Tag: Congress

An Unmet Threat

 

Article by Christopher Mellon                           February 18, 2020                              (legion.org)

• This article is a plea to the US government written by Christopher Mellon (pictured above), a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Today, Mellon is an adviser to Tom DeLonge’s ‘To the Stars Academy for Arts and Science’ and he serves as a contributor to HISTORY’s television series: “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation.”

• Ever since the days of Project Sign in 1948 and Project Bluebook which ended in 1969, the US Government’s reports on UFOs were designed to debunk UFO sightings and discredit civilian UFO researchers. The government’s only objective was to reassure the public that no case “reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security,” and that there is “no evidence of developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge.” The stigma the Air Force sought to create worked only too well, causing most US military and intelligence personnel to conceal rather than report UFOs – a self-blinding process that resulted in decades of lost data.

• But on December 16, 2017, The New York Times ran a front-page story revealing the existence of a Congressionally mandated Pentagon program to study UFOs. The article was accompanied by two declassified DoD videos obtained by Navy F-18 fighter pilots. The UFOs were seen in broad daylight by numerous Navy personnel and demonstrated revolutionary aeronautical capabilities. These reports were independently corroborated by sophisticated military sensor systems. And a Navy spokesman admitted that the Navy videos were neither a hoax nor secret US test aircraft. They were “UAPs” – ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’. With this short statement, the Navy upended the conclusions of every prior US government examination of the UFO phenomenon.

• There is nothing more compelling than hearing the Navy pilots’ stories firsthand. Navy pilot Commander David Fravor who encountered the ‘tic tac’ UFO off of California in 2004 and Lieutenant Ryan Graves, a Navy pilot who said that the UFOs followed his Navy strike group for months, have expressed how anxious they are to find out what technology these strange craft are using to defy the laws of physics, tumbling through nonsensical angles to maintain a dominant position. In the “Gimbal” video (off of the coast of Florida in 2015) posted by The New York Times, one of the pilots is heard to exclaim, “There’s a whole fleet of them out there!” He was referring to a V-shaped formation of smaller craft approaching the fighters as they observed a larger “mothership” in the video. At close range, these bizarre craft appear to be black cubes, the corners of which are touching the inside of transparent spheres a mere six feet in diameter. There are no discernible air inlets, exhaust, wings, or means of lift or propulsion, yet they have been tracked at supersonic speeds and seem able to remain aloft indefinitely. Fravor’s anonymous female ‘wingman’ pilot noted, “We didn’t stand a chance against it.” Navy F-18 pilots would not say that about any Russian or Chinese fighter.

• This should be taken to heart by DoD officials and Congress. Commander Fravor and his colleagues expect their nation to find out where these things come from, why they are here, and how they work. A handful of senators and representatives on national security oversight committees have sought briefings. Yet an obdurate DoD bureaucracy seems to be making almost no effort to determine the origin of these craft or their means of propulsion.

• If we knew for certain that the Russian or Chinese militaries had leapfrogged the United States technologically, there would be a public uproar for increased investigation and action. Such initiatives were spurred on by the Soviet’s Sputnik satellite in the 1950s and paid handsome dividends with thousands of new patents and the US taking the lead in science and technology. The only response we’ve seen to these UAPs has been the Navy updating and formalizing its reporting process. No major investigations have been launched. There is no indication that DoD or the intelligence community leadership is engaged at all.

• There is still no process for collecting and integrating pertinent UFO/UAP information among the myriad US agencies and departments. At the same time, the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology directed NASA to begin looking for “technosignatures,” i.e.: alien space probes. There is no denying the possibility that some UAPs encountered by our military are probes launched by distant civilizations. Inability to identify the radical UAPs violating our airspace is an ongoing intelligence failure, one that arguably requires written notification to the House and Senate intelligence committees pursuant to Section 502 of the National Security Act of 1947.

• Indeed, there are things we could be doing. Analysts could review archived data of the ‘tic tac’ UFO incident in November 2004 from the Nimitz carrier strike group’s infrared radar system, or the International Monitoring System, or various space-based electronic sensors. Reviews of this kind for incidents occurring off the East Coast since 2015 should also be conducted. Direction from Congress or a senior administration official is all it would take to initiate the process. With little effort or expense, the Trump administration could request a National Intelligence Estimate on “anomalous aerospace threats”. Or Congress could fund an independent civilian panel under the auspices of the National Science Foundation.

• Our government’s failure to thoroughly investigate these UFO anomalies is due to our policymakers prioritizing political expediency over national security. This is a state of affairs reminiscent of the declining Roman Empire when the needs and concerns of troops in the field were largely ignored by self-serving politicians in Rome. Hopefully, support for our troops is one thing that still unites us.

 

On Dec. 16, 2017, The New York Times ran a front-page story revealing the existence of a congressionally mandated program to study unidentified flying objects (UFOs). The article was accompanied by two recently declassified DoD videos obtained by F-18 fighter pilots. On both occasions, the UFOs were seen in broad daylight by numerous Navy personnel, the reports were independently corroborated by sophisticated military sensor systems, and the unidentified aircraft demonstrated revolutionary aeronautical capabilities. For example, some of the craft were observed descending from altitudes above 80,000 feet, then hovering as low as 50 feet above the ocean before accelerating to hypersonic speeds from a dead stop.

     David Fravor

As more information emerged, including the release of another official DoD UFO video, a handful of senators and representatives on the national security oversight committees sought briefings. At this point, the Navy and DoD could no longer conceal the truth.

Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations, admitted that the vehicles in the declassified Navy videos are neither a hoax nor secret U.S. test aircraft: “The Navy designates the objects contained in these videos as unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UAP. In other words, they might be Russian, Chinese or even alien spacecraft. Whatever they are, they are real, they aren’t ours, and they continue to violate U.S. airspace with impunity.

With that short statement, the Navy upended the conclusions of every prior U.S. government examination of the UFO

                      Ryan Graves

phenomenon, from Project Sign in 1948 to Project Blue Book, which was terminated in 1969. Written when the Cold War was in full swing, these reports were designed to debunk UFO sightings and discredit civilian UFO researchers in order to reassure, rather than inform, the public. It is hardly surprising, then, that despite hundreds of cases defying explanation the Air Force concluded there was “no evidence of developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge” and that no case “reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security.”

The only scientist assigned full time to Project Blue Book, astronomer Allen Hynek, expressed his contempt for these findings, calling the project’s statistical methods “nothing less than a travesty” and the attitude and approach within Blue Book “illogical and unscientific.” It is now obvious that the stigma the Air Force sought to create worked only too well, causing most U.S. military and intelligence personnel to conceal rather than report UFO/UAPs – a process of self-blinding that resulted in decades of lost data.

The evidence provided by DoD videos and radar is vital for intelligence analysis, yet there is nothing more compelling than meeting the Navy pilots and hearing their stories firsthand. In my conversations with Cmdr. David Fravor, his excitement was palpable and contagious, as were the fears of his anonymous female wingman when she described the surreal manner in which the UAP seemed to defy the laws of physics, tumbling through nonsensical angles to maintain a dominant position vis-à-vis Fravor’s F-18.

Internet talking heads like to cast doubt on these accounts, proposing spurious theories of ghost aircraft lacking transponders lurking in restricted DoD airspace. Clearly they have not interviewed the pilots and radar operators who encountered these objects at close range. Had they done so, they would find no ambiguity, doubt or confusion. Fravor’s wingman told me, and Fravor agreed, “We didn’t stand a chance against it.” I cannot imagine Navy F-18 pilots saying that about any Russian or Chinese fighter. These sobering words from badass Navy combat pilots should be taken to heart by DoD officials and Congress.

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US Space Force to Stand Up a Doctrine Hub

 

Article by Valerie Insinna                       January 10, 2020                        (defensenews.com)

• Space Force was formally established on December 20th as an independent military branch inside the Department of the Air Force. Major General John Shaw, who leads Space Operations Command as commander of the U.S. Space Command’s combined force space component, said on January 10th that the Space Force is setting up a “space doctrine center” where planners from both the Air Force and Space Force “can figure out how …(to) set up a United States Space Force.” “[E]ven as we speak,” said Shaw, “there are folks meeting in Colorado Springs trying to lay this all out.”

• Although Shaw predicts that “war fighting (in space) is going to happen very quickly”, much needs to be done from laying out an organizational structure and creating a Space Force logo, to establishing bases and recruiting personnel. In December the 14th Air Force “Space Command” (headquartered at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California) was re-designated as Space Force Operations Command.

• At the January 10th event in Washington D.C., Shaw assured the audience that they’ve been working on Space Force’s structure. In December, before President Trump had even signed Space Force into law, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett told reporters an initial planning cadre was beginning to hammer out some details. They created monthly goals leading up to February 1st when an initial organizational structure for the Space Force is due to be presented to Congress.

• Shaw has told his planning team to “create a war-fighting service for the 22nd century.” “‘Don’t even think about… the next decade or even the century.” “We started with that.” Shaw predicts that next century technology is going to come ‘fast’, and envisions Space Force as “ a lean, agile service that can quickly respond to threats.”

• Shaw also spoke about the “nerdy” aerospace engineering students who normally wouldn’t be interested in joining the military, but are attracted to a career in the Space Force. “[T]here’s something going on,” says Shaw. “There’s an excitement about space that I feel we can tap into.”

 

WASHINGTON — The Space Force is setting up a “space doctrine center” where the brand-new American armed service can begin to hammer out how to optimally operate in space, the head of Space Operations Command said Friday.

                  Maj. Gen. John Shaw

The Space Force was formally established on Dec. 20 as an independent military branch inside the Department of the Air Force. But much still needs to be done to get the fledgling service up on its feet, including laying out its organizational structure, creating a logo, potentially changing the name of bases and transferring airmen over to the Space Force.

Both the Air Force and Space Force have been working to fulfill these tasks, said Maj. Gen. John Shaw, who leads Space Operations Command and holds the title of U.S. Space Command’s combined force space component commander. Space Operations Command was formerly known as 14th Air Force up until the creation of the Space Force.

“We have been authorized some billets for a space doctrine center, and we’ll be holding a space doctrine conference in Colorado Springs next month,” Shaw said at a Jan. 10 breakfast event. “So I think we’re already thinking about how do we think about this anew.”

In December, just hours before President Donald Trump signed off on legislation that would codify the Space Force into law, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett told reporters that her service had identified an initial planning cadre that would hammer out many of the major details needed to stand up the Space Force.

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The Navy Acknowledges UFOs – Why Aren’t They on Washington’s Radar?

Listen to “e167 The Navy Acknowledges UFOs – Why Aren’t They on Washington’s Radar?” on Spreaker.

Article by Christopher Mellon                        November 2, 2019                         (thehill.com)

• Government paralysis is something we’ve grown accustomed to on domestic matters but, when it affects national security as well, we truly are a nation at risk. Sixty years ago, Americans were shocked when the Soviet Union put Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, into orbit. Congress promptly acted on Americans’ concerns and spurred “the space race”, culminating in a Moon landing twelve years later.

• The U.S. Navy has publicly acknowledged that the vehicles observed and recorded by U.S. Navy fighter pilots (off of both the East and West coasts), which are able to maneuver above 80,000 feet; can hover and then instantly accelerate to supersonic and even hypersonic speeds; and use a means of propulsion and control that does not appear to involve combustion, exhaust, rotors, wings or flaps, are indeed ‘unidentified aerial phenomenon’.

• This shocking announcement has scarcely been noticed by Congress. To date, there have been congressional oversight committee briefings but no hearings, no funds appropriated to study the phenomenon, not even a request for a report or a threat assessment. It appears that Congress has no problem with being kept in the dark all of these years by the military regarding these UFOs. Is the information too radical to process? Is the U.S. government in denial? It would seem a matter of utmost urgency.

• The writer, former Defense Department and US Senate intelligence staffer Chris Mellon, has interviewed numerous active-duty and retired military personnel who have encountered these UFOs. Without exception they express grave concern for their colleagues and near disbelief that our government is not reacting more vigorously. Policymakers should pay close attention to the experiences of U.S. military personnel, investigate thoroughly, and respond effectively.

• Myriad services and agencies including the National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Intelligence Agency, CIA, Air Force and Navy, FBI and National Security Agency, possess a pool of relevant data on UFOs, says Mellon. But we are not analyzing the vast quantity of data already collected by America’s vast ‘sensor networks’. We simply need to implement a strategy for the centralized collection and analysis of this data.

• We have entered a new frontier. Similar to our forebears who settled the Western half of the continent, we must still confront the unknown. But as President Eisenhower said in a speech he gave in 1958 in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, nineteenth century frontiersmen “were not turned back by terror; they did not succumb to the tensions …encountered beyond the fringes of civilization. They moved ahead as companions in adventure, well-knowing that danger is often the inseparable partner of progress and honor.”

 

In what could be a precursor to further stunning developments, the U.S. Navy has publicly acknowledged that the advanced aircraft depicted in several recently declassified gun-camera videos are UFOs, or what the Navy prefers to call “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon” (UAPs). “The Navy designates the objects contained in these videos as unidentified aerial phenomena,” acknowledged Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations, referring to the bizarre vehicles that have brazenly operated in restricted U.S. military airspace.

Christopher Mellon

Strangely, this shocking announcement seems to have scarcely been noticed by Congress or the Trump administration. Is the information too jarring and radical to process? Are U.S. government officials in denial? One can only wonder, given the glaring disconnect between the Navy’s announcement and the limited government actions to protect U.S. military personnel and the nation as a whole.

The vehicles observed and recorded by U.S. Navy fighter pilots seem impervious to altitude or the elements; they are able to maneuver above 80,000 feet; they can hover and then instantly accelerate to supersonic and even hypersonic speeds; they have very low radar cross-sections and use a means of propulsion and control that does not appear to involve combustion, exhaust, rotors, wings or flaps.

Since the Navy asserts these are not U.S. aircraft, we are confronted by the daunting prospect that a potential adversary of the United States has achieved the ability to render our most sophisticated aircraft and air defense systems obsolete. Much like the Japanese reacting to the appearance of Admiral Perry’s steam-powered fleet in Tokyo Bay in the 1850s, it would seem a matter of utmost urgency to determine who is operating these craft, how they work and the intentions of those commanding them.

I’ve interviewed numerous active-duty and retired military personnel who have encountered these mysterious vehicles. Without exception they express grave concern for their colleagues and near disbelief that our government is not reacting more vigorously.

This situation is not altogether unprecedented. Some 60 years ago Americans were shocked when the Soviet Union orbited Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. Sputnik garnered sustained front-page coverage, however, and Congress promptly acted on Americans’ concerns by approving increased space and defense expenditures and enhanced education programs for math and science. The concerns roused by Sputnik spurred America to enter “the space race.” The nation rallied to the cause and the commitment paid off when astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon a mere 12 years later.

Consider by contrast our government’s tepid response to the latest news about UAPs. Some congressional oversight committees have asked for and received briefings, but none has held a hearing, either open or closed; none has appropriated funds for collection or analysis; none has even asked for a report or a threat assessment. Nor have Congress members expressed concern over apparently being kept in the dark on this issue for years by the executive branch, a situation that changed only after a small private organization — To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, which I advise on national security affairs — made Department of Defense gun-camera footage available to the press and to Congress.

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