Saturday, May 26, 2018

DIA: No Docs on NIDS

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reported no documents responsive to an FOIA request for contracts undertaken with and funding provided to the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS). "Despite a thorough search, no documents responsive to your request were found," wrote Alesia Y. Williams, Chief, FOIA and Declassification Services Office, in a May 17 letter from the DIA.

The initial Dec. 23, 2017 request sought records including a likely date range of 1995 to 2004, the years NIDS was an active nonprofit corporation. The now dissolved entity was founded by controversial philanthropist Robert Bigelow and is known for such ventures as research reportedly conducted on the now fabled Skinwalker Ranch. 

The latest FOIA swing and miss further questions the context of a public statement credited to Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) published in conjunction with an update from reporter George Knapp's team. Such references in the statement to viewing "the human body as a readout system for UFO effects by utilizing forensic technology, the tools of immunology, cell biology, genomics and neuroanatomy" led some researchers to suspect inferences to the Skinwalker project, as was directly claimed related to DIA-funded research by select members and associates of To The Stars Academy. It is unclear exactly how the Skinwalker Ranch may be involved with the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), seemingly derived from the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP), and funded by the DIA as reported in a high profile NY Times article and by a Pentagon spokesperson. 

Researcher Keith Basterfield identified longtime Bigelow associate Dr. Colm Kelleher as a likely author of the published BAASS statement. Kelleher and Knapp co-authored Hunt for the Skinwalker, a 2005 book about reportedly fantastic occurrences at the ranch.

George Knapp
Knapp's more recent work includes the publication of what he referred to as "an in-depth report prepared by and for the military" on what became known as the Tic Tac UFO incident. The source of the document was not revealed and it remains unauthenticated as of this writing, causing researchers such as John Greenewald to point out issues looming over the circumstances.

Greenewald previously questioned the scope and depth of the Pentagon-UFO project as framed by the NY Times due to reasons including the continuing lack of FOIA responses and the relatively small amount of funding allocated, about $22 million. Moreover, the Times credited Pentagon spokesman Thomas Crossman with the statement, "It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change."

That same Times article stated, "Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes." Combined with BAASS statements about studying "the human body as a readout system for UFO effects," researchers might reasonably continue to seek accountability for details of exactly how such projects were initially designed, approved, and overseen. Were research subjects adequately informed of the circumstances? Who were the project personnel? What boards were used to evaluate and approve the work?

Perhaps we will eventually obtain verified answers to such questions. It appears we must rely on the FOIA process, as individuals claiming involvement are proving poor sources of information. FOIA submissions to the DIA remain pending for contractual records, lists of funding recipients, resulting reports, and similar documents pertaining to the AATIP and AAWSAP.

1996 Associated Press article stating Col. John Alexander would not provide details
of how or why research was being conducted at Skinwalker Ranch 


Related recommended reading:

UFO Info Wars

FOIA the AAWSAP Call for Proposals

Who's Been Running MUFON?

UFO-Pentagon Story Reflects Fundamental Problems

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