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.
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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 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 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.