Wednesday, June 5, 2019

TTSA and Uncritical Reporters Wilting Under Scrutiny

Significant stories surrounding TTSA and the AATIP have been firing off faster than tent bought fireworks on the Fourth of July - and you thought all the wild times in UFO Land went out with the 1980's and 90's! Let's dive right in.

Tyler Rogoway continued his top rate research into specifics of TTSA flagship cases, and his work warrants careful reading for those interested in military and technical details. If your eyes start to cross and you find it difficult to sustain interest, maybe that could give you a little insight into how a lot of the general public feels about the UFO topic in general. 

Rogoway's work is well worth the time and attention for the deep divers, as he explains how the events in question, although years apart, include Navy vessels and aircraft equipped with a certain type of advanced radar. The crew also just so happened to be in waters that provided ideal, lab-like test conditions. Be sure to follow Rogoway's links to his past work that set the stage for this latest article. Such coincidences as pointed out are extremely unlikely and warrant much more scrutiny. We might reasonably ask why the AATIP, reportedly consisting of elite experts, could be unaware or mum about the info presented, which brings us to Luis Elizondo, the media, and some huge discrepancies.

Among the many uncritical media pieces on the Pentagon, UFOs, and TTSA was one by Steven Greenstreet at the New York Post. Most of these celebrated articles arguably read more like singer profiles in Seventeen than what we should expect of professional journalists. In Greenstreet's case, he obtained a statement from Pentagon spokesperson Christopher Sherwood, and the Post apparently interpreted it to be reflected in the resulting title, The Pentagon finally admits it investigates UFOs

Greenstreet offered a few quotes from Sherwood, and one particularly eyebrow raising paraphrase. It turned the heads of several bloggers and researchers when Greenstreet wrote, "[S]pokesman Christopher Sherwood acknowledged that the department still investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft."

As a result, Keith Basterfield unsuccessfully attempted to obtain the full Pentagon statement from Greenstreet in order to fact check it against the reporter's paraphrasing. Others did as well, but Greenstreet was unhelpful.

Researcher Roger Glassel indicated he reached out to Sherwood and successfully obtained the statement in full. The actual statement not only failed to include any direct acknowledgement of investigating "sightings of alien spacecraft," as paraphrased by Greenstreet but, in fact, included an assertion Luis Elizondo had no responsibilities in the AATIP. Greenstreet apparently thought this unworthy of mention. We can only speculate why he chose to withhold the full statement, as shown below, but we can reasonably assess it wasn't because he desired people to be aware of its contents.

Full statement to Greenstreet obtained by Roger Glassel

To be clear, TTSA spokesperson Kari DeLonge previously specifically stated Elizondo ran the program out of OUSDI (hat tip to John Greenewald at The Black Vault. Check out his site for comprehensive coverage of this tangled fishing line of a saga). Kari's statement is obviously contradicted by the above statement of Pentagon spokesperson Christopher Sherwood.

Kari DeLonge's statement to John Greenewald

In contrast to Greenstreet, journalist Keith Kloor indeed found the passage newsworthy. In his June 1 piece at The Intercept, Kloor detailed his efforts to establish Elizondo either directed or worked on the AATIP, an unconfirmed assertion now echoed by media outlets ranging from The New York Times to Politico, the NYP and many points in between. Kari DeLonge and Elizondo did not respond to Kloor's requests for comment. 

Not only did Kloor's research turn up nada on Big Lue running the AATIP, Christopher Sherwood offered further clarification how he established Elizondo had no responsibilities in the AATIP. Kloor reported:

I then asked Sherwood how he knew that Elizondo hadn’t worked for AATIP during his time with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, where he was based from 2008 until his retirement in 2017. Sherwood said he’d spoken with OUSDI leadership, including individuals who are “still there” from the time when Elizondo started working in the office.
Maybe Elizondo was running AATIP under the purview of another office or agency within the Department of Defense? Sherwood acknowledged that Elizondo "worked for other organizations in DoD." But that, too, would have contradicted Kari DeLonge’s statement to Greenewald.

This isn't Glomar, neither confirm nor deny type stuff. This is a Pentagon spokesperson directly and repeatedly asserting Elizondo had no responsibilities in the AATIP. It's going to take a lot to change the course of this ship.

In response to the significant Elizondo discrepancies - which, I'll remind readers, Greenstreet chose to not disclose in the name of Disclosure - George Knapp trotted out another unsourced document, because that's what Knapp does. Knapp shared a partial screen shot of a letter reportedly authored by Sen. Harry Reid on the AATIP in 2009 which included Elizondo on a list of personnel. 

Several problems arise with Knapp's rebuttal, and have been competently pointed out by John Greenewald and others. For one, Knapp's stuff never has provenance. Secondly, it can't even be claimed the letter establishes Elizondo as director, as it doesn't address him as such. Yet another point of concern is if the letter is indeed from 2009, that's prior to when Kari DeLonge stated Elizondo began running the AATIP. While there are circumstances that might account for the problems, it still cannot be overlooked in good faith that the letter far from establishes much of anything, even if entirely authentic. As a matter of fact, it makes it all the more concerning if this is the type of evidence such reporters as Knapp, Rojas, Kean, and Politico's Bryan Bender have been hanging their hats on to assure us they've established Lue ran the AATIP. 

In this writer's opinion, the entire saga highlights a situation long needing more attention in the UFO community: a lack of professional research protocols and standards of evidence. Seeking verification of TTSA claims has predictably unsettled a following deeply vested in having their beliefs validated. I empathize with their perpetual disappointment, but the resulting rationalizations are grounded in poor understandings of why it matters, for examples, to show provenance of documents, expect more than faith to accept a claim, and take responsibility for offering verification in the first place when one asserts a former position in the intelligence community.

In the end, Big Lue may yet be shown to have run the AATIP, but it won't change the fact it has not yet been confirmed, and it won't change the fact the UFO reporters didn't so much as try. 


  1. Knapp is an enabler / entertainer, bordering on huckster. If there was ever a time when he was a serious journalist, it has long since passed.

  2. Thanks for laying it out so succinctly.

    Standards of journalism have greatly eroded in the 2010s. Though it pains me to admit it, I sometimes agree with that poorly articulated cry of "fake news". These are just a few examples of it.

    Apparently independent fact checking before publishing is a quaint practice that's an artifact of a bygone era. Altering facts to tell a story specifically meant to garner a larger audience (hence goose ad revenue) and personal opinions masquerading as fact now seem acceptable in many media outlets.

    It's not just personal blogs pretending to be news sites and social media posts we need to scrutinize more closely. Sadly, it's also sources we were once able to consider as trustworthy.

    And it's not only about UFOs. Sigh.

  3. The NYT has an unfortunate long history of shoddy, even fraudulent reporting. From Judith Miller writing cover stories for Dick Cheney's false assertions of WMDs in Iraq, to multiple Pulitzer's being revoked for articles being made up from whole cloth. As per the NYP, it's a tabloid, following tabloid rules akin to the National Enquirer. Alejandro Rojas is simply trying to justify his new gig with the Huffington Post with sensationalistic articles. Even Politico has been recently mired in false reporting claims. And that brings us to Knapp and the fact that he bought 400 shares into TTSA. 'Nuff said on him.

    Tom DeLonge is the most uneducated, ridiculous, inexperienced person possible for our government to use as a conduit for Disclosure, DeLonge's preposterously juvenile assertions notwithstanding. TTSA is a for profit entity dedicated to the singular goal of profit. TTSA's mission statement should rightfully be, "DeLonge needs money".

    As far as assertions that the government is simply using DeLonge as their useful idiot - while I agree with the idiot part, not sure how manipulating some dude who played guitar in a semi-obscure band would be useful in the least.

    Lastly, Lue's back story is rapidly unraveling like a cheap suit. His claim of a resignation letter to James Mattis, in which he claims he stated that he is quitting over the DOD dragging its feet, holds zero water and I suspect will never and can never be produced because no such thing happened.

    I rest my case.

    1. Don't underestimate DeLonge's influence. I have a couple of younger cousins in their very late 30s (staring down 40) who, along with some friends, are still rabid DeLonge/Blink 182 fans - a little bit reminiscent of the Dead Heads of old. They are already working themselves up over a possible local tour stop in the coming year featuring DeLonge.

      This is a group of successful young professionals, two of whom have influential jobs that affect a lot of lives.

      They seem to have no overt interest in UFOs . . . now. But if DeLonge does do a show here and proselytizes at length about them on stage . . . who knows? Common sense can fly out the window in the presence of an idol from one's youth.

      DeLonge is a useful tool for reaching people in a certain age group, one that is just entering the stage of life where it will be the most influential demographic cohort in the US.

  4. IMO (and this one will raise a few eyebrows :-) ) i think this all goes back to Paul Bennewitz. Some really good research was done the early part of this decade on his UFO research; culminating in a couple of books which I would highly recommend. After these books came out, Tom DeLonge gets this call from "defense insiders", TTSA is formed, these sensationalist stories are released to the media, etc. When you see that many of the same people are involved (ie, with both Bennewitz and now this) it really makes you wonder if this is just another classic distraction technique. Far fetched? Probably. But, still worth mentioning.

    1. I do not think it is far fetched at all. But a lot of ETH proponents will refuse to believe otherwise. It took me almost 20 years to look into how IA's have used the UFO community for various reasons and have given people within it false information, people like Linda Moulton Howe, William Moore, and like you said Paul Bennewitz, just to name a few. After the Richard Doty/Linda Moulton Howe fiasco i am dumbfounded that she still trusts her secret military contacts. I think she is being played like a fiddle and if she had any chance of actually uncovering something when they started to be attracted to her they have successfully steered her clear of any valid information.

      I am still flabbergasted at how many in the UFO community either do not know of various intelligence agencies actions within the UFO community or blatantly downplay the role of IA interference in UFO circles. Of course those are only the ones that have been exposed and you can bet good money there are a great many more IA operations using the UFO Community that have not been exposed and for reasons that most probably have nothing to do with supposed alien visitation as the ETH proponents would religiously have us believe.

    2. I'm interested in this aspect Calvin, Assuming the involvement and interference has nothing to do with UFO's and the ETH aspect. What is the payoff for this activity ?
      Why are they using this audience in this way ?.

      Covering up some UFO/ETH reality with dis-info has some semblance of logical purpose. But if thats not the reason, what is in your opinion ?

      Why are a great many IA operations being played within this particular genre ?

    3. Several, of many reasons, why IA's have targeted the UFO community is the leaking of classified material from black budget projects to individuals within the UFO community or the monitoring of groups that have infiltrated the UFO community for espionage purposes of one form or another, like the fears of communists using UFO contactee organizations in the 50's and 60's.

      In the first case the payoff would be to track down the sources of classified leaks. In the second case the payoff would be to track down possible spies who are also targeting or may be targeting classified information for their home governments or IA's. One of the best examples of IA involement with members of the UFO community is the Paul Bennewitz/Bill Moore/Richard Doty case. If you haven't, look up Bill Moore's speech to the 1989 Mufon Conference about how he was used by and spread dis-info for the AFOSI.

      It's been purported that when the U2 began flying from Groom Lake in 1955 that one side effect of it's extremely high altitude flying, (above 60,000 feet, compared to other commercial craft of the time whose operational altitudes were between 10,000 and 20,000 feet) was that UFO reports sprang up along it's flight paths and that the CIA, through various means, encouraged UFO reports to hide the U2 and Oxcart projects amid confusion. So there is another reason as to why an IA would use the UFO community. Make of that what you will, but there are plenty of articles you can search that discuss the U2/UFO/CIA topic.

      Ultimately there may be many reasons not related to ETH (which is an unproven hypothesis) or the phenomena of UFO's in which IA's would use the UFO community or similar such communities. IA's could have reasons related to social interest in studying cult like groups and how beliefs spread within those groups and or methodologies of how best to exploit people who share similar beliefs for example. IF one just takes a little time to brainstorm it is easy to come up with many scenarios for which IA's may feel it is beneficial to infiltrate, use and spread dis-info within UFO communities. Also I am sure there are reasons in which it is not so obvious at all as to why they would do so.

    4. Here's a couple scenarios of the many for consideration:

      And I agree there are some not so obvious reasons.

    5. Thanks Calvin. Just something to consider on an individual you mentioned...when the IAs are preparing their operations, they do a complete psychological profile on their respective targets. They know exactly how to handle them. They know who will (as you put it) keep coming back for more and they will keep dangling that proverbial carrot.

      Frankly, what amuses and saddens me in this subject is the complete lack of critical thinking across the spectrum. It's always aliens, or it's all the IAs, or it's all nonsense. So called "researchers" pick and choose the available evidence and pigeonhole it. This is NOT how proper research is conducted. They should look at the data and then formulate a conclusion that is best supported by that data. So few "experts" in this subject actually do this.

      Actually, you mention an argument that I can use as an example. So, the CIA reports that they encouraged UFO sightings to cover for flights of the U2 and SR-71, right? Makes sense, highly classified aircraft flying at altitudes and speeds then unheard-of. Of course, these flights would be reported as UFOs. A lot of people accept this explanation from the CIA.

      What many of these people don't seem to realize is that this is a statement that should be supported by numerical data. If it is true, we should see an increase in UFO reports during the time-frame those aircraft were active. We should also see an increase in reports along those flight lines. The PROBLEM is that we see neither. The reported data that we have simply does not show this. I suppose one could argue that the AF simply removed sightings they knew to be these aircraft from the files. But, if this were the case, the CIA or other agencies should be able to provide evidence for it. It's something that someone might want to follow up on.

    6. I've read about about sighting data not lining up with the CIA's purported explanation before. But I would simply ask where is the data that contradicts the CIA explanation? I've often read about it, from various researchers, but I have yet to actually see the data sets they are talking about. And often these researchers only talk about specific classified programs like the U2 or Mogul. What about other classified aerial programs running at the time?

      You said " I suppose one could argue that the AF simply removed sightings they knew to be these aircraft from the files.", which may actually explain one of the major gripes that J. Allen Hyneck had when he worked with Project Bluebook. He and Jacques Vallee commenting on it have stated that some of the best reports were deemed national security and were never seen again.

      Also this tactic wouldn't have just been used to possibly cover U2 or SR71 missions. This tactic could have been used to cover any classified aerial flights or tests, such as classified balloons (think Project Mogul or Project Genetrix), classified rocket launches or later shuttle missions, classified weapons testing (think the Bennewtiz affair) or classified planes or helicopters (Like the heavily modified Hughes 500P quiet helicopters used by the CIA during vietnam). And these types of programs may have contributed to and been why Hyneck was seeing reports deemed national security and disappearing, at least the classified programs that were operational during his tenure with Blue Book. Speculation yes, but many of these programs did run, they were classified and there was a real need to hide these programs and go to great lengths to do so, despite consequences. Again think of the Bennewitz affair.

      And btw the SR-71 was Airforce not CIA. The CIA plane was the A-12. The SR-71 became public knowledge before its first flight in 1964 though much about it was classified and not public. Aspects about some operational characteristics on the SR-71 still remain classified to this day. The CIA A-12 remained classified and unknown to the public until 1981. Also the A-12 was what lead to the production of the SR-71, though the A-12 could outperform the SR-71, it was faster and could climb higher.

      I say all this, yet I believe there is a UFO phenomena. I try to separate the UFO phenomena from other things, like the Alien Abduction/Experiencer phenomena. I also believe that the more one looks into the UFO topic, or even the Alien Abduction/Experiencer topic, the harder it becomes to come to a conclusion. Some of this is personal, at least on my part. All I can say for sure is that I personally believe there is a valid UFO phenomena as well as a valid Alien Abduction/Experiencer phenomena though ultimately the source of either is not known and is possibly stranger or less obvious than 'simple' explanations as the ETH or classified programs. As well, both phenomena may or may not be related at all.

    7. " I personally believe there is a valid UFO phenomena as well as a valid Alien Abduction/Experiencer phenomena though ultimately the source of either is not known and is possibly stranger or less obvious than 'simple' explanations as the ETH or classified programs. As well, both phenomena may or may not be related at all."

      Well stated.

      As far as the sighting data goes. I believe it is largely based (for better or worse) on the number of sightings reported to Blue Book each year. I say better or worse because the Blue Book data is flawed in a myriad of ways. But, at least it is something quantitative...Vallee and Keel always discussed their data sets but, to my knowledge, never released them. Frankly, its a little disappointing if the source data is not provided. I say that of course with the utmost respect for both, as I admire both researchers!

      I think all your points are well thought out and let's be honest, we simply don't know: it is all conjecture. If I remember right, 1952 was the biggest year for reports to Blue Book and sightings that were classified as "unknowns" so we can state with a reasonable amount of certainty that something (or somethings ;-) ) were flying around being witnessed by a number of the American Public that year. But, other than that...

      Btw, Paul Bennewitz is my personal idol in all of this. What that man went through, and how hard he pushed back for what he believed to be the truth. Man oh man. That is someone you can trust to guard your 6!

  5. Whilst it is an unproven hypothesis there none the less does exist enough stuff happening that both groups of private citizens such as ourselves are interested in the topic. And world Govts as well. Most country's Air force services have at least a passing interest in the topic, for some very obvious and practical reasons that may not necessarily be about aliens etc.
    We can debate whether the Cometa reports 5% is a valid conclusion or not, There are as many opinions for the affirmative as there are the negative in that area on the net.

    I just wonder how useful it is to play IA games within this genre, given it has always had a large representation of lunatic fringe enthusiasts. You go to any UFO related public event and they stick out like the proverbial dogs bollocks.
    It strikes me as a very "dirty" demographic sample set to mine data from.
    I can think of other cults like scientology that might be better targets for such manipulations and or test beds for espionage techniques. To me such scenarios are akin to polling the inmates of a mental asylum for marketing research. Im not sure how meaningful the results are in the real world. For all the practical value the IA's would glean from such activity's they may as well be infiltrating primary schools and playing with the kids perceptions of Santa Claus. Whats the value ? whats the payoff ?

    We can only speculate i guess, but to my mind muddying the waters to cover a real phenomena should remain on the table as a plausible scenario.

  6. If we are looking for reasons why IA's have targeted UFO community's i think we should define IA's properly.
    If its just US IA's doing this then the reasons may differ from a scenario where for example ASIO, CSIS, MI5, Mossad, DPSD/DRM, MAD,MSS, Etc Etc

    Are all the Worlds IA's Targeting their respective UFO community's, or is it just the USA doing this.

    The answer to that question could tell us a lot about what and why.....

    1. Valid point and a histogram might provide some information even just using dates and countries as the axes. It is interesting how no one has attempted this - or if they have, someone please post the link as I would be very interested.

  7. " I personally believe there is a valid UFO phenomena as well as a valid Alien Abduction/Experiencer phenomena though ultimately the source of either is not known and is possibly stranger or less obvious than 'simple' explanations as the ETH or classified programs. As well, both phenomena may or may not be related at all."

    I agree, and i think many boxes can be ticked using the post biological hypothesis.

    "I think it very likely – in fact inevitable – that biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon, a fleeting phase in the evolution of the universe," says Paul Davies, a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative at Arizona State University. "If we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligence, I believe it is overwhelmingly likely to be post-biological in nature."