Friday, July 23, 2021

CIA Conducts MDR on Bluebird Docs

     The CIA recently conducted a Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) of a file containing Cold War era documents pertaining to Project Bluebird. The action resulted from a 2020 request for an MDR submitted by this writer. The Agency provided the updated file today by email. It may be compared to the previously released file originally obtained from the CIA online reading room. 

Research conducted on members of the Board of Governors of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, or NICAP, contributed to interest in requesting further declassification of select Bluebird records. Inaugural Director of Central Intelligence Roscoe Hillenkoetter initially approved the project which ultimately led to MKULTRA. Hillenkoetter, who directed the CIA from 1947-1950, went on to act as NICAP Chairman of the Board from 1957-1962. NICAP, an organization which investigated UFOs, was launched in 1956.  

NICAP Board staple Col. Joseph Bryan III was later identified as a CIA officer who directed a psychological and political warfare subdivision within the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). The OPC operated on CIA funding in conjunction with directives expressed by the State Department from 1948-1952. At that point it was merged with the Office of Special Operations and the two became the Directorate of Plans, effectively forming the CIA Clandestine Services.  

The above referenced Project Bluebird records indicate representatives from the OPC were included on a short list of eyes only personnel providing support for the operation. While it has long been known Hillenkoetter approved the project, the MDR nonetheless offers a bit further insight into the circumstances, such as the DCI's signature shown in the image below on a 1950 memo, along with the indication of OPC involvement.

Page 19 of the updated file was newly released as a result of the MDR. The document is a 1950 memo discussing responsibilities related to the interrogation of Robert Vogeler, accused of espionage in Hungary on behalf of the United States. The now declassified memo appears to be part of a volley of communications pertaining to interrogating Vogeler with Bluebird methods should he be released from prison and accessible to the Agency. 

The CIA would go on to fund a study of Hungarian immigrants within Project MKULTRA. Subproject 69 sought to improve psychological warfare techniques hindered by the Iron Curtain. Hungarians fleeing to the U.S. from conflict were perceived as opportunities to better understand how techniques could be made more effective. MKULTRA was formally approved by DCI Allen Dulles in 1953.

Memos contained in the above referenced Bluebird file outline project objectives and methods, which included increasing the effectiveness of interrogation techniques. Specifically, one memo states, "The purpose of this project is to provide for the immediate establishment of interrogation teams for the operational support of OSO [Office of Special Operations] and OPC [Office of Policy Coordination] activities." This was to be accomplished through the use of such tools as speech inducing drugs, narcoanalysis and hypnotism. 

Offices with the appearance of medical facilities were to be set up in Washington, D.C. The OPC and Office of Special Operations were designated to provide support and undercover staff. 

It might be considered difficult to identify if such documents tell us more about the NICAP Board members or the obsession of the CIA with such lines of research. Either way, it seems reasonable to give deeper consideration to the full employment histories of people often projected to be UFO Disclosure heroes. The pro-UFO quotes of DCI Hillenkoetter are frequently promoted in certain social media circles. His support for unethical human research projects, not so much.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Office of Secretary of Defense: DIA Ran AATIP Until It Ended in 2012

    The AATIP was managed by the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2008 until it ended in 2012, a Government Information Specialist from the Office of the Secretary of Defense stated in an email received Wednesday. The statement comes on the heels of a FOIA final response indicating a search conducted by the DIA found no correspondence, such as emails or memos, exchanged between Luis Elizondo and the DIA pertaining to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The message also comes in the wake of a May 24 email in which Pentagon Spokesperson Sue Gough stated DIA managed AATIP and Elizondo was not assigned to DIA. 

Email received Wednesday, June 30, stemming from FOIA request
for OUSDI records pertaining to AATIP and AAWSAP 

Elizondo and his associates have repeatedly claimed he directed the AATIP, and have specifically stated his directorship began in 2010 from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, or OUSDI. Pentagon spokespersons have repeatedly stated Elizondo had no assigned responsibilities for AATIP while assigned to the OUSDI.

The Wednesday email came as the result of a FOIA request seeking documents on the AATIP and AAWSAP, or Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Applications Program. The request for records on the apparent Pentagon UFO projects was submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Joint Staff (OSD/JS) with the intention of initiating a search for potentially responsive files located in the OUSDI. 

A final response to the request was received June 24 attached to an email from Government Information Specialist Raymond Hartwick of the OSD/JS FOIA Requester Service Center. The response stated the request had been misdirected and should be sent to the DIA.

A reply to the email was sent, informing Mr. Hartwick of an understanding there are allegations the AATIP was transferred into the OUSDI from the DIA. He was therefore asked if the request was submitted to the proper office that would respond to FOIA requests for the OUSDI, and, if not, would he please advise as to where to submit the request to the OUSDI. 

Having not heard back from Mr. Hartwick by Tuesday morning, he was telephoned. A voice mail message was left, reiterating a desire to submit the request to the OUSDI. Wednesday afternoon he emailed, assuring the expressed questions had not been forgotten.

"I am still working with my components to provide you with accurate answers," he added in the email.  

Later Wednesday afternoon another email, pictured above, was received. The message did not address the FOIA submission process for the OUSDI and again advised to direct the request to the DIA. Mr. Hartwick further stated, "The AATIP was managed by DIA from 2008 until it ended in 2012."