Monday, April 1, 2024

U.K. Parliament and UAP

An interest by various Parliamentarians

In recent years, we have seen movement as regards individual Parliamentary member interest in UAP, in the U.S. Congress; the Australian Parliament; the Canadian Parliament, and most recently the European Parliament. The U.K. Parliament seems to have been the most reticent to have any individual member ask a question about UAP. However, thanks to the efforts of Twitter user @wow36932525 and John Priestland of @UNHidencharity, we are now aware of a short U.K. Parliamentary interaction mentioning UAP. 

U.K. House of Commons

The U.K. House of Commons' Science, Innovation and Technology Committee took oral evidence on 13 December 2023, when conducting their inquiry into the state of play with Astronomical research in the U.K.

The following is an extract of the relevant mention of UAP from the official transcript of the conversation. To watch a clip of the session video, click here. 

"Q76. Stephen Metcalfe: I am slightly loth to ask these questions, and I cannot even blame the Clerks for them. They are entirely my own invention. As has been mentioned, we are about to launch an inquiry into astronomy. At our briefing last week one of the questions was, “What is the purpose of astronomy?” and we were given some very excellent answers, but one of them was to look for the evidence of extraterrestrial life in any form. Let us not kid ourselves that we are looking for little green men, but it would fundamentally change our understanding of our place in the universe if we were to find evidence of life outside of earth. First, do the Government specifically fund the search for extraterrestrial life, or is it just through the general astronomy programme? Secondly, if life were found in whatever form, do Government have a plan about how that would be shared with the public? Does it just trickle out of the six o’clock news or is it on the risk register, for example?

Michelle Donelan: To the best of my knowledge, it is not on the risk register. The communication plan would depend on the exact specifics of the hypothetical that we are talking about and how it would play out and would also be a cross-Government undertaking with particular Cabinet Office involvement. 

Sarah Munby: We have a small effort within our space team looking at the question of how we would handle such an announcement. By the way, by far the most likely scenarios here are not ones that would feature on the risk register. They are the findings of what is likely to be relatively local, relatively unadvanced microbial life. It could actually be a really important catalysing moment for the UK science community. 

Q77 Stephen Metcalfe: You can see why I am loth to ask this question, because I can hear sniggering. We are looking for it. I just wondered how seriously that is taken. 

Michelle Donelan: It is taken appropriately seriously. 

Q78 Stephen Metcalfe: I will wait for the sniggers, but while we were in the United States, doing our AI inquiry, there were hearings taking place on the Hill about unidentified aerial phenomena. Do the Government have any views on those or did they look on with astonishment? Do they have Departments that look at these things as well? Are they thinking of having hearings on UFOs? 

Michelle Donelan: We are not planning on any hearings at the moment, but of course we work very closely with our allies on all these topics. We have a goal to be one of the most innovative space sectors in the world and our relationship with America on this agenda is incredibly important. 

Q79 Stephen Metcalfe: Were you surprised that they held those hearings? 

Michelle Donelan: I do not think I was surprised. I was intrigued. 

Stephen Metcalfe: Yes, we were all intrigued. Chair: It is interesting to know that, in terms of our preparedness, there is preparedness for a communication should such a discovery be made. This is fascinating."

Who was speaking?

Stephen Metcalfe

Stephen Metcalfe is a member of the House of Commons. The Chair for the whole session was Greg Clark, another member of the House of Commons. The Right Honourable Michelle Donelan, M.P. is the Secretary of State, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Sarah Munby is the Permanent Secretary, Department of Science, Innovation and Technology.

I checked two more transcripts of the Committee's inquiry into Astronomy in the U.K., namely of oral testimony taken at meetings on 10 January 2024 and 13 March 2024, but found no further mention of UAP.

Acknowledgement: I wish to thank Jonathan Davies, from Wales, for research assistance with this article. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

European Parliament member and UAP

Five Eyes

Out of the Five Eyes partners, which consists of the U.S.A., the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand; questions about UAP have been raised by members of the U.S. Congress, the Canadian Parliament and the Australian Parliament. Recently, parliamentary questions about UAP have extended to the European Parliament. The members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters of all member states with regard to European Union law making.

European Parliament question E-002375/2023

Francisco Guerreiro - Brasil | MEP of the Greens/EFA

On 28 July 2023, European Parliamentary question E -002375/2023 was posed by Member Francisco Guerreiro. It was titled "European reports and protocols on unidentified anomalous phenomena." and read:

"On 26 July 2023 David Grusch, a former US Air Force intelligence officer, David Fravor, a former navy commander, and Ryan Graves, the executive director of Americans for Safe Aerospace, claimed in  a hearing of the national security subcommittee of the US House Committee on Oversight and Accountability that the US Government was concealing vital information about unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs), as well as a multi-decade secret programs to recover and reverse-engineer potential non-human technologies. These claims, by high-ranking US officials, have profound implications for governmental accountability and transparency, as well as for national and international security.

1, Does the Commission have any knowledge or documentation about UAPs that has been collected by Member States or EU agencies, such as the European Union Agency for the Space Program?

2. Does the European Defence Agency (EDA) have any reports about UAPs and does the EDA have internal protocols for receiving reports about UAPs from Member States in a transparent and accountable way?

3. With regard to civil aviation, does the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have any reports about USAPs and does the EASA have internal protocols for receiving reports about UAPs from pilots and radar operators in a transparent and accountable way?"

The answer 

The answer in writing, came dated 9 November 2023, from Mr. Breton on behalf of the European Commission.

"The European Space Program implements space activities in the fields such as Earth Observation, Satellite Navigation and Space Situational Awareness.

Th EU Space Programme is implemented in close cooperation with the EU Member States, the European Space Agency for the Space programme (EUSPA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and many other stakeholders.

Regulation (EU) 2021/696 which sets up the EU Space programme for 2021-2027 and EUSPA lays down the components and objectives of that programmer. Gathering knowledge or documentation about unidentified anomalous phenomena is however not one of these objectives. 

The European Defence Agency (EDA) does not hold any documents that would correspond to the topic of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs).

Given that EDA has never worked on UAP issues, it neither holds nor receives documents corresponding to the description given. Furthermore, EDA does not have specific protocols on this matter as it falls outside the remit of EDA's engagement with the Member States.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and EU civil aviation authorities may receive safety reports on unidentified airborne objects that may endanger civil aviation safety.

The collected safety occurrence reports are stored in a central repository and analysed for safety purposes only. Reporting storing and analysis of civil aviation occurrences are governed by Regulation (EU) No 376/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the reporting, analysis and follow-up of occurrences in civil aviation."

European Parliament question E-000318/2024

On 31 January 2024, another question E-000318/2024, titled "UAP monitoring and reporting in the EU Space Law" was asked by Francisco Guerreiro. The question was:

"In September 2023, in her State of the Union address, President von dee Leyen set out the Commision's priorities for 2024. This included the intention to create an EU Space Law.

This important initiative 'envisages common EU rules addressing the safety, resilience and sustainability of space activities and operations' has, however, a gap that needs to be filled in the pillar of security. Specifically the EU currently lacks a harmonised and scientific system for the reporting of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP).

This raises security concerns, which some other countries, notably he United States, have addressed. Considering this omission we would like to ask the Commission:

1. Why the preparatory work for the EU Space Law (EUSL) does not include a UAP monitoring and reporting system, given that UAP may pose a potential security threat, and such phenomena have been observed in space by trained personnel using precision instruments?

2. Whether it considers that UAP should be explicitly addressed in the space surveillance and tracking (SST) service, the SST research and development and the near-earth objects (NEO) service?

3. If the EUSL will envisage (in a similar way to NASA) an EU UAP Space Research program headed by a research director?"

As at 18 March 2024, there has not been a formal response.  

5 February 2024 

On 5 February 2024, Francisco Guerreiro spoke in the European Parliament during part of a full session "...dedicated to one-minute speeches on matters of public importance." A transcript reads:

"Thank you, Chair, dear Commissioner.

The European Commission is currently finalizing its upcoming proposal for an EU space law. This important initiative advises common rules to address safety, resilience, and sustainability of space activities and operations. However, in the security pillar there's a gap that needs to be filled. Currently, the EU doesn't have a harmonized scientific system to report unidentified anomalous phenomena. This topic that needs to be a serious issue needs to be addressed and is being dealt with the utmost importance in other countries. For example, in the United States, the data collection and analysis of UAP activities in space, civil and military locations is considered as a national security priority. This security concern also led to the creation of a space research program inside NASA. Therefore, it is fundamental that the EU Commission includes in the European Space Law a program to collect data on UAPs, as well as a scientific body to analyze these events in a transparent and public way. Thank you very much." Therefore, it is fundamental that the EU Commision includes in the European Space Law a program to collect data on UAPs, as well as a scientific body to analyze these events in a transparent and public way. Thank you very much." 

11 March 2024 Plenary session

During a Plenary session on 11 March 2024, Member Francisco Guerreiro criticized the recent US government All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) report on UAP

Also, on 11 March 2024 Francisco Guerreiro moved a motion for a resolution B9-0194/2024 titled "on updating the EU regulation on the reporting, analysis and follow-up of occurrences in civil aviation to include UAP reporting." The motion stated:

"Having regard to Rule 143 of its rules of Procedure,

A. whereas unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs) remain a stigmatised subject, which often inhibits methodical data collection and analysis by the scientific community;

B. whereas a significant number of UAP occurrences, including many first-hand sightings by airline pilots and their crews, remains unexplained or unreported;

C. whereas Regulation (EU) 376/2014 only allows aviation professionals to report on safety-related matters;

D. whereas bipartisan lawmakers in the United States have proposed new legislation (Bill HR6967, the Safe Airspace for Americans Act) to protect civilian pilots and aviation personnel who report UAP sightings;

1. Considers that the EU should propose guidelines for a common methodology for reporting and analysing UAP sightings, which could result in a harmonised EU database and repository and thus allow a technical exchange of information between Member States.

2. Calls on the Commission to propose updating the current legislation, namely Regulation (EU) 376/2014 to include a mechanism for consistent, transparent and stigma-free reporting and data analysis regarding UAPs in EU airspace, including where such occurrences do not pose any apparent and immediate safety risk to the aircraft concerned. "

Event being hosted 

On 15 March 2024, Francisco Guerreiro, on Twitter (X) announced that:

"Next Wednesday, 20 March, from 4pm to 6pm CET, I will be hosting an event on the need for a scientific assessment on reporting of UAPs in the European Union. "Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: EU Airspace: Reporting and scientific assessment." Speakers will be Joachim Dekkers "Unidentified anomalous phenomena: an introduction." Edoardo Russo "Historical EU Context." Dr Beatriz Villarroel "Scientific perspective on UAP.' Ryan Graves "US government developments." Christiaan Van Heust "Expert testimonies." 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

DGI 2024 conference in London

DGI 2024 - London

A Worldwide Business research event, DGI 2024 will be held in London between 12-13 March 2024. The GI in the title stands for Geospatial Intelligence. Geospatial Intelligence is intelligence about human activity on Earth which comes from the analysis of imagery, signals or signatures with geospatial information. This information may be gathered from aerial images, or mobile sensors, or satellites. 

All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office

Of interest to those researching UAP is that one of the speakers at the event is from the U.S. government All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO.) On 1 March 2024, Tim Phillips, who is listed as Director of AARO, will talk on "Leveraging Geospatial Intelligence Tradecraft to Detect, Identify, Track and Manage UAP incidents." On 12 March 2024 he will participate in a workshop titled "How to work with the New All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office on upcoming Commercial Requirements."

Also speaking at the event will be Kathryn McMullan, the Director of the Australian Department of Defence's Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO.) On 13 March she will talk on "The Golden Era of GEOINT," followed the same day as a participant in a panel discussion regarding European Geospatial Intelligence. AGO is one of seven Australian intelligence agencies, all of whom are exempt from the Australian Freedom of Information Act 1982. 

How I Got Here: Kathryn McMullan, Director of the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation | HerCanberra

Five Eyes briefing

Melbourne based researcher, Grant Lavac recently received responses to two FOIA requests which he had submitted to the Australian Department of Defence (DOD). He had asked about Australia's representation at an AARO UAP Five Eyes briefing held in May 2023 in Washington DC.

One document was located by the DOD which matched the requests. However, access was denied on the grounds that:

 "I am satisfied that material contained in the document requested by the applicant is material that originated with, or was received from, an exempt agency." 

Out of the seven Australian Intelligence agencies which are exempt from the Australian FOI Act 1982 only two are within the DOD. These are the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIO) and the AGO. We know that whoever attended the AARO briefing was a Defence representative as this has been stated by the DOD itself.  We do not know which agency sent this individual to the meeting, only that they were based at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. We do not know for certain which Australian Intelligence agency originated or received the material contained in the one document which DOD located pursuant to Grant's FOIA request. However, it is reasonable to suggest that the document originated from or contained material from either the DIO or AGO. 

It will be fascinating to hear the content of Tim Phillips' speech, and whether or not Kathryn McMullan listens to it. An Internet search using keywords "Kathryn McMullan" and "UAP" located no entries.

Friday, February 23, 2024

An Australian Intelligence Agency and AARO

Grant Lavac

Recent excellent investigative work by Melbourne researcher Grant Lavac, has provided further information on the identity of "A Defence representative at the Australian Embassy in Washington..." who attended the May 2023 UAP briefing by the former Director of the U.S. All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, (AARO) Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick. Also, it has provided more details on the internal thinking of the Australian Department of Defence (DOD) on the topic of UAP.  

FOI 579/23/24

Grant submitted two requests to the Australian Department of Defence  under the Australian Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.) Defence FOI 579/23/24, dated 22 December 2023, read:

"On 15 December 2023, the Australian Department of Defence answered Senator Peter Whish -Wilson's Question on Notice #168 (refer attached) as follows:

Did the Australian Department of Defence receive an invitation from the US All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) to attend the inaugural Five Eyes Forum on UAP in May 2023 led by AARO Director Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick?

Yes. A Defence representative at the Australian Embassy in Washington attended.

On consideration of the above statement by the Australian Department of Defence, please be advised that I wish to submit the following FOI request:

I kindly request copies of correspondence and emails (including supporting file attachments) sent from, to, cross-copied (Cc:) the "Defence representative at the Australian Embassy in Washington" that attended the Five Eyes forum/briefing/meeting on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) led by the US All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) in May 2023, that include the following keywords: AARO; All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office; Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena; UAP; Unidentified Flying Object; UFO; Five Eyes; Five Eyes forum; FVEYS; FVEY; FVEYS meeting; Sean Kirkpatrick. The date range of the request is 1 April 2023 to 15 December 2023 (inclusive.)"

The response, dated 19 February 2024, from the Australian DOD included the statement that "I identified one (1) document as matching the description of the request." The decision was:

"I have decided to:

a. Refuse access to the document in accordance with section 22 of the FOI Act on the grounds the deleted material is considered exempt under sections 7 [exemption of certain persons and bodies] and 47(d) [Public interest conditional exceptions..."

Further on in the response letter:

"7. Section 7 provides that agencies are exempt from the operation of the Act in relation to particular types of documents. Section 7 (2A) states:

"(2A) An agency is exempt from the operation of this Act in relation to the following documents:

(a) a document (an intelligence agency document) that has originated with, or had been received from, any of the following:

(i) the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

(ii) the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

(iii) The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

(iv) the Office of National Assessments.

(v) The Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation.

(vi) the Defence Intelligence Organisation.

(vii) The Australian Signals Directorate."

"9. I am satisfied that material contained in the document requested by the applicant is material that originated with, or was received from, an exempt agency."

What does this mean?

This confirms that a Defence representative at the Australian Embassy in Washington attended the May 2023 forum on UAP. There was a document created about that meeting. Material contained in the document " material that originated with, or was received from, an exempt agency." One of the seven listed above. Out of these seven agencies, (i); (ii); (iii); (iv); are not part of the Department of Defence; leaving (v); (vi)) and (vii) which are part of the Department of Defence. My best educated guess, based on their function; is that the agency is the Defence Intelligence Organisation. The DOD is not going to release the document, either in full or redacted format. 

FOI 571/23/24

The second FOIA request, which Grant submitted on 20 December 2023, provided the same introduction as FOI request 579/23/24 then went on to say:

"I kindly request copies of Australian Department of Defence produced emails (including supporting file attachments) and written correspondence that relate to and support the determination made by the Australian Department of Defence that "A Defence representative at the Australian Embassy in Washington attended " the Five Eyes Forum on UAP, led by the Director of the All-Domains Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick in May 2023."

The DOD responded, dated 19 February 2024, and stated that "I identified one (1) document as matching the description of the request....I have decided to: a. refuse access under section 7 [exemption of certain persons and bodies] of the FOI Act...."

It goes on the cite the argument that seven listed agencies are exempt and repeats this statement "I am satisfied that material contained in the document requested by the applicant is material that originated with, or was received from, an exempt agency" as in the previous FOI request 579/23/24.

FOI 386/23/24

In a separate but related FOIA request dated 28 October 2023, Grant asked for access to:

"1. a copy of the current version of the document titled "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena/Unidentified Flying Objects" (previously identified as PDR No: SB23-000235), and 2. Copies of emails (including supporting file attachments) relating to the Air Force Senate/Budget estimates topic of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP), or otherwise similarly identified as Unidentified Aerial phenomena, Unidentified Flying Object (UFO/UFOs) for the date range 1 July 2023 to 26 October 2023 (inclusive."

In a reply, dated 15 February 2023, the decision maker advised that "I have identified seventeen (17) documents as falling within the scope of the request." All 17 documents were released, with redactions.

The document package provided to Grant consisted of a briefing paper for Air Marshal Robert Chipman, Chief of Air Force and Professor Tanya Munro, Australia's Chief Defence Scientist, for the October 2023 Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates Committee, and associated emails.


1. "Handling Note: "Air Marshal Robert Chipman, Chief of Air Force, to lead on topic. Professor Tanya Munro, Chief Defence Scientist to lead on Defence Science and Technology Group activities related to Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena."

Comment: What DSTG activities related to UAP? I wasn't aware that the DSTG was involved in any UAP research.

2. "The magnitude of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena reporting needs to justify the cost of establishing such a system. We do not believe that this threshold has been met."

Comment: Unless you establish a reporting system and promulgate guidelines to DOD personnel that there is no stigma associated with reporting UAP, how are you going to know how many reports of UAP are going to come in? 

3. "We are aware of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) within the US DoD and monitor their reports."

Comment: Which segment of Defence is monitoring AARO reports? The DIO?

4. "Defence takes all threats to aviation safety or national security very seriously. However, noting the multiple reporting mechanisms already in place, there would need to be UAP reporting of sufficient volume and credibility to justify consideration of allocating resources to establish a body similar to AARO in the Australian context."

Comment: Back to my argument above. Issue guidelines to DOD personnel to report UAP and see what comes in.

5. "Defence Science and Technology Group does not conduct specific research and development on UAP and is currently not funded to do so. Defence Science and Technology Group aligns with Air Force's position that there is no scientific reason to conduct research on UAP."

Comment: Note the part of the remark about " currently not funded to do so." Would they conduct research if suitably funded and mandated. I believe the answer would be yes.

6. "Defence Science and Technology Group provides support to the ADF to identify and classify objects detected by sensing technology and currently has in place projects aligned with the requirements of the Defence Strategic Review to improve sensing and intelligence gathering in support of  Defence of Australia and its interest."

Comment: So, this is where DSTG fits in. Identify and classify objects detected by sensing technology.

7. "Defence Science and Technology Group works with Allied Scientists and to date has had no collaboration on UAP; nor has there been any indication that collaboration would be of benefit. Specifically Defence Science and Technology Group collaborates closely with the USAF Research Laboratory through the Air Senior National Representative forum, who have not placed any priority on collaboration in UAP."

Comment: Some interesting information here.

8. "If raised: has the US shared intelligence regarding UAP? The United States has shared intelligence on UAP. Defence will continue to monitor and engage with the AARO on UAP, especially if there is deemed to be a security or safety threat."

Comment; Here then is a clear statement that the US has shared intelligence on UAP. The mention of AARO would suggest that some of this information was partly shared at the May 2023 AARO Five Eyes UAP briefing.

9. "Air Force continues to receive a number of FOIs on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena from constituents."

Comment: These have mainly come from researchers Paul Dean, Grant Lavac, and myself, plus a limited number from investigative journalists.

10. Persons consulted on the Budget Estimate Committee brief included:

a. Air Commodore James Badgery, Chief of Staff - Air Force Headquarters Air Force.

b. Air Vice-Marshal Wendy Blyth, Head of Air Force Capability.

c. Defence Science & Technology Group Mr. Andrew Seedhouse, Chief Cyber, Intelligence & National Security.

11. An email dated 11:15am 16 October 2023 from a redacted DOD address, in Defence Space Command, to RAAF MILO (Ministerial Liaison) contains the following:

"I'm seeking information regarding details pertaining to "unidentified aerial phenomenon" that was mentioned in a Senate estimate by Air Force. I'm unsure of how long ago. The Australian Space Agency (ASA) is requesting this information for a brief. Would you be able to provide it to me, or if necessary, direct me to the right person who can assist me further? Many thanks in advance."

Comment: There have been some FOIA dealings with the Australian Space Agency -in the past. Interesting that they are developing a brief, presumably in case they are asked questions about such things as NASA's interest in the topic. 

12. In another email dated 9:44am on 18 October 2023 about amendments to the Senate brief, there is:

"SB23-000235 UAP "Need better description of our engagement with US authorities [what is our relationship with them], particularly attendance at 'set briefings.' and "Ensure that Dr Munro at DTSG has a copy of this brief."

Comment; The released brief does set out more information of Australia's engagement with the US than we have seen before.

13. The former iteration of the Defence Science and Technology Group, (DSTG) namely the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) maintained a UAP file. Its title was "DSTO records on unidentified aerial phenomena," National Archives of Australia (NAA) file series 4090, 529/1/16 Part 1. Date range 1974 -1996. There was no part 2 of this file in the NAA. I reported on the contents of this file in a series of June and July 2017 blog articles.  

14. The Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) was the forerunner of the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO.) The JIO maintained a UAP file between 1957-1971 titled "Scientific Intelligence - General - Unidentified Flying Objects." NAA file series JIO63 control symbol 3092/2. I wrote an article about relevant JIO files, dated 5 July 2017

15. In order to undertake due diligence, I decided to check the DOD's FOIA Disclosure log for any additional UAP related FOIAs of which I was unaware. I found one. Defence FOI308/23/24. On 27 September 2023 [name redacted] sought:

"...copies of Australian Department of Defence produced emails and written correspondence that relate to and support the determination made by the Australian Department of Defence that 'Australia did not attend a United States briefing on UAP."

A two-page document with redactions was produced. A 20 June 2023 email from [redacted] at DOD SP&I Ministerial and Parliamentary asked:

"Good afternoon team, Thank you so much for your time on the phone just now, as discussed, appreciate your assistance in answering the below Senate question on notice from Senator Whish-Wilson on 20 June 2023.

* Did Australia attend the recent Five Eyes meeting held in May 2023? If so, did it attend the US briefing on UAP?"

Ministerial and Parliamentary responded on 21 June 2023:

"I have spoken with our divisions and they are unable to provide input. They are not aware of this meeting and briefing."


Congratulations to researcher Grant Lavac for all his hard work on obtaining the above documents which let us all digest what is occurring within the Australian Department of Defence as regards to UAP.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Did Australia actually attend the May 2023 Five Eyes briefing on UAP?

Conflicting statements

Conflicting statements by the Australian Department of Defence (DOD) have not been resolved by a recent request I submitted under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.) As outlined in a 27 December 2023 blog post; during a presentation on 31 May 2023, former U.S. All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office Director Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick stated that he had recently held a forum on UAP for the Five Eyes partners, which includes Australia.

Grant Lavac

Australian researcher Grant Lavac posed a series of questions to the Australian Minister of Defence, one of which was "What was the extent of Australia's involvement in the Five Eyes Forum on UAP and who from Australia was represented?" The answer, dated 30 June 2023, was from the acting head of Air Force Capability "Air Force did not attend the Five Eyes forum on UAP."

Senator Whish-Wilson

In July 2023 Senator Whish-Wilson posed the following question to the Australian DOD. "Did Australia attend the recent Five Eyes meeting held in May 2023? If so, did it attend the briefing on UAPs." The reply was: "Australia did not attend a United States briefing on UAPs." However, the Senator then asked another question, in November 2023, at the 2023-2024 Supplementary Budget Estimates Committe:

"Did the Australian Department of Defence receive an invitation from the U.S. All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) to attend the Five Eyes forum on UAP in May 2023 led by AARO's Director Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick?" 

The Australian DOD responded on 15 December 2023and said "Yes. A Defence representative of the Australian Embassy in Washington attended."

These conflicting statements were also highlighted by journalist Jamieson Murphy in the 10 February 2024 issue of the "Canberra Times" newspaper.

FOIA request

Defence Attaché - Head of Australian Defence Staff | Australia in the USA (

Based on the 15 December 2023 DOD response that "A Defence representative of the Australian Embassy in Washington attended," on 30 December 2023, I submitted the following FOIA request to the Australian DOD which became Defence FOI 583/23/24:

"...copies of correspondence, including but not limited to copies of emails and relevant attachments to/from/cc'd Rear Admiral Ian Gordon Murray, Australian Defence Attached to the USA, containing the keywords "UAP" and/or "Five Eyes" and/or "All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office." The time period I would like is from 1 May 2023 to 30 June 2023."

According to the Australian Embassy Washington website, Rear Admiral Murray has been the Defence Attache to the US since January 2023. My rationale for selecting the Rear Admiral was that if anyone in the Australian Embassy in Washington would be aware of this May 2023 UAP briefing, it would be the Head of Australian Defence staff in Washington, namely the Rear Admiral.

FOIA response

On 13 February 2023 I received a response from the relevant DOD FOIA decision maker which stated "I have identified no documents as falling within the scope of the request." It went on to say:

"SP& I conducted searches of their information holdings including the Defence Record Management System, identified as 'Objective', personal and group email accounts and hard copies repositories for documents matching the scope of the request. This included searches by Defence staff at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. No records were found matching the applicant's scope."

SP & I is the Strategy, Policy and Industry Group of the Australian DOD.


So, at the moment, I am still unclear as to whether or not a representative of Australia attended the May 2023 Five Eyes briefing on UAP, in Washington D.C, and if so, exactly who attended. Other Australian researchers are conducting their own inquiries into this matter, and I hope to further report on the topic in due course. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

US DOD Office of Inspector General's UAP related report

New project

 On 3 May 2021, the United States' Department of Defense Office of Inspector General announced a new project, "Evaluation of the DOD's Actions regarding the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena." 

"The objective of this evaluation is to determine the extent to which the DOD has taken actions regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)..."

A classified report was issued on 15 August 2023, then an unclassified summary copy of the report was issued 25 January 2024.

The 16-page 2024 document provides a brief historical background of DOD's interest in UAP since 1947. It then goes on to provide details of Congressional actions between 2019 and 2023 via various National Defense Authorization Acts.

Unclassified Summary of Report No. DODIG-2023-109, “Evaluation of the DoD’s Actions Regarding Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena,” August 15, 2023 (

The review

The review found, inter alia, that:

1. "The DOD does not have a comprehensive, coordinated approach to addressing UAP."

2. "The DOD hasn't issued a comprehensive UAP response Plan."

3. "DOD components have largely excluded geographic combatant commands in UAP processes."

4. "DOD components developed varying processes to detect and report UAP incidents."

5. "The DOD/s lack of a comprehensive, coordinated approach to address UAP may pose a threat to military forces and US national security."


A number of recommendations were made:

1. That the Under Secretary of Defense for Security and Intelligence, and the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) coordinate to issue a DOD policy to "integrate Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena roles, responsibilities, requirements, and coordinating procedures..."

2. That while awaiting action 1 above, that the Secretary of the Army issue interim guidance for Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena.

3. Likewise, that the Secretary of the navy issue interim guidance o for Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena.

4. Likewise for the US Air Force.

5, "We recommend that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issue guidance to the geographic combatant commands regarding Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena detection, reporting, collection, analyzing and identification within their area of responsibility. At a minimum the guidance should include tools to help commands determine the threat posed by Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena."

Pentagon briefing

On the 25 January 2024, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh was asked a UAP related question during her briefing. The question was:

"And then separately, on the - the DOD Inspector General report about UAP, said that there wasn't a comprehensive plan for dealing with UAP and that could pose a security threat. Any response to that?"

To which the response was:

"In terms of the UAP report, I -I'm sorry, I just have to take that question."

Which means that a response will be provided later, to the individual who asked the question.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Enigma Labs LLC -an update

Databases of sightings

In July 2022 I wrote an article about three entities engaged in the compilation of databases of sightings of UAP. One of these was an entity named Enigma Labs LLC, based in New York in the U.S.A. I have continued to update that original story as I came across items relating to Enigma Labs. Enigma Labs LLC was registered on 1 December 2020, filing number 4272722 in the state of Delaware via a registered agent named Corporation Service Company. 

According to their website, Enigma Labs' mission is:

"To advance progress on UAP using cutting-edge technology and social intelligence. Only through thoughtful open-minded study of unidentified phenomena can we get answers. We are focused on building and keeping our team low profile for privacy."

Update on investors

Research, by independent scholar Jensine Andresen in 2023, located the names of two companies/individuals who provided pre-seed funding to Enigma Labs, namely FJ Labs and Kirsten Bertok Touw.

Enigma Labs Company Profile: Valuation, Funding & Investors | PitchBook

A current search of other websites, eg Pitchbook shows Enigma Labs is listed under the media and entertainment market segments. It is shown as having three investors namely, FJ Labs, Kindred Ventures and Centre Street Partners. 

The Enigma Labs website, under the frequently asked questions tabs, asks a question "How are you funded?" The response is:

"To date, 100% of our funding is from startup investors. These include established venture capital funds like Lux Capital, Stellation, Glosso, Haystack, Kindred, Starburst, FJ Labs and also angel investors who understand how to design and scale great consumer products, including Ryan Shea, Ryan Hoover, Balaji Srinivasan, Trevor McFedries, Elad Gil.  Our investors are all US funds and citizens and are people we have known for a long time. They are collaborators who are excited about our mission of demystifying UAP and we are grateful for their support. The company was created by veteran technologists who drive the strategy and product decisions, not investors."

It is of note that a recent interview with the CEO of Enigma Labs mentions another venture capitalist, namely Josh McFarland

On the question "What is Enigmas monitorization strategy?"

"Data: Enigma will never sell user's personal data or identities to third parties, including social networks.

Ads: When it comes to monetizing the app. we plan to avoid an ad-based business model, which we believe detracts from the user experience. We care about building a frictionless experience that users can enjoy.

Subscription: To ensure our long-term independence and viability as an organization, we intend to generate revenue. Our business model will continue to evolve, but for now we are focused on developing paid premium features and analytic tools for partners. We hope that a subset of our public users will opt in to paying for the features they find valuable to support our work."

X (former Twitter) user @Lesternare in a tweet dated 24 January 2024, raises some interesting questions concerning Enigma Labs' monitorization strategy; return to investors, and who are potential paying customers?


How is Enigma Labs progressing? They have launched an app for iphones which can be used to collect data on UAP sightings made by individuals using a smartphone. As at 15 December 2023 they report having received and processed over 12,000 sightings, submitted both through that app, and via their website; between February and December 2023 and provided an analysis of these. 

The sightings analysis is based on self-reporting from individuals. "Enigma did not independently verify each sighting." The sightings are global in nature from 107 different countries including 2% from Australia. Enigma calculates what it calls "The Enigma score." 

"This can help us to further analyze anomalousness, though the methodology of scoring continues to be regularly refined. Note that the score is a composite of both certainty around the sighting event, as well as how anomalous the object behavior was."

The Company continues to grow the number of employees. Pitchbook shows 13 at the moment. Current job openings are for a "Content Moderator Intern" paying $20/hr part-time and a "Director of Engineering" paying $200-300K full-time.

 The CEO of Enigma speaks out 

Given the secrecy which has surrounded most members of the Enigma Labs team; it was of note that The New Yorker Magazine, dated 22 January 2024, published an article by Matthew Hutson about Enigma Labs titled "The truth is out there, on an app."

It includes quotes from the CEO of Enigma Labs, who refers to herself only a "A." The reason for the pseudonym is given as 'It has allowed me to really focus...because there's so much noise out there. The internet is full of keyboard warriors."

A description of how the app functions is given, and "A" says she expects to inspire a growing movement.

"It's no different from people who go to burning man or are into wellness, meditation, yoga or psychedelics, all that stuff...what we're really banking on is this movement that I think SpaceX, the Webb telescope, all of this, is driving, which is just as interesting - Are we alone."

As to assigning a cause to submitted sightings they "...decided not to mark cases on the app as resolved (when say the U.A.P. is clearly a balloon); they won't harsh anyone's buzz." The article concludes with:

Employees keep their levels of belief to themselves. A isn’t interested in trying to explain stubborn U.A.P. cases; she’s happy to entertain the possibility of ancient aliens, future humans, advanced fighters, billionaires’ antigravity toys, multidimensional projections, or humdrum drones. “U.A.P. is a new field,” she said. “It can’t be a category until you have data to work with. We’re doing the picks and shovels of that. And hopefully we’ll empower a lot of people to come up with their own theories. We’ll leave that to the Nobel Prize winners.”

Update: 7 April 2024

One item I missed in doing the article above was the relationship between Enigma Labs and the Swedish Archives for the Unexplained (AFU.) On 22 January 2023 "AFU Sponsor News #2" dated January 2023 carried the following announcement. 

"Enigma Labs project to digitise reports archives.

AFU Chairman Clas Svehn has negotiated and signed a contract with US Company Enigma Labs - whereby Archives for the Unexplained (AFU) provides digital copies from our rich report archives from many countries. We have started out with the Spanish report files once received from CEI Barcelona. The idea is to create an international UAP (UFO) reporting site that also has in the background a rich database of recorded sightings. These previous sightings will be anonymized by Enigma Labs and translated into English with the help of advanced AI software. 

Leif Astrend at AFU will spend the coming year (2023) working for the project assisted by others from the AFU staff, preparing world-wide files for digitizing."

U.K. Parliament and UAP

An interest by various Parliamentarians In recent years, we have seen movement as regards individual Parliamentary member interest in UAP, i...