. To maintain operations security, which includes not discussing information publicly that may be useful to our adversaries, DOD does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examination of report incursions ..."

Comment: The repetitive response is that we do not talk about specific instances; nor our analyses, and don't ask.

Another question was: "Are we aware of similar program being run by other foreign powers?" The response was: 

"We routinely discuss a variety of military matters with our allies and foreign partners. DOD does not comment on activities that other nations may or may not have."

5. Briefing Card dated 19 August 2020 titled "UAP Task Force." 4 pages.

Very similar in content with Card number 4. One new question of interest, "Will the UAPTF provide new reporting rules that would be adopted by the USAF, Army and Navy, in particular for their pilots?"
The response was:

"As previously reported, the Navy revised their reporting guidelines and procedures in 2019. Navy has shared these procedures with the other military services to encourage standardization of input/responses."

6. Briefing Card dated 25 January 2021, titled "UAP Report to Congress." 1 page.

Nothing new to me here.

7. Briefing Card dated 8 February 2021 titled "UAP Report to Congress."  2 pages.

Here a very specific question related to ET. "Has the Department found any evidence of extraterrestrial technology?" The response was:

"The examination into incursions by UAPs are still ongoing; the department does not comment on intelligence matters."

Comment: Why not simply say no? Their response allows some UAP researchers to quite rightly point out that the DoD has not said it has found no evidence. 

8. Briefing Card dated 23 March 2021, titled "UAP Report to Congress." 2 pages.

Specifically put out in relation to the recent comments by former DNI John Ratcliffe on Fox News. The short answer is ask the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

9. Briefing Card dated 17 May 2021 titled "UAP Report to Congress." 2 pages.

Appears to be in response to the airing on CBS "60 minutes" segment which was generating questions to the DoD. Talk to ODNI if you have questions re their report to Congress.

"We need data (from increased reporting by aviators, technical means etc.) to analyze in order to understand and draw the appropriate conclusions and to make the appropriate recommendations to leadership. As we collect additional data, we expect to close the gap between identified and unidentified and avoid strategic surprise regarding adversarial technology"

Comment: The U.S. government has been collecting data for many, many years, e.g. Project Bluebook had some 700 officially recognized unknowns. It would appear that the DoD is stalling, by insisting on collecting more current data. 

10. Briefing Card dated 4 June 2021 titled "UAP Report to Congress." 2 pages.

Noting that "Public and News media interest in Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) remains high," and "NYT ran a story on June 3 citing unnamed sources as saying the upcoming UAP report to Congress would say there's no evidence that any of the sightings are alien spacecraft."

Basically repeats previous Card details.

11. Briefing card dated 25 June 2021, titled "UAP Report to Congress." 2 pages.

Advising that the ODNI report to Congress had been published on the ODNI website. 

"Our approach has been - and will continue to be - driven by science and data."

"We currently lack the data to indicate whether UAP are part of a foreign collection program or indicative  of a major technology advancement by a potential adversary."

Monday, September 6, 2021

Luis Elizondo speaks out on SAPs; other possible "hidden" UAP programs and much more

"That UFO Podcast" puts listener questions to Luis Elizondo

Episode 54 of "That UFO Podcast" is part one of listener questions, put to Luis Elizondo by podcasters Andy McGrillen and Dan. The following blog post presents some summary notes and quotations I have prepared after listening to the podcast. It is by no means a comprehensive transcription of the entire program, simply parts of it which I found the most interesting to me.

Special Access Programs

Question: According to Ross Coulthart's book "In Plain Sight" you worked at DOD SAP Central office. What can you say about your time and responsibilities at SAPCO?

Answer: SAPCO is actually subordinate to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. I managed SAPs myself. 

"There were several meetings where I would go in with new information regarding AATIP and say, hey, does anyone know what's going on? And the response was no big goose egg, nothing. 

Furthermore, what I will share with you, that I haven't publicly, is that the former USDI, before he became the DNI, Director of National Intelligence, whose name is Jim Clapper, General Clapper, who was also the director of several organizations before. A very good man.

Politics aide. You know, I don't take sides politically. I don't care if you are liberal or conservative, or anything in between. The bottom line, he was a very, very good intelligence officer and a very good leader when he was in.

And what I will say is that he was, he was, without a whole lot of detail, he expressed to me,, and it's something if you ever get a chance to talk to him; in front of my wife, he said, look he said, I'm really glad you are doing this. I'm really glad we had a UFO program. It's something that we should have done.

So, regarding SAPs, yeh, I would not have, not necessarily been managing all these SAPs, yet, I would have access , because of my 'need to know.'"

SAPs are compartmented and sensitive. "There are master lists of all SAPs, that certain people have access to. There are also oversight committees. Chris Mellon was SAPCO -when he was Deputy Secretary of Defense.

"These UFO programs, if they existed, beside AATIP, were probably been run rogue. There was no oversight. They were being run in a way that was out of minds, out of sight. So to speak. And that's problematic because we are an organization that's built on rules and regulations, and doctrine, and we have oversight for a reason. And so when the people who are responsible for knowing that information, are deliberately kept out of the loop. And then that's a significant (-). A legal issue. People can go to jail for that. So, I don't know how to emphasis enough that, if someone was running a rogue operation, you know, its a big no no.

I mean, I had, at least I had people in the chain or command and, at the secretary of Defense level and his echelons below that. They knew what I was doing. And I had that blessing to continue doing it. It wasn't that Lue Elizondo was just running some rogue operation. Anytime I asked, and had the authority, hey, I need to know what you guys are working on. People were shrugging their shoulders. We have no idea what you are talking about. That's true, not just with Chris Mellon. He'd tell you the same thing. So will Jim Clapper, who was eventually the Director of National Intelligence."

Comments:

1. Clapper served as Director of National Intelligence between 9 August 2010 and 20 January 2017.  Prior to that he served for three years as the USDI. 

James Clapper

2. Note the specific wording on the question of other than ATTIP UFO programs. Many UAP researchers seem to simply state that there were 4 other UAP programs, without citing any direct evidence. Here, Elizondo, qualifies his answer with "...if they existed..."

Are UAP a threat?

Question: You said on another podcast, that slide 9 could be related to Havana Syndrome. Wouldn't that mean that the phenomenon is an active threat? Secondly, are we in danger, as a species, from the phenomena?


Answer: A signature is a signature. Havana Syndrome is not my thing. "Myself and several colleagues perceive some interesting correlations there. I'm not prepared to elaborate right now. I simply cannot."

"Potential threat is not the same as hostile intent." We have an intelligence gap - meaning only that anything goes. We have seen some capabilities but we don't know the intent. 

"Biological effects are real. I'm not going to go into much detail in that. There's a reason why we has a DIRD by Dr. Kit Green - which by the way I highly respect - he's an incredible human being. There is a reason why we had a DIRD looking at biological effects. Right. You might think that it's all great and cumbyar, but then talk to someone who maybe had a little bit different experience and who is suffering from it."

Final version of Green's paper, before it was turned into an official DIRD

Ways in which UAP have come to our notice

Question: Radar updates and nuclear assets have revealed UAP. What other things may have exposed the phenomena, to your knowledge?

Answer: "On another podcast I was asked where I would place sensors to detect UAP? "I said you only need one and I meant that. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of details right now. because we are in the process of looking at that as an option. There are some very intriguing signatures that if you knew what to look for, and how to look for them, you know, you should have a really, really, really good chance of being able to collect data. And the data in a way which gives a lot more fidelity than we are getting now. Possibly to be able to predict. So, that's what we are doing right now. It's a bit in its planning stages and nascence stage. So, I don't want to tip my hand too much...Obviously the big connection is the nuclear connection. That is concerning.

We are planning on executing this, in a phase one approach probably within the next six months...There's lots of things happening behind the scenes."

Shorter answers

Question: If you were the Galileo Project team, what sensors would be needed? Infrasound?

Answer: Infrasound is one certainly interesting potential. We use it for other things as well. There's another way, that is even simpler. In fact, its absolutely simple...we are developing some high performing teams, the academic side, the scientific side, the technological side, governmental side. Again, there is a lot of things happening behind the scenes. I think the public's going to be very surprised and probably pretty excited once some of this information starts getting into the public realm because it means real results...We are probably doing more now behind the scenes than we ever have before."

Question: Given the facts, what is the current leading hypothesis?

Answer: It isn't ours. It isn't foreign adversaries. "Option C right now. Meaning something or someone else other than us." Beyond that I don't know. Need more data. Don't have the final story yet.

Question: Lue said that the three videos released so far are the least impressive. What makes a video considered for release?

Answer: Fidelity. Proximity. Telemetry, which can get you capabilities. If these are different from yours or an adversaries then that's good.

"As far as the 23 minute video. I've said for the record before, that I cannot elaborate. But there are people in the Pentagon that are aware of that video. That have seen that video, because they have corresponded with me about that video, when I was with AATIP. So, it has not gone and been lost forever. It's absolutely there. And at some point, if people are asked to testify, you know, Congress. They are going to have to tell the truth, that they've seen it too. 23 minutes is an awful lot of time...it's a lot of time to collect data."

Question: On another podcast, purpose of different UAP, e.g. are Tic Tacs different to triangles?

Answer: "No, we think they're using the same technology....just used for different applications...There's going to be some information on that in the near term, some more data...It's an assumption based on observation..."

Question: Have your views about death changed since AATIP?

Answer: "...things that occurred under Bigelow's watch and the previous director that, frankly, cannot be explained under modern day science...my focus was more on the UAP piece, even though I was tangentially involved with the AASAP stuff. I'll let the AAWSAP people talk about that..."

Question: The sixth observable is known to be biological effects. Have you personally been impacted?

Answer: "Yes. Impacted by them, because of friends."

Question: Did AATIP have interactions with the Department of Energy?

Answer: Yes, tangentially. Relationship is much better now.

Question: Can you speak about the Vatican's involvement with UAP?

Answer: You'd need to ask the Vatican.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Black Vault receives copies of internal emails from the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense

Background

On 3 May 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Inspector General announced a new project, "Evaluation of the DoD's Activities Regarding the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena." Project number D2021-DEVOSN-0116. 

I, and no doubt others, submitted FOIA requests seeking documents generated by the process which led up to this announcement. To date, I have received no final response to my own request. However, yesterday, John Greenewald of the Black Vault announced that he had received documents relevant to his own request and published copies on his website.

What can we learn from these emails?

I will provide details which from the most interesting of these emails, and include some of my own comments along the way.  I will group the emails under their subject content.

1. The initial batch of emails are dated 23 February 2021, and titled "RE: Project title from notes," and although the recipients names are, in general, redacted, the addresses are all in the Office of the Inspector General. The topic is a discussion of precisely what the title of the project announcement should be. The title suggested, was in fact the title used in the 3 May 2021 announcement, namely "Evaluation of the DoD's Activities Regarding the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena." There is a a note that the title is "...vanilla enough and not too controversial." 

Comment: Nowhere that I can see, in the entire series of emails, provides us with the reason why the Office of the Inspector General decided to initiate this project. Some have suggested that the project originated from Congressional members being unhappy with the information about UAP that they were receiving. Others have suggested that in using the Congressional process, e.g. the Intelligence Bill, that certain Committees of Congress wished to force recalcitrant U.S. government agencies to hand over what they know on UAP.  

Involvement of Air Force Office of Special Investigations

2. 4 March 2021 brought another series of emails titled "UAP meeting." One of the emails describing today's meeting is highly redacted. However, one point, was "Unfortunately Brig Gen Bullard was unable to attend." 

Comment: Brigadier General Terry L. Bullard is the Commander, Air Force Office of Special Investigations. 


3. A 5 March 2021 email also titled "UAP meeting" refers to a discussion with an unnamed individual from the MILDET and refers to another meeting next Tuesday. 

POLITICO article

4. 25 March 2021. Title "RE: Military and spy agencies accused of stiff-arming investigation on UFO sightings." 

The classified Special EB meeting is to be held on 29 March 2021.

The title of this email series refers to an article in POLITICO, and the full text of that article is given in the emails.

5.  26 March 2021 titled "RE: UAP article (#4) in Defense morning clips 26 Mar 2021." Clip #4 refers to the Bryan Bender article in POLITICO.

Is there a classified objective of the project?

6. On 30 March 2021. Emails titled "Special EB" in part reads "You can sign it off. The unclass objective is the simple one that we discussed, IE "The DoD activities regarding the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon" Correct?"

Then there is:

"Special EB with the classification level TS/SCI in 2 phases.

Part 1: Read-ahead opportunity provided on project proposal/factsheet and supplementary briefing documents on JWICS (at least one week or more prior to meeting in part 2.)

Part 2: Special EB meeting to discuss project proposal and addl. info. (We'll also need to schedule the SCIF.)"

Comment: What to make about "The unclass objective is the simple one..." Does this infer that there is also a classified objective for the project? The mention that the briefing on the project is Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented information and held in a sensitive compartmented information facility might imply that there is such a classified part to the project.

Briefings for congressional staff?

7. 7/8/12/13 April 2021. Titles "Spoke to (redacted) re UAP." and "RE: Special EB results 4/7." Large amounts of these are redacted. Another briefing was held on 7 April 2021. It appears the discussion here is about a revised version of the announcement memorandum. There were apparently "...three announcement memo options...." In short, discussing the memo's wording. One specific point in one email dated 7 April 2021, "...we will run the options by the IG FO and OLAC. OLAC also mentioned the possibility of doing some briefings with interested congressional staff to discuss the project."

Comment: OLAC is the Office of Legislative Affairs & Communications within the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense. 

8. Next is a series of emails subject "RE: FY 2021PPT #591." Included is "Please see the attached project proposal for the next EB on 21 April."

9. Email series titled "Proposal Disc. Topics for IG FO weekly 4/14" dated 13 April 2021. Draft discussion topics were attached.

New York Times article

10. Series of emails dated 16 April 2021 on the publication of a New York Times article "They were not alone." Plus text of another article on CNN by Chandelis Duster. "Pentagon confirms UFO video is real."

11. 13/20/21 April 2021. Series titled "RE: Proposed UAP Announcement Memo." Discussion of the latest draft.

12. 20/21 April 2021. Title "RE: UAP Project Hill Engagement." Large chunks redacted. "As you recall at the special EB, OLAC would provide the various legislative staff advance notice of the project and an opportunity to discuss it with them prior to issuing the announcement memo to the Department."

13. 22 April 2021. Title "RE: Proposed UAP Announcement Memo." "Attached is a revised announcement based on the discussions held yesterday. Announce on 3 May 2021.

14. 29 April 2021. "RE: UAP announcement 5/3" .Announcement to Department and Hill, on 3 May 2021.

15. 3 May 2021. Excerpts from an article in the New Yorker: "How the Pentagon started taking UFOs seriously." Plus Announcement on DoD oversight project made and sent out to Department and placed on public website. 

Comment: As can be seen by the number of media articles which find their way into the email series, the Office of the Inspector General was closely monitoring media pieces. 

16.  4 May 2021. "Pentagon watchdog opens new project into military's handling of UFOs." Text of another POLITICO article about the newly announced Office of Inspector General, Department of Defense, project on UAP. 

Key named players

1. Randolph R Stone, Assistant Inspector General for Evaluations, Space, Intelligence, Engineering and Oversight, OIG, DoD.


2. Michael C. Zola, Assistant, Inspector General, Legislative Affairs & Communications, OIG, DoD.

3. Michael J. Roark, SES, OIG, DoD.

4. Nilgun Tolek, OIG DoD.

Update: 3 September 2021

On a re-read of the emails, I found one dated 30 March 2021 which adds to the question surrounding whether or no their was a classified as well as an unclassified version of the announcement memo, or the project objective. Part of that email read:

"Sir, the Pickup project is now loaded as #583 and is ready for you to sign off, or to delegate to have it signed off. I only put in the project title. The other paragraphs just have a statement to see the classified version. I can add the objective if necessary."

In addition, in a 25 March 2021 email there is:

"Come to the classified EB April 7 w/Zola!!"


Monday, August 30, 2021

The Aerospace Corporation - was it the organization reverse engineering off-world craft?

 The Wilson/Davis document

Since the release of the Wilson/Davis document, UAP researchers have been trying to identify the aerospace entity referred to in the notes. Part of the notes reads:

EWD: "Who was the project contractor or USG agency that runs program?"

TW: "An aerospace technology contractor - one of the top ones in US." 

EWD: "Who?"

TW: "Core secret - can't tell."

EWD: "Defense contractor?"

TW: "Yes the best one of them."

EWD is Eric W. Davis and TW is former Admiral Thomas R. Wilson

There has been much speculation as to whether it was an aerospace company like Lockheed Martin. 

In a previous blog post, I presented an historical review of the interest of aerospace companies, and some of their employees, in UAP. One entity I overlooked, was the U.S. "The Aerospace Corporation." The purpose of this blog is to explore what is publicly known about this Corporation, specifically looking for clues as to whether or not it conducted, or is conducting, any work on UAP. Or even if it could be the company TW was referring to?

You will note that Wilson does not say "An aerospace company," but "An aerospace technology contractor - one of the top ones in US." An additional point made by some UAP researchers, is the fact that Dr. Davis left EarthTech in 2020, and according to the 23 July 2020 issue of the New York Times newspaper joined The Aerospace Corporation. A search of the Corporation website failed to locate any reference to him.  I checked the LinkedIn profiles of employees of the Corporation but failed to find one for Dr. Davis. 

Dr. Eric W. Davis

The Corporation history

The "Our history" section of their website tells us that "The Aerospace Corporation" was founded in 1960. In the early years it was involved with projects for the U.S.A.F. and missile technology, including the conversion of military missiles for space rockets. It helped develop the Project Mercury Pilot Safety Program, and was also included in space based reconnaissance programs.

At the end of the 1960's it developed expertise in projects other than space in the areas of transportation; energy and body armor. In the 1970's it was involved with the development and operation of the space shuttle; and the Strategic defense Initiative. Into the 1980's the Corporation saw some of its time going into the development of the global positioning System; and on the Milstar and DSCS satellite communication systems.

The 1990's saw it perform assessments for the International Space Station. More recently it "...supported planning for Space radar to provide global persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to the Department of Defense" In times just gone by, it has provided support for a number of still classified DOD operations. 

Business model

The Corporation is not a private company , as opposed to say Lockheed Martin. It's website states that it is:

"...the only Federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) committed exclusively to the space enterprise." 

It is an independent and non-profit organization. Its customers are government, civil and commercial. It operates an headquarters in El-Segundo, California; regional offices in Chantilly, Virginia and Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Numerous other Corporation  business addresses are listed on its website including at a number of U.S.A.F. bases. One such  Corporation business address is worthy of specific note, being at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) at Wright Patterson AFB. NASIC was recently mentioned as one of the two locations, the other being the UAP Task Force, that U. S. agencies should forward UAP sightings to. 

The Corporation has around 4,000 employees. According to USA spending.gov the Corporation received $1 billion in funding in FY 2021, including 65 new awards. 89% of this funding was from the U.S, Department of Defense, and 8% from NASA. 

Focus areas

The Corporation website lists five focus areas:

1. Launch Assurance.

2. Satellite and orbits - "The Aerospace corporation remains the leading authority on the development, launch and deployment of space systems." Included in this is the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies." established in 1997. The Center maintains a database of all reentries; which might be useful for UAP researchers, in recognizing satellite reentries as IFOs.

3. Space exploration.

4. Space policy.

5. Research and development - A recently formed group within the Corporation is XLab

"...that consolidates our prototyping expertise to develop rapid solutions to the threat facing the nations' space assets." 

While there is no mention of UAP in this section, one could read into it that it should have an interest in UAP, given that the UAPTF report stated that UAP could be a threat to U.S. national security.

Area of interest - propulsion

Given that a range of aerospace companies, in the past, have taken an interest in the propulsion aspects of UAP observations, I checked what the Corporation says it is doing in terms of methods of propulsion, specifically, whether or not it had research going on "exotic" propulsion systems?

A search of the website found a section titled "State of Play: In-space Novel Propulsion Technologies," which I thought might be what I was looking for. It was released 8 June 2021. The document covers advances in nuclear, electric, chemical and solar propulsion systems. However, there is no mention of anything more exotic than those just mentioned. It is authored by one Laura Speckman with contributions from nine other Corporation employees. None of them was astrophysicist Dr. Eric W. Davis who lists work he undertook on exotic propulsion systems. 

Area of interest - retrieval of crashed space objects

Elsewhere on the Corporation's website, is a section dealing with the Corporation's Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies (CORDS.) In this section is the following:

"CORDS provides information on when a reentry might occur, and Aerospace collects and analyses material that survived re-entry."

It also has a section which actively seeks observations of space object reentries, via an input form.

The process by which Aerospace physically collects such material is not shown on their website. However, the mention of collection and analysis of conventional crashed space objects by the Corporation, raised a tantalizing thought in my mind.

Astute blog readers, will by now, recall that the U.S.A.F. ran programs, from the early 1960's, called MOON DUST and BLUE FLY.  These were to locate, then retrieve and transfer to the U.S., crashed objects which had returned from space, e.g. satellites, booster rockets, with a view to mining intelligence data from them. Some UAP researchers insisted that these programs also extended to the retrieval of crashed UFOs. There has been a lack of evidence of what happened to these programs post around the 1980's; and whether or not they continue to today. Perhaps The Aerospace Corporation is now the driver of the former MOON DUST and BLUE FLY programs?

A more speculative thought also occurred to me. If CORDS collects and analyses conventional crashed returned space objects, perhaps it might also be called upon to study alleged unconventional material, e.g. fragments from crashed UAP?

What then, can we conclude?

The Aerospace Corporation would fit Wilson's description, as in the Wilson/Davis notes, as well, if not better, than any traditional aerospace company. However, its public website failed to reveal any overt mention of UAP.

Update: 31 August 2021

Thanks to both Jonathan Davies, and a comment from "anonymous" on the blog, for pointing to the fact that Dr. Davis has a Facebook page. On that page it states that he is a Senior Project Engineer at The Aerospace Corporation. 


The Facebook page also has:

"Started job

9 December 2019 - Senior Project Officer at The Aerospace Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama. Work on the Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Flight Demonstration Project and quantum sensors at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and advanced propulsion at the USSPACECOM/SSDP in Colorado Springs."

Luis Elizondo , ICER, and that San Marino conference

Background On 27 October 2018, the Italian UAP research group Centro Ufologico Nazionale held a conference in Rome, Italy. One of the speak...