Former Pentagon UFO investigator answers tough questions about flying pyramids and other UAP sightings

UFO

MYSTERY WIRE — The intelligence officer who previously directed the Pentagon’s secret investigation of UFOs says the ultimate explanation might be more exotic than we can imagine.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot more we don’t know than we do now,” Lue Elizondo said during a recent media briefing. “The good news is that we’re finally taking it seriously.”

Lue Elizondo is a former intelligence officer who spent his career in the shadows, working on sensitive national security matters, including 10 years investigating UFOs heading the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP).

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.

The familiar term UFO carries considerable baggage because the public equates it with extraterrestrials, so the government now prefers to use the acronym UAPs, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.  The AATIP program evolved from a broader study that was initiated, in large part, by Nevada Senator Harry Reid and two of his Senate colleagues. 

In 2017 Elizondo helped spark an intense wave of media interest that has not abated, as demonstrated by the high-powered phalanx of reporters who met him this week.

Elizondo reminded the media of recent statements made by former intelligence chiefs, each of whom declared UAPs to be a legitimate concern for national security. 

“This isn’t a silly conversation,” Elizondo told reporters. “This is a conversation about someone, somewhere displaying beyond-next-generation technology in our controlled airspace, and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. And what I would do is submit to you that if we just take the word UFO out of it, just say Russia or China has the ability to fly in our airspace unimpeded. And without detection, within minutes of taking off. That’s a real problem.”

Since 2018, Elizondo and colleagues, including Navy pilots, have been briefing key committees in Congress behind closed doors.  The  Senate Intelligence Committee was impressed enough by the evidence and testimony that it authorized the creation of the UAP Task Force. That team is compiling a comprehensive report for Congress, due in June, consisting of evidence and images collected from other military and intelligence outfits. 

Elizondo thinks the Task Force won’t have enough time to complete its massive undertaking but could finish the first phase. “I don’t think it’s going to be anything more than a ‘Hey, yep, there’s something here. We don’t know what it is. It could be some sort of new super advanced drone technology, but it could be something else. And here’s our plan for trying to figure it out.’”

The Task Force has collected an impressive array of images and videos and has been briefing not only Congress, but also the top brass in the Pentagon, intelligence agencies, and others.

Their briefing document is classified but many of the images contained are not. Two weeks ago, along with filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, Mystery Wire unveiled images that are part of the briefing presentation created by the UAP Task Force. 

The Metallic Blimp

Mystery Wire published the images which have since been reported by major news organizations all over the world.

The Pentagon has confirmed that the three photos, taken by Naval aviators off the coast of Virginia two years ago, are considered to be unknowns.

Months later, ships on the west coast were repeatedly buzzed by other unknown intruders including what appear to be flying pyramids above the USS Russell, and multiple untrackable objects around the USS Omaha including a dark sphere that shadowed the ship for an hour, then vanished into the ocean.

The U.S. Navy, with the most sophisticated sensors in the world, does not know what the aerial intruders are or who sent them.   Elizondo acknowledges that, at some point,  some of the objects might be confirmed as foreign drones or other types of identifiable technology, but, he adds, he has seen far too much evidence of objects that exhibit technology far more advanced than anything in the US arsenal.  “I don’t know the answer. frankly, I don’t think anybody does,” Elizondo said. “And anybody who tells you they do, I would approach them very cautiously. The bottom line is we don’t know. And we need to ask all the questions.” 

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The U.S. Navy has had years to analyze the images, along with classified sensor data that has not been made public, but still considers them to be unknowns. But debunkers on social mediainsist they know what the Navy does not, namely that the “flying pyramids”  weren’t actually seen by anyone because they were created by a feature in infrared lenses.  Some have contended the pyramids are actually distorted images of an airplane flying over the ship.  

As for the other mystery drones, digital publications chide the U.S. Navy for its ignorance of Chinese drone technology. Elizondo made clear his opinion of armchair experts. “If it’s a foreign adversarial drone, how come we don’t have anything to … I mean, look, we have counter drone technology on ships, I’m not going to say what they are, but we can knock them out of the sky. Drones aren’t a problem for us. That’s a fact. We have radar on ships, we know if it’s a plane. We know if it’s a military aircraft. These are simple things to figure out. It’s not like someone gets on the ship one day with some infrared binoculars and says, ‘Hey, that’s strange in the sky, I’m going to go ahead and record that.’ The reason why they’re recording is because it’s probably something interesting in the skies. In some cases, yeah, there could be a readily explainable explanation for it. But from my experience, there’s a lot that aren’t and are very compelling.”

Elizondo believes it is an insult to the Navy to argue that our military can’t identify a Chinese drone or that Navy experts in possession of classified sensor data know less about their own technology than some guy on Twitter. He also thinks the Russians and Chinese are likely encountering unknown “ drones” and are asking the same questions as us. 

“This is not a it’s not just a us thing,” he told reporters. “And I’ll submit to you they probably wonder, too, if this is some sort of super-secret U.S. technology being deployed over there. As much of it is a mystery for us, you know, it’s not our technology we’re using against ourselves. You know, the same question we asked, could it be foreign adversarial? I’m certain China and Russia are asking the exact same question.”


Below you can watch Lue Elizondo address the media and answer questions. We have split it into three parts and included the transcript of the questions and his answers.

Lue Elizondo 
Allow me to begin by offering a few thoughts. There’s a lot more we don’t know, than we do know. Best case scenario with this report is that there’s an interim report that’s provided that will meet the intent of Congress with a promise to to provide another report following this one. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more we don’t know than we do. Now. The good news is that we’re finally taking it seriously. I think you’ve seen a lot recently in the media regarding anything from drones, to new hypersonic test vehicles, by adversaries to maybe even our own technology. The bottom line is a resounding yes, it can be all of those. But it also may be none of those. And for that precise reason, we are really supporting the efforts of our UAP Task Force. As I stand, I just came back from Washington, DC yesterday, still actively engaged in this effort. There seems to be a lot more support now than there was last year and certainly a lot more than there was three years ago, we now have bipartisan support on the hill. And furthermore, we have bipartisan support in the executive branch. We’ve had recent statements by former Director of CIA, Woolsey, former Director of CIA, John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence, Ratcliffe, and all of them are saying exactly the same thing, that it’s real, there’s something there, we need to look at it. And these are people from both sides of the aisle, whether you’re liberal or conservative, or anything in between. And furthermore, a huge congratulations to you in the media. There was a time and probably not a whole long time ago, where you would have touched the subject. Frankly, I didn’t want to touch it in the government, but I had no choice . It was given to me. So I get it. I know this is a topic that’s been fraught with stigma and taboo. Unfortunately, decades and decades worth of nonsense. There’s a reason why when you say the word UFO, you know, the tinfoil hats come to mind. That’s just the reality of it. But we’re now beginning to realize that once you remove that away from the equation, and we stick to really just the national security imperatives as in what is it? How does it work? What are its intentions, etc, we begin to realize that this isn’t a silly conversation, this is a conversation about someone, somewhere is displaying beyond next generation technology in our controlled airspace, and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. And what I would do is submit to you that if we just take the word UFO out of it, just say Russia or China has the ability to fly in our airspace unimpeded. And without detection, within minutes of taking off. That’s a real problem. That’s a real problem. You know, we were faced with this issue every day where a Russian bear surveillance aircraft will fly off the coast of California, or let’s say, Alaska, the first thing we do our scramble to F 22 is is it’s all over the front page of news, because it’s a provocation. And yet, here we have the exact same scenario, but because we don’t have a North Korean tail number or a Russian star on the tail, in fact, there’s no tail at all on these aircraft. It’s crickets. Nobody wants to have the conversation. And I think that’s problematic. But with that said, what I’d like to do is I didn’t come here to discuss me, I came here to address your questions, especially as this 180 day report is nearing its suspense of June. That’s not too far down down the road here. So with that said, I’m happy to address any questions you have, whether it’s about me and my past or the program, or what to expect from the report. You know, anything I can do to assist please, please let me know. I’ll hand it over to you folks.

Julian Barnes – New York Times 
I would ask a question then about the report. Julian Barnes here, New York Times. You sort of said that you expect an interim report, and then maybe something a follow on report is this the DNI kind of biding time. What are the sort of … with that what is the sort of best case scenario for what they may say? Beyond, what has been told to us by the Navy? What if it is an interim report? What are the sort of what’s the best most we can hope for in terms of new information?

Lue Elizondo 
Yeah, great question, Julian. First of all, let’s let’s be realistic. In some cases, it takes longer to remodel a kitchen than it does to provide a 180 day report to Congress. I look at this in terms of historic moments in time when we’ve been faced with something similar. Let’s take 9/11 for example. 9/11 was, it was a horrible tragedy, and it was a huge intelligence failure on behalf of our country. And it took nearly three years to come up with the 9/11 Commission Report. And that was because of one failure. If it turns out that this has been occurring for decades, which it appears that it has been, then what we’re dealing with is an enormous intelligence failure, despite the very best of our 18 intelligence members, from CIA, NRO and NGA and everybody else. We’ve been blindsided. Despite the best in our humans, intelligence and our signals, signals intelligence and imagery intelligence, we’ve been blindsided and somehow we’ve been leapfrogged by a foreign adversary. Can you imagine the intelligence failure that would be despite the billions of dollars that we allocate to this effort? Furthermore, the fact that Congress wasn’t informed. The fact that we actually knew about it, and it was occurring, and we never informed Congress, or the chain of command. So therein lies the problem as far as what to expect from the report? You know, I don’t like to, I’d like to offer my opinion very often, because the one thing I’ve learned in intelligence, you can be absolutely sure of something and still be absolutely wrong. But here is my world according to Lue best case scenario, that there’s an interim report that is provided to Congress, I suspect it’s going to list a lot more of the unknowns than knowns. Basically, say, here’s what we know, here’s what we don’t know. And here’s our plan of attack to answer those questions for you. And give us a little more time. And we’ll write another comprehensive report, hopefully, this time, a little bit more satisfying. You know, 180 day, I’ll give you a real real example, when I was working in the intelligence community. If you wanted to do an investigation, let’s say an internal audit or an IG investigation, it’s not uncommon, it might take you eight months just to get the necessary clearances and access. Just to get just to get access to the information, then another year to do an assessment. There is no way 180 days is going to be sufficient for any organization to do a comprehensive vulnerability assessment and meet the intent of Congress. The intent that it wants and frankly, the intent that it deserves. So, you know, I don’t think it’s going to be anything more than a ‘Hey, yep, there’s something here. We don’t know what it is. It could be some sort of new super advanced drone technology, but it could be something else. And here’s our here’s our plan for trying to figure it out.’ That would be that would be my hope and suggestion. And I think that’s, that’s probably more or less what, what we can expect.

Gadi Schwartz – NBC News
Gadi Schwartz with NBC News. Just a couple of quick questions in terms of the process of declassification. I know that we’ve seen what is possibly a slide from a briefing, that may have shown something that was deemed declassified when it comes to requesting documents and understanding that declassification process.  Are there parts of those slides, or are there parts of those briefings that have already been declassified and are available for public or Congressional review already? And if that’s the case, where do they live? Is it the DoD? Is it with Susan (Gough – Pentagon Spokesperson), is it with the Navy? What would be the process of going about requesting those documents?

Lue Elizondo
Yeah, great. Gadi, it’s not a one stop shop unfortunately, I think that’s the intent of the UAP Task Force to create that centralized belly button that we haven’t had, unfortunately, that information resides in disparate locations throughout the IC, the intelligence community and in various pockets. That’s been the problem. It’s, it’s, it’s not centrally located and not centrally accessible. This is why this 180 day report is going to be so tough. You asked a couple questions there and I want to make sure I answer them all for you, succinctly. You asked first of all, the classification process, is it possible to have unclassified information within a classified presentation? Absolutely, we do it all the time. In fact, the three three videos that were released earlier last year, they’re actually released before that, but the government acknowledged them last year. The Go Fast, FLIR, and Gimbal. Those videos were actually unclassified to begin with, but they were residing on a classified system. And that’s why we had to go through the process of DOPSR, the Defense Office of Pre-publication Security Review, in order to get them releasable. Even though that they were unclassified. They were resident on a classified network. That’s not uncommon. When we do presentations, and briefings informative briefing store chain of command and Congress, it’s routine that you may have a slide that’s classified secret or top secret. But pieces of information are unclassified. And then let’s not forget, if you have enough unclassified information jammed together, you could actually have yourself a classified product. So that’s not unusual either. As far as what you should do, and who would that information reside, it would not be with Miss Gough. She’s a Public Affairs Officer, PIO, she is not operationally engaged, her job is to simply communicate with the media and the public. And unfortunately, sometimes that communication hasn’t been very consistently delivered in the past, but that’s neither here nor there. Probably the best mechanism would be Freedom of Information Act FOIA process. But again, the problem here in lies that you would have to know where every bit of this information is and where it resides, if you want it to go ahead and have it. Furthermore, just because you submit a FOIA doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to release it. There’s been plenty of times where I’ve had a FOIA request of information. And even though that bit of information may have been releasable, it was embedded into a much more comprehensive product. And there was no way of stripping that out. And that’s through personal experience. So you know, the foi process is good, and it’s effective. And it’s, it’s, it’s the legal way to do it. But it’s not necessarily going to always give you what you’re looking for. And so I think, right now, what the media is doing is the best thing you can do. Taking this topic seriously, looking at it from a national security perspective, and applying pressure. Asking the PIOs the hard questions, you know, is this releasable? And if not, why? And then Okay, well, then, how do we get to yes, how do we make this information releasable? You know, there’s a lot of, there’s a bit of an art. It’s not necessarily pure science, when you do the FOIA process. Sometimes they’ll tell you no, and then you have to resubmit again. And you have to go through the appeals process. And yes, it’s laborious, and yes, it takes time. And it’s exhausting. But that is the process that we have right now. Another way is to go engage elected officials directly. A lot of these people have been given classified briefings, very nuanced information and sensitive information. And, you know, maybe there’s a way that they can tell you as the media, hey, look, this is what I was briefed on without going into any specific details. There are members of Congress in the senate right now that have been extremely forthcoming on this topic, and I suspect they’re going to continue to be increasingly transparent as more information comes to light.

Gadi Schwartz – NBC News  
And real quick, just a follow up, I know that we’ve heard the five observables before and the video and a lot of the evidence that we’ve seen doesn’t necessarily show those in those snippets. But in the totality of an experience it we’re led to believe that these things are happening. In terms of signals, intelligence, satellite imagery, you know, sonar radar, what have you. We get teeny tiny pieces of something that’s kind of in context, sometimes completely out of context, when it comes to what the UAP taskforce has, what the DoD has, and what Congress eventually will have. What does that picture look like? And are there, is there better proof than that picture? Is there better proof than a video that may or may not be declassified?

Lue Elizondo  
Yeah, absolutely Gadi, you never rely on single source reporting. This whole same holds true as an investigative journalist as it does an intelligence officer. Think of a scene of an accident. You know, if you drive by a scene of an accident, yeah, you see two cars that are crashed, but you don’t know the circumstances of how that occurred, who was behind the wheel and what actually happened. Very much like the videos that were released. The danger is that when you only see a video, you don’t have the data backing it up, such as the radar data, maybe from multiple radar arrays, or another camera footage from a different angle, and some of the pilots testimonies, you’re only getting a snapshot in time, at that time, and that’s problematic because it’s hard to jump to conclusions. And it’s natural for us to try to fill in the blanks within the void, if you will, in the absence of information, we want to fill in with our own information. But that’s problematic, because as we know, to all car accidents, you have eyewitness testimony. You have telemetry on the vehicles to tell you how fast the vehicle was going. You have people that may have been in a coffee shop that heard the accident, right? You have cameras on the side of a building that actually saw a few seconds before the accident and the crash itself. And that’s really the job of the UAP Task Force, it’s to collect all that data. And that’s the only problem anecdotally, when we see a video that is released, if it’s released in an unauthorized way, we will have the complete picture, right? It’s like some of these videos that you hear that came out originally, with the audio, that’s helpful, because you hear the pilots say, you know, while you hear the exasperation, what the hell is that? And do there’s a whole fleet of these things, what are they they’re going against the wind, right, so that that helps put it into context, a little bit about what you’re seeing. But it’s, you always have to be very careful when you’re looking at just a video and drawing any kind of conclusions. Let’s also face reality, the more we sensitize our intelligence apparatus and our national security apparatus, on the reality of these things and the more we compel our sailors and soldiers and airmen and whatnot to report this and our Marines, the more they’re going to be looking at the sky, and the more they’re going to see. And a lot of the things are going to be normal things that we see. Normal, attributable, conventional aircraft technology, drones and balloons and test flights of rockets and aircraft. So you know, it’s a bit of a double edged sword, we need to be prepared for that. And so what we what we need to do and the UAP Task Force should do is propose a filtering system, if you will, that allows us to separate the wheat from the chaff as more data comes in, we want to make sure that we have the ability to just pick out that data that comports to the five observables. And who knows, maybe we’ll find more observables in the future. It may not be five, it might be six, it might be 10. We really don’t know right now. We know the five as it is compared to our conventional technology. And they are pretty exotic. Furthermore, I think it’s important Gadi that we recognize that this is a global phenomenon, we have not only our friends and our allies wanting to enter into agreements with us, bilateral agreements for sharing your UFO UAP related information. But we also have foreign adversaries as well, that are looking into this. This is not just a US thing. We know Russia, China, they are equally interested in this topic, and for very good reason. And there has been intelligence reporting, historically on the fact that they are concerned by this as well. So, you know, this is not a it’s not just a US thing. And I’ll submit to you they probably wonder, too, if this is some sort of super secret US technology being deployed over there. As much of it is a mystery for us, you know, it’s not our technology we’re using against ourselves. You know, the same question we asked, could it be foreign adversarial? I’m certain China and Russia are asking the exact same question.

Gadi Schwartz – NBC News
And real fast, just directly, having been where you sat, what, what type of evidence have you seen that is unexplainable today? Whether it be satellite or or sonar or radar, or pictures or video or testimony? If you could just, you know, I understand we’ve talked before and I know you can’t get into specific encounters. But when it comes to the type of evidence that currently exists, within the government, what type of evidence is there?

Lue Elizondo 
Well, Gadi, there’s not a gold standard. I wish there was, And therein lies part of the challenge. I’ve been privy to witness to many extraordinary things. Unfortunately, ones that are classified I I’m not going to elaborate or share. But I’ve said for the record before, we’ve had video, you know, some of these videos are 20, 25 minutes long. In other cases, these things are 50 feet away from the cockpit, very compelling. But with that said, I’m not at liberty to go into details in those but what I can say are the ones that have come to light. I think, for me, the most concerning not most compelling but the most concerning, are those incidents that involve our nuclear equities. There seems to be a very distinct congruency between UAP, associated UAP activity and and our nuclear technology, whether it be propulsion or weapon systems or whatnot. And that’s concerning to the point where we’ve actually had some of our nuclear capabilities disabled by these things. So, you know, again, let’s put this into context of foreign adversarial technology if Russia or China had the ability to disable our nuclear strike capability or defense capability. That’s pretty significant. That’s a concern. For us. It should be.

Gadi Schwartz – NBC News
Just to clarify, you’re saying that our, our nuclear capabilities, whether they their weapons, or whether it’s a, you know, some sort of nuclear power plant, you’re saying that these things have been disabled by something we can’t explain.

Lue Elizondo 
There is absolutely evidence that comports to the notion that they have, that UAPs have an active interest in our nuclear technology, and have in the past interfered with some of our nuclear capabilities. That’s fact. Yes.


Alex Horton – Washington Post   
Yeah, appreciate it. Yeah, I have a question about the report after this. But first, you know, I was kind of curious about, you know, you mentioned that some of the things could be drones or hypersonics, etc. You know, and, you know, Occam’s razor would suggest, you know, sometimes it could be, you know, there is a there is a delta between what the DOJ and others would acknowledge publicly is, is beyond their capabilities, but privately No, it is, perhaps in the norm or observed by other places, you know, especially adversaries like Russia and China. So, you know, these videos started to come out, like around 2017 or so. And, you know, we’re four years later, are there capabilities or moments or like further analyses that you’re aware of? Where some of these well known videos or others, because we’ve looked at it further and you know, that could be a drone or it could be hypersonic, and here’s why. Are you aware, can you describe any of those moments where further investigation revealed? Perhaps something terrestrial and explainable?

Lue Elizondo  
Yeah, sure. Actually, it was our that was our intended focus. And we were always trying to deliberately find the conventional explanation for what we were seeing, that was our intent, that was our hope. We didn’t like unanswered questions. So that was always going in to any problem set. We always presumed initially that there was some sort of conventional explanation. But this is how it really is: this is the birth of the five observables. This is how it all started. So I’ll briefly go there just for a second for those who may not be familiar. But we have the technological capability to demonstrate one, or maybe two of the observables, but not all five. And so what do I mean? So the first observable is instantaneous acceleration. The human being can withstand about nine g-forces before we start having negative biological consequences, such as read out some blackouts. To put that in contrast, our F-16, which was one of our older aircraft, but still one of the most highly maneuverable aircraft on the planet, manned aircraft, can pull about 17 G’s before you start having structural failure, you start having weeds begin to snap off the aircraft. And yet what we’re seeing are doing 5, 6, 700 g-forces. So that’s pretty incredible. The other observable is hypersonic velocity. Now, those are speeds that are by definition at Mach five or above. We do have vehicles that can do that. Hypersonics by definition can do that. The space shuttle was something that would do it routinely in order to get into escape velocity. We have the SRS 71. But to put that into context, the SRS 71 at 3,200 miles an hour, if you wanted to make a right hand turn would take you about half the state of Ohio to do it. And yet these things are doing it instantly. The third observable is a bit of an oxymoron, but it’s low observability. You’ll hear the pilots say ‘You know Lue, it’s there. I see it, I can’t explain it, because it didn’t have wings and have anything normally associated with the conventional aircraft. But it’s there. And the same thing on electro optical data, you see this fuzzy little blip, but that fuzzy little blip is doing things that fuzzy little blips should be able to do.’ Same thing with radar you get these nonsensical radar returns like it looks almost like active jamming. Now, do we have low observable aircraft? Of course, the B-2 bomber is a perfect example. $2 billion and you can make an aircraft you know harder to see on radar, you can still see with the naked eye, but it’s harder to see on radar. The fourth observable is one that’s just now getting attention which is transmedium travel. So let’s take our plane analogy again. Here’s our plane. A plane looks like a plane because it’s designed to operate in our atmosphere. So you have a nose you have a tail you ailerons elevators rudders, so you can control the jet engine to fly. A rocket which spends its time mostly in a vacuum environment can’t use a jet engine has to use a chemical rocket motor and uses thrusters to maneuver. And a submarine, which spends his time underwater doesn’t look like a plate or rocket. They use a propeller to mechanically displace water and uses buoyancy to go up and down. Now, Are there examples of transmedia vehicles that we make sure, let’s take a seaplane for example, a  seaplane is neither a good airplane, nor is it a good boat. But it’s a compromise in order to operate in two different environments. Yet the things that we’re observing both on radar and gun camera footage, and now it appears even sonar don’t seem to have any type of design compromise or any type of performance compromised, they seem to be able to fly in low Earth atmosphere, in some cases 50 feet above the water, in other cases, 80,000 feet and even higher, and in other cases underwater. And so when you see that, you now recognize you’re dealing with a technology that is substantially more advanced than what we have. And then the last observable is something we can call it the vernacular, positive lift or anti gravity, but in reality, there’s only three fundamental ways we know how to defy the natural effects of Earth’s gravity. The first is through the phenomenon of flight where you have four forces, thrust, lift, drag and weight. And when you understand those forces, you can create an aircraft and wings and fly. Another way to defy Earth’s gravity is through sheer ballistics. I can blow something out of a tube, like a mortar, throw a baseball or even an intercontinental ballistic missile, put enough charge and I can use enough energy to push it up. And then it’ll eventually come back down. And then the last way we know how is through lighter than air, buoyancy. Think of a hot air balloon or helium or hydrogen, in which the density inside is less than the density outside of therefore it rises somewhat like oil to water. And yet the things have no wings, no cockpits, no control surfaces, no rivets in the skin, no obvious signs of propulsion, and somehow they’re able to defy the natural effects of Earth’s gravity. How is that possible? You know, we don’t, usually you need a propeller, or you need a jet engine, or you need something to do that. And yet the things don’t don’t seem to be abiding by that rule. And so when you have all of those observables being displayed by a single vehicle, or a single thing, whatever this is, now, you’re forced to scratch your head NASA hard questions. Okay, are we really dealing with some sort of adversarial technology? Or are we dealing with something fundamentally different? And therein lies the question. And that’s where we are today. This is why it’s important that we leave all options on the table until they’re no longer on the table. I caution people running down the rabbit hole prematurely. You know, there’s a lot of possibilities of what this could be. But at the same time, I think we need to keep all options on the table until they’re no longer options.

Alex Horton – Washington Post 
I have a two part follow up and then I’ll turn it over to another reporter. So I just want to go back to something you said earlier about the nuclear capability. And I was curious if there was evidence that, you know, you’ve seen or understood that specifically suggested or concluded that it had an effect of forcing something offline? Or could it be something like it was an unknown thing or a potential hazard and someone, you know, a human being made the choice to take something offline as a precautionary measure?

Lue Elizondo
Great, great question. Well, there’s actually a third option too, and I’ll get to that. So the first option is, is there a direct interference? Yes, there appears to be some sort of direct interference at times, is this next question, could this be a human doing something to disable it as a preventive measure? No, that does not seem to be the case. We have no information substantiating that. Now the third option is it could be a result of some sort of technological interference. Very much like the old car radios and an alternator. A lot of times, you’d get that feedback in an old radio as the alternator spun up because the electromagnetic, if you will, emanations coming from that alternator would interfere with radio. And so you get this weird buzzing noise on the radio. It’s not necessarily the intent of the alternator to interfere with radio. It’s just a byproduct of what it does. So that is also an option. It could very well be that this technology, because of its application could be interfering with our nuclear technology. That is certainly possible as well, we don’t we don’t have enough data yet to say conclusively one way or the other.

Kristin Fisher – Fox News
I thank you so so much for doing this. This is fascinating. And I cover the White House for Fox. So I’ve got a White House, sort of question for you. I know you said that you’ve there’s bipartisan support for this in the executive branch. But I’m curious, based on your experience, and what you’ve noticed so far, how seriously do you think that the Biden White House is taking this threat? And what sort of outstanding questions do you have for them in the lead up to this report being released?

Lue Elizondo  
Sure, Kristen, also a great question. I would never want to answer on behalf of the Biden administration. Nor did I for the Trump administration or any administration before that. What I can say is that I think there is a sufficient amount of critical mass within the executive branch, where the Biden administration is aware of this. I will also in all fairness put out there that these are tough times for any administration. You’re dealing with a global pandemic, you’re dealing with transnational terrorism, you’re dealing with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, you’re dealing with humanitarian issues, does you’re and political issues here at home. So there’s a lot of distraction right now and a lot of pressure on the Biden administration. And I would never want to presume to answer on their behalf. But I think if I were to have an opportunity to make a recommendation, it would be to make sure to apply the necessary amount of resources and attention to this. So we can get some of the answers. Because if it turns out because the government has already said for the record, this is real, we’re beyond that. This is, we’re beyond the Rubicon at that point, when it’s crossed. This is real, whatever this is, this is real. If it turns out, let’s just just go down this road for a moment. It’s foreign adversarial technology. And it turns out the United States has had strategic surprise, and that we have been leapfrog technologically by decades by a foreign adversary. This would be one of the greatest intelligence failures in the history of this nation. It would be it would be absolutely catastrophic. And I think, I think we’d have a lot tougher questions to then ask ourselves. So I would hope that the administration takes it seriously. If there’s anything I could ever do for any administration, I’ve always been nonpartisan. My job in the government has always been to serve the president, it didn’t matter if there were liberal, conservative or somewhere in the middle. It didn’t matter to me my job was just to execute the one of the president because that’s the will of the people. And so this administration should take this topic seriously, which I think they will and I think they do. That’s great. You know, I think they’ve got a lot on their plate right now. And I wouldn’t even remotely presume to know what that’s like. I think they’ve got a lot to deal with. And this is just one of them. So by no means am I saying this is the most important thing they need to deal with. But it is certainly something they should deal with at some point.


Kristin Fisher – Fox News  
And one more quick follow up. And pardon ignorance, you say that there’s a lot of possibilities about what this could be running for an adversary to something else entirely. I mean, can you just walk me through what the possibilities are?

Lue Elizondo  
Sure. So, and forgive me, everybody listening to this. But Kristin, you’re asking, in my opinion, probably one of the most important…

Kristin Fisher – Fox News 
It’s a basic question, but I’d love to get your take on it. 

Lue Elizondo
It’s one of the most important questions. So and here’s why. We my background has been always in science. I graduated college of microbiology, immunology, and in parasitology. For me, I’ve always an as an investigator, it’s always just the facts, ma’am, kind of guy. No nonsense. So that’s the way I pursue things. We as human beings, a lot of scientists speculate, because we are what we call cardio social animals. We, we look in terms of extremes, everything we do is an almost in a binary sense. If someone were to describe you something, it’s usually in terms of it’s good, it’s bad, it’s hot, it’s cold, it’s black, it’s white, it’s up or down, it’s left or right. And that is because some scientists now speculate because most of our time, in our mother’s womb, was listening to the rhythmic beat of our mother’s heart. And that’s true with all of us that were born. And that’s maybe why we look in terms of this phenomena this way. It’s either from earth or from outer space, right? But we realize that’s not necessarily true in the world of quantum physics and nature, we realize that there’s many other options in between. And every time we try to put something in a neat little box in the world of science and nature were proven wrong. And that’s why I say leave all options on the table. Most of us would say if it’s not Russian and it’s not US then it’s, and I hate to use the word, extraterrestrial. No necessarily, there are all other options. And as crazy as it sounds it’s just an option. We are, you know, we all were aware of Newtonian physics, at the end of the Renaissance, and Sir Isaac Newton introduced the notion of gravity and whatnot. Force equals mass times acceleration. And along comes this guy with funny hair last century named Einstein and proposes relativity, and a whole different model of the universe in which that space and time are actually connected. space and time can be stretched, it can be compressed. And our whole notion of the universe is actually should be considered should be different. Than 40 years ago, we really have the beginnings of quantum physics and really a better understanding. And as bizarre as quantum physics is, we’re now recognizing that’s really one of the fundamental ways to understand the universe we live in. And as crazy as it may be, someone once explained it as you have a box and a dog walks into a box and out walks two cats. And yet, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. And so my point being is that there are a lot of options here. And I think we need to, this is why I say we need to keep all options on the table until they’re no longer on the table. I don’t know the answer. Frankly, I don’t think anybody does. And anybody who tells you they do, I would submit to you know, I would approach them very cautiously. The bottom line is we don’t know. And, and we need to ask all the questions. And this is why probably, this is a bigger question than just for national security. This is not just a potential national security threat, we probably need to bring in academics and scientists and a whole bunch of folks to have this conversation. Yes, there’s a national security issue here. But there’s also probably more to it.

Kristin Fisher – Fox News 
Thank you so much.

Moderator
Let’s jump to Brandy at Nextgov.

Brandi Vincent – nextgov.com
Thank you so much. And thank you, Louise, I report on the intersection of the government and emerging technology at NextGov. I kind of want to stick with this topic for a second. I’m really curious about lawmakers’ appetite for this on the hill. You mentioned those briefings you’ve been to recently. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? The lawmakers engaging you mentioned bipartisan, please elaborate? Are they engaging with you with the invitation on their behalf? Or was it more you reaching out to them? And would you say that the number of those interested in this is growing?

Lue Elizondo   
Wow. Okay, so first of all, I have the utmost respect for our lawmakers and our representatives. At the end of the day, they’re there to serve the will of the people. And I believe that is exactly what they’re trying to do regarding this topic. I’m encouraged to see this nonpartisan effort or maybe perhaps bipartisan effort to look into this. As far as discussing specific conversations with specific representatives and or their staff, I’m going to politely sidestep that, and only because out of respect for them, what I certainly don’t want to do is is say anything that without these individuals permission, regardless only because, you know, I think they’re, I think they’re still in the process of fact finding. And I don’t want to do anything to interfere with that process. And out of respect for them, I certainly wouldn’t want to speak on their behalf. What I will say is that it’s been my honor and privilege from time to time to to interact with certain people on the legislative and the executive branch of our government to help facilitate this conversation, and be able to hopefully provide some lessons learned when I was the director of AATIP where maybe some things we got wrong. So they don’t make the same mistake and we can spend taxpayer money in a responsible way. Right, let’s not reinvent the wheel here or this case, let’s not make some of this make some of the same mistakes. But I will tell you, there’s a unanimous every time I’ve had this engagement. For the most part, there’s a unanimous reaction of Yes, this is a potential national security issue. I’ll go one step further. Brandy on this. And I’ve used this analogy before. If I may ask brandy, where were you calling in from?

Brandi Vincent – nextgov.com  
From Washington DC.

Lue Elizondo  
Okay, so Washington, so I’m sure. I’m sure like most of you, you all live in a very nice neighborhood. Let me ask you a question: do you do lock your front door before you go to bed at night?

Brandi Vincent – nextgov.com  
My apartment is so innovative that my front door locks automatically.

Lue Elizondo  
Well, that’s fancy, but I do the same thing. And there’s a reason for that. In fact, I suspect, most people you ask would probably say, not that we expect anything bad to happen, but just as a matter of recourse, we usually lock our front doors, you might even check the windows from time to time and turn on your alarm system before you go to bed. Let’s say one morning, you come downstairs to have a nice hot cup of tea or coffee. And all of a sudden, as you’re walking downstairs, there’s muddy blueprints in your living room carpet. Now, no one’s been hurt, nothing’s out of place. Nothing’s been disturbed. But despite you locking the doors and the windows and turning on the alarm the night before, there are money blueprints in your living room that weren’t there the night before. Now, the question is, is that a threat. And my response to you is that it could be if you want it to be. So we probably should figure it out. And I think this is the same approach that our senior people in the executive branch and legislative branch are taking. Now with that said, that’s not necessarily everybody. There are some pockets of elements within the executive branch, particularly that are very resistant to this topic. And unfortunately, were one of the reasons why it’s such a difficult time when I when I first left the department, they were not happy about having this conversation. They felt that it made them look inept. They felt in some cases that it challenged their philosophical and theological belief systems. There were all sorts of, in some cases, they just couldn’t process it. I would sit there and give an hour-long briefing. I bring pilots in and the radar data and the operators and we get this big briefing, with videos and photographs. And at the end of the briefing, I would just get this blank stare. And they would just look at me and say, so how those Miami Dolphins doing this season? And they just for whatever reason, couldn’t process it. So I guess my response to you, Brandy is that people will process this information differently. However, I remain optimistic with the interaction that I’ve had, that for the most part everyone seems to be taking this topic in the manner that they should, you know, with caution, but by diligence, and they’re asking the right questions, and you know, whether you’re republican or democrat or independent, anybody who who’s willing to take this on I applaud. This is a nonpartisan issue. This shouldn’t be a political conversation. This is a conversation that involves every one of us. And, you know, I’m happy to see that conversation is now beginning.

Brandi Vincent – nextgov.com
Thank you so much. And just one more real quickly, if I may, since this is the first time that we have met face to face. I’ve read a bit and seen a bit about you. But can you just elaborate really quickly on your motivation? What drives you? Your journey with this has been a long one. So what keeps you pushing?

Lue Elizondo  
Brandi, Wow. I’m going to get emotional here. I took an oath A long time ago to serve this country and to defend this country from all enemies foreign and domestic. My father was a political prisoner of Cuba, we’re an exile from Cuba because of my father’s involvement in the Bay of Pigs invasion. This country has offered my family the opportunity that no other country in fact, we were rejected from from Cuba. This country gave us an opportunity that nobody else would or could. And from a very young age, I was always told to pay back and serve. And so after college, I joined the Army. And after the Army, I got involved in some special activities and, and became a member of the intelligence community. It’s about it’s about the truth. This is a topic that doesn’t belong into the provenance of any government or organization or institution. You know, I took an oath. And when I left the government, I was never relieved of that oath and ever said, okay, and you don’t have to do this anymore. You know, I, ironically enough, I left the department to finish the very job that they gave me in the first place. It wasn’t out of disloyalty I left the department, it was actually out of a profound sense of loyalty. Serving it with people like Sean Cahill over here who were witness to something extraordinary and yet their chain of command didn’t want them to report it. In some cases people lost their jobs. They lost their flight status, they’ve lost their security clearance and we’re told that they were crazy. And yet it turns out this was real. This was real. I I can’t imagine the burden this has been on the shoulders of some people. You know, as tough as it was for me Brandi. I had it pretty good compared to some other people that lost their careers over this. And that’s that’s not right. That’s wrong. And I’m doing this for, for men and women in uniform who are still coming into contact with you things as of today, like this week, this has never stopped, this is continuing to occur. And so I do this for them, they need a voice. Someone has to be willing to, to talk to our elected officials and our officials in government, have the conversation. It doesn’t matter how inconvenient it is how uncomfortable it is or how popular it is. As I’ve said before, this is not a conversation like fine wine where the longer we keep a cork on it, the better it gets. This is a conversation like rotten fruit or vegetables in the refrigerator. And the longer it stays in there, the more it’s going to stink. We now know beyond a reasonable doubt. As an investigator my job was very simple, collect the truth and speak the truth and present that information to the jury. And that’s all it didn’t matter what Luis Elizondo thinks, it doesn’t matter what I think, what matters is what the jury thinks. And that’s what this is about. And in this case, the American people are the jury. My job is just to provide that information to the jury and let the people decide what they want to do about it. And Brandi, I’ll tell you at the end of the day, if the American people have the discussion, and they don’t want to do anything about it, or they decide is not a priority, I’m fine with that, then I’ll go retire, I’ll go work at Walmart and leave all this craziness behind because it’s taken a tremendous toll on me. But to not allow that people to have that conversation in the first place to me is far more dangerous than anything coming into our airspace that we can’t control. Because if we can’t even have a conversation about it, we’ve got bigger problems on our hands. That to me is the greatest failure of all that we can’t even have the conversation because of fear of reprisal and social taboo and stigma. That to me is the greatest issue.

Brandi Vincent – nextgov.com 
Thank you so much.

Moderator
Reese, before we get to you. I want to inject a question here from Duncan Phenix at CBS, Las Vegas, whose microphone is having some issues. He wonders if you can address the concern that some people have with these sightings, such as the recent pyramid video? Is it equipment issues or errors or military personnel also seeing UAP with their own eyes and reporting what they personally experienced?

Lue Elizondo 
Yes, and yes. There’s there’s tremendous eyewitness accounts that’s backed up by electro optical data and radar data to substantiate that the event is real, and it’s occurring. And in other cases, you have a hyper sensitization of individuals, and they’re reporting strange things in the sky. And it turns out that sometimes those strange things aren’t so strange. And that’s what one would expect, right? So the more people that look up in the sky, the more people are going to notice things. And the more you’re going to get miss-identifications. But that’s okay, because that’s the job of the UAP Task Force should be anyways, to create filters to separate the wheat and chaff and be able to determine what is regular what’s not. I mean, now with today’s technology, I can get on my personal device and look at flight tracker, and I can see if that’s a 737 I see over the horizon with blinking lights, I can see if it’s a helicopter, or I can look on the horizon over the water and use my application using AIS to determine is that a ship and I’m actually looking at a shrimp boat and the lights off of a shrimp boat, you know that that’s okay. The problem is that a lot of these aren’t, they’re not drones, they’re not they’re not an effect of the infrared camera, because you might have five or six different infrared cameras looking at the same thing. And they’re not all they’re not all failing you. They don’t all have to suffer from the same issue. So that’s when you have to scratch your head and say, okay, we’re actually dealing with something here. You know, that’s, let’s not forget, look, our men and women in uniform are trained observers, just like law enforcement. And if I haven’t said this before, I’ll do it now. This is an example. These are training aids that I had when I was literally in the military as an intelligence officer in Korea. And you can see here these are silhouettes of aircraft, enemy aircraft. And pilots are trained to the same level of, if not more, to be trained observers in the air, they have to make a split second decision. Is that an enemy aircraft? Is it an su 22? Is it a MiG 25? is a European tornado. Is it an F 16? What is it? And they have to be able to do that from 20 miles away. Their life depends on it. And so when they’re reporting to you that they are encountering something that could do barrel rolls over their aircraft that doesn’t have wings, doesn’t have control surfaces, rudders, cockpits, anything that we normally associate with a traditional aircraft. You got to say, Okay, well, then well, what is it? You know, is it some sort of foreign technology? Sure, I guess it could be, could be some sort of new type of drone. But you know, drones still have to abide by our understanding of the laws of physics. And therein lies a question again, okay, if it’s a foreign adversarial drone, how come we don’t have anything to … I mean, look, we have counter drone technology on ships, I’m not going to say what they are, but we can knock them out of the sky. Drones aren’t a problem for us. That’s a fact. We have radar on ships, we know if it’s a plane. We know if it’s a military aircraft. These are simple things to figure out. It’s not like someone gets on the ship one day with some infrared binoculars and say, hey, that’s strange in the sky, I’m going to go ahead and record that. The reason why they’re recording is because it’s probably something interesting in the skies. In some cases, yeah, there could be a readily explainable explanation for it. But from my experience, there’s a lot that aren’t and are very compelling. And, and they’re displaying the five observables, which is a totally different conversation. That’s what we’re definitely talking about a drone at that point.

Reece – Washington Post
Thanks Lue for doing this. It looks like my internet connection might be cutting out at the wrong time. But if you can hear me, I would love to know what visibility, you know, if any, the folks on this call have into what will be included in the report? And what role if any, are you playing and actually compiling it?

Lue Elizondo 
So I’m going to politely defer the second question. I don’t want to be evasive. But I also don’t want to do anything that puts the government in an uncomfortable position. If you want to know if there’s any role I’m playing with the government, I’m going to respectfully deflect and let you ask the government and let them make a determination what an appropriate response would be. As far as what would be in the report? You know, I think, as we discussed before, I made a funny joke that it takes longer sometimes to renovate a kitchen than it does to, to put out this 180 day report. The 9/11 commission report almost took three years. So I think it’s very unlikely that we’re going to have a comprehensive report that Congress expects and deserves, frankly, at the unclassified level in time. I think what we can hope for is a report, an interim report, that’s going to say, here are the knowns, here are the unknowns. And by the way, there’s a lot more unknowns than knowns. And we’re going, here’s our plan for addressing those on notes. And we’re going to provide you another report periodically. until we find those answers. My hope would be that we have an enduring capability. A Task Force, by definition, government definition is a temporary capability. A lot of people don’t know that. But that’s what it is, whether it is our task force, or the ID task force that we had established during Iraq. These are all temporary bodies. And I think this topic deserves an enduring capability. And, frankly, maybe even beyond ONI, Office of Naval Intelligence, maybe, maybe we need a whole-of-government approach and bring in folks like NASA and FAA and NOAA and everybody else, maybe Department of Energy, bring everybody to have bring in academics and scientists, from renowned universities, bring in some of our international friends and allies to have this conversation, maybe, maybe even the United Nations. You know, I don’t think, I think we need to manage our expectations. If we think that we’re going to have a simple solution here. Come June. I think there’s, there’s, there’s very little chance of that happening. I think we’re gonna wind up with more questions than answers. I think they’ll maybe have some answers. But there’s probably going to be more questions in the long run. 
Let me say this, if no one’s gonna say anything, folks, sincerely, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for doing what you do. I know journalistic integrity is very important. Just like as an intelligence officer, right, we, we kind of had the same mission, collect the truth and speak the truth. And try to leave our personal bias out of it. And I know that all of you are taking a chance on even listening to a conversation like this. But I will tell you that it is deeply appreciated. When I have a chance, an opportunity to talk to people on the street. They’re happy that this this, this this topic has been covered. And finally being covered in a serious sense without all the, you know, nonsense baggage that’s attached to it. So I want to thank you, thank you all for your time this afternoon. And again, just just doing what you do. It’s profound as a civilian now. And then out of the government. You know, thank you. I appreciate it very much.

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