Tag: Pentagon

Navy: No Release of UFO Information to the General Public Expected

by Paul Sonne                  May 1, 2019                   (washingtonpost.com)

• In recent news, it was revealed that the U.S. Navy has drafted a procedure to investigate and catalogue reports of unidentified flying objects coming in from its pilots. (see article on new Navy UFO guidelines here) But the service doesn’t expect to make the information public, citing privileged and classified reporting that is typically included in such files.

• Joe Gradisher, a spokesman for the office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, said in a statement that the Navy expects to keep the information it gathers private for a number of reasons. “Military aviation safety organizations always retain reporting of hazards to aviation as privileged information in order to preserve the free and honest prioritization and discussion of safety among aircrew,” Gradisher said. “Furthermore, any report generated as a result of these investigations will, by necessity, include classified information on military operations.” “Therefore, no release of information to the general public is expected.”

• The Navy’s new UFO reporting guidelines follow the revelation that in late 2017 the Pentagon ran a secret, 5-year, $22M “UFO” office to collect and analyze “anomalous aerospace threats”. It was known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The program resulted in the release of video footage from the cockpit cameras of Navy aircraft, which appeared to document oval-shaped vessels that resemble flying Tic Tacs. (see NY Times article from Dec 2017 here)

• Reports of curious sightings from military aircraft aren’t new. During World War II, Allied military pilots witnessed unexplained objects and fireballs that they dubbed “foo fighters”. A number of official government investigations looked into such phenomena during the postwar period.

• Even though the Navy has indicated it has no plans to release any UFO data, unclassified portions of the information or broad overviews of the findings could come out, according to Luis Elizondo, an intelligence officer who ran AATIP before leaving the Pentagon. “If it remains strictly within classified channels, then the ‘right person’ may not actually get the information. The right person doesn’t necessarily mean a military leader. It can be a lawmaker. It can be a whole host of different individuals,” Elizondo said. Even if the information isn’t made available to the public, it could be reported to Congress.

 

The U.S. Navy has drafted a procedure to investigate and catalogue reports of unidentified flying objects coming in from its pilots. But the service doesn’t expect to make the information public, citing privileged and classified reporting that is typically included in such files.

Joe Gradisher, a spokesman for the office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, said in a statement that the Navy expects to keep the information it gathers private for a number of reasons.

“Military aviation safety organizations always retain reporting of hazards to aviation as privileged information in order to preserve the free and honest prioritization and discussion of safety among aircrew,” Gradisher said. “Furthermore, any report generated as a result of these investigations will, by necessity, include classified information on military operations.”

He added, “Therefore, no release of information to the general public is expected.”

The Navy’s recent decision to draft formal guidelines for pilots to document encounters with unexplained aerial phenomena comes after the revelation in late 2017 that the Pentagon ran a secret “UFO” office that spent $22 million over five years to collect and analyze “anomalous aerospace threats.” Funding for the office, known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP, officially ended in 2012, though operations continued.

Among other things, the program resulted in the release of footage from the cockpit cameras of military aircraft, which appeared to document oval-shaped vessels that resemble flying Tic Tacs.

Reports of curious sightings from military aircraft aren’t new. During World War II, Allied military pilots witnessed unexplained objects and fireballs that they dubbed “foo fighters”— a term that later inspired the name of the eponymous 1990s rock band. A number of official government investigations looked into such phenomena in the postwar period.

Now, the Navy has agreed to a more formalized process for cataloguing and investigating reports from pilots, a decision welcomed by former U.S. officials who want the military to take the matter seriously and remove the stigma in the armed forces of reporting such incidents.

Even though the Navy indicated it has no plans in the imminent future to release the data, unclassified portions of the information or broad overviews of the findings could come out, according to Luis Elizondo, an intelligence officer who ran AATIP before leaving the Pentagon.

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I-Team Confirms Pentagon Did Release UFO Videos

by George Knapp and Matt Adams                     April 29, 2019                       (lasvegasnow.com)

• U.S. Navy officials recently announced that it is changing its policy regarding the reporting of UFOs/UAPs by Navy pilots and personnel (see announcement article). But since a December 2017 New York Times article (see here) revealed a 5-year/$22M Pentagon UFO study program that ended in 2012, along with several videos with images of apparent UFOs, the Pentagon has insisted that the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) had nothing to do with UFOs, and it has denied that the videos came from the Department of Defense (DoD). Now, George Knapp’s ‘I-Team’ has learned that this is not accurate.

• The U.S. Navy’s 2004 encounter with a ‘Tic Tac’ UFO off of San Diego; the 2015 incursion by multiple unknowns off the coast of Florida dubbed ‘Gimbal’; and a zippy craft off of the coast of Virginia known as “Go Fast” did, in fact, come from the DoD. “The videos were released by the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense made the decision to release them,” said Lue Elizondo, a former DoD intelligence officer and director of the Pentagon’s AATIP study.

• Before Elizondo resigned from his Pentagon detail, he initiated a process to get the three videos, and many more, declassified for public release. He insisted in a June 2018 interview these UFO encounters were not isolated incidents. “There were many incidents we looked at and we looked at them on a continuing basis,” said former US Senator Harry Reid. Senator Reid confirmed ‘there’s a lot more where these came from’.

• To back up their assertions, the I-Team obtained a copy of the DD 1910 form issued by the Department of Defense office of prepublication and security review, the final step in a multi-step process to have them publicly released. (click here for the DD 1910 form) The request specifies the three videos: Go Fast, Gimbal and FLIR, which was the original name for the Tic Tac encounter. The document shows that authorization for release was granted on August 24, 2017. The I-Team also acquired the DoD directive which spells out how the video release procedure works.

• Since their release, the three videos and the pilots involved in those encounters have been part of several closed door briefings given to Congress, set up by Chris Mellon who formerly worked for the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Department of Defense. High ranking Navy officials claimed to be ‘just as surprised’ at the UFO evidence as congressional staff. The Navy now wants to encourage pilots to report unusual encounters without fear of damaging their careers.

• Mellon, now of ‘To The Stars Academy’, told the I-Team that the Navy officials realized it was “indefensible” to not have a system that allowed more reporting of these incidents.

 

U.S. Navy officials issued a stunning statement a few days ago. The Navy announced it is developing new policies that will make it easier for pilots and other military personnel to file official reports about encounters with “unexplained aerial phenomena”, otherwise known as UFOs.

What’s behind this dramatic announcement? And is it related to the UFO videos which were made public at the end of 2017?

For the U.S. Navy to issue such a forceful statement about UFOs and the importance of investigating each incident is such an abrupt change. It stands in marked contrast to all the conflicting statements made by the Pentagon in the past 15 months — claims that the secret study sponsored by Nevada Senator Harry Reid wasn’t really about UFOs, that it ended years ago, and that the three videos weren’t really released by the Department of Defense. Suffice to say, those Pentagon statements are simply not accurate.

The U.S. Navy’s 2004 encounter with an object dubbed the Tic Tac UFO. The 2015 incursion by multiple unknowns off the coast of Florida dubbed Gimbal. And a zippy craft aptly known as “Go Fast”.

Two of the three videos were made public in December 2017, released simultaneously by the New York Times and To The Stars Academy. The provenance of the videos has been disputed ever since.

“The videos were released by the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense made the decision to release them,” said Lue Elizondo, a former intelligence officer.

Reporter George Knapp: “So, someone gave this the green light?”

Lue Elizondo: “Absolutely, and it wasn’t me.”

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U.S. Navy Drafting New Guidelines for Reporting UFOs

by Brian Bender                 April 23, 2019                   (politico.com)

• The U.S. Navy announced that it is drafting new formal guidelines for pilots and other Navy personnel to report UFO encounters to the ‘cognizant authorities’. This is in response to a series of sightings by Navy pilots of UFOs, particularly the ‘tic tac’ UFO incident involving the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in 2004 when Navy fighter jets were outmaneuvered by an unidentified aircraft that flew in ways that defied the laws of known physics.

• The development comes amid growing interest from members of Congress following revelations by POLITICO and the New York Times in late 2017 that the Pentagon established a $25 million UFO research office, known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. That program ostensibly ended in 2012. A statement by the Navy explained, “In response to requests for information from Congressional members and staff, Navy officials have provided a series of briefings by senior Naval Intelligence officials as well as aviators who reported hazards to aviation safety.”

• The Navy isn’t endorsing the idea that its sailors have encountered alien spacecraft. But it is acknowledging there have been enough strange aerial sightings by credible and highly trained military personnel that they need to be recorded in the official record and studied — rather than dismissed as some kooky phenomena from the realm of science-fiction.

• Chris Mellon, a former Pentagon intelligence official and ex-staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said establishing a more formal means of reporting UAPs (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena) would be a “sea change.” “Right now, we have situation in which UFOs and UAPs are treated as anomalies to be ignored,” said Mellon. “[I]n a lot of cases [military personnel] don’t know what to do with that information… They will dump [the data] because that is not a traditional aircraft or missile.”

• Advocates for treating such UFO sightings as a potential national security threat have long criticized military leaders for giving the phenomenon relatively little attention, and for encouraging a culture in which personnel feel that speaking up about it could hurt their career.

 

The U.S. Navy is drafting new guidelines for pilots and other personnel to report encounters with “unidentified aircraft,” a significant new step in creating a formal process to collect and analyze the unexplained sightings — and destigmatize them.

The previously unreported move is in response to a series of sightings of unknown, highly advanced aircraft intruding on Navy strike groups and other sensitive military formations and facilities, the service says.

“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years,” the Navy said in a statement in response to questions from POLITICO. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.

“As part of this effort,” it added, “the Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft.”

To be clear, the Navy isn’t endorsing the idea that its sailors have encountered alien spacecraft. But it is acknowledging there have been enough strange aerial sightings by credible and highly trained military personnel that they need to be recorded in the official record and studied — rather than dismissed as some kooky phenomena from the realm of science-fiction.

Chris Mellon, a former Pentagon intelligence official and ex-staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said establishing a more formal means of reporting what the military now calls “unexplained aerial phenomena” — rather than “unidentified flying objects” — would be a “sea change.”

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