We can't do a thing to stop UFOs – it could be America's biggest spy failure since 9/11, warns ex-Pentagon investigator
UFOs are flying over the US, the military doesn't know what they are or who is behind them, and we can't stop them, an ex-Pentagon investigator revealed.
Luis Elizondo, who headed up the secretive Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), told The US Sun strange "provocations" reported in a slew of footage by the US military are real – and the question is now simply "what are they?".
Mr Elizondo, who was this week identified by former US Senate majority leader Harry Reid as the leader of AATIP despite denials from the Pentagon, was speaking after a host of new UFO footage was confirmed by the Depart of Defence.
While he cannot discuss much of his work as it remains "classified", he said he has seen "very very compelling" data which convinced him of the existence of these strange objects seemingly menacing the US.
He resigned his post on AATIP as he sought to bring the discussion about the UFOs – now more commonly referred to in scientific circles as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) – into the mainstream, describing them as a "national security issue".
And now the US is just months away from getting a hopefully unclassified report on the UAPs published by the the Director of the National (DNI) Intelligence and the Department for Defense (DoD).
Lawmakers on the Intelligence Committee last year voted to set up the UAP Task Force – and in December gave them a 180 day deadline to produce a report on the strange phenomena caught on camera by US servicemen.
"I am not a UFO guy, I am an investigator, my job was simple to collect the data and speak the truth," Mr Elizondo told The US 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."
Competing theories on the strange videos continue to rage – with some grounded on Earth claiming the videos capture never-before-seen military aircraft or drones, while others claim it shows otherworldly craft possibly piloted by aliens.
Others however are more skeptical and sometimes even dismissive, claiming the bizarre videos may just be camera tricks, natural phenomena or even outright hoaxes.
Not wanting to drawn on his theory on what the objects seemingly in the skies may be, the ex-DoD official simply said "all options are on the table until they are off the table, we need to let the data speak for itself".
If it turns out we have been leapfrogged technologically by a foreign adversary, then we are dealing with an intelligence failure on the level of 9/11
"When I was at AATIP, our purpose was to try and find a conventional explanation," he told The US Sun.
"It was only when we exhausted all options that we became increasingly engaged."
He remains optimistic a groundswell of public support and bipartisan action by lawmakers can help open up this topic, which he warned could show a failure by US intelligence agencies on par with 9/11.
And while not wanting to get into specifics, when asked whether Russia and China are also studying UAPs, he said: "We have every reason to believe that foreign adversarial countries are equally – if not more – interested in these topics than we are.
"That has been validated through various sources. We are certain about that."
WHAT WAS AATIP?
LUIS Elizondo headed up The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) what was formed in 2007 before being dissolved in 2012.
AATIP was set up after pressure from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with a budget of $22million to investigate UFOs and UAPs.
It was officially unclassified, but also unpublicized as the secretive programme quietly got on with its work.
The programme published 38 papers which cover advanced, exotic and theoretical aerospace topics.
Christopher “Kit” Green, a neuroscientist who worked on a paper with AATIP, told Popular Mechanics: "It is my understanding this program was a UFO study that outwardly was not supposed to look like it had anything to do with UFOs."
The programme was disclosed to the public for the first time in 2017 in a report by The New York Times.
Mr Elizondo was a former senior member of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSDI).
He was recently described by Reid as having a "leadership role" in AATIP,but Pentagon officials contradicted him by claiming he had "no assigned responsibilities".
Reid said: "Mr Elizondo is a former intelligence officer who has spent his career working tirelessly in the shadows on sensitive national security matters, including investigating UAPs as the head of AATIP.
"He performed these duties admirably".
AATIP's successor is seen as the UAP Task Force, which is currently putting together an unclassified report due for release in June.
With the deadline on the UAP report fast approaching, Mr Elizondo urged people to "manage their expectations" on what may be released – with some information likely to remain classified to protect methods and sources.
"If it turns out we have been leapfrogged technologically by a foreign adversary, then we are dealing with an intelligence failure on the level of 9/11." he said.
"It took three years to write the 9/11 report – and I am not sure if these things have been in our skies for decades that 180 days is enough time to provide the level of information Congress is asking for and deserves."
However, he said as far as he was concerned anything that is unclassified should be released as "this information belongs to the public" – adding the government as a "moral obligation" to release the data.
And he added while some "legacy" pocket of government continue to try and suppress information on UAPs, he believes the genie is out of the bottle on more widespread disclosure.
Mr Elizondo is hopeful that a permanent capability which encompasses all branches of government – along with academics and scientists – will be set up to to continue the probe into the UAPs.
"They are real, the question is what are they and what are we going to do about," he told The US SUn.
“And the other possibility is – if it's not foreign technology – it's something or someone else."
Documentary filmmaker Jeremy Corbell released the latest round of footage which was filmed by US Navy pilots and personnel, with perhaps the most startling showing a "pyramid shaped" object flying over USS Russell.
Pentagon officials confirmed the footage was genuine, and it comes after the DoD took the historic step last year to declassify a trio of videos showing UFO incidents involving the USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Mr Elizondo said the question remains over what we are seeing the Corbell video, whether it is "truly anomalous", or some kind of conventional technology, or a camera trick.
"We need more facts and data, and this is the purpose of the UAP Task Force, before we begin to assume," he told The US Sun.
However, he said the videos are proof that the system is working and that agencies are now starting to "take this seriously".
When asked about why the Pentagon is now taking the extraordinary step of confirmed the footage, he said "They tried to ignore it before and it blew up in their face as information started to become available and was leaked.
"The DoD had egg on their face. They realized lying about a topic isn't the best solution, probably better to own it."
Despite the disclosure beginning to open up however, Mr Elizondo explained there remains hesitation by some to report their sightings due to historic stigma.
And this was helped along by the US Government, who officially dismissed reports of UFOs at the conclusion of Project Blue Book in 1969, wit the former official saying "its tough trying to rewire decades of a public stance".
"Things come to mind – and a hate to say it – about tin foil hats and Elvis being on the mothership," he told The US Sun.
"But if you remove that stigma and stick to the facts, it's a very compelling global issue."
Mr Elizondo said he is aware of people being deemed "crazy" or "unbalanced" for reporting on UAPs – with government officials having their security clearances revoked or pilots having their aircraft grounded.
He added: "It destroyed their lives. We have a moral obligation to fix that and to allow this conversation."
And with the issue going global, with Japan last year changing their guidelines for military pilots, urging them to report any encounters with UAPs.
"It's all paranormal until it becomes normal – photography up until the 1800s would have been magic", he said.
"Every time we think nature fits in a tight little box she proves us wrong, we have to recognize there are things out there we don't what they are, and that that's okay."
In 2019, the Pentagon admitted it has launched investigations into UFO sightings and it still analyses reports of unexplained objects.
The Department of Defence went as far as to reveal they will "continue" to probe such reports in a bid to keep the nation safe.
A spokesperson for the Department of Defence was forced to admit that reports, claiming their investigations were stopped in 2012, were not true.
The US Sun previously revealed the "most compelling" footage of a UAP, according to a leading group of scientists, and a probe into the mysterious "Skinwalker Ranch" which is the US's leading hotspot for UFOs.
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