Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Did the AAWSA program/AATIP really start in 2007?

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

Senator Harry Reid

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

Source: New York Times 16 December 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIA "solicitation"

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

Front page of "Solicitation."

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

Other sources of starting date

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

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

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

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

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

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

Douglas Kurth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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