George Knapp: Lue when we spoke last December, first time sitting right here, you had told me you were pretty much unfamiliar with the UFO community at large, and on purpose. You didn’t know this community and how it reacted. Now that you’ve had eight months, often being pounded by these folks, what are your thoughts?
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Luis Elizondo: Well, that largely remains true to this day. I have purposely continued to try to sequester myself from from the rest of the larger community on purpose. It’s not that they don’t have anything good to say, I’m sure they do. But I am consciously trying to avoid having any type of analytic bias introduced into the analysis of the data that we’re engaged in. So what do I mean by that? You get a report, you look at the report, and there are some data points in there. And as you’re trying to conduct analysis on those data points, all of a sudden, subconsciously, you recall, maybe a conversation or an interview with somebody on TV. And all of a sudden now, without even trying to do it deliberately, some of those analytic bias now are being superimposed on your ability to analyze the data in a fair and objective way. And again, it’s not that these individuals aren’t smart or they don’t have anything good to say. A lot of them are exceptionally smart, in fact, probably a lot smarter than I am. But in the same respect, I really try to limit myself in being exposed to outside data points and innuendos, and suppositions. I personally don’t find that helpful. I think alternative analysis is critical. I think someone coming in with an opposing view is very, very important. But I, again, for me, I’ve always tried to lean towards just the facts, just the data. And leaving what my opinions are, try to leave those on the side because in the end, it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what the data says.
Knapp: You know, you could pretty much predict how the mainstream science guys — (Neil deGrasse) Tyson and those folks — are going to react to this. Dismissive as they’ve always been. The UFO people, it would seem like almost a surprise that they are so, not just alternate opinions, but hostile. As an intelligence guy or counterintel guy, how would you characterize that? I mean, is that a predictable kind of a thing?
WHO IS LUIS ELIZONDO? Read our dossier on his role in UFO investigations
Elizondo: It is. And I think it’s not just the UFO community or anybody else. I think anybody who has a preconceived notion of what something should be, and we saw this, even in DoD with senior leadership. They get an idea in their head and they think this is the way it’s going to be. It’s very hard to come in with a different narrative and expect people to just accept it. Because they spent a lot of time and effort in formulating these theories and these opinions, and in some cases you have some folks who’ve made actually very successful cottage industries. Pushing an agenda so people will, in essence, follow their narrative. And then all of a sudden you have some information that contradicts that And it can be a hard pill to swallow. And really you have two choices: either a get on board or fight it, and sometimes fight it violently. And we’ve seen that. We’ve seen individuals who are absolutely opposed to what we’re doing because in their opinion, it does not conform to the narrative that they have been been pushing for a long time. Now, you said something that I would like to address as well concerning folks like Mr. deGrasse Tyson, the very famous very, very intelligent physicist. Keep in mind, he and others are also subject to the same analytic bias. Let’s let’s look at it this way. Here’s a gentleman who spent a good portion of his younger career, proving the existence of something that by definition can never be observed. This is a man who spent a good portion of his career proving the existence of black holes that by definition, can’t be observed directly. The only way you can observe them is through the indirect measurements and direct measurements of how that black hole affects its environment, right, and perturbs the orbits of other things. And these things are millions of light years away. And so, here it is, you have a scientific-minded individual, proving the existence of something that we’ll never see in our lifetime. And yet something that is here on Earth that people are saying is occurring that you cannot see directly, not everybody anyways, all of a sudden now is too far of a reach. Right? And so I think we all have to pay attention to analytic bias. And again, back to the reason why I purposely do not pay attention much to the folks outside of the scientific community when it comes to data collection. Because in the end, it doesn’t matter about what your opinions are and what your feelings are. It matters what the data says. And that’s the only way we’re going to get ahead and that’s been so far the key, at least I think in our case. The key to our success here in TTSA is that we are facts-driven. It doesn’t matter what any one of us personally believes or thinks or anything else. It’s what can be observed and what can be extrapolated from that data.
Knapp: TTSA has taken some lumps. Tom has taken some lumps, unfairly to a large degree. I mean, when you look at what has happened since you stepped on that stage last October, it’s amazing change in the national conversation about this topic. TTSA is a driving force in that.
Elizondo: I’d like to think we are “a” driving force. I don’t think we are “the” driving force. I think to try to figure out what is the driving force, you have to look at it collectively. And George, I’d say you’re part of that driving force. I’d say people like Bob Bigelow, who’s been doing this long before AATIP became public, and he had his nose to the grinding wheel pursuing this endeavor. And and folks like Senator Harry Reid and Stevens and Inouye. Folks who believed in this enough, and who wanted to protect their country enough that they were willing to invest their time, resources and their reputations into an otherwise really, really sticky portfolio. A portfolio that a lot of people just don’t want to talk about because it’s surrounded by stigma, right? And that stigma is a political killer. It’s a career killer. It’s a, you know, there’s nothing good about it. You don’t get into this portfolio thinking, “Hey, I’m going to make a name for myself.” In fact, it’s probably either going to get you fired or it’s going to get you ostracized or it’s going to get you nowhere that you want to go. Fast.
NEXT STORY: Sorting out the AATIP, AAWSAP and BAASS UFO studies with Luis Elizondo