Saturday, May 25, 2019

Another DoD spokesperson speaks out on AATIP

Background

Late last year I wrote two blog posts titled "How the US Department of Defense acknowledged the existence of AATIP" and "More on how the Department of Defense acknowledged the existence of AATIP." 

In these posts, I noted the following three statements by DoD spokespeople:

1. In a piece in the New York Times dated 18 December 2017, one of the authors of the famous 16 December 2017 piece on AATIP, Ralph Blumenthal, speaking of another of the authors, namely Helene Cooper, said "Helene met with a Pentagon spokesman on Dec 8 for a response to the information we had gathered. The answer came swiftly. There had been a program to investigate UFOs but it ended in 2012..."

2. Journalist Sarah Scoles, wrote a piece for Wired.com, dated 17 February 2018. She received a statement from one Major Harris, the principal spokesperson for the Under Secretary for Defense Intelligence and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Cyber Policy. Harris advised Scoles, that AATIP was looking at foreign threats to 40 years out, plus the program was also looking at "aerodynamic vehicles engaged in extreme maneuvers with unique phenomenology..."

3. Major Harris was also the spokesperson for the DoD who responded to a May 2018 enquiry from Swedish researcher Roger Glassel. Part of Harris' response was:

AATIP...was to assess "far-term foreign advanced aerospace threats the United States," including anomalous events (such as sightings of aerodynamic vehicles in extreme maneuvers, with unique phenomenology, reported by U.S. Navy pilots or other credible sources.).

The latest DoD spokesperson

The 27 May 2019 edition of the "New York Post" carried an article written by Steven Greenstreet, titled "The Pentagon finally admits it investigates UFOs." It reports on a statement, issued by Department of Defense spokesperson, Christopher Sherwood. Sherwood, on his LinkedIn page states that he is currently a Public Affairs Specialist at Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. 

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cgsherwood/
The text of the article, in part, reads:

"In a statement provided exclusively to The Post, a Department of Defense spokesman said a secret government initiative called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification program "did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena."

This statement adds to the previous three cited above, namely, 1) unnamed spokesperson- "There had been a program to investigate UFOs but it ended in 2012..."; 2) Major Harris- the program was also looking at "aerodynamic vehicles engaged in extreme maneuvers with unique phenomenology..."; and 3) Major Harris - "including anomalous events (such as sightings of aerodynamic vehicles in extreme maneuvers, with unique phenomenology, reported by U.S. Navy pilots or other credible sources.)"

Another part of the Post's text was:

"And while the DoD says it shut down the AATIP in 2012, spokesman Christopher Sherwood acknowledged that the Department still investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft."

However, there is no direct quote from Sherwood cited, which says "the Department still investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft." What follows that text, is:

"The Department of Defense is always concerned about maintaining positive identification of all aircraft in our operating environment as well as identifying any foreign capability that may be a threat to the Homeland," Sherwood said.

"The Department will continue to investigate, through normal procedures reports of unidentified aircraft encountered by US military aviators in order to ensure defense of the Homeland and protection against strategic surprise by our nation's adversary's."

The above statement does not say anything about "alien spacecraft" but speaks in terms of "unidentified aircraft."

The April 2019, statement from the US Navy about them issuing new guideline to the Fleet, mentions reporting unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft.

Follow up

I tweeted to, and emailed via his website, the New York Post journalist who broke the story, asking for a copy of the full statement from  the DoD. I have heard nothing back to date.

I also emailed the DoD spokesperson, Christopher Sherwood and also asked him for a copy of the full statement given to the Post, for the purpose of fact checking the story which this blog post concerns. However, as of today I have had no response.

Update:

3 June 2019

No one in my networks have been able to obtain a copy of the full Sherwood statement.

Update 6 December 2019

In a 6 December 2019 post to the Black Vault website researcher John Greenewald, provided details of the contents of email exchanges between himself, and Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough. While not providing all the contents of the emails, Greenwald quotes Gough as saying:

"Neither AATIP nor AAWSAP were UAP related...The purpose of AATIP was to investigate foreign advanced aerospace weapon systems applications with future technology projections over the next 40 years, and to create a center of expertise on advanced aerospace technologies."

"[AATIP] was the name of the overall program. [AAWSAP] was the name of the contract that DIA awarded for the production of technical reports under AATIP."

Regarding the fact that another Pentagon spokesperson, Christopher Sherwood, had stated that AATIP "did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena."

Gough: "At the time, Mr Sherwood was repeating the information that had been provided by a previous spokesperson two years earlier,...That previous spokesperson is no longer with my organization, and I cannot comment on why that person's explanation of AATIP included that it had looked at anomalous events.According to all the official information I have now, when implemented, AATIP did not pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena, that was not part of the technical studies nor the reports produced by the program."

Update 10 January 2020

The following is the text of a statement by Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough issued to a variety of recipients date 9 January 2020 as shown on the Black Vault website.

"At some point in the last couple months you have asked, in one way or another, why some DOD statements about the AATIP program have changed since December 2017 or event since this past Spring. I wanted to provide you with a broad comment regarding the changes.

Myself and my predecessors in my office, as well as our colleagues in the Defense Intelligence Agency and elsewhere in the Department, have done our best to provide you and others asking about AATIP the most accurate information we have available to us at the time we responded to your questions.

Questions about AATIP have continued ever since this past Spring, becoming more focused and asking for details beyond what was readily available on a program that ended nearly eight years ago, especially as people who had direct knowledge of AATIP have moved to other positions, or left the department. As we conducted research to try to answer the continuing questions, we sometimes uncovered new information that changed some of the previous responses. When responding to subsequent queries, we used the new information in our responses to be as accurate as possible with what we now knew."

Update 18 May 2020

On 18 May 2020, there appeared an article on the Blue Blurry Lines blog  Swedish researcher Roger Glassel obtained answers to a number of questions from Susan Gough, DoD spokesperson.

Roger,
Here are our responses to your questions.

1) In the Navy's effort to investigate sightings of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) is there a centralized office, program or council, that analyse such sightings?

A: Under the cognizance of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)), there is an interagency team charged with gathering data and conducting investigations into range incursions. As the preponderance of recent/reported sightings are from naval aviators, the Navy is leading much of the effort. All reports of range incursions are sent to this team for inclusion in the overall effort, thus maximizing the data available for analysis.

2) Are the Navy using the term Anomalous Aerial Vehicles, AAV, in relation to investigation of UAP incursions?

A: When an observed object is NOT immediately identifiable, the Navy/DOD refers to it as UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena). The generic term UAP is used in communications to avoid pre-judging the results of any investigation. If we are able to identify the object, we would use the appropriate term.  For example, a quadcopter would be referred to as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The U.S. Navy does not use the term “Anomalous Aerial Vehicles.”

3) If so, what is the definition of AAV used by the Navy and the U.S. Defense Department?

A: Neither the Navy nor the Department of Defense (DOD) use the term “anomalous aerial vehicles.”  In DOD, the acronym AAV stands for amphibious assault vehicles.  The contractors who prepared the 38 technical reports under AATIP occasionally used the term “anomalous aerial vehicles,” but it is not a DOD term.

4) How many UAP contacts/sightings are still categorized as unidentified by the Navy?

A:  As the investigation of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) sightings is ongoing, we will not discuss any aspect of individual sighting reports / observations, including frequency of sightings.

5) Are the Navy's effort to investigate UAP incursions part of the overall C-UAS [Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems] effort? 

A:  The U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report. Any incursion into our ranges by any aircraft, identified or not identified, is problematic from both a safety and security concern. Safety of our aircrews is paramount. Unauthorized and unidentified aircraft pose a risk to flight safety. Additionally, it is vital we maintain security on our operations. Our aviators train as they fight. Any intrusions that may compromise the security of our operations, tactics, or procedures is of great concern.

6) As the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) involved the Navy, which of the 38 DIA reports produced by the AATIP was the Navy involved in?

A: The contractors who produced the 38 technical reports under AATIP consulted with many experts across DoD, including Navy.  As these involve intelligence matters, we’re not to comment on specifics.

7) Without going into classified details, what was the Navy's role in the AATIP?

A: The contractors who produced the 38 technical reports under AATIP consulted with many experts across DoD, including Navy.  As these involve intelligence matters, we’re not to comment on specifics.

8) Are the Navy proactively investigating UAP, or are investigations only being done after a reported observation?

A:  The U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense take these reports very seriously and investigate each and every report. Documented reports of sightings by military personnel form the basis for the investigation process. The investigation of UAP sightings by the multi-agency task force is ongoing.

Regards,
Sue Gough
Pentagon Spokesperson"

1 comment:

  1. Your investigations are excellent, but in the case of Chile you co7uld seriously lose credibility if you do not correct your assertion that the Chilean website is in English & PORTUGUESE..,. it is in SPANISH. Portuguese is spoken only in BRAZIL. All other South American countries speak SPANISH. There are those who will say that if you can not get the basic facts correct regarding an earth-based situation, how can you be trusted on matters of an exopolitical nature?

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