AATIP / AAWSAP / ELIZONDO

UFO

This is a personal commentary from George Knapp.

Luis Elizondo

Luis Elizondo has been speaking with George Knapp for several years about his involvement in a once secret Pentagon program to study UFOs.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY FROM GEORGE KNAPP: 

Since the release of the book “Skinwalkers at the Pentagon” two weeks ago, several attempts have been made to muddy the waters about the differences between the AAWSAP program, managed by Dr. Jim Lacatski at the DIA, and the AATIP program, managed by Lue Elizondo at the Pentagon. The people trying to confuse matters are the usual suspects on social media, those who pretend to be interested in UFO/UAP and related phenomena, but who have proven time and again their primary interest is in creating doubt, discouraging serious inquiry into these topics, and, presumably, in honing their skills as stand-up comedians.  

Lue Elizondo has been targeted by these same folks since December 2017 when he helped convince the New York Times to run a story about the Pentagon’s secret interest in UFOs. Surprisingly, the online warriors have often aped the misleading statements made by the Pentagon’s spokespersons, who have ridiculously denied that AATIP or AAWSAP had anything to do with UFOs, and also denied that Elizondo was ever assigned to work on AATIP or had anything to do with a UFO investigation.  It is hard to understand why seemingly intelligent UFO investigators, people who are familiar with the 70-year record of the military in lying about the UFO topic, would choose to accept false statements from the DOD (or any UFO-related statement from DOD, for that matter) , but that is what’s happened.  The attempts to confuse the public and slander Elizondo most likely stem from perceived turf wars in the UFO field. Everyone says they want the truth, so long as it is THEIR truth. 

The distinction between AAWSAP and AATIP is not new. It has been part of the public record for 3 years now. I’ve reported it on television, on radio, and in multiple public presentations.  Dr. Lacatski is now on record as saying the two programs were related but were not the same thing. Dr.  Colm Kelleher, who was a program manager for the DIA study by Bigelow Aerospace, has also helped draw the distinction between the two programs. He co-authored the book, along with Lacatski and yours truly.  Robert Bigelow, whose company won the DIA contract, has also explained the differences in an on camera interview recorded by us ten months ago. 

But there is another voice who has explained how the two programs operated and intersected. Lue Elizondo laid it all out in an interview we conducted in June 2018. Elizondo gave us his first long-form, on camera interview in January 2018, a few weeks after the New York Times story broke.  In that interview, he never mentioned AAWSAP because, at the time, it was not publicly known. By June 2018,  the secret was out. KLAS had aired multiple news stories about it and revealed documents including the contract signed by DIA and Bigelow, so in that second interview, Elizondo addressed questions we posed about the two efforts.  This interview has been posted on our website since June 2018. Those supposedly pro-UFO twitfologists who now find themselves somehow confused have no one to blame but themselves … for being too lazy to review information and materials that have been widely available more than three years.  Here are pertinent excerpts from the 2018 interview with Elizondo. 


George Knapp: We’re talking about this 2009 unclassified letter in which you’ve got to read between the lines a little bit, but it is pregnant with possibilities. I mean, the implications of what you see in those is that this is real. That assessment runs very contrary to the statements that the Pentagon has made — Pentagon spokespeople — since you came forward.

Luis Elizondo: There’s a lot of pockets within the Department of Defense that may not necessarily know exactly what, you know, another pocket is doing, right? The right hand doesn’t always know what the left hand is doing. They try. I don’t think it’s deliberate or on purpose. I don’t think it’s a misinformation campaign. I think If there was a question as to what the government knows, or doesn’t know, you’d probably have to bring that up to the government to answer. I certainly don’t want to guess why the government said what they did. I can only imagine for two reasons: A. national security. And if it’s not national security, they just didn’t know.

Knapp: AATIP — the program was killed.

Elizondo: Right.

Knapp: And it was killed because it didn’t find anything.

Elizondo: Right.

Knapp: This letter we’re talking about says they did find stuff.

Elizondo: Well, and I’ve made that very clear before without necessarily referring to the memo. AATIP did find a lot of stuff. And this wasn’t just a one-off looking at the Nimitz incident. There were many, many incidents we looked at. And we looked at them on a continuing basis. And we thought we saw some congruences throughout these incidents time and time again, some repeated patterns of behavior. And as an intelligence officer, when you see those repeated patterns of behavior, that is key that something’s going on. That there is something there — predictability — that you can use then, later on, to figure out how the things work and what the things really are.

Knapp: The arguments that were made in that letter are still valid today.

Elizondo: Absolutely. In my opinion, absolutely. They’re more valid now than they ever have been before.

George Knapp: It feels like something’s going on. And I know there’s some sensitivities involved. But I mean, is that feeling correct?

Luis Elizondo: Well, you’ll have to excuse my response on this, but George, in the end, I’ve always said it doesn’t matter what my feelings are, right? I may feel something. But I also may be wrong. So, I sense that the conversation is occurring now among the American people and amongst some of our senior levels of government. That has never happened before, and I’m very optimistic about that. How about feel about it is probably irrelevant, but I will tell you if you’re asking. I feel good about it. I feel that finally, people can have a rational conversation. And people much smarter than me can figure out what the hell these things are.

Knapp: Well, the reason you left is because it wasn’t getting the attention it deserved.

Elizondo: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Knapp: Same argument that this essentially makes.

Elizondo: I actually left out of loyalty, not disloyalty, because of I love the department and the leadership so much, particularly (Secretary of Defense James) Mattis, that there was no other way for me to communicate that these things that we were seeing and experiencing were real, and that they were being collected by not just grandma in the backyard shooting a camera and seeing some lights back there. This is by trained observers flying multimillion-dollar weapon platform systems, sometimes over US cities that we trust to fight and win wars on our behalf. And they’re telling you they’re seeing something. They’ve seen something that they don’t know what it is. And we have to pay attention. Which is backed up by electro-optical data, which is backed up by the radar data, which is backed up by, you know, more and more and more layers. At some point, you have to look and say, you know … there’s an old saying we have, if you see it once, it’s an anomaly. If you see it twice, it could be a coincidence. If you see it three times, you’re probably looking at a trend. Right? And so that’s what we’re seeing. And when you’re building this mosaic, you’re building this, for lack of better terms, this jigsaw puzzle. You know, people will say, “Well, how do you even know where to begin?” Well, you begin with the first piece. Right? You take a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, and I’m not very smart, so I’m not very good at building these things, so what I usually do is take the four corners first, and I set those pieces aside. Because you can tell that they’re the four corners. Then I take all the pieces have the straight edge because I know they’re going to be the border, and I set those aside. Right? So that’s in another little bin. And then what I do is I take all the pieces that are kind of the similar colors, and I’ll take those and probably figure they’re probably the part of the same scene, and I’ll set those aside. And before long, my daughter and I went from having a 1000-piece jumbled mess, to now we have five or six bins that we can see, okay, these are common pieces that are going to help us now put together the picture. And so very much — and it’s a very poor analogy — but very much to that same methodology we did that within AATIP. We tried to find those commonalities and “binned” those in what we now know as the five observables, that have come out as the five observables, and that has helped us really focus in on collecting the data pieces that are very important, or the pieces of data that we don’t have yet.

George Knapp: Can you describe, there is confusion about AATIP, AAWSAP, BAASS.

Luis Elizondo: Sure

Knapp: Different acronyms — how that all … you describe your network of guys, and how that interacted with the others.

Elizondo: So George, understand that when it first came out, I was only in charge of AATIP at the time. So it really wasn’t up to me to have a big lengthy discussion about AAWSAP before that — Advanced Weapons Special Application Program. But in the end, I knew that information would eventually come out. Enough people were asking the right questions, that it would come out. It needs to come out, but it can’t come from me.

Knapp: Right.

Elizondo: Because that really wasn’t … that started before I came on board. And therefore, my knowledge of it is a bit limited. So in essence in 2007, the initial program was called AAWSAP program. And it was that name for about nine months. And that program was later refined, it was a bit of a shotgun approach to the phenomena. So it included a lot of stuff in this program on trying to figure out how these things fly and where are they coming out of, where are they going and things like that. When I came into the program, the name had just been changed to AATIP — Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, AATIP. Not advanced “aviation,” advanced “aerospace.” I know people keep saying it’s advanced aviation. It’s not. And eventually that’ll come out to, and people will realize that’s not the name. It’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. And so when I came in that name AATIP had already been issued. And that’s what was being referred to as. Now whether it was … not a nickname or a formal name. It was a formal name for us, it was briefed as AATIP. But if people want to, you know, argue about semantics, and they want to say it was a nickname, that’s fine. But it wasn’t really a nickname, at least not for me and the guys and the gals that were working with me. So it was AATIP. And that’s how we briefed it. But anyways, that focus was really on the more of the nuts and bolts, looking at what it is and how does it work. Right? And as I’ve said before, many times, that was our focus, and that was AATIP’s focus. So we went from a broad kind of spotlight approach to more of a narrowly focused laser approach trying to figure out pieces of this, because it was just too much of the elephant to eat in one bite, frankly, in my opinion anyways. Could be wrong, but looking at now hindsight being 2020, the AAWSAP program, given the resources, $22 million would never be enough to really follow each and every … down each and every rabbit hole to do this, conclusively, in my opinion anyways. So it was refocused to AATIP. I took over 2010. The program continued to go as AATIP … 2012, that initial five year funding dried up. So we were issued more funding in 2013-2014. Unfortunately, the verbiage in the way it was written in the bill that when it finally came out, another office in the Pentagon took our money that was intended for our office, unfortunately. And I won’t go into detail what office that was, but the office took it. And we were unable, because nobody was read into the program, to step up and say hey, that money was intended for us. So the program was indeed intended to be funded well beyond 2012.

Knapp: Interaction between you and your group and the AAWSAP, Bigelow BAASS folks … conversations back and forth? You got a general idea what they’re doing?

Elizondo: (Replies in the affirmative) Of course, yeah. We didn’t do anything without talking to each other.

George Knapp: What about Skinwalker Ranch? Did you get reports on that? Or can you say?

Luis Elizondo: I would prefer to defer that question if that’s okay.

Knapp: Let’s do a hypothetical. The kinds of phenomena that have been described there that were investigated by Bigelow, both as BAASS and as NIDS are confounding in the sense that they never repeat. That the same thing doesn’t happen again. It almost seems to be … like the approach would be to study it as an intelligence issue rather than a scientific issue or as an intelligence …

Elizondo: Well, I think there’s always an intelligence aspect to any big question, right? You have to ask questions. You know, let’s take the nature of Skinwalker out of the equation and just look at it from an intelligence problem. You have to ask yourself, A. Is this something that is naturally occurring? Is just something that is being deliberately done? Is this something that another nation could be behind trying to influence us? Or is this something that is occurring that is just a natural part of being a human being on this planet? Right? And a bunch of other possibilities as well. So we’re looking at things through the optic of trying to determine exactly what are these things that are being detected, that are being observed, that are being reported? And is it something that is naturally occurring or not? And when I say naturally occurring, it doesn’t necessarily mean naturally occurring as part of a weather pattern. This is an awfully big universe we live in. And we now realize through theories such as string theory and theory that the universe in which we live in may be part of a much bigger neighborhood of universe as part of a multiverse which reside within one great big superverse. And this is not just mere speculation. There is scientific evidence right now that even some very serious scientists are looking at. Give you a case in point. The lopsided, supposed lopsided, nature of our universe. When a hand grenade blows up, it tends to blow up in a somewhat symmetrical pattern. And yet, here is our universe, supposedly originating from a big bang, and it seems lopsided. And so some scientists now have speculated it could be that way because of the gravitational force from a neighboring universe. Those gravity effects are actually affecting our universe over here, right? Is it proven? No, but it is a theory. And so I think whenever it comes to things like Skinwalker Ranch or anywhere else, I think we have to keep an open mind. Again, 20 years ago, my cell phone, my iPad, maybe 30 years ago, was paranormal, right?

Knapp: Witchcraft.

Elizondo: Supernatural, witchcraft, voodoo. And now it’s routine. I think when you get into quantum mechanics and you realize things such as duality principle and tangled particles, you realize this universe is far more complex than we had ever even imagined. And we have to take that into account, that there were things that may go bump in the night. And we just need to figure out what those things are.

Interview recorded in June 2018.

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