The U.S. government has not acknowledged that it has investigated a UFO case and have been unable to identify it since 1969 when they closed Project Blue Book, the U.S. Air Force’s last official UFO research project. However, this weekend it was revealed that the Department of Defense (DoD) has had a secret UFO investigation project since 2007, and this revelation might not have come had it not have been for the efforts of rock star Tom DeLonge.
DeLonge has had a long time interest in UFOs and OpenMinds.tv, a website I work for focused on news regarding the UFO phenomenon, has been along for some of the ride. DeLonge sponsored Strange Times, his own website dedicated to fringe topics where they reposted, with permission, many of our stories. We also interviewed him and have kept in contact.
However, despite DeLonge telling us he was up to some big things, we had no idea how big. In fact, DeLonge sharing his beliefs in some of the more fringe ideas in Ufology made it even more difficultly to fathom that he had high-level contacts confiding in him. We finally got insight into just how important his contacts were from WikiLeaks of all places.
During the election, WikiLeaks famously posted hacked emails they received that belonged to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. Many of them were communications with John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager, who was also known to be a UFO enthusiast. In these emails it was discovered he was in communication with DeLonge regarding the UFO matter (one of my OpenMinds.tv articles was among them), and that they had meetings with highly placed U.S. Air Force officials, aerospace engineers and people in the entertainment industry. Many of these individuals did not want to be publicly associated with the topic, which is why DeLonge had kept their identities hidden.
It was clear DeLonge was working with these individuals on projects he said were in the works. Reaching people at that level, even if you are a famous rock star, takes an incredible effort, so we awarded him with the OpenMinds.tv UFO Researcher of the Year award at the 2017 International UFO Congress. Many did not like that. However, I have felt it was justified. I didn’t believe any civilian UFO researcher has obtained the level of cooperation with high-level officials he had, and this was before we knew about his link to a secret DoD UFO project.
DeLonge could not be present to receive his award, but he did make an acceptance video that we played at the conference, and he allowed us to post it online. We did so with a video outlining his achievements. The video went viral and was covered by many music industry news outlets and several mainstream outlets as well.
In the video, Tom promised big news would be announced soon after the conference in February. However, days turned into weeks which turned into months with no announcement. DeLonge emailed me apologizing for the delay, but letting me know it was coming. In the meantime, he did interviews about his belief that the government was actually protecting us from aggressive extraterrestrial civilizations, and that insiders were working with him to reveal their secrets.
Honestly, this caused credibility issues. Careful, serious researchers were frustrated that he would make these unsubstantiated claims. Those who felt as he did grew impatient waiting for proof. Others felt he was defaming extraterrestrial civilizations who were here to help us. Everyone else waited patiently.
Finally, in October of this year, DeLonge announced the creation of the To the Stars Academy (TTSA). It was a corporation comprised of scientists, former intelligence officials, engineers and other credible individuals. To me, this was shocking. It was an impressive group of individuals. One individual in particular stood out; a name I had not heard before.
His name was Luis Elizondo. He said he had worked in intelligence for the DoD on a program to look into UFO reports. I had no reason to doubt him. I also had no doubt the others in the group, who I was familiar with and admired, would have vetted him. However, it was unclear if his department only looked into UFOs on occasion, or if this was something they looked into more thoroughly. Elizondo said he was frustrated that the DoD did not take the issue more seriously, and that he and some of his colleagues were convinced they were witnessing objects demonstrating technology the U.S. or any other country in the world could posses.
The creation of the TTSA, and especially Elizondo’s claims, were huge, I felt. However, the news was met with a resounding “meh” among many UFO researchers. Some felt it was a scam to get money, and others felt it was some kind of coverup. I had the opportunity to talk to DeLonge, and another member of the group who had retired from a career in the CIA, Jim Semivan. I also had acquaintances I spoke with who were close with the other individuals in the group. I got the sense that none of them needed the money, they all had a very strong interest in the UFO topic and an equally strong desire to research more about the nature of the phenomenon. I also felt as though they did not feel they were part of a coverup or being manipulated by mysterious dark forces.
However, there was something else that was apparent. These individuals also did not hold the same views as DeLonge. Although some had personal experiences, their interest was to “follow the data” as Chris Mellon, another member put it. Some were even hesitant to conclude these mysterious aerial vehicles could be the products of an extraterrestrial civilization.
Since October DeLonge had been a spokesperson for the forthcoming news, which turned out to be a ground breaking effort to investigate UFOs. However, DeLonge also mixed in his ideas about a space war going on between the U.S. government and aliens. The later was not what was revealed, and what many felt DeLonge had promised. DeLonge feels he may still be able to prove his other more shocking claims. Who knows, with everything he has accomplished thus far, maybe he will. We seem to be living in a time of the impossible being possible, for better or worse.
This brings us to the news making headlines today. It appears I, and a few of my colleagues, were not the only ones who noticed the importance of what Elizondo had claimed. Apparently, The New York Times, Politico and The Washington Post also saw its importance and began investigating Elizondo’s claims.
This past Saturday, The New York Times posted their findings, soon after Politico did the same and right after that, The Washington Post published their story. They all took different angles, but the gist is that since 2007 the DoD has been running a secret UFO project called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) ran by Elizondo. Furthermore, Bigelow Aerospace was contracted to do the work. This last piece of news was of particular interest because I was the PR person for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) around 2008 when Bigelow funded a joint project with us.
The other details regarding the DoD UFO project were equally as shocking. Apparently, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a democrat from Nevada, was influenced by astronaut John Glenn and Bigelow, who was a friend and donor, to initiate an investigation into UFOs. Reid sought the cooperation of fellow senators, and along with Ted Stevens, a republican from Alaska, and Daniel K. Inouye, a democrat from Hawaii, procured funding for the program. $22 million was earmarked for the project over the next 5 years.
The Pentagon told The New York Times they canceled funding in 2012 due to a lack of results, but Elizondo says the program was not canceled. He and others continued their work along with other DoD duties. Even after Elizondo left the project in October to join TTSA, he says he had a successor to continue running the project.
So what did AATIP find? Most of that information is being held back, but Elizondo has given us a few things to chew on. A Pentagon briefing on the program in 2009 claimed “what was considered science fiction is now science fact,” and, according to The New York Times, “that the United States was incapable of defending itself against some of the technologies discovered.” Whoa.
To add to the shock and awe, according to The New York Times, Elizondo claimed, “Under Mr. Bigelow’s direction, the company modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.”
On this last issue, Ralph Blumenthal, one of the co-writers of The New York Times article, told MSNBC in an interview that indeed they had recovered material that was a technology they cold not identify. Mellon, another member of TTSA who formerly worked as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence in the Clinton and Bush Administrations, among other high-level positions, confirmed to investigative reporter George Knapp, the man who put Area 51 on the map, and I, on Coast to Coast AM Sunday night, that they did have material, but there is no information as to where that material came from.
Elizondo was also able to get three videos of unknown aerial objects released. Two of those videos are posted on the TTSA website, the third has not yet been released. One of these videos we have seen, but now it has been confirmed it is real. It is a video from an incident of a UFO being observed by personnel from the Nimitz aircraft carrier group and captured on infrared video from a jet fighter. Researcher Robert Powell has written on his investigation into this case on OpenMinds.tv.
The second video is similar, but information as to the date, time or location the video was captured has not been released.
There are many more details in the revelation of the existence of the AATIP, and I have peppered links to the big stories and videos throughout this article for you to get started if you want all the minute details that have been revealed thus far.
To sum it all up, what we have here is truly extraordinary. The U.S. government has not admitted to a UFO investigation and determination of an object being an unknown since 1969 when they closed Project Blue Book, the USAF’s official investigation into UFOs. To further state that these objects demonstrate a technology beyond our own that we can not defend against and they have recovered unknown material is – sorry, but I can not help myself – amazeballs. It is the stuff of science-fiction.
This would be a MAJOR mic drop for DeLonge, but in his mind this is just the tip of the iceberg. Further disclosures are certainly forthcoming. Now that the cat is out of the bag, people will be clamoring for information such as where the second video came from, where the material came from and what other cases the AATIP looked into. It has also been suggested that this has all been cronyism by Reid to funnel money to his buddy Bigelow. There are a million avenues to go down, and I am sure there will be people going down them all.
In the end, this has been an extraordinary revelation, and whether or not it is ever revealed there has been a galactic battle going on between humans and space invaders — I would not count anything out given what DeLonge has accomplished thus far — we still need to give credit where credit is due. None of this would have been revealed if it wasn’t for DeLonge’s efforts.
Note: We will have a special report from Leslie Kean, one of the co-authors of The New York Times article on the next Open Minds UFO Radio podcast.
Find out more about how the U.S. Air Force’s own documents show they have been investigating UFO cases since 1969, despite their official position to the contrary: