MYSTERY WIREThe clock is ticking for the Pentagon’s hush hush program to investigate UFOs.  It’s called the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), and it has been ordered to prepare a detailed overview of the UFO mystery for submission to Congress.

However, there are already challenges to meeting this deadline.

The first public mention of the UAPTF came in June 2020 when the Senate Intelligence Committee formally asked the Pentagon for a comprehensive analysis of the UFO mystery.

Over the previous three years, members and staff of key committees had received closed door briefings about startling encounters between the U.S. military and UAPs.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio acknowledged to Mystery Wire that lawmakers consider this to be a serious matter.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

“This is a very simple equation for me,” Rubio told Mystery Wire. “There are things flying over our military installations. We don’t know what they are or where they’re from. We don’t know if it’s some other country that’s doing it and we need to know the answer to that question, simple.”

In august 2020, the Pentagon formally announced the creation of the task force, and in late December, the massive bill containing government funding and covid relief was signed into law, as first reported by blogger Danny Silva.

A provision in the bill authorized the task force to prepare a comprehensive analysis of the UFO mystery and submit it to Congress within 180 days, meaning around June 1st.

Getting a straight story out of the Pentagon about its interest in UFOs has always been a challenge, and the same is true of the UAPTF.

For one thing, it is not exactly a new creation. Veteran intelligence officer Lue Elizondo spent years as the program manager for the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), the Pentagon’s previous UFO investigation.

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.

When the New York Times first revealed the existence of AATIP in December 2017, the Pentagon said the program had ended in 2012 and that it didn’t really have anything to do with UFOs. Neither claim was true.

Elizondo said the program never ended. It continued even after he left the government as a loose confederation of personnel in different parts of the national security apparatus.

Elements of that investigation formed the basis of the newly named UAPTF.

In a June 2018 interview, Elizondo said the funding to keep the AATIP program going was used by another Pentagon office.

Members of the public and media excited about the scheduled report to Congress might want to temper their expectations because there are significant barriers to anything resembling full disclosure.

First, the report to Congress will be unclassified, meaning it will not contain the most sensitive, most classified cases or incidents because those directly involve national security matters.

Key committees will likely receive separate annex reports regarding classified incidents with information that is not likely to be made public.

Second, while the finding bill ordered the task force to produce a comprehensive analysis of the UAP mystery, it provided no funding. The task force was not provided with an actual budget, only marching orders.

Mystery Wire asked the Pentagon to comment on this but received no reply.

Third, sources familiar with the task force say there’s been a major change at the top. The high ranking official who has led the UFO investigation for years is out.

The name has not been made public but Mystery Wire has learned it’s the same official who’s been briefing congress since 2018 and who’s been directly responsible for getting elected officials interested in the subject.

The Navy assigned the official to other duties.

Can the task force finish its job by June 1st? It is a gigantic undertaking, to search the entire national security system for all relevant videos and files and then to seek input and analysis from other intelligence agencies?

It is entirely possible the task force will have to ask congress for more time.

In an interview on Coast To Coast A.M. radio on December 20th, Lue Elizondo announced he has left To The Stars Academy (TTSA), the company which coaxed him into coming forward in 2017.

Also gone is veteran intelligence official Chris Mellon. Both men are still supportive of  TTSA but are now largely focused on behind the scenes work in Washington to encourage Congress and the Pentagon to move the UFO ball down the field.

“This is a process, not an event,” Elizondo said trying to lower public expectations. “We’re asking the U.S. government to engage in something that historically it never wanted to engage in. I think a lot of people have these false hopes that disclosure is here, and all of a sudden have this huge announcement by the U.S. government.”

Progress is being made, Elizondo says. The task force report will be just the beginning. He hopes congress will authorize a permanent UAP program, one that has a budget and the authority to truly investigate a perplexing mystery.

The founder of TTSA, rock star Tom DeLonge told us TTSA has some major UFO-related film projects that will be announced in 2021,  adding that he remains in close contact with Elizondo and Mellon.

Around the world, scholars and researchers are also examining the phenomena and the role the UAPTF will play. Below you will see a paper written by Franc Milburn for the The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA Center) in Israel. The BESA Center is a self-described independent, non-partisan think tank conducting policy-relevant research on Middle Eastern and global strategic affairs, particularly as they relate to the national security and foreign policy of Israel and regional peace and stability.