|Our readers here, and those who pay attention to UFO matters in general are certainly aware of the headline making news regarding the formerly, secret Pentagon UFO program, designated the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). At the same time, most are also aware of the controversy surrounding Luis Elizondo’s credentials, or more accurately, lack thereof—confirming that he in fact headed the program.|
There are many moving parts re the Pentagon UFO program and its disclosure; however, the first big takeaway is eyewitness accounts by Navy pilots, engaging a bi-medium, operational craft of unknown origin (UFO and USO in simpler terms) performing aeronautical and subaqueous feats far beyond the (known) capabilities of man-made vehicles. The eyewitness accounts in part, are supported by FLIR video, radar, sonar and ancillary witnesses aboard ship. Moreover, the origin of the videos has been authenticated by the Navy.
The next significant fact is that the government was (is) once again running a covert investigation re UFOs/UAPs.
Barring a grandiose conspiracy perpetrated by the military, assuming the a fore mentioned accounts of these craft are accurate, then what we have is the greatest story of the millennia. To be clear, the notion that man (perhaps our adversaries) has secretly, taken a technological leap which has resulted in the creation of anti-gravity, physics defying, hybrid vehicles is mind-bending—it would (will) change the world as we know it. This could only be topped by one thing—that is if they’re not ours (man-made).
Their article, Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program, went around the world and was the harbinger of the media storm to come.
Although the mainstream media came to the table in October of 2017, it’s important to note that independent researchers were looking into (some of) the cases, and the navy videos much earlier. What initially became known as the Nimitz UFO Incident along with a corresponding video of a Tic-Tac shaped UFO being engaged by an F-18 Navy Fighter, the two first surfaced On February 3rd, 2007 at ATS (Above Top Secret). The original poster (OP) opened the thread, in part with the following (verbatim):
“It all started in 2005 when I was onboard and attached to a naval aircraft carrier, … let's just say the ship is a west coust ship. We were doing workups off the coast of mexico[…]
It was about 2300 when the ship went into a "security alert" for those that dont know what that is, its when nobody can move on the ship AT ALL. If you do you will be targeted as a threat and be taken out quickly by the master at arms.
I was asking my fellow co workers what was going on. Rumor was circling around in my department that there was a UFO above the ship. Of course naturally, i didnt believe it and was like "# you guys" (pretty much). Curiousity got me though, I logged on to the top secret computer network *NOTE! I edited the name of the network out due to a suggestion/safety* and did a search of our File Server drive for the most recent modified files. This scanned all users, regardless of rank. Nothing was hidden from me. I especially looked for new files and those that were modified around the time of the "sighting".
I found many videos and powerpoint breifs (navy standard) and written reports and even message traffic that was being passed through our radio division. It was all there. I couldnt believe it at first, but then our ship called in the Air Force because even the captain didnt know what the hell was going on.
I burnt all these files to a disk and stashed it somewhere ….”
Eventually (within the thread) the OP would post a link to what is believed to the first copy of the Tic-Tac UFO video entering the public domain. (See below)
Years later, on March, 14th 2015, a lengthy article written by one Paco Chierici was published at fightersweep.com; it went into great detail re the Nimitz UFO encounter. It is also the first time we hear the name of (Chierici’s “good buddy”) Cmdr. David Fravor, the F-18 pilot who engaged the UFO.
Although the criticism that surrounds Ufology is righteous, generally speaking—sober research does takes place, albeit on a much smaller scale by a minor number of independent researchers and or groups. By the same token, said research often takes the backseat to the more sensational, vacuous, flapdoodle, or remains behind closed doors altogether. When the media finally did jump into the fray, sharing previous unknown information, citing sources and making proclamations, a handful of the previously described researchers went to work, performing due diligence. Now most people would presume everyone concerned would be on the same page re a thorough investigation, in particular journalists and or anyone the puts “researcher” after their respective names; however, in this instance, a state of tumult has resulted from sober researchers asking relevant, assiduous questions.
After the story broke and the media storm began, reporter, Steven Greenstreet over at The New York Post (5-22-19) in part wrote:
“In a statement provided exclusively to The Post … [Pentagon] spokesman Christopher Sherwood acknowledged that the department still investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft.” [Emphasis added]
As you might imagine, this was a double take moment (to put it mildly) which precipitated the effort to acquire the mentioned statement. Quick to make requests to the Pentagon included researchers Keith Basterfield and Roger Glassel, respectively.
Ten days later and in stark contrast to Greenstreet’s article, Keith Kloor at The Intercept (6-1-19) wrote:
Yes, AATIP existed, and it “did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena,” Pentagon spokesperson Christopher Sherwood told me. However, he added: “Mr. Elizondo had no responsibilities with regard to the AATIP program [emphasis added] while he worked in OUSDI [the Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence], up until the time he resigned effective 10/4/2017.”
On June 4th, Roger Glassel’s requests were honored and the awaited (complete) statement from Pentagon spokesperson, Christopher Sherwood confirming the quote in Kloor’s piece i.e., “Mr. Elizondo had no responsibilities with regard to the AATIP program …,” was received and published (see below). As the reader might imagine—this contradictory, information via an official source at the Pentagon caused pandemonium amongst sober researchers and many UFO enthusiasts alike.
Another of the diligent researchers who has been neck-deep in the AATIP revelations, is John Greenewald, researcher, author, FOIA expert and founder of the BlackVault.com. Through his efforts we learn that Susan Gough, another spokesperson for the Pentagon reconfirms her colleague’s (Sherwood) statement; she in part replied to John’s queries by stating:
“It makes no change to previous statements. Mr. Elizondo had no assigned responsibilities for AATIP while he was in OUSD(I). DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] administered AATIP, and Elizondo was never assigned to DIA. Elizondo did interact with the DIA office managing the program while the program was still ongoing, but he did not lead it.”
Now, if the contradictory statements about Elizondo running AATIP as reported by the New York Times and Politico wasn’t enough, John Greenewald has uncovered multiple discrepancies about the details (as reported) concerning the program(s) and Elizondo. Ugh!
It’s important to note that in the face of the official statements from the Pentagon, avowals have been made affirming Elizondo’s authority re AATIP. For example, Dr. Hal Puthoff (Co-founder and Vice President of Science and Technology of Tom Delonge's To The Stars Academy [TTSA]) offered to John Greenewald/The Black Vault the following:
“… Unfortunately for the public, those not directly connected, e.g., in the Public Affairs Office, are often themselves sketchy about details concerning highly-classified sensitive programs for which they have little-to-no access for security reasons. However, I have no problem asserting that as an AAWSAP [Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program]/AATIP Contractor & Senior Advisor I continued to attend meetings, provide briefings, gain access to videos, provide Proposed Program Plans, meet with staff, etc., all under the aegis of Elizondo’s leadership and responsibility for maintaining continuity of the Program effort and goals until he resigned.”
Bryan Bender via his piece at Politico wrote:
“Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White confirmed to Politico that the program existed and was run by Elizondo. But she could not say how long he was in charge of it and declined to answer detailed questions about the office or its work, citing concerns about the closely held nature of the program.”
Investigative journalist, George Knapp, who is steadfast on Elizondo’s role running AATIP, and in support of same, offered up a the final page of the Senator Harry Reid’s letter (re AATIP) via Twitter, on June 4th, 2019, which listed Elizondo on a bigoted list (personnel possessing appropriate security clearance and who are cleared to know details of a particular operation); however, it offered no designation for Elizondo and was otiose concerning his function with AATIP (see below).
Reid for the record, along with late Senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) gave birth to the UFO program initially called the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program (AAWSAP). Twenty-two million dollars was appropriated via a Defense Appropriations Bill for the study of aerial phenomenon. Moreover, in a recent interview (6-12-19) at NPR, Reid confirmed Elizondo’s involvement with AATIP, but did not attribute a leadership role to him.
Finally, all associated with Tom Delonge’s, To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA) accept Elizondo’s role as head of the AATIP program, and many have stated to have worked with him in that capacity. The History Channel, as promotion for DeLonge’s Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation cites Elizondo (the star) as “director of the Pentagon's hush-hush program investigation UAPs” and also states “When Elizondo ran [emphasis added] the Defense Department initiative, called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP ….”
So what gives?! At this date, official, Pentagon spokesperson, Christopher Sherwood has proclaimed to three separate journalists (that we know of) that Elizondo had no responsibilities vis-à-vis AATIP. Moreover, the Pentagon double-downed by way of Pentagon spokesperson, Susan Gough. Is this just a matter of left hand not knowing what the right is doing? Does any of this matter!?
On June 2nd, 2019 Bryan Bender (Politico) tweeted:
That tweet was deleted shortly after its posting for reasons unknown.
Likewise, and contrary to popular thinking, Luis Elizondo himself addressed the matter, during an interview with Martin Willis via Podcast UFO (kudos to Martin for not skirting the issue, and addressing the controversy right out of the gate) and in part stated:
"I'm very confident along with others that are in senior positions in the US government of my credentials … the Department of Defense is a large bureaucracy … and sometimes it takes time for information to trickle down. So this a may very well be one of those cases … and you know frankly I'm pretty optimistic that at some point here, their position may change again, so. Unfortunately, I wish I could say it's unusual, but sometimes it takes a while for information to … keeping in mind for the last year and a half they had already said for the record that I actually was part of the program, so [laughs] I think they probably got their wires crossed somewhere.”
Presumably, Elizondo was referencing Dana White’s statement to Bryan Bender at Politico re being on the record that he (Elizondo) was part of the program. For what it’s worth, in a report from John Greenewald concerning the matter, he wrote:
“A single statement, given by a former Pentagon spokesperson, that only one journalist (out of the hundreds that did stories in December of 2017) can verify. The spokesperson who allegedly gave the statement, Dana White, is the same one who was under investigation by the Inspector General’s office for misconduct of her employees and she left her post in January of 2019 amid the scandal. The journalist who published that quote and is single handedly the only one who currently verifies it – happens to be making multiple appearances on the new History channel show Unidentified, starring, Mr. Elizondo. That journalist is Mr. Bryan Bender from Politico ….”
Also, in Kloor’s article, he wrote:
“But Pentagon spokesperson Christopher Sherwood told me that he ‘cannot confirm’ White’s statement.”
So, is this much ado about nothing, as Elizondo insinuated? Is Elizondo’s former job title above the pay grade of Christopher Sherwood? Will the Pentagon by way of its spokespeople reverse its current proclamations?
A few weeks ago while bouncing e-mails back and forth with a close friend and colleague, he was of the mindset that the Elizondo conundrum was in fact much ado about nothing; after reading the article, The Pentagon Denies Luis Elizondo’s Role in AATIP, he claimed, “So what? They also denied that they had any interest in UFOs. Leslie Kean, Ralph Bumenthal et al. have authenticated documents re Lue's former position.”
Now this struck a chord with me; although, as a longtime researcher and the editor of The UFO Chronicles, I have absorbed a massive amount of data concerning the Nimitz incident, AATIP, Elizondo, DeLonge the TTSA and everything in-between ad nauseam—I did not recall Leslie & Co. citing documents specifically regarding Elizondo’s position. Thinking that perhaps I missed something (given the brain overload) I went back and reread the articles, starting from the Huffington Post to the Times and for good measure, I went over her (Leslie’s) Facebook and Twitter accounts. Yes, for clarity, in the Times piece—there were/are general references e.g., “Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records ….” Moreover, the first paragraph cites the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) and the second paragraph states, “It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo ….” All that said, to date—there has been no evidence offered up by anyone—that refutes the (current) official stance of the Pentagon.
With everything on the table, I personally lean toward the notion that Elizondo did in fact run AATIP; however, that and five dollars will get you a gallon of gas. Moreover, in my view, this whole fiasco should/could be easily remedied, by Elizondo himself. Barring that for the moment, and with my colleague’s comments in mind, on June 8th, I reached out to Leslie and Ralph Blumenthal in a joint e-mail, and in part wrote:
In an attempt to help clear the air re Lue's responsibilities with AATIP, specifically, him running the show, could you please reiterate what evidence you've reviewed that demonstrates that–this is the case? If this includes documentary evidence, obviously copies of same would be preferred; however, barring that, can you tell me how any docs were verified, authenticated, etc?
Please be advised, that this is for the record and your responses may be published.
As the reader will notice—there was an easy out or remedy I made available; in short, you (Leslie) don’t have share the evidence if you choose not to; in essence—I will take your word for it; however, tell me what it was/is and equally important, how it was authenticated.
For some context: I’ve known Leslie for over ten years; she’s always been cordial and expeditious in her communiques. We’ve assisted each other, shared research etc., over time; way back when, I interviewed her while guest-hosting for Dee Andrew’s Eye To The Sky radio show. Conversely, although I have corresponded with Ralph, we’re not that acquainted. That said, I didn’t get a reply that day, so the next day (June 9th) I resent the query and waited. June 9th came and went, as well as the next day—crickets.
On the 11th I resent the e-mail, now for the third time, noting the number of attempts in the top left corner. Being a pragmatist, I allowed for the notion that my e-mail might possibly have gone into their respective spam folders, or that they’re extremely busy and perhaps overlooked it, or simply just hadn’t got around to replying; however, on this day my persistence (in part) finally paid off, and later in the afternoon, I received what appeared to be an automated response from Ralph, stating that he would be away until June 15” and would respond upon his return.
In that light, on the 12th I resent the same e-mail to Leslie for the fourth time, using another e-mail address, adding that Ralph finally responded.
On the 14th of June, Leslie wrote, that “Ralph speaks for both of us. We are partners at the Times.” Then a week later, Ralph wrote: “We stand by our reporting.” Ugh!
So after a couple of weeks and 5 attempts I received a five-word, one-sentence reply, sending me back to the article whose omissions precipitated my query to begin with. Admittedly, I was puzzled by the out of character, testudineous, laconic reply. Make of it what you will.
Being a tenacious researcher, I shifted gears and asked Leslie her opinion about all that was going on re Lue’s credentials, and given that she (Ralph and Helene) were given credit for breaking the story, were they going to supplement their original reporting concerning these issues … again crickets.
Above I asked the proverbial question, “does any of this matter?” The short answer is yes, of course it does. This is research 101; thorough investigation and due diligence performed by sober researchers should be commended not criticized. Facts don’t lie. Moreover, and particularly in this instance, when contradictory information to this degree, i.e., divergent statements from the Pentagon re Elizondo’s claimed credentials are uncovered, then this must be resolved.
All the same, I can’t for the life of me understand why Luis Elizondo has not got in front of this. If everything is as he says, then certainly he can provide evidence to put this controversy to bed once and for all, unless ….
Filed under: Alien Sightings