In a Jan. 30, 2018, interview with Luis Elizondo, investigative journalist George Knapp asks about government programs dealing with UFOs and Elizondo’s reasons for eventually leaving his position with the Under Secretary of Defense. Part 1 of a 10-part series.
Luis Elizondo: Is it a threat, and if it’s a threat, is it Russian, is it Chinese? And yet, these are all normal questions you would ask whether you’re dealing with terrorism or weapons of mass destruction or any issue du jour, right? Natural security issue du jour … and yet here we are with something that …
George Knapp: Doesn’t fit?
Elizondo: Doesn’t fit. Doesn’t fit. And yet no … you’d think that from an intel perspective, that’d be exactly where you want to put it. And yet that’s the last place anybody wanted it to be because it is, it wasn’t well defined. And that is something that from a national security perspective, the government isn’t built to respond to problems in which they’re very poorly defined. You don’t know what it is, you don’t know how it works, and you damn sure can’t do anything about it. So, you know, it puts us kind of in a weird, you know, catch 22. Yes, we need to look at it, because we don’t know how it works. But we don’t have any real recommendations to the boss. So where does that leave us? Right? I don’t want to be the guy to go to the Secretary of Defense. Oh, by the way, the guy who’s named Mad Dog of all Secretary Defenses, and tell Mad Dog we got a problem and we don’t know how it works and we don’t know what it is and there’s nothing we can do about it right now. That’s not a good conversation to get in with the Secretary of Defense, right? And yet, that was my job. And when people above me didn’t want to allow us to have that conversation with the boss, who my personal experience is, here’s a man who likes to operate with more information, not less, right? And you can’t even tell him that there’s a potential problem, even though we’re spending taxpayer money to do it. That, in fact, to me, is more of a threat than the threat itself. That’s more of a national security issue, the fact that we can’t tell the boss there’s a problem, more than the problem itself. And so, you know, that was really one of the fundamental reasons why I decided to leave when I did.
Knapp: I’ll come back to that. Let’s talk about the ride for you. You knew this was going to create an uproar. Is it what you expected? What the reaction, the media reaction, the public reaction?
Elizondo: Oh, my goodness. You know, I … I’m not sure I knew what to expect at all. Frankly speaking, my intent was to leave government service, and maybe out of ignorance on my part, fade off into the sunset, you know? Maybe go work at one of the big supermarket chains or go drive a truck or something, you know, and, and fade off into the sunset. I think, given the topic of what we’re talking about, I think, given the fact that it is an emotional topic for many, many people, and rightfully so. I think people have invested a long amount, a large amount of energy, and time and patience and resources trying to get to the truth. And I think when the government finally came out and acknowledged, yes, we had a program and by the way, yes, we still have a program as of three months ago. I think it’s natural for people to react the way they did. And you get the full spectrum of reactions, right. So on one side, you’re going to have some folks that are very, very excited that this information finally came out and that this information, if the government’s being truthful and you know, disclosure, so to speak. And then you have the other side of the spectrum where, you know, this type of acknowledgment, in some cases could be could be a bit of a hard pill to swallow.