Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Defense Intelligence Agency and the Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program

Freedom of Information Act

Given the lengthy delays in getting responses from US government agencies, under the US Freedom of Information Act, a number of individuals have been pursuing other avenues of obtaining information about the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP.)

On 3 April 2018, US researcher John Greenewald, received an email response from Andricia Harris of the Pentagon, which provided a few details about the AATIP. The following month, on 3 May 2018, Swedish researcher Roger Glassel, also received an email from Harris, which provided yet more details about the program. Glassel's response, which was the longer of the two responses, read:

"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 the 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 source). AATIP terminated in 2012 due to lack of real progress and concerns about the viability of the program."

Glassel asked Harris where the statement "...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 source)" came from? Harris responded that she had no additional information to provide to Glassel.

Approach to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

In early February 2019, Glassel then decided to approach the Office of Corporate Communications of the DIA, rather than taking the lengthy FOIA process to attempt to resolve what should have been the simple matter of where Harris' additional information came from. I wish to thank Roger Glassel for his permission to quote from his email exchange with the DIA Office of Corporate Communications.

Glassel received an emailed response dated 12 February 2019 from that Office, which read:

"Mr Glassel - Here is the information DIA has shared about the program. The purpose of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) was to investigate foreign advanced aerospace weapons system applications with future technology projections over the next 40 years and to create a center of expertise on advanced aerospace technologies. The gaol was to help understand the threat posed by unconventional or leap ahead aerospace vehicles/technologies, that could have national security implications for the United States. DIA awarded a contract to the sole bidder [Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, LLC] who identified and worked with academics and scientists to produce 38 technical reports. The contract goal was to study 12 technical areas, lift, propulsion, control, armament, signature reduction, materials, configuration, power generation, temporal translation, human effects, human interface, and technology integration. After an OSD/DIA review in late 2009, it was determined the reports were of limited value to DIA and there was a recommendation that upon completion of the contract, the project could be transitioned to an agency or component better suited to oversee it. Funding for the program was ended in 2012. I have no additional information about the program after it ended at DIA in 2012."

The DIA didn't answer Glassel's question

As the DIA really hadn't answered his key point, he went back to the DIA, pointing out that Harris' response appeared to indicate that "...the program also collected reports on anomalous events .." and asked the DIA to elaborate from where the information came for this statement? Also, "if the DIA was involved in such collection and analysis, as part of the program?'

On 12 February 2019, the DIA responded;

"Mr Glassel - The information I shared is the totality of the program while DIA ran it. The DIA program did not cover "anomalous events." The program required the contractor to produce studies in the 12 technical areas."

My comments

1. Well now, here the DIA is contradicting the Pentagon's statement of 3 May 2018. The Pentagon said that AATIP included "anomalous events" while the DIA says the DIA program did not cover "anomalous events."

Before suggesting a conspiracy here, perhaps we should take a more careful look at what this might mean. To me. the DIA's response is clearly talking about what was in the DIA solicitation dated August2008. If you haven't read this document, then click here. However, this solicitation was for a program called the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSAP) and not the AATIP. This (AAWSAP) is the program for which Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, LLC, received a DIA contract.

So, what was the AATIP? Former AATIP program manager, Luis Elizondo has, in public speeches, always maintained that he ran the AATIP and not the AAWSAP. In his 2018 speech at the MUFON Symposium, the transcript of his talk has him saying"

"In 2008 the program was really only the AAWSAP for a very, very short period of time...As you see here in towards the end, in 2008 the program was already beginning to evolve. The original AAWSAP portfolio was much broader than the AATIP. The decision was made early on that we would go ahead and focus the effort more to the phenomena-specific, looking at the observables and the identifiable."

So, and this is simply my interpretation, what the Pentagon said about the AATIP, does agree with what Elizondo said the AATIP was about; and what the DIA said about the program, which it called the AATIP in its response to Glassel, (but which is clearly the AAWSAP), are in fact both correct. It seems, that many people are still confused about the difference between the broader AAWSAP and the more narrowly focused AATIP.

2. The DIA maintains there was a sole bidder, BAASS, for the AAWSAP contract, while journalist George Knapp, in a radio interview, stated that he thought that Lockheed was also a bidder. There has been no independent confirmation of this last statement.

John Greenewald

Researcher John Greenewald also had been communicating recently with the DIA Office of Public Affairs. In an update to his long running multiple-part write-up series on the AATIP, he advises that on 12 February 2019, the DIA responded to his inquiries. The following are Greenewald's dot points from his latest AATIP update:

* It is now confirmed by the DIA, that the name was, in fact, "Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program."

* It is now confirmed by the DIA, that Bigelow Aerospace was the ONLY bidder for the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program (AAWSAP) [This should read Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program according to the DIA solicitation - KB.] contract, which later became (or is the same) as AATIP...

* The DIA was also not aware of any report or study produced, outside the 38 reports listed in the "Attachments" section of the letter to Senators John McCain and Jack Reid. This contradicts multiple statements that there is a 490 page study produced about UFOs.

*It was determined that the approximate 5 year study known as AATIP was going to be cancelled (or moved out of DIA) about 2 years after it started. In other words, not even half way through it, the DIA was giving up on it.

* I asked if there was any knowledge that the DIA had, if it was moved. They said they had no information after it ended in 2012 at DIA.

* When asked about UFOs specifically, the answer was about aerial threats and projecting ahead 40 years on what those threats could be. That part is not new, however, it appears the DIA is standing strong that was not a UFO research program, or at least will not address it.

All in all, some points have now been clarified; whilst others are still muddy.


  1. So we have the DIA saying that the 38 papers were the sole result of the Bigelow contract? The Bigelow contract with AAWSA. Elizondo has said in one lecture that he would not comment on AAWSA as it was before his tenure. (A rather unusual statement.) After 2012 according to DIA, AATIP went elsewhere. So was AATIP moved to the National Programs Special Management Staff which Elizondo told Leslie Keene was where he worked before his resignation? So far the government and TTSA seem to be in a contest to see who can be the most obscure and evasive.

  2. Jan, I have now reached out to Harris again asking if the program was transitioned to another agency or component, and asked her were the information on "anomalous events" she gave me game from.


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