Sunday, June 6, 2021

Recent Pentagon press briefings mention UAP


Pentagon press briefings

Pentagon Press Secretary, John F. Kirby holds regular press briefings. In  the past few days, some of the questions directed to him, have referred to UAP. I thought it would be useful to document some of these exchanges for the record.

John F. Kirby, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs


1 June 2021

"Q: A quick question on the coming UAP reports. There's been some reporting that this could be coming as soon as this week or maybe even tomorrow, can you say anything about what timing we should actually expect?

Mr Kirby: The what report Matt?

Q: The UAP report? UFO report?

Mr Kirby: That is really for the DNI to speak to, Matt. As you know, this is a report - a Congressionally mandated report, the DNI is in the lead.  It will be DNI who will be making that report, obviously DoD has a role in helping flesh out the information that will be in that report, but as for specific timing I'd refer you to the DNI."

"Paul from U.S. News

Q: And then one last question on the Pentagon's contributions to the UFO report. I've been speaking with a series of experts abroad who have expressed some concern about similar investigations in other countries having too much of a military focus and not enough input from civilian scientists. I wonder if that's a concern that the pentagon has shared and whether that came up at all during this most recent process?

Mr Kirby: What we're participating in a DNI-led study, again, on-mandated by Congress. We're providing context and information that we have on these phenomena and our focus is on, again on supporting the DNI's efforts to produce this report. That's - that's where our focus is. And - and again, that's our - that's our lane. That's our place to be in is to provide the kind of context that we have and the information that we have to help the DNI produce this report for Congress."

Avril Haines - Current DNI

 4 June 2021

"Q: Hey, John, happy birthday. There's no way I can like sugarcoat this. I was talking to a gentleman about the UAP report, and he contends the Pentagon has alien bodies and crafts. So I just wanted to run this past you. Does the DoD have these things? And if so, where?

Mr Kirby: The UAP Task Force is really designed to take a look at these unexplained aerial phenomena, try to help us get a better understanding of them. Again, I'm not going to get ahead of the report that DNI will submit that we are helping obviously, and providing input to. And I'll just leave it at that, Jeff, Yeah."

"Luis?

Q: Thanks, John. Can you specifically address the reporting that's come out about this UAP report, the reporting that these UAPs - they don't appear to be alien spacecraft, that there's not enough information to actually address what exactly they are and that they're not a U.S. secret black program?

Mr Kirby: yeah, look, I've seen the press reporting on this, Luis, but I'm not going to comment one way or the other about the reporting or certainly about the work of the task force and the coming report by the Director of National Intelligence. I won't get ahead of that process.

Q: So can you rule out specifically that these are not alien spacecraft?

Mr Kirby: I think I've answered your question. I'm not going to get ahead of a report that hasn't been filed to Congress and I'm certainly not going to speak about intelligence issues here from the podium. I've, again seen the press reporting but I'm not going to be able to comment beyond that."

"Q: John, I'll start off with a UFO question, how about that?

Mr Kirby: Go for it.

Q: Has Secretary Austin been briefed on this report that's required by Congress and also just more broadly, does Secretary Austin see this - what apparently is an increasing number of reported incidents - a a safety report for the military in terms of pilot training and so forth as well as a national security threat?

Mr Kirby: He has received a briefing on the work that the tsk force has so far conducted. The report as you know is being crafted and will be delivered by the Director National Intelligence, but he has received a briefing on the work so far. And as we've said before, we take all incursions into our operating spaces seriously. So, I mean, like everybody else here at the Defense Department, certainly we are taking the entire matter seriously - regarding the potential for safety concerns.

Q: In other words, regardless of what the explanation may be or if there is none of what they, there are incidents in which pilots are seeing things that are close enough that could be a safety - well it is a safety problem?

Mr Kirby: It could potentially involve safety and/or national security concerns absolutely."

Saturday, May 29, 2021

More from Christian Lambright's latest paper

 Kurth

My last post concerned new information from former Lt. Col. Douglas Kurth, which he provided to U.S. researcher Christian Lambright, about the November 2004 U.S.S. Nimitz encounter. This information was extracted from a new May 2021 paper, by Lambright, titled "2004-2021: Behind the Curtain."

I now wish to explore more of Lambright's paper and the contents concerning his views on the origins of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP.)

AATIP

Firstly, Lambright provides us with the standard version of events, namely that the Reid/Bigelow collaboration started with a Defense Intelligence Agency official, with an interest in the so called Skinwalker ranch."

A 'credible source with direct inside knowledge" informed Lambright that Bigelow had been told by Harry Reid about the Nimitz encounter at an early stage following the incident. The same source then advised that Bigelow shared this information with "Hal Puthoff and one or two others"  in 2005. However, it wasn't until  former Lt. Col. Douglas Kurth went to work for BAASS in 2007, that "the Reid/Bigelow operation suddenly came to life." Hal Puthoff, speaking at the 2018 SSE/IRVA conference in Las Vegas, confirmed that the AATIP was created in June 2007.

Lambright correctly points out that:

"For many reasons that are still not clear, by mid-2009 something changed causing Harry Reid to request the formation of a very highly classified Special Access Program called AATIP." In part of Reid's letter to the U.S. Department of Defense AATIP is aid to have been "commissioned" and had made "much progress."

Kit Green

Lambright then goes on to discuss Kit Green's role in all of this, and concludes:

"As for who 'AATIP' referred to, a reasonable conclusion would be that it was a term created by Harry Reid as a reference to a core group of Kit Green, Hal Puthoff, Eric Davis, Reid and Bigelow who began their research effort in 2007."

Lambright suggests that: 

"This would explain why the term AATIP is basically used as an all-inclusive reference for everything that began in mid-2007 and continued under the 'management' of Lue Elizondo through 2017.  AATIP was never 'officially' a Pentagon program, which would explain why the DoD seems to have no record of Elizondo officially directing it."

 It is an intriguing revision of accepted AATIP history. Lambright is to be congratulated for writing this paper. I look forward to additional information from his communications with Douglas Kurth and his "credible source with direct inside knowledge."

Former Lt. Col. Douglas Kurth speaks out about the Tic Tac

 Introduction

Much has been written about the origins of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP,) and the November 2004 U.S. S. Nimitz encounters. We have now heard from many of the participants, namely U.S. Navy sailors and aircrew. One notable absence has been direct testimony of former Lt. Col. Douglas Kurth, the Commanding Officer of Marine Hornet Squadron VMFA-232. Now, thanks to the efforts of U.S. researcher Christian Lambright, we have some additional information. In a 2021 paper titled "2004-2021: Behind the Curtain;" Lambright discusses and analyses not only some new information about Kurth, but also the very origins of AATIP. However, in this current blog post I wish to focus solely on Kurth.

Contact with Kurth

Up until now, I know of only two researchers who have spoken to Kurth about his part in the Nimitz encounters. Journalist Giuliano Marinkovic located Kurth, and on 28 October 2017 managed to contact him by telephone. Giuliano put some questions to Kurth, but Kurth's response effectively was "I did something and I can't talk about it." 

In the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies document titled "A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike group Eleven's Encounters with an Anomalous Aerial vehicle," it is revealed that researcher Robert Klinn also conducted a telephone interview with Kurth, on 9 November 2017. The document states:

"He did not want to talk any details due to a commitment to a former employee but indicated to Mr Klinn that he knew Paco well and that 95% of what was written in the FighterSweep article was correct"

As part of the new paper, Lambright explores the role of Kurth in the 2004 incident. Lambright quotes Kurth as follows:

"I was called for an interview to be a Program manager at BAASS and accepted the job. Nobody in Bigelow companies or anyone associated with BAASS knew anything about the Supersonic Tic Tac event until I told them about it. I interviewed some of the witnesses and wrote a report about the event and submitted it. My report started the entire sequence of subsequent reports and investigation into the events."

"I am fairly sure in my hiring interview, Colm Kelleher, who did the interview, did not know about the event."

Asked for further details about the actual event, Kurth responded:

"That's when they vectored Fravor's flight toward the Unidentified Contact. After a few minutes when my checks were completed, I accepted their vector toward the Unidentified Contact. I had Fravor's flight on radar and was directly over the top of them when they were visually observing the Supersonic Tic Tac. I was not on the same radio frequency as Fravor's flight. I saw the visual disturbance in the water (which had been previously and accurately reported) and that is what I used as my reference point to orbit overhead. The disturbance in the water cleared suddenly. It all seemed odd to me at the time...I never saw the object physically myself."

I will explore Lambright's analysis concerning the origins of AATIP, in a later post.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Elizondo was laid off from TTSA

New SEC filing

There is a new filing by To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science with the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission, dated 30 April 2021. The filed form 1-K provides an annual report for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2020. Among the lengthy document, I found the following points of interest:



Personnel changes

"To keep in sync with our public benefit mission of informed entertainment media, we plan to keep our science advisory board whose connections will influence TTSA's stories for film, and to add a board member with expertise in the film industry.

As part of this pivot the following personnel changes took place:

In November 2020, Christopher Mellon resigned from the Company's advisory board.

In December 2020, Stephen Justice resigned as the Company's Chief Operations Officer.

In December 2020, Luis Elizondo, the Company's Director of Government programs & Services, was laid off with severance

In February 2021, Dr. Harold E. Puthoff resigned from the Company's Board of Directors and transitioned to the Company's science advisory board."

Entertainment Division

"In 2020

TTS has developed multiple pieces of original content across film, TV and animation that are in various stages of development, which includes packaging with high-caliber writers, producers, directors and production studios...

*'Untitled' UFO Mid-Century Feature. Based on a never-before-told story of an anomalous vehicle that crashes near a small town...

* 'Untitled' USG/UFO Feature. An epic centered around a common man that is a lonely witness to decades of US government in UFO research...

* 'Untitled' UFO German TV series. An elevated thriller based on the events surrounding German UFO research."

Advisory board

"The Company's Advisory Board consists of accomplished scientists, researchers, inventors, and former intelligence and government officials with a proven track record of success in their respective fields. The Advisory Board is composed of Dr. Adele Gilpin, Dr. Norman Kahn, Joe Schurman, Dr. Paul Rapp, Chris Herndon, and Dr. Harold E. Puthoff."

Monday, May 17, 2021

"UFO Investigation: The Methodology for a New Age" - new book by Richard R. Lang

 Richard R. Lang

A new book has been authored by long-term, United States UAP investigator, Richard R. Lang. Lang is an author, speaker, and investigator; a licensed FAA commercial pilot; and has a B.S. degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He has worked both as a private investigator; a Virginia state law enforcement officer, and for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In 2009 he managed the Bigelow Advanced Aerospace Space Studies (BAASS)/Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) SIP Project and STAR Team. Currently he is the owner and editor of Lang Publication.



Contents

The book starts off by introducing the topic of UAP and UAP investigation, then Lang tells us about his 1976, Florida, solo, nocturnal flight where he overheard other pilots reporting a huge, stationary object off the coast of that state. Lang was unable to establish a visual on the object, but this event started off his long-term interest in UAP. 

Lang then goes on (chapter two) to discuss his formal investigative training; his work with the Discovery Channel and the MUFON STAR team (chapter three;)  the BAASS/MUFON era (chapter four;) a discussion of the topics of "Disclosure" and government cover-up (chapter five.)

This then leads on to a discussion about government contactors and military crash retrieval teams (chapter six;) video investigations (chapter seven;) equipment used in investigations (chapter eight;; the perception of reality (chapter nine;) "multi-dimensional consciousness" (chapter ten;) "a 6-layer model for anomalous phenomenon - an exploration of the Vallee and Davis model (chapter eleven.)

Chapter twelve is devoted to report writing; chapter thirteen to "An SOP for investigation methodology;" "Media and the press" (chapter fourteen) and finally in chapter fifteen "Is disclosure on the horizon?"

Hopefully, the above outline will give you an overview of the range of topics covered in this new book.

BAASS/MUFON

Given my previous extensive reporting on the era of BAASS, which included a business relationship between BAASS and MUFON, I was particularly interested in what Lang had to say about those times. Between February 2009 and February 2010 Lang was tasked by MUFON, to mange a joint project. An agreement was reached between the two organizations to provide BAASS with access to, and information from, both MUFON investigations and the MUFON Case Management System (CMS) database.

At that time, Lang states that although he knew that the funding to run the project was coming from a U.S. government agency, he did not know which agency (ultimately he learned it was the Defense Intelligence Agency.) This funding allowed MUFON to establish a trained cohort of field investigators, who investigated specific cases being submitted to MUFON. Details of these cases were then passed on to BAASS. Shortly after the project started, BAASS also was granted direct access to case information on 95% of the cases on the MUFON CMS where witnesses had agreed to a third party clause. 

Lang provides inside details as to how this all worked; including some specific cases. Then Lang discusses what he calls "On the BAASS side of the mirror," recounting Bigelow's establishment of "50 top-notch scientists and experienced law enforcement investigators to do extensive lab analysis as well as to conduct field investigations."

Lang (page 57) reports that "The focus of the project was to obtain information and evidence about propulsion..." and cases of high interest to BAASS which included electronic malfunction events; vehicle magnetic signature alterations; human injuries; and photographs of objects showing halos of a specific color around a  UAP. Lang notes that BAASS conducted their own case investigations and re-investigations of cases submitted through MUFON.

Finally, Lang writes about why the BAASS/MUFON partnership ultimately failed and ceased to operate. Interestingly, he found by personal investigation, that there were also CMS issues with high-interest cases that were mysteriously disappearing overnight from the system. 

In summary

An excellent resource for anyone interested in conducting their own research into the topic of UAPs from an experienced investigator. 

The book is available through AMAZON as either a Kindle ebook or as a paperback.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

A recent French SIGMA2 3AF seminar

 Background

The full name of the French learned body known as 3AF, is the Association Aeronautique et Astronautique de France. Its aims include, to bring together persons interested in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics; to develop specialized information on these fields, and to provide a forum for members to share information on these topics.

3AF has a number of technical committees. In May 2008 a new committee was created titled the SIGMA technical committee. This committee was created to study the subject area of "unidentified aerospace phenomena." In October 2013 it changed its name to SIGMA2 to reflect a change of focus of the committee. For some history of the committee please take a look at earlier, seven year old, blog posts here and here

The purpose of this short blog post, is to update those older posts, and take a look at, the more recent activities of SIGMA2 3AF. 

Website

The relevant website for SIGMA2 3AF  shows that the President of this committee is still Luc Dini,  In March 2017 SIGMA2 provided a report on the IR video COUGAR UAP case. In June 2018 it gave its thoughts on the U.S. Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. Then, in May 2020 it reflected on the French documentary "OVNIs: State Affair."

On 22 March 2021 it presented a debate on "Lightning: UFOs, unidentified aerospace phenomena" with participants Jean-Claude Bourret; Jean-Pierre Petit and  Luc Dini.

Finally, on 10 May 2021, an online conference included Jean-Marc Andre; Air Brigade General, 2nd Section; Luc Dini and Ms Nadia Tronche (both of SIGMA2.)


The agenda included:

* Introducing the work of SIGMA2 on UAP

* Cases of the phenomenon observed by an air crew

* Diversity of activities and profiles to analyze these phenomena

* Who to turn to when faced with the observation of such a phenomenon?

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Some things I learnt, by reading the 30 April 2021 article in the "New Yorker."

The article

A lengthy piece by journalist Gideon Lewis-Kraus appeared in the 30 April 2021 digital version, and then on 10 May 2021, in the print version; of the "New Yorker"  which is a weekly magazine. As there has been a large volume of UAP related material generated of late, at the time the article appeared I quickly read it, and then filed it for later examination. The time has come for that review, in which I will draw out information that was new to me.

The article provides both a general overview of  a selected history of the phenomenon; and biographical pieces about a number of the key players in this topic. Featured in more detail, are the biographies, and views, of journalist Leslie Kean; 'debunker' Mike West; and Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow. 

Information new to me

So, what new information did the article provide to me?

1. I was not aware of many of the details about Leslie Kean's background, and the origin of her interest in the phenomenon. I was unaware, for example, that in June 2011 John Podesta, President Clinton's former Chief of Staff:

"...invited Kean to make a confidential presentation at a think tank founded by Podesta, namely the Center for American Progress." The audience is said to have included"...officials from NASA, the Pentagon, and the Department of Transportation, along with congressional staff and retired intelligence officials..."
Leslie Kean

 2. I had not heard of many biographical details of 'debunker' Mike West, which led him to examine UAP. I was particularly struck by the line, according to Lewis-Kraus' opinion of course, that:

"He seemed unable to envisage that someone might find solace in the decentering prospect that we are not alone in the universe, we ultimately know little about."

3. Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), as part of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program (AAWSAP) contract, produced a 494 page "Ten month report." I hadn't heard before, that:

"As one former government official told me, "The report arrived here and I read the whole thing and immediately considered that releasing it would be a disaster." 

Readers will note that German based, U.S. citizen, researcher Tim McMillan reported being shown a copy of the whole document, and being given a limited time to make notes on its contents. A few other people have come forward claiming, that they too have seen this document. It has puzzled researchers that this document has not yet been publicly released. I note that several Freedom of Information Act requests to the Defense Intelligence Agency asking for a copy of this document, have not yet been responded to, even though they were submitted in 2018.

4. I was aware of the 4 October 2017 meeting between Leslie Kean and Luis Elizondo, to discuss the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP.) However, I do not recall hearing that other attendees at this meeting included Hal Puthoff and Jim Semivan, who later were involved with the To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA.)

5. On the 2017 revelation as to the existence of the AATIP, by Kean et al.  The "New Yorker" article included the lines:

"...but a former Pentagon official recently suggested that the story was more complicated: the program she disclosed was of little consequence compared with the one she set in motion. Widespread fascination with the idea that the government cared about U.F.Os had inspired the government at last to care about U.F.Os."

6. We were aware that by late 2017 the AATIP portfolio had been reassigned to a "...civilian intelligence official with a rank equivalent to that of a two star general.'" However, the article reveals that:

"He channeled the cascade of media interest to argue that, without a process to handle uncategorizable observations, rigid bureaucracies would overlook anything that didn't follow a standard pattern."

"What we needed" the former Pentagon official said, "Was something like the post 9-11 fusion centers, where a D.O.D. guy can talk to an F.B.I guy, and an N.R.O guy."

7. On the 2004 Nimitz observations: 

"The Nimitz encounter didn't become subject to official investigation until years after the incident, when an errant file landed on the desk of someone who decided that it merited pursuit." 

This supports previous information that, although data was removed at the time of the event by someone, that there was no high-up investigation at the time. 

8. Discussing Mick West's views on the objects noted by the USS Princeton and by USN pilots in November 2004:

"The former Pentagon official assured me that West "Doesn't have the whole story. There's data he will never see - there's much more that I could include in a classified environment."

9. Continuing on about Elizondo's AATIP successor: 

"Elizondo never got to Mattis, but his successor managed to get briefings in front of Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense, as well as the director of National intelligence, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; the Senate Armed Forces Committee and several members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." 

On 8 September 2020, at a Japanese Defense press conference, there was mention that the topic of UAP had been talked about between Japan and the United States, when Secretary Esper was in Guam. Thus the briefing alluded to above, must have occurred before 8 September 2020.

Former Director National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, served in that position between May 2020 and 20 January 2021. In an interview between himself and Maria Bartiromo of FOX TV, on 19 March 2021 he stated in part:

"I actually wanted to get this information out and declassified before I left office."
John Ratcliffe

 10. On the July 2020 article by Blumenthal and Kean, which mentioned a "a series of unclassified slides" re "off-world" and "vehicle crash retrievals."

"The former Pentagon official told me that he found Kean's evidence wanting. "There are terms in Leslie's slides that we don't use - stuff we would never say," he said. "It doesn't pass the smell test."

Recent Pentagon press briefings mention UAP

Pentagon press briefings Pentagon Press Secretary, John F. Kirby holds regular  press briefings. In  the past few days, some of the question...