In a Jan. 30, 2018, interview with Luis Elizondo, investigative journalist George Knapp asks about his work and his contracts with the Department of Defense. They also discuss Bigelow Aerospace. Part 8 of a 10 Part series.
George Knapp: What does it look like? Can you describe working with BAASS, the Bigelow folks? I don’t know if you ever went out to the facility out there?
Luis Elizondo: I’m familiar with Bigelow.
Knapp: How it worked.
Elizondo: Sure. This is, I think a really, another really important part because there’s a lot of misinformation out there. I don’t think it’s deliberate. I just think wherever there’s a vacuum of information, people kind of fill it with whatever is convenient. In this particular case, you had a process for a contract that went through the Defense Intelligence Agency, through the DIA contract vehicle itself within the organization of DIA. DIA chose Bigelow. Bigelow was not hand-selected by Reid, and there was no influence there, “Hey, have Bigelow do it.” So first of all, that’s misnomer No. 1. There was no direct contract vehicle for Senator Reid to take care of a buddy over here in his state for a contract. That’s absolute nonsense, because I know how the process worked, because I saw how the process worked. So DIA chose Mr. Bigelow, and Bigelow Aerospace. Bigelow, then further subcontracted this out. It wasn’t this, hey, this is going to be some sort of capability that I’m going to build in house and nobody’s going to be part of it. He looked for the best and brightest in the aerospace and the investigations field and everywhere else, to try to answer the mail, the mission, that the U.S. government, legally gave him. So he did exactly what he was supposed to do. In fact, if I was back then Bob Bigelow, I would have done it exactly the same way. And I think the American people really need to appreciate that. That’s not a bad thing. He did exactly what he should have done. In fact, that’s exactly what I would have done. If I had a chance to do it again. I would probably do it exactly the same way he did.
Knapp: Not a big moneymaker for him.
Elizondo: No, in fact, worse, I suspect he probably took a loss on it. Because he’s a good guy, somebody who’s going to want to do the mission no matter what. At least, that’s my understanding of Mr. Bigelow. I don’t know him intimately, but the products that came out of that organization, were extremely professional. And I think, you know, but my, I think the amount of rigor that back in my day as a counterintelligence agent, you know, I focused a lot of stuff on, a lot of my efforts on counterterrorism and counterespionage. So the same level of rigor that was applied to an investigation involving a spy, an espionage case, or a terrorist, was the same level of rigor applied to these things. This wasn’t just going out and talking to somebody chewing bubblegum and saying, Hey, you know, what did you see and I saw a bunch of lights in the sky. There was a definitive scientific and investigative process that was followed, that would stand up in any court of law. As I said, before, if this was a court of law, we are beyond reasonable doubt. We would have, the jury would have to convict it. That’s how compelling this data is. And I think it’s unfair, that without that information, people are jumping to conclusion that this was some sort of money grab by Bigelow Aerospace and some crazy relationship between him and Reid. I think it’s unfair and I think frankly, it’s dishonest.
Knapp: BASS produced a lot of stuff.
Knapp: A lot of material.
Elizondo: Very quickly, by the way too. That organization provided a very clear snapshot of not only what we knew, but more importantly, what we didn’t know. And that later on, helped us in the AATIP program to move forward and try to fill in those information gaps. In fact, I would submit to you, almost just as important of what BAASS was able to tell us of information that we did know, was the stuff we didn’t know, and what we had to focus on. And I think that was very helpful to us.