Thursday, December 12, 2019

BAASS - transcript of, and commentary on, a 2008 interview with Robert Bigelow


I have previously published much material on the subject of Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS.) For an index of those article, click here. However, one thing which I had not done, until now, was to listen to a 28 September 2008 Coast2Coast radio interview between Las Vegas journalist George Knapp, and Las Vegas businessman Robert T Bigelow. In this interview, Bigelow himself describes the establishment and mission of BAASS.

After listening to the interview, I decided that due to the amount of interesting information it contains, I would prepare a transcript for those blog readers who like to hear things directly from the source. Here is that transcript, at the end of which I will add some comments of mine.

GK “Let’s transition into the other topic, and I’ll do it this way. The logo of Bigelow Aerospace; you’ve got an alien on it. Your interest in these topics is well known. I’m curious about whether it causes you trouble in aerospace circles, and government circles, when you are dealing with folks from NASA or whether there is a secret level of interest among folks like that? Just as there is in your company.”

BB “It’s the latter. There has never been a conference I’ve attended, or some kind of forum that I’ve been involved in, where the people didn’t want to talk about that subject. They come up to me; they would come up to me after the talk or lecture or whatever, and break into a discussion on that topic. So there is a huge subterranean kind of interest in the science community, of at least the folks who are interested in space and the engineering community. A significant percentage of those people that follow the ET/UFO topic very closely.”

GK “But not publicly?”

BB “But not publicly. That is, that has always been a problem. I think it is because the media has unfortunately made fun of that topic until recent times. I see a little bit of a change in the media’s attitude lately, in the last few years. A little bit on that topic. And then people are concerned for their careers. So there is a sub-rosa type of thing. They do this very quietly and secretly. It’s like walking out with a brown paper; you put something on a brown paper bag coming out of a bar so people don’t see what you have; and it’s that kind of feeling it has; that kind of a stigma to it. But I think it’s changed over the last ten, twenty years that I have been involved with it. I see a significant change for the better that has occurred.”

GK “Well, you’ve done; you’ve initiated some of that change yourself. You founded something called NIDS some years ago. National Institute for Discovery Science. You put together a world class science advisory board. You approached really strange topics as a scientist would; trying to get some answers and we’ll go into some of that work, in a moment, because now you’re ready to take another step. Why don’t you tell us what your announcement is?”

BB “Well, you know we have had fun with the ET topic for years. When someone writes a new book I usually buy about 100 copies and distribute them among our staff on a first come first served bases. It is no secret that I have been a student of this, and a researchers of this topic for many years, and if people take the time and trouble to do the research then you realize just how authentic this topic is, and how real it is, and how phenomenally interesting this topic is. It is the most; I have never, ever, been involved in anything remotely close to this level of fun and mystery as this topic. I mean it is far greater than any kind of business I’ve ever been in; including the aerospace world. And the aerospace business. This topic is, oh, 50 times, perhaps 50 times…”

GK “Hey, you’re preaching to the choir man. When it gets under your skin it’s hard to shake it.”

BB “It really is. You need to keep one foot solidly anchored, you know, in the real world. In the world of whatever it is you’re involved in in life, and then the other foot can dabble into this other strange reality, and it is, when you start to do the research. Almost anybody can come away with a conclusion this is real; this isn’t fantasy. This, this is absolutely true.”

GK “And that’s a fundamental. It’s a given of what your new endeavour is going to be, right?”

BB “Well, the new endeavour has to do with a new company; a sister company to Bigelow Aerospace, and the acronym is BAASS, Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies. The mission for this company is to pursue exotic, novel technologies. We would like to come across something that levitates for example; or somebody that’s working on something that looks promising.
We have sponsors. We have partners, in this effort. So that’s new for me, and I’m very pleased about that. And these sponsors and partners do not need to be convinced, at all, that this topic is real. So that’s nice also. So, we are going after this is a very serious way. This is intended to be a global effort, not just something for consumption here in the States. But we intend to try to pursue this challenge, wherever we are able to discover something, around the world. So, basically, we’re trying to get away from things that puff smoke and require a combustion in order to provide the locomotion for something, and there are other kinds of characteristics we’re looking for as well. So Bigelow Aerospace is the more practical side to things using conventional kinds of; we don’t use anything that’s an unobtainium., we don’t need that. There’s nothing in our architecture that incorporates the need for some unobtainium. We’re using very ordinary kinds of materials and things to produce an unordinary result. A result that could see a sea change in terms of cost and access to space for humans.

This other company is focused on, what might be seventy five years or a hundred years away, or maybe 50 years away, who knows, in terms of the kind of technologies that we wish we had at our disposal.”

GK “Meaning that something that someone is tinkering away with in their garage, or that some other intelligence has developed. When we come back…A couple of minutes ago you heard my guest Bob Bigelow announce the creation of something called BAASS which is being created in order to uncover, discover, create exotic propulsion technologies that might change life on Earth as we know it.

Bob, this is a sort of a bridge between your two areas of interest. I mean, your spacecraft will need a way to get up into space. You’re not quite sure how that is going to work in the future what the options will be. I suppose this could help. But also, it could shed light on your other interests; other intelligences; ETs, whatever."

BB “Well, if you are making a sincere effort to explore novel technologies, the last thing you want to do is draw a line in the sand and say we will not look beyond here. So, if you are convinced, as I am, that anomalous phenomena exist, in many different ways. You have the validity of UFOs; the validity of ETs being here, then naturally, that’s an area that is not off limits. I mean, you’d be kind of foolish to have these global displays of close encounters of spacecraft manifesting themselves within a few hundred feet of many witnesses. Tens, or hundreds even thousands of witnesses depending on where you want to talk about; which area, and which part of the world; and in what year. You’ve had all these expositions and you’re trying to say to yourself, gee isn’t it real. I’m just going to ignore that these expositions have occurred and somehow all these people are crazy and so on.

You have to go to a ridiculous extent to try and tell yourself this is an area you should pursue. So it’s just the opposite. We understand the validity of the phenomenon. We understand that it’s here. It has been here for a long time.

So, we are intrigued with the behaviour. We admire. We respect and admire the performances of these crafts, so much, that we would just give anything to try and obtain something that would perform and have these kinds of characteristics.”

GK “Give me some kind of timetable. How does it work? You’re going to set up this organization; hire some people, and then what happens?”

BB “Well, that actually the first year is a formative situation. The first years we are going to be hiring a number of people that are; that have diverse backgrounds; that are all experts in a variety of fields. We have to organize offices and office facilities. We are going to initiate contact with a lot of other organizations. We look at BAASS as being a networking facility. So, we’re going to be initiating relationships and contracts with various organizations and people, so we can outreach and network with folks, domestically and overseas.

We will not have a website. It’s not a public organization per se. We don’t really have, we don’t have an entertainment value. There’s no way that we can have a website and stay true to our mission and our sponsors and to the confidentiality that we are probably going to be engaged in. So we just don’t have a venue of that type. It may be difficult for anyone to try to reach us and so on. So, we’re going to be very private.

So, I’m wanting, and interested in speaking about this, so that your listeners can hear from me, what the intent here rather than from some blogger as to what it is we’re all about.
So, the first year is an organizational year, trying to find out who we can work with around the United States, and then overseas, and try to establish a base of operations.”

GK “Well, on one hand you’re going to want input from people out there, whoever they are, who might have some ideas on this. You’re going to have to have some kind of a way for them to get hold of you, right?”

BB “Well, we hope to; we’re going to try to explore working through other organizations first, and see how that goes.”

GK “OK.”

BB “We are going to have field people. We will have a combination of folks who may seldom leave their offices and do an awful lot of research, and other folks who, will travel around the country or around the world; go to other countries where something is happening that looks promising; or someone is doing something that looks promising, or they have information about some performance of a spacecraft that is very novel and unique, and we can sniff down whatever trail we can find.”

GK “So, on the one hand you would be, you’re reaching out to the backyard inventor who’s got a flying saucer in his garage or something like that…”

BB “Yes. Right.”

GK “…and has made a discovery. I mean, these people could be out there.”

BB “Absolutely. It’s possible.”

GK “Would you be, I guess I’m trading on some thin ice here. Wouldn’t it be tempting for people who are in the government, who might have inside information, or have access to technology that many of us suspect has been there for a long time; inviting them to step over a line?”

BB “Well, we are hopeful that we may be able to have a relationship with governments. We’re hopeful that you know, other governments aren’t necessarily as closed as US agencies are. Other governments have been more forthright and open about things. We’ve heard recently about the British releasing files and information. The French are more open and of course Belgium is very famous for how open they were in 89/90 when they had a year and a half of extraordinary encounters and sent a lot of F16s to go chase them; and locked on, and so forth, with the UFOs. With the F16s, but I think we are probably going to process our folks with having clearances so that, if we have an opportunity to engage a government, or engaging a company, that might have information, we can be respected as keeping a confidence, and we would be behaving in a responsible way.

So, this is significantly different, George, than the NIDS operation was. We always did respond and behave responsibly in NIDS. If fact, we were successful in discovering a lot of information and doing what we could on our website, to expose some of that while still keeping things private, that people relied on us to keep private. So, this is an effort that is very serious in trying to make some progress in this area.

As you know, George, there’s probably nothing more difficult, that you could tackle, than this kind of a problem.”

GK “Our friend and colleague Stan Friedman sent me an email as a news story prior to this program beginning that you might find it interesting. There is some kind of conference on the SETI, Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence, and is underway in Europe. I guess there was a proposal today, put on the floor, in essence those guys need to study UFO evidence because the possibility just listening to space is missing a tremendously important body of literature and the European SETI folks are much more open to that than the Americans are. The Americans, as you know, those guys don’t want to have anything to do with UFOs.”

BB “I can vouch for that. I was sitting at an AIAA conference last year and Jill Tarter was sitting on my right, and I started to bring up the topic of UFOs. I thought she was going to throw up on my lap. It abruptly shut off like that and she was not receptive at all to discussing it. So, that is the signature of the kind of power; the kind of intimidation again, that this, blankets the whole community with. That’s unfortunate because if we could collectively take it seriously and go after this, and look; take what we see with our own eyes and pursue this; and say my god these things are real. How do they do it?

Where do they; do they have to fabricate something in micro gravity in order to get the strength; in order to get the purity of conductivity through the crystal or nanotube or whatever structure it was, in order to integrate that in a one g environment. Maybe, that’s why. Maybe, there are two kinds of species in the universe. Those that have large robust facilities, both in micro gravity and on a planet to make their advanced technology; and then those like us that essentially have only what we can do on Earth, you know in a one g environment.”

GK “Again, it sort of bridges your two interest. What I’m curious is, if in fact they do have a different attitude among the British and some of the other governments have opened up this technology or their files about the subject. Do you think it’s possible that they have technology over there from a crashed disc, or some other place, and do you in fact, think we have it?”

BB “Here’s the thing. You know a number of the crashes here, are bona fide. We know that. We know Roswell is bona fide. I don’t care what all the other people say. That if you do the research, it’s bona fide. Other crashes are bona fide here as well, as crashes that have occurred overseas; and I think you have done a lot of research yourself, in Russia. You probably have opinions on crashes there as well, so they just haven’t occurred here in the States. So the questions might be, if other folks are working on things, other places, what kind of progress are they making?”

GK “I’m going to have to take a short break… Bob Bigelow, President and Founder of Bigelow Aerospace, just announced a couple of minutes ago on this program that he is creating something new called BAASS to go after and find and locate; develop, exotic propulsion systems, exotic technology, even alien type stuff. You’re digging it because a lot of you are sending in emails. A couple of you even suggested that Bob should run for President. And if you like the guy, I don’t know why you’d condemn him to that sort of job. When we come back, we’ll get more details as to how the new organization will work, and I’ll save a couple of minutes for questions. Stick around.”

GK “Bob, before the break we were talking about the possible existence of these exotic technology in some government vault or something. So, you believe it may very well be there?”

BB “Oh, I do. I definitely do. I think though that probably there’s, there’s quite a diversity of who and where; hardware located around the world. I think it exists in a number of other places; other countries overseas and I think it also is bifurcated between the corporate world, because you can’t; you know, gain access through traditional FOIA efforts and so forth, and through government sources as well. So, it’s a very complex, very serious kind of subject and you can understand why those that do have custody of hardware or information feel so determined to maintain the sanctity and privacy of, and the custody of that information.”

GK “Well, I’ve always suspected that one reason for the cover-up if you want to call it that, is that a lot of people would go to jail if it ever came out that what they did in the lies they’d told and the money they’d spent on this program; the secrecy and keeping it from the public and I think you’re right if that technology exists, there was possibility it was taken out of a government vault, or warehouse and put into a private one as another buffer so we wouldn’t find it.”

BB “I suspect that the threat of incarceration is probably not…”

GK “The main reason?”

BB “I don’t think it is valid any more. That would be an extremely difficult case to try to prosecute. I really don’t think that would be something if I was a prosecuting attorney. I would have a difficult time because it is a catch 22. You know, I’m admitting by the prosecution that this is valid. And I don’t know I would want to be doing that. If I’m trying to argue at the same time, this is just crazy. This stuff doesn’t exist.”

GK “Well, in that case, what is the reason for the cover-up?”

BB “Well, there are a lot of reasons and you can appreciate, I think, when you start to get into this topic. You can kind of feel like the, how patriotic a lot of these folks have been, and I know that doesn’t resonate with a lot of your listeners, but the fact is you’ve a huge responsibility for the possibility of social turmoil. This is a very psychological/sociological issue, and you know, it’s not just events like Katrina that haven’t been handled well by the government. This is a topic that is much, much worse in the potential for how well the information would be digested and I think in some communities, some geographical communities would digest confirmation much better than others.

It’s possible that many other countries wouldn’t have that big of a problem with it, but it’s also possible that the industrialized parts of the world would start to have; especially the military industrial complex folks and when you try to argue that, gee, we can protect our citizenry from whatever. It has always been the experience of mankind that you’re doing it, the threat is coming from another human or group of humans. This is not the same kind of subject.

This is something entirely different. You don’t want people to start to think, gee are these godlike? Do we start to revere these people, in a reverent kind of position? How do we think about interacting or what’s our method of behaviour? If we start to think this is real, no government on Earth could prevent or stop the activities if they wanted to, and no collective group of governments could. What does that do to the psyche of the human race?

How far do we have to advance or how desperate do we have to get to nuclear war among ourselves, before we finally decided hey enough. Maybe this is a good thing. Confirmation would be a good thing. May be if it starts to give us a collectivism as a species. Hey, we are all together in this and we need to start to grow up. We need to behave differently. We need to stop conducting wars. We need to stop spending the money we do on just this kind of activity, and there’s something more to life than just that.”

GK “You and I have spoken privately many times, about the importance of preparing for confirmation. You know, if that day ever comes, we’re not ready for it. There could be substantial…”

BB “Well, I have thought of that. I have bought a fast car, George, so, I’m ready to get the hell out of town if necessary.”

GK “You know what I mean. There could be some substantial upheavals. The people listening to this program think we’re ready. We want to know, but man, the world may not be ready. Plus we don’t know what the ultimate truth is, who they are? Why they’re here? Or what their ultimate goals are? It could be very disturbing information when it comes out.”

BB “It’s a really interesting, very, very, very interesting problem, and I tend to think more, that confirmation wouldn’t be a bad thing. I used to be very much against it, going back 15 or 20 years ago. I was, I thought, oh geez, this isn’t great. Ok, there’s all kind of bad things that could happen. It’s not as though our future is so rosy, as it is, you know. Look at the prominence that Al Gore has reached in the efforts to bring awareness of saving the planet and the environment and that’s a  real; a very real problem; a real issue. We’re very capable of screwing things up big time as a species on this ball called Earth. So, we are very capable of really messing things up and you wonder what have thousands of other societies and species done in history? Did they snuff themselves out before there was a chance for them to survive for long term, or did they finally evolve someway to recognize and embrace advanced intelligences into their life and somehow cope with it?”

GK “I tell you what Bob, let’s talk about how exactly it might work, in this context. Let’s say somebody comes forward with some technology that’s been stashed away. They’ve had it all the time. How would it work? I’m making it in this context we’re talking about confirmation or preparing for confirmation. Could in fact, this proposal of yours, this creation of BAASS, sort of help that along? If somebody comes forward with this technology. I mean you’re a private entity. You could keep it secret. And I can see, right now, the bloggers and the email guys on the Internet would be saying, ha ha, Bob Bigelow, trying to confer the market on ET technology to keep it secret.”

BB “Well, not really. And the reason is that you don’t really know where the technology came from. It could just as well evolve from someone’s garage. Or it could evolve from some of the other countries activity and they didn’t have enough money to bring it forward and they were missing, missing financial assistance. They were missing may be some other scientist’s participation. So, on the face of it, just because BAASS would maybe be able to demonstrate something that levitated a large object; by in itself, wouldn’t lead you down that trail of conclusion.

I think there’s another way that would though. There’s another way that would. I’ve thought about this and you know other countries as we said before, have been much more forthcoming. These would be, there could very well be this scenario. Where there comes a point in time where a number of other countries, and the number would be fewer or less, depending on the magnitude of importance of each of the countries. If they were countries that were very low profile it would take a lot of them. But if they were countries that had international prominence, and really were recognized in the United Nations, so forth, it would take fewer.

So, if you have a number of countries that actually confirmed the existence of ET and I think this is very possible that, it would be the confirmation, not necessarily to be looked at that would emanate from the United States.

But it could just as well emanate from some place overseas, through a group of countries. Could say, you know, we’re open minded than the Americans are; yes, we don’t mind admitting that this is all true. These things are real.

Well, that’s interesting, because then, that starts to migrate outside of that group of countries. People then start to take things more seriously, especially the media. The media is a large influence of power.”

GK “In that sense, I guess BAASS could be a tool in the ultimate confirmation that this is real, if those other governments or individuals contacted you and told you that it’s real. You check it out. I means how would that work? How would that part of it work? Are you telling us now, that you would eventually make it public?”

BB “You know. I don’t think; I don’t think our role, our role isn’t really to think in those terms. I think our role is to…”

GK “Find it?”

BB “Find advanced technology; recognize that the behaviours and performance of UFOs are real. We’ve done the research. We know they are. Other people have, outside the United States, overseas; and so we know it’s real. I, we don’t have an agenda that’s more than that. We’re sticking to trying to discover these kinds of technology. See if we are able to help other people evolve them, and collectively, as a species, hopefully use them.”

GK “Ok. We’ll go to the phones.”

Commentary

Firstly, it would be useful to provide some context to the above transcript. I will do this by using previously available documentation which relates to BAASS.

1. Nevada state records show that business id NV20081214349, entity number E0056412008-7 named Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies LLC was filed on 29 January 2008; that is almost eight months before the above Bigelow interview.

2. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) put out a solicitation for bids on the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) on the 18 August 2008.

3. The closing date for bids for the AAWSAP was 5 September 2008.

4. Around 5 September 2008 the DIA  selected BAASS as the successful bidder for the AAWSAP contract.

5. On 28 September 2008 Bigelow announced the establishment of BAASS.

6. According to the DIA AAWSAP solicitation, the contract commenced 29 September 2008.


The BAASS Mission

In describing the mission for BAASS, Bigelow, during the Knapp interview, stated:

"The mission for this company is to pursue exotic, novel technologies." And:

"This other company is focused on what might be, 75 years away, or 100 years away, or maybe 50 years away, who knows, in terms of the kind of technologies that we wish we had at our disposal."

The statement of objectives for the AAWSAP as set out in the solicitation attachment 1, dated 18 July 2008 included:

"The objective of the program is to understand the physics and engineering of these applications as they apply to the foreign threat out to the far term, i.e. from now through the year 2050." It goes on to say "Primary focus is on breakthrough technologies."

The BAASS mission, and the AAWSAP contract appear to have been looking at the same thing, another confirmation that the DIA contract went to BAASS.

Sponsors 

Bigelow stated at one point "We have sponsors. We have partners in this effort."

We know that the DIA sponsored BAASS by way of the AAWSAP contract. As part of a Las Vegas KLAS-TV news item about the contract; there appeared as copy of part of a document which appeared to be a completed solicitation/contract document. Section 17a had the name of BAASS; and section 26 showed "Total Award Amount - For Govt. use only $10,000,000.00." Thus indicating that the AAWSAP contract to BAASS was for ten million US dollars. I have screenshots in an earlier post.  This amount is different from the often quoted $M22 for the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.

Personnel

Bigelow stated "The first years we are going to be hiring a number of people that are; that have diverse backgrounds; that are all expert in a variety of fields...we re going to have field people..."

A check, via the Wayback machine, of the September 2008 website for Bigelow Aerospace found that BAASS was advertising for such personnel.  One section of the advertisement read "...focuses on the identification, evaluation, and acquisition of novel and emerging future technologies worldwide as this specifically relates to spacecraft..." When I first read that, I wondered what "spacecraft" was being referred to? Having now listened to the 2008 Bigelow interview it would appear to refer to UFOs.

In conclusion

I found this interview to be extremely useful in putting some more pieces of the BAASS puzzle together. No doubt, blog readers will be able to extract other pieces of data from the interview for themselves. If you do, please share your insights.

Update: 13 December 2019

I received a communication from the Scientific Research of the UFO Phenomenon, Victoria UFO Museum, Entre Rios, Buenos Aires. When translated it read:

"I don't remember the year, but on behalf of BAASS we contacted our team, Mrs Melissa Godoy. She wanted that from Argentina, we would inform about objects falling from the sky, cases of UAPs and power plants and nuclear power plants.

In return we were offered to train our researchers and finance the work. After that, he never communicated again and we received an email from BAASS that she now longer worked. I think it was in that year."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Keith...

    You might find this pdf of interest in relation to the above.

    Looks like just as Bigelow had wound down NIDS he was applying for a patent for a satellite with what appeared to be military applications? Why else would he want a satellite with stealth capabilities.

    A Stealth Satellite Sourcebook - Allen Thomson

    Page 132 of the pdf....

    A patent recently issued to an upstart space entrepreneur could be another sign that stealth satellites are real — not vestiges of the previous millennium’s battles.

    In late 2004, right about the time that some U.S. lawmakers publicly unveiled a previously classified $9.5 billion program to build satellites that orbit the Earth undetected from the ground, Robert Bigelow, hotel entrepreneur and founder of Bigelow Aerospace, submitted a patent application for a satellite that proposed to do just that.

    Bigelow’s patent, filed in November 2004 and approved a year later, follows a dozen or so previously filed inventions back to the early 1960s. Each outlined methods that could reduce or eliminate the optical and radar signatures that could be used to track, identify and determine the orbital parameters of a satellite from the ground.

    If the essentials of an orbit are obtained — potentially by low-cost, easily obtainable methods and equipment — an opponent can either hide above-ground activities during the reconnaissance satellite’s pass or possibly target the space vehicle with anti-satellite weapons.

    By all indications, the U.S. has launched and operated at least two such satellites in the post-Cold War era for photo reconnaissance or signal intelligence, one in 1990 and the other in 1999.

    Bigelow’s invention, called an inflatable satellite bus, appears to be identical in construction to the company’s Genesis I spacecraft, which was launched July 12 by an ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket into a 550-kilometer near-circular orbit with 64-degree inclination.

    The patent reveals that the shell, or outer surface of the inflatable portion of the vehicle, “can have radar stealth capabilities. This could include using radar absorbing materials and/or geometrics to reflect radar waves at angles that make detection of the craft difficult.” The patent goes on to say that shell could be “colored as to make visual detection more difficult.”

    ReplyDelete

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