Friday, February 28, 2020

A negative DIA response to a FOIA request about AATIP

An FOIA request is filed and answered

On 14 March 2018, Swedish researcher Clas Svahn submitted a request under the US Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) [FOIA 0027-2018] to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) requesting "Films that have been published by other media outlets on Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program that is related to unknown aircraft flying over US and in the vicinity of US aircraft abroad."

In  a letter dated February 12, 2020 the DIA advised that:

"Based on the information contained in your request, the Defense Intelligence Agency searched its system of records for responsive documents. Despite a thorough search, no documents responsive to your request were found."

Source: Roger Glassel, "UFO Updates" FaceBook 28 February 2020

The 2018 DIA FOIA log

I took another look at the 2018 DIA FOIA request log. This runs from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018.

The relevant initial DIA FOIA requests for information about our topic, requested either documents generated by the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) or the 490 page document mentioned in the 16 December 2017 Washington Post story. Presumably, the same 494 page document which Tim McMillan refers to in his recent "Popular Mechanics" article. 

Other individuals asked for "...all contracts with Bigelow Aerospace between Jan 2006 through 2017;" copies of the videos mentioned in the New York Times 16 December 2017 story; material related to the 2004 USS Nimitz encounter; all Defense Intelligence Reference Documents from AATIP; and emails about Tom Delonge or Luis Elizondo.

AAWSAP, not AATIP

Svahn's FOIA request was made around half way through the 2018 FOIA year, and as you will note above, mentioned AATIP. The resultant search, according to the DIA led to no responsive documents.

On 30 April 2018, Melbourne, Australia based researcher Paul Dean announced that AATIP was not, in fact, the official name for the program . It was actually named the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Appolication Program (AAWSAP.) His source was "...someone who claimed to be in a senior defence program leadership role."

After this announcement, Dean immediately submitted the first DIA FOIA request to use the term AAWSAP. [FOIA 00272-2018.] He asked for:

"Requesting any electronic or hardcopy records that include: mission statements, program overviews, program aims, fact sheets, program briefs for commanders or other senior leadership, program histories and other general information regarding the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program (AAWSAP) or extremely similar programs (either still running or was running in the last 12 years) with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA.)

Todate, Paul has not received a final response to this FOIA request.

About a month after this FOIA request was submitted; other individuals commenced submitting their own FOIA requests to the DIA, and mentioned the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program. I was aware of the fact that this name was slightly incorrect, and that it was actually the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program and so I filed an FOIA request with the DIA using this more accurate name. Like Dean, I have yet to received a final response from the DIA. 

One wonders if the DIA will respond to all queries using the initials AATIP, that they have found no responsive documents. For if the DIA's program was AAWSAP and not AATIP, then they could argue that they do not indeed, have any documents relevant to AATIP. 

To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of anyone's FOIA request to the DIA, which asked for AAWSAP documentation, which has been responded to, either positively or negatively. I would appreciate hearing from blog readers if they are aware of any such responses.

However, having said that, there is an anomaly in this reasoning. DIA FOIA request 00239-2018, dated 15 August 2018,  was submitted by Steven Aftergood, of the Federation of American Scientists. He asked the DIA for a "copy of the list that was recently transmitted to Congress of all DIA products produced under the Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program contract." 

Source: https://fas.org/irp/dia/aatip-list.pdf
Note that Aftergood's DIA FOIA, clearly referred to the AATIP. He received a response from the DIA dated January 16, 2019. This list, was a list of papers that the DIA had arranged to be produced under their contract with Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS.) However, these papers were a result of the AAWSAP not AATIP. Talk about confusion.

I will now await the DIA's responses to the other multitude of FOIA requests about both the AATIP and the AAWSAP. Only when more responses are received, will we be able to see whether or not, it really matters if we have asked for documentation about AATIP, or AAWSAP.

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