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This man ran the Pentagon's secretive UFO programme for a decade. We had some questions
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of GQ Magazine

Left photo: A still from one of the US Navy videos showing a UAP. Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

GQ Magazine, November 9, 2021
Posted: February 22nd, 2024

When it came to UFOs, there was a time when the US government’s official line was that it didn’t study them.

Luis Elizondo was instrumental in changing that.

In late 2017, he met with the freelance journalist Leslie Kean and revealed the existence of a $22 million (£16m) Pentagon programme investigating military reports of UFOs – a programme he had been in charge of since 2010. He had left the job the day before and decided to turn whistle-blower in the name of national security. As he put it in his resignation letter to secretary of defense Jim Mattis: “Bureaucratic challenges and inflexible mindsets continue to plague the department at all levels... The department must take serious the many accounts by the Navy and other services of unusual aerial systems interfering with military weapon platforms and displaying beyond next-generation capabilities... There remains a vital need to ascertain the capability and intent of these phenomena for the benefit of the armed forces and the nation.”

Kean joined forces with two other reporters, one from the New York Times, and on 16 December 2017 the story appeared on the paper’s front page. It detailed the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program” set up in 2007 to investigate unidentified aerial phenomena or “UAP”, the term that has replaced the now stigmatised “UFO”.

Kean joined forces with two other reporters, one from the New York Times, and on 16 December 2017 the story appeared on the paper’s front page. It detailed the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program” set up in 2007 to investigate unidentified aerial phenomena or “UAP”, the term that has replaced the now stigmatised “UFO”. Many UAPs, the Times reported, appeared impossible to explain, lacking any visible means of lift but able to travel at unfathomable speed. What’s more, the story stated, Elizondo and his colleagues had “determined that the phenomena they had studied did not seem to originate from any country”.

But the reader didn’t have to take the Times’ word for all this. There were videos. An ally of Elizondo’s, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence Chris Mellon, had helped the reporters obtain footage shot from the cockpits of US Navy fighter jets. One of the videos corroborates arguably the most compelling UAP episode ever to come to light.

According to reports, it took place in November 2004, when pilots were flying training missions from the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. While squadron leader commander David Fravor was in the air, he was asked to intercept a mysterious aircraft. Upon arrival at its coordinates, what he saw was extraordinary: a 40-foot object, resembling a huge white Tic Tac, that had no visible propulsion system, rotors, wings or exhaust plume. Yet Fravor says it was able to jam radar, react to his movements and run rings around his F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet – turning so sharply it was as if the UAP had no inertia – before flying away faster than anything he had ever seen. Simply put, it defied the known laws of physics. Not only were there multiple eyewitnesses – including another pilot who filmed the Tic Tac using his plane’s targeting camera (this was the footage passed to the Times) – but the UAP was also detected by the radar of the nearby USS Princeton, an Aegis-class missile cruiser with state-of-the-art sensor systems.

Now, Elizondo’s hopes for government action have started to be realised. On 27 April 2020, the US Department Of Defense confirmed the veracity of the Times’ UAP videos and released them officially into the public domain. In a statement, the Pentagon said, “The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified’.” In August that same year, the Pentagon announced a new UAP Task Force “to detect, analyse and catalogue UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to US national security”. And in June 2021, the Office Of The Director Of National Intelligence released a report to congress about the government’s work on the UAP issue. Of the 144 encounters studied, it stated, 143 could not be explained. It didn’t blame extraterrestrials, but nor did it rule that explanation out.

One of the consequences of his efforts, he says, is a significant piece of legislation that is going through congress. The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act contains important developments for the study of UAPs. It requires that the secretary of defense sets up a permanent office to carry out the duties currently performed by the UAP Task Force but on a department-wide basis. This new office would have to submit an annual report to congressional committees on a range of its findings, including updates on efforts to track, understand, capture and exploit UAPs – as well as an assessment of health-related effects on those who encounter these strange flying objects. Elizondo calls it “historic”. GQ spoke to Elizondo as he prepared to head to Washington, DC, to brief members of congress on how to work with foreign allies on the issue.

Elizondo: I have in my possession official US government documentation that describes the exact same vehicle that we now call the Tic Tac [seen by the Nimitz pilots in 2004] being described in the early 1950s and early 1960s and performing in ways that, frankly, can outperform anything we have in our inventory. For some country to have developed hypersonic technology, instantaneous acceleration and basically transmedial travel in the early 1950s is absolutely preposterous.

Elizondo: I’ve got to be careful, I can’t speak too specifically, but one might imagine that you get a report from a pilot who says, “Lue, it’s really weird. I was flying and I got close to this thing and I came back home and it was like I got a sunburn. I was red for four days.” Well, that’s a sign of radiation. That’s not a sunburn; it’s a radiation burn. Then [a pilot] might say, if [they] had got a little closer, “Lue, I’m at the hospital. I’ve got symptoms that are indicative of microwave damage, meaning internal injuries, and even in my brain there’s some morphology there.” And then you might get somebody who gets really close and says, “You know, Lue, it’s really bizarre. It felt like I was there for only five minutes, but when I looked at my watch 30 minutes went by, but I only used five minutes’ worth of fuel. How is that possible?” Well, there’s a reason for that, we believe, and it probably has to do with warping of space time. And the closer you get to one of these vehicles, the more you may begin to experience space time relative to the vehicle and the environment.

Elizondo: The government has already admitted not only that they’re real, but that they truly are unidentified objects and they’re behaving in a very peculiar way. For example, you have an object that is at altitude, going at 120 knots against the wind, that is rotating at 90 degrees without losing altitude. Anybody who understands aerodynamics, when you’re flying an aircraft and you turn 90 degrees you lose lift, unless you’re in a hard bank. What makes those videos more compelling is not so much what you see, but what you don’t see. It’s the radar signatures, it’s the call signs from pilot to pilot, and pilot to ship, saying, “Hey, we’ve got a bogey up here.” And in one case you hear one of them say, “Look, we have a whole fleet of these things on the ASA [radar display].” Some of the pilots have come out and said there was actually a whole fleet of these things manoeuvring right off camera. The pilots are trained observers. They are trained to identify an aircraft silhouette at 20 miles away – an SU-22, a European Tornado, a Harrier or even an F-16 – and literally within a split moment’s notice be able to identify friend or foe and shoot it down. What they’re reporting doesn’t fit any type of parameters of any type of conventional aircraft that we know of.

Elizondo: I have been told I have to be very careful how I answer this question. I am not allowed to expound upon anything I’ve already said. What I have said is that it is my opinion, my belief – a strong belief, hint, hint – that the US government is in possession of exotic material associated with UAPs. That is all I’m allowed to say.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources.

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