Saturday, June 30, 2018

That 2009 AATIP letter from then US Senator Harry Reid


In a new story by George Knapp and Matt Adams, dated 28 June 2018, titled "I-Team exclusive: Nevada Senator fought to save secret UFO program," the authors reveal that they possess a copy of a 2009 document, sent by former Senator Harry Reid, to the Department of Defense, in which Senator "Reid made the case for protecting and expanding the project." I further quote from the story:

"The letter is not classified but a footnote says it is exempt from disclosure under FOIA because of what it contains...Only 14 people were copied, all of them with security clearances."

Black Vault

John Greenewald of the Black Vault website, mentioned this letter in his ongoing case file on the AATIP. In a section titled "The Official Line," John mentioned that he communicated with a Major Audricia Harris, at the US Department of Defense. One email to John from Major Harris contained the words:

"AATIP was funded in the July 2008 Supplemental Appropriations Bill (a Sen Harry Reid add). Its mandate, as outlined in a 2009 letter from Reid to DSD was to assess "far-term foreign advanced aerospace threats to United States..."

Roger Glassel
Swedish researcher Roger Glassel, also communicated with Major Harris. Her reply to him included the following:
"AATIP was funded in the July 2008 Supplemental Appropriations Bill (A Sen Harry Reid add). Its mandate as outlined in a 2009 letter from Reid to DSD, was to assess 'far-term foreign advanced aerospace threats to United States,' including anomalous events (such as sightings of aerodynamic vehicles engaged in extreme maneuvers, with unique phenomenology, reported by U.S. Navy pilots or other credible sources).
Back to the KLAS TV story
The Knapp/Adams report included the still shot shown below:
An examination of the actual KLAS TV news item reveals a rolling shot of the initial page of the 2009 letter which faded to out of focus as it scrolls. However, it is possible to read the first portion of this first page.
"United States Senate
June 24, 2009
Honourable William Lynn III
Deputy Secretary of Defense
1010 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1010
Dear Secretary Lynn:
Beginning this past September, the U.S. Senate has mandated that the Defense Intelligence Agency assess far-term advanced aerospace threats to the United States. The scope of program intent covers from the present out to forty years and beyond. In order to further our effort in recognising emerging disruptive aerospace technologies, technical studies (word missing) conducted in regards to advanced lift, propulsion, the use of unconventional materials (missing words) controls, signature reduction, weapons, human interface (...)"
Knapp and Adams report that former AATIP program manager Luis Elizondo confirmed that the letter was genuine.
How do we get a full copy of this letter?
George Knapp's story indicates that the letter will not be releasable under the US FOIA. Naturally, this can be tested by submitting an FOIA request. Failing that, is there a possible secondary source? There may well be one.
I came across a 29 September 2015 story that The University of Nevada, Reno, will be receiving "...more than 2,000 boxes of documents chronicling Senator Harry Reid's decades-long career in Washington."
I therefore checked the current online digital collections service of The University of Nevada, Reno to see if they had commenced work on publishing documents from Senator Harry Reid online.
Indeed there is some online material, but I failed to locate mention of the 2009 letter I was seeking. I have therefore dispatched an email to the collections staff inquiring about access to the 2009 letter. 

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