Tuesday, June 29, 2021

DIA FOIA Search Finds No Correspondence With Elizondo Pertaining to AATIP

    The Defense Intelligence Agency responded to a FOIA request that a search found no correspondence, such as emails or memos, exchanged between Luis Elizondo and the DIA pertaining to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The request was submitted in 2018, with a final response issued in a pdf dated June 24, 2021, and delivered Monday by email.

Alluding to FOIA requests submitted by several researchers, the DIA response went on to state the Agency is currently reviewing all of its AATIP holdings and preparing the documents for release. Upon DIA release, the material will be made available for viewing in an online FOIA Reading Room.  

The body of the response:

Luis Elizondo did not immediately respond to an opportunity to comment for potential inclusion in this blog post.

The DIA was credited with launching the AATIP in 2007. The project reportedly transferred to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence in 2010, and was shelved in 2012.

Elizondo has repeatedly asserted amid doubts and criticism that he directed the AATIP and worked on it for some ten years. Sen. Harry Reid supports the claim Elizondo ran the project. 

Official statements, directly opposing his claims, have repeatedly been issued from Pentagon spokespersons. Elizondo has done himself no favors in failing to present adequate documentation, or even committing to a particularly coherent narrative.

Some question why Elizondo, who describes himself as an extensively experienced counterintelligence professional, would be selected to head a program investigating aerospace threats. Others suspect his interest in UFOs was much less official than typically portrayed, and that he encouraged public misunderstanding through writers such as Leslie Kean and George Knapp, while at other times simply selectively omitting more accurate context.   

In an email exchange conducted earlier this year with Pentagon Spokesperson Sue Gough, this writer qualified an understanding the position of the DOD is that Elizondo had no assigned responsibilities in the AATIP while assigned to the OUSDI. That being the case, it was asked if it would be possible to clarify who was assigned responsibilities to direct the AATIP.

"The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) managed AATIP," Ms. Gough replied. "Luis Elizondo was not assigned to DIA." 

Daniel Sheehan, an attorney with a long history of advocating alien visitation and taking up UFO-related issues, filed a complaint on behalf of Elizondo with the Department of Defense Inspector General. The document reportedly included Elizondo's assertions a disinformation campaign was undertaken against him. Personal vendettas were to blame, it was alleged, for DOD official denial of his AATIP position and responsibilities.  

Several internet bloggers were notified by the Pentagon he had no duties in the AATIP, Elizondo reportedly asserted in the complaint to the Inspector General. This, the complaint continued, resulted in the bloggers accusing him of fabrication.  

A FOIA request for the complaint was submitted in May to the DOD IG. It responded in a letter dated June 2 that any documents that may be responsive are compiled for a law enforcement inquiry. Release of the documents, at this time, could reasonably be expected to interfere with the inquiry, the response added. The material could be requested and reviewed again at a later date for potential exemption to disclosure and possible release. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

DIA Says Don't Expect Pentagon-UFO Program Docs Earlier Than Late 2022

The Defense Intelligence Agency sent notification the estimated completion date for five FOIA requests pertaining to apparent Pentagon UFO programs is now Dec. 30, 2022. An estimated date of completion is only an estimate, the DIA emphasized in its June 3 letter to this writer.

UFO researchers submitted a variety of FOIA requests to various agencies in the wake of the Dec. 2017 New York Times article on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. Requests seek verification of pertinent AATIP information, as well as circumstances surrounding the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program. Both projects have been reported to be significantly involved in UFO investigation. Researchers continue to await final responses to the most salient of their FOIA requests.

The five FOIA requests referenced in the recent DIA letter:

FOIA-0087-2018 seeks all contracts pertaining to the AATIP, including contracts undertaken with and funding provided to Bigelow Aerospace.

FOIA-0259-2018 requests all mission statements, contractual records, calls for proposals, lists of funding recipients, amounts of funds awarded, budgets, and documents pertaining to the AAWSAP. Also sought are all reports composed by program personnel, reports submitted by funding recipients of the program, lists of contractors and subcontractors, and any related files.

FOIA-0271-2018 seeks copies of all proposals funded, project updates and reports submitted, contractual records, funding recipients, amounts of funds awarded, budgets and documents related to the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program - Solicitation HHM402-08-R-0211.

FOIA-0003-2019 requests all contracts undertaken with and funding provided to Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies from 1998 to present.

FOIA-0258-2019 is a request for all correspondence, such as emails and memos, between Luis Elizondo and the DIA pertaining to the AATIP as described by Pentagon Spokesperson Susan Gough. 

Related final responses already received from the DIA include FOIA-0088-2018, in which copies were requested of all DIA contracts undertaken with and funding provided to the National Institute for Discovery Science from 1995-2004. The DIA indicated no documents responsive to the request were found.

FOIA-0231-2019 sought copies of the DIA response to FOIA-0065-2010, which was a request in 2010 for documents pertaining to the AAWSAP. The DIA filled the request in part, which included providing correspondence conducted between the Agency and Bigelow Aerospace. A document was obtained in 2019 that verified the corporation was awarded an AAWSAP contract.

Those interested in the evolving Pentagon UFO story would be well served to differentiate between what has been verified from official sources and that which is speculated through much less credible and sensational channels. Reserving judgment on any number of issues should prove a wise option as the fact-checking process forges its painstaking path through a strangling jungle of manic hype.

Monday, June 7, 2021

UFO Disclosure and Transparency: Good for Thee, Not for Me

    Longtime ufology staple Hal Puthoff, when asked about recovered craft and bodies, reportedly stated he couldn't discuss them. The evasive remark was apparently given in response to a question posed at a recent conference sponsored by the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies, or SCU. 

Men and women with bold claims have been granted iconic status in the genre for decades. This is in spite of having never produced tangible, verifiable evidence to support their chronic insinuations of extraordinary circumstances.

Robert Bigelow
Anyone remotely familiar with UFO history is aware of the likes of Bob Lazar, George Knapp, Bob Bigelow and any number of his crew, and on and on, who have directly claimed access to paradigm-shifting evidence. For reasons that arguably only make sense to the gullible, UFO Disclosure advocates not only fail to seek verification of such alleged evidence, but support its obstruction. All the while, they manage to frame the participants of these UFO role playing games as heroic.

Why do those who claim to advocate UFO Disclosure and transparency not apply the same standards to members of the UFO genre as they do to Uncle Sam? As one individual observed, "Ufologists swoon at Puthoff’s supposed virtue for knowing more than he dare say, and condemn same behavior in government."

At this blog alone, we have explored circumstances in which Jacques Vallee, Garry Nolan, Diana Walsh Pasulka, Leslie Kean, and the list goes on, sought exemption from transparency while touting claims of significant, if not extraordinary, events. In most cases, the obstructions were implemented while alternately suggesting transparency should be applied to others, most certainly including federal agencies. 

In a recent discussion with UFO Classified host Erica Lukes, guest Mark O'Connell explained his interpretations of a presentation given by Luis Elizondo at a UAP conference a couple years ago (the referenced statements are about 68 minutes in). I suspect this was an SCU conference, as O'Connell mentioned it took place in Huntsville, where SCU holds some events.

"It was the most manipulative operation I have ever been witness to," O'Connell stated. 

Luis Elizondo
He described how Elizondo would enthusiastically tell the audience about exciting things to show them, and exciting discoveries being made, then do "a complete 180" when questions were posed, urging attendees to stay calm and patient. Now years later, people eagerly awaiting Elizondo to present verifiable information of exciting circumstances are still waiting.

As suggested, for whatever reasons, the UFO faithful show no interest in directing their demands for accountability and transparency at people who actually claim to know things and have evidence. In contrast and in real life, those working for government agencies who find themselves between an employment rock and an ethical hard place seek qualified legal counsel and whistleblower benefits as applicable. A recent example is Rebekah Jones, who obtained whistleblower status in her ongoing dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over transparency pertaining to the accurate public reporting of COVID-19 cases. Note she did not seek assistance from George Knapp and Jeremy Corbell.

What's more, it has become increasingly apparent some in UFO circles believe ends justify means. With war-related analogies regularly tossed about, a portion of the UFO faithful seem encouraged, if not organized and directed, to oppose rationality and those who support it. That might be to a concerning extent, considering widespread credulousness and online extremism which led up to events of January 6.  

In the aftermath of the outing of a pro-UFO Twitter group chat in which tactics were discussed for use in what was described as a war for someone's followers, I noticed a Twitter user and UFO enthusiast declare the power of UFO Twitter. For those unaware, UFO Twitter, or those who tweet about UFOs, considers itself influential in guiding official policy on the handling of the UAP topic. They are often encouraged by higher profile activists to believe that is the case. The UFO enthusiast added in their tweet, "We too have been engaging in ops against the secret keepers."   

I chose to respond to the assertion, asking who is "we." I further inquired who the "secret keepers" are and what kinds of actions are being taken "against" them. I would indeed like to know more about who designs and directs these alleged "ops."   

After a brief exchange the individual suggested they would get back with me the next day. When they did not, I inquired again. They then "blocked" me, reducing my access to their tweets, and, in effect, the extent I might pursue the claims.

UFO Disclosure and transparency: Good for thee, not for me.