Elizondo welcomes UFO probe by Pentagon’s Inspector General

UFO

MYSTERY WIRE — A former Pentagon intelligence officer who was the focus of Sunday night’s 60 Minutes report about UFOs says recently released videos could represent a new game plan by whoever is flying the unknown craft.

Lue Elizondo ran the Department of Defense’s UFO study, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), for ten years.

In a recent interview with Mystery Wire, Elizondo commented about a decision by the Inspector General’s (IG) office within DOD to look at how the UFO topic has been managed within the Pentagon. Elizondo said the “IG only gets involved usually, if there is some sort of perception that there may have been an issue somewhere. And so the IG does have the ability within the entire Department of Defense to pretty much look anywhere they want to and furthermore, they can engage other Inspector general offices.”

When asked if he had anything to do with the IG evaluation he declined to answer, but added, “I think some of it probably came from Congress. Probably some of it came internally to the department. And frankly, it’s a prudent move. I’ve always suggested that this is an appropriate way for the IG to get involved. And just to make sure that, you know, the right things are done and the right procedures are followed.”

After the 60 Minutes segment aired, Lue Elizondo will likely never be able to return to the shadows where he spent most of his intelligence career.

Elizondo went public in 2017 and ever since has tried to alert the public and Congress to the importance of the UFO mystery. In particular, the intrusions by unknown craft in and around U.S. military facilities and operations.

Luis Elizondo
Lue Elizondo

Elizondo says he can’t comment specifically about the recently released UFO videos and photos, including the unknown spheres that swarmed around the USS Omaha and other Navy ships, but told us these very obvious demonstrations of advanced technology could represent a new level of provocation.

“Why is it that we see a large frequency of these incidents occurring in and around controlled U.S. airspace and particularly around military assets and equities?” Elizondo said during a recent interview with Mystery Wire. “That for me is the biggest question because you’re right, from an adversarial perspective, certainly, that would be indicative of some sort of show of force.”

Elizondo thinks unknown craft shown in recently released videos are not necessarily hostile and might be just as curious about us as we are about them, adding we simply don’t know enough about their intentions and it’s time we find out.

“At one point, we considered this topic very much like a fine wine and where the longer you keep a cork on it, the better it gets,” Elizondo said. “And now what we’re realizing this topic is probably more like rotten fruit, or rotten vegetables in the refrigerator. The longer it stays in there, the more it’s going to smell. And so it’s probably time to clean out the fridge.”

Elizondo also clarified his position when he was in the Pentagon, “I was not part of AAWSAP. Okay, I was part of AATIP.”

He also talked about the difference between AATIP and AAWSAP (Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Applications Program) and the current UFO program at the Pentagon. “AATIP became a very small, very niche, very nuanced capability that was run primarily through government people,” Elizondo said. “Hopefully, at some point, the person who replaced me will be coming out in the public and be able to have additional conversation. Right now, I think most people just think I was the guy in AATIP, when in fact, there were other people as well. And the program continued after I left. And that morphed into what we now know, as a UAP Task Force.”


Below is the transcript of Part 2 of George Knapp’s interview with Lue Elizondo.

George Knapp
As you know, the UAP Task Force had a gigantic task in front of us, it put together as much information as it could. Prepared a briefing presentation that’s been given to Congress, the defense community contractors, it’s gone to I think the Joint Chiefs, various different agencies around Washington, you are familiar with a lot of that material, I would assume the videos and photos and images. Are you?

Lue Elizondo
Uh, you know, George, yes, I have to be a little careful about going into too much detail because, clearly, I am not a DoD civilian anymore. So therefore, I do not have the authority to speak on behalf of the US government. But suffice it to say that a lot of this stuff really isn’t isn’t much of a surprise to me.

George Knapp
Well, we released something, I’m sure by now you’ve seen it. It’s from the USS Omaha. You know, earlier there were images of stills that were part of a slide that was used in a UAP Task Force presentation of these spherical objects seen around the USS Omaha. One that traveled with the ship for about an hour, and then boom, went into the water. And then they went after it couldn’t find it. I realize you probably can’t comment directly on that video. But can we speak in general terms about the capabilities, whatever these things are? I mean, as I think Chris Mellon has said, if we have failed to see the Chinese building something that is transmedium that does what that thing did. It’s an incredible intelligence failure.

Lue Elizondo 
George, that’s a great question. And you’re referring to one of the observables that we had at the Pentagon’s program AATIP. That we refer to as transmedium travel, and transmedium travel is very significant. What it means is that you have the ability to operate multiple domains or multiple environments. Now, to put that into context, we do indeed have technology we do have vehicles that can operate in multiple environments. Let’s take a seaplane for example. But when you really look at it, a seaplane is neither a really good aircraft, or a really good boat, it’s a compromise. It’s design compromise, because you’re trying to operate multiple environments. And yet, here we are looking at things now and collecting information and data on things that have the ability to operate seemingly, without any type of performance compromise, that can operate in the atmosphere and even underwater. And that is, you know, that’s something unique. We do have certain capabilities, for example, certain missiles that people are familiar with, in submarines that we can launch out of a tube and for a very short period of time, it’s underwater, and that pops out and flies. But there really isn’t a whole lot of examples where we have some sort of technology that has the ability to fly for, let’s say, an hour, next to a Navy destroyer, and then all of a sudden drop into the water and continue to operate as if the water wasn’t even there. And so you’re right, it’s very perplexing.

George Knapp 
Again, you can’t comment on specifics, but the USS Omaha, the information that we released, it was one of at least five different ships that were buzzed in July 2019. By these unknowns, and they weren’t able to see them coming in, they weren’t able to see them leaving. And it seemed like these things wanted to be seen, they were making a display or an observed performance, the USS Omaha sphere travels with the ship right along with it for like an hour. It’s like, Hey, take some close ups, here I am, and then it goes into water. I know that we have increased technical capabilities and centers to track things like these unknowns to track the adversaries and enemies. But is there a point at which we can say the phenomenon is upping its game? That it is making itself known in a more demonstrable way than we have seen before?

Lue Elizondo  
Yeah, so that’s a really good, good question, George. And the question is, are we beginning to notice an uptick, if you will, in provocations, or what we would call in defense terms, show of force? It’s not uncommon that we will display our capabilities to an enemy or an adversary, they will of course, do the same with us, in order to demonstrate our capabilities, basically a warning? Don’t mess with us because look what we can do. The question you’re asking is what we are witnessing here, a potential provocation? In essence, look at this technology that we can do, you don’t have it, so better be careful. I don’t know. Certainly, I think if you talk to certain folks inside the intelligence community, they may come up with that assessment, that this is clearly someone or something trying to be obvious and say, Look, we’re here and we really don’t, we don’t really respect your distances and what not, these limitations and restrictions you put on your vessels, you know, we’re going to do whatever we want. That’s possible. It could also be something that is unintentional. And when I say unintentional, deliberate in that they’re there, but not necessarily trying to provoke a response. Maybe it is just as curious about us as we are curious about it. So we have to be careful assigning intent behind something. I think that’s certainly a natural question, but I don’t think we have enough data yet to address that, you know, from a threat perspective, in the Department of Defense in the intelligence community, there’s really two parts of an equation to determine if something is a threat, and that is capabilities versus intent. Now we are seeing some of the capabilities up close and personal, that’s for sure. But we still have no idea the intent and so therefore, it’s really a tough egg to crack because we really have no idea why these things seem to be so provocative, and pervasive.

George Knapp
At a minimum, it would seem to be surveillance, isn’t it? Or it’s an interactive quality to it. It’s not hiding. It’s right there. And it seems to be congregating around military facilities, ships, things like that.

Lue Elizondo 
Well, that for me is the greatest problem. And that for me is the greatest question and challenge. Why is it that we see a large frequency of these incidents occurring in and around controlled US airspace and particularly around military assets and equities? That for me is the biggest question because you’re right, from an adversarial perspective, certainly, that would be indicative of some sort of show of force. But again, we just simply don’t have enough data. And I think probably this is why people in Congress and the government are taking this topic so seriously, because we spend millions and millions of dollars each year trying to protect our military assets and equities, from the enemy from a wide spectrum of threats, whether it’s an intelligence or a physical threat or whatnot. And yet, we still have no idea what the things are, what they’re doing in and around our military equities.

George Knapp 
You know, you and I have talked about this before, you’ve made public statements, I’ve had my own reports, news reports over the years about the interest of whatever this unknown intelligence is, the interest in nuclear capabilities, nuclear missile bases, nuclear carriers, nuclear power plants, and you have remarked how concerned you are about that. Can you say, again, this is pretty sensitive, but can you address the idea of whether or not we have tried to confirm their interest in nuclear assets? Say an experiment? If we do X, will they do Y?

Lue Elizondo
Yeah. So George, I can tell you definitively we know there’s a connection, there’s a congruency, because there is official US government reporting, going back decades from very senior officials to other very senior officials that have established and substantiated the fact that there is UAP interest in our nuclear equities. So that’s a fact that’s already occurred. We have reporting on that through certain channels. And the evidence is quite compelling. The question is why? And that is something we don’t know yet. As far as going into details, specifics about our nuclear equities. Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to do that. Because when you start getting into the sources and methods and specifics, that information becomes quite sensitive very, very quickly. But there is already reporting that has been made available to the open public, if you know where to look for it, that substantiates without a shadow of a doubt that there is interest in our nuclear equities. And let me further state that it’s not just ours, it’s also other countries as well. And for me, that is probably even more indicative of the fact that we may be dealing with something here that we really don’t understand. Because if we’re having the same problem that Russia is in other countries, then chances are this is a topic that is of mutual concern and interest for more than just the United States. In fact, it would paint a picture that this is not a US phenomenon at all. But this is rather a global phenomenon.

George Knapp 
You know, we’re both pretty excited about the level of media coverage, national media coverage of the issue. But as you know, there continues to be some confusion among national media and some reporters about AATIP ( Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program) versus AAWSAP (Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Applications Program). You know, we have reported before about the $22 million, which went to AAWSAP, not AATIP. Can you clear this up for the benefit of all about those two efforts. Did they coexist at the same time? Did one grow out of the other? Which one got the money and what the setup was then and what it became afterwards?

Lue Elizondo 
Sure, George, I know there’s continued confusion on this and let me just state yet again. And I said probably the 1,000th time I’ve said this, I was not part of AAWSAP. Okay, I was part of AATIP. So any questions that regard AAWSAP I’m really not qualified to answer. That was a predecessor of mine who was running that, along with the aerospace company that everybody now knows was associated with it. AATIP was part in the beginning and grew out of the AAWSAP, but it became its own thing as time progressed, and my colleagues and I continue to run this effort all the way till the day I left in 2017. And by the way, continued after the day I left as well. There is also documentation, official government documentation, probably hasn’t seen the light of day yet, that absolutely substantiates that. So again, I guess I understand there may be some confusion. But at this point, I’ve addressed this over and over. Forgive me my frustration here, but it’s it’s it’s something that continues to come up. And so one more time for anybody who may have any questions. I was not part of AAWSAP, I was part of AATIP and so anybody who has questions about us probably needs to direct those questions to somebody who was in that effort at the time.

George Knapp
So, $22 million. Senator Reid and his colleagues secure that funding, it goes into a contract through the DIA, Bigelow Aerospace gets the money. And it studies not only UFOs, but a much wider array of strange phenomena that occur in proximity to UFOs,  don’t really have an explanation. AATIP existed after the money for AAWSAP was pulled. And, you know, we don’t know a lot about what AAWSAP did in terms of there hasn’t been a lot of release of documents produced by that, that might be coming. But the same is true for AATIP.  It kept going after the money for AAWSAP was pulled. And it studied the kinds of cases we’re talking about now. National security and military encounters.

Lue Elizondo
It did and not necessarily the folks at AAWSAP were part of AATIP in its later years. You know, AATIP became a very small, very niche, very nuanced capability that was run primarily through government people. Hopefully, at some point, the person who replaced me will be coming out in the public and be able to have additional conversation. Right now, I think most people just think I was the guy in AATIP, when in fact, there were other people as well. And the program continued after I left. And that morphed into what we now know, as a UAP Task Force.

George Knapp 
So how hopeful are you about the UAP Task Force report that’s due at the end of June? You think it’s going to be preliminary or interim that leads to something bigger?

Lue Elizondo 
First of all, I, as I’ve stated before, George, I don’t think we’re going to have a complete assessment by June. I just think it’s too far of a bridge to cross, I think we need more time. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if that if there if there’s some sort of extension, or delay to the to the 180 day report. I’ll share with you that I’d spoken to some people before and who were on these similar type of evaluation teams. And it took them eight months just to get the appropriate security clearances to do an evaluation then after that, it took them in another entire year just to do the evaluation itself. So I think, you know, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is I don’t think people are going to get everything that they expect at the end of June. But the good news is, I think that given more time, we’ll be able to get more fidelity into what this is. And let’s not forget that the Congressional requests for was to have this report done at the unclassified level. So that means you can share a lot more information with the public.

George Knapp  
You know how hard it is, you’ve been one of the people who’s gone knocking on the doors, where the keepers of the secrets, where you think they’re really good sensitive stuff is. You know, it seems to me the closer they get to the real goodies, the harder it’s going to be and the more pushback there’s going to be, don’t you think?

Lue Elizondo
Well, yeah, you know, Unless we’ve reached critical mass, you know, it’s a double-edged sword. I’ve often said that, at one point, we considered this topic very much like a fine wine and where the longer you keep a cork on it, the better it gets. And now what we’re realizing this topic is probably more like rotten fruit, or rotten vegetables in the refrigerator. The longer it stays in there, the more it’s going to smell. And so it’s probably time to clean out the fridge. And I think we’re at a point now where it’s going to be very hard. Knowing what we know now about this topic, to not continue to ask the hard questions. And as you say, put the genie back in the bottle. I’m not sure how you can do that. You have too many folks that are on the hill in our legislative branch and too many folks in the executive branch and former leaders both on both sides of the aisle, by the way, coming out saying Yeah, I’ve been briefed. And, and this is compelling. And it’s real. And we don’t know what it is, and we need to figure it out.

George Knapp 
Well, it’s not something you can get to the bottom of in six months, or eight months or even a year, it seems like there should be a permanent ongoing program. Are you optimistic about that?

Lue Elizondo  
You know, I’ve always said, for the record, I think we need to have an enduring capability. And I’ll further go by saying, ultimately this may not even be in the big picture, a DoD or an intelligence community issue. They may have part of it. But I think we need to bring more people under the tent, I think we need to bring in scientists and academics. We need to bring in some of the perhaps national laboratories to come in and Department of Energy, EPA. Because this topic impacts more than just potentially national security. It impacts everyone, and it impacts everybody equally yet differently. And so this may be really at some point, a philosophical conversation, it might be a theological conversation, might be a social conversation. And at that point, that’s not really the government’s job to be involved in those aspects.

George Knapp  
Well, you know, you and I have had private conversations about this over the years. And, you know, the AAWSAP investigation got into some pretty weird areas, areas that really would be uncomfortable for the Department of Defense to investigate.

Lue Elizondo 
You know, again, I don’t want to comment on the AAWSAP piece. Because it’s a bit of a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation for me, I’ve always made it very clear that I was not part of AAWSAP, the formal program, and I’m just gonna stay to that, because, you know, I can’t speak from an educated perspective about that program. My experience was on the AATIP side of the house, not AAWSAP. And you know, from what I’ve told you, I will say this, for the people I spoke with, it was very compelling that the results of AAWSAP were indeed legitimate, and were compelling. But I can’t speak on that.

George Knapp 
One other question. So you’ve been out in front for a couple of years now. I know there was some trepidation when you stepped out on that stage, October 2017, with Tom DeLonge, and Hal, and Chris and some other colleagues, and you have been beaten up and pummeled and accused of all kinds of stuff. I’d like to get a sense of how it’s going for you now. Whether, you know, every couple of weeks, the Pentagon puts out another statement that seems to contradict things that it said before about you, about AATIP. Is there still pressure? Are you under fire? How are you handling it?

Lue Elizondo 
George, I won’t get into specifics. I’ve obviously angered some people within the Beltway. And I’ve had my security clearance looked at and scrutinized, I’ve had my credibility attacked, and frankly, statements that have been put out that are just flatly wrong and inaccurate. And I’m hopeful that the IG, the inquiry that is being done, will be able to resolve a lot of that for me. It has been very challenging for me and for my family, both personally and professionally. I’ve been labeled as that UFO guy. And it hasn’t been easy. It’s been very challenging. You know, you wake up every day and you’re trying to do a good job, by the way I don’t get paid. Right. So this is something I’m doing because it’s I believe, I still feel this the mission that I was given way back when and I’m just trying to finish that mission. It’s been extremely challenging. There’s times that frankly, if I could, if I could just disappear into the sunset, I certainly would. And I keep looking desperately for the new faces to step up and pick up the baton. But until that day comes I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing.

George Knapp 
Well, I mean, the 60 Minutes thing, I think we’ve reached a new plateau Lue. And I think help is on the way. I think that’s that sets a new bar, it tells the other media to come on in the water’s fine. And once there is cover for members of Congress to investigate further, people like you who are still in the shadows can come forward and I think thanks to the work that you guys have done we reached a really critical point in this tipping point. And there’s no going back.

Lue Elizondo
Well, George, it’s been a collective effort. So again, I can’t take credit for that. I appreciate the compliment. But that’s something that really goes to everybody who’s even watching your program right now. These people are having the conversation they’re having around the watercooler. They’re having it around the dinner table. They’re having at their church functions. And it’s making a difference. And the fact that the media now is finally having the courage to report on this topic, which was once considered so taboo and fraught with stigma, and fringe quite frankly, I think says a lot about the courage of a lot of people now coming forward to have this conversation, folks like the four pilots set that we saw on 60 Minutes.

George Knapp 
Thanks, Lue, talk to you soon.

Lue Elizondo 
Yes, sir. Thank you. Always a pleasure.

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