A whistleblower who ran the Pentagon’s top-secret UFO program has warned a soon-to-be-released report on unidentified aerial phenomena could reveal the greatest US intelligence failings since 9/11.
Luis Elizondo, the former head of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), told The Sun he had seen ‘very very compelling’ data that confirmed the existence of technologically advanced UFOs.
A highly-anticipated report on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) is due to be released by the Director of the National Intelligence and the Department for Defense by June 1 .
And Elizondo says if Pentagon officials reveal that the US has been ‘leapfrogged technologically by a foreign adversary’ such as China or Russia it would constitute an intelligence failure ‘on the level of 9/11’.
Elizondo said recently-revealed footage of strange, tic-toc shaped flying objects buzzing US military ships were real – and says it is time that the Government told the public what it knew about them.
He told The Sun: ‘There is something in our skies, we don’t know what it is, we don’t know how it works, we don’t know fully what it can do, we don’t know who is behind the wheel, we don’t know its intentions, and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it.’
Lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee ordered Defense officials to explain the frequent sightings of strange flying objects spotted by military in the hope it will dispel some of the rumor and fear surrounding them.
Elizondo said people should manage their expectations around what will be contained in the report.
Luis Elizondo, the former head of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP),
One of the images leaked from the Pentagon report appears to be a pyramid-shaped object (pictured) hovering over the USS Russell
These images were leaked from a Pentagon task force and obtained by by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, who confirmed their authenticity
UFOs or a rival military power? What in the world is behind all these mysterious drone sightings…
Since the 1960s, there have been dozens of encounters with unidentified aerial phenomena.
Possible explanations include:
1. The US military. It has been secretly designing and testing unmanned aircraft for decades. This would seem the most plausible explanation, given the US spends more on defense than the next 10 countries combined.
2. Another military power such as China or Russia has developed its own advanced drone weaponry. If so they would have had to make extraordinary technological breakthroughs and managed to keep them out of the public eye.
3. A private company built the UFOs and wanted to test them out in a high-stakes stand-off with the US military. Both Elon Musk with SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin have spent billions of dollars on space exploration programs, so perhaps it’s not out of the question.
4. The drones are in fact the creations of alien life forms, in which case Mulder was right all along about the truth being ‘out there’.
Elizondo headed the AATIP from 2007 to 2012, as part of a $22 million program set up former Nevada Senator Harry Reid to investigate the UAP.
In March, it was revealed that US Navy warships stationed off the coast of Los Angeles encountered swarms of mysterious drones, which pursued them at high speed in low visibility in 2019.
The series of encounters with suspected UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, in July 2019, saw as many as six mystery aircraft swarm several US Navy warships close to a sensitive training area at the Channel Islands.
The head of the United States Navy Admiral Michael Gilday later admitted he had no idea where a swarm of mysterious Tic Tac-shaped drones that menaced four US destroyers originated.
Gilday’s response appears to rule out the theory that the drones could have come from a secret US military program.
That has led to growing speculation that they were either built by a rival military power or ‘something else beyond our understanding is going on’.
In an interview last week, Reid said the 2019 incident had confirmed to him the need for the US to establish a UFO program to investigate the phenomena.
In an interview with Mysterywire.com, Reid, who has pushed before for a UFO program, discussed the potential origin of the mysterious flying objects, which the interviewer suggested may be Chinese.
‘Always remember, Russia, the former Soviet Union, is run by a man who ran the KGB. They had as many as 30,000 agents at one time, KGB agents. So, Russia’s involved in this, no question about it,’ Reid said.
He added that UFOS were ‘something that cannot be ignored’ and that President Joe Biden should be briefed on the matter.
‘I believe that there should be an ongoing entity, within the Pentagon would be the best place for it, whose sole job is to stay on top of the issue of UFOs,’ Reid said.
While Senate majority leader, Reid pushed to launch the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a Pentagon-run effort to study reports of UFOs.
The $22million-program began in 2007 and ended in 2012, according to the Pentagon.
In the most recent documented encounter in July 2019, USS destroyers on patrol were suddenly swarmed by flashing, Tic Toc-shaped drones, which were able to travel long distance at high speeds
The USS Gonzalez, a guided-missile destroyer, is in the same class as the naval ships targeted by drones in a brazen attack off the coast of California in 2019. It uses a high-tech an onboard intelligence team known as a SNOOPIE to track unknown flying objects
The USS Kidd, pictured above in 2011, was one of four Navy destroyers swarmed by sophisticated drones in 2019. An investigation has failed to uncover the origin of the drones
A detailed account of the 2019 encounter published by The Drive shows the drama began on the night of July 14 2019.
Deck logs from the USS Kidd show that just before 10pm that night two drones were spotted.
An onboard intelligence crew responsible for documenting and investigating contact with unknown vessels – known as the Ship Nautical Or Otherwise Photographic Interpretation and Exploitation team – or SNOOPIE – was engaged to figure out who, or what, the mystery flying objects were.
Within a few minutes of the sighting, reports show the USS Kidd moved into quiet mode, minimizing communications as it sought to work what the threat level was.
It contacted a nearby warship also on patrol, the USS Rafael Peralta, who also engaged their onboard photo intelligence team, or SNOOPIE.
Several other US Navy destroyers on patrol nearby began noticing strange lights.
The USS John Finn also reported UAV activity, and noticed a ‘red flashing light’ at 10:03pm, according to its logbook.
Just over an hour later at 11:23pm, the USS Rafael Peralta spotted a white light hovering over the flight deck.
The drone was able to remain hovering above the destroyer’s helicopter landing pad while traveling at speeds of 16 knots and in low visibility.
The nearly 90-minute encounter was well beyond the capability of commercially-available drones.
The next night, the drones returned, this time as the warships were patrolling closer to the Californian mainland.
They were first spotted by the USS Rafael Peralta and the ship’s SNOOPIE team was engaged at 8:39pm.
At 8:56pm, logs show the USS Kidd had also come into contact with drones.
‘The drones seem to have pursued the ships, even as they continued to maneuver throughout the incident,’ The Drive reported.
Logbooks onboard the USS Russell show drones were swarming all over it, dipping in elevation from 1000 to 700 feet and seemingly able to move in any direction.
The USS Russell had separate contact with drones nine occasions in less than an hour.
Then at 9:20pm that night, the USS Kidd noticed ‘multiple UAVs’ around the ship.
US warships have state-of-the-art detection systems, but an investigation by the US Navy chief and the FBI has been unable to discover the origin of drones
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter shows off its high-tech weaponry
The USS Rafael Peralta was also swarmed by as many as four drones. It was contacted by a passing cruise ship, the Carnival Imagination, to say they too had spotted up to six drones.
The three-hour frenzy of activity continued until close to midnight, with none of the warships able to say with certainty where the drones had come from.
The Navy’s top commanders including the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and commander of the Pacific Fleet were notified.
The Los Angeles bureau of the FBI was also brought in to look at the incident.
An initial investigation found that just a handful of civilian ships were in the area at the time that could have been used as landing pads for the drones.
Investigators suspected the drones may have been launched from the ORV Alguita, a catamaran in the area.
And while the Alguita did have drones onboard, it was soon established its aircraft were not capable of such aeronautical feats.
Naval intelligence was brought in on the investigation and it was soon turning its glare inwards.
The area is home to a large US Naval Base on Sam Clemente Island, where sensitive training operations are often undertaken.
Soon afterward, the Navy classified the investigation, preventing further information from being released to The Drive.
There were further drone sightings later in July 2019, with SNOOPIE teams aboard the destroyers again being called on to identify the drones and work out where they were coming from.
The bizarre incident was first noticed by filmmaker Dave Beaty, a UFO researcher who UFOs.
In June 2020, he Tweeted: ‘Did the navy ship #USSKidd #DDG100 encounter a UAP in July 2019 in So Cal OPAREA Trying to find out more. The ship logs indicate a ‘Snoopy Team’ was deployed – an intel section that tries to visually ID objects. DM if you know more. Near San Clemente island.’
Later, relaying information he’d received from a Navy source, Beaty said a crew member on board ‘could see them with the naked eye and they were almost eye level with the bridge hovering’.
‘They were the same tic-tac shaped objects.’
Beaty said the sightings occurred in the same areas as another infamous UFO sighting in 2004 which became known as the ‘Nimitz Encounters’, when at least six Super Hornet pilots made visual or instrument contact with the UFO on November 14, 2004.
The clip became one of the most-touted pieces of evidence in the UFO community when the Pentagon confirmed its authenticity in 2017.
In January, Chad Underwood, the former Navy aviator who shot the famous leaked video clip, broke his silence in an interview with New York Magazine.
He said the oblong, wingless ‘Tic Tac’ shaped object was spotted off the coast of Mexico over the Pacific.
The encounters, which are documented in numerous interviews with first-hand witnesses, remain a mystery, and the object’s incredible speed and movements have led to speculation that it was extraterrestrial in origin.
The original FLIR video from the USS Nimitz encounters leaked online as early as 2007.
Witnesses say that clips of the video had been circulated widely on the Navy’s intranet – used to communicate between ships in the carrier group – and an unknown sailor in the group likely first leaked it.