TTS Talks

Ep. 4 The 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act Request for a UAP Task Force

July 01, 2020 To The Stars Academy Season 1 Episode 4
TTS Talks
Ep. 4 The 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act Request for a UAP Task Force
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of TTSA Talks, Tom DeLonge, Chris Mellon and Luis Elizondo engage in a captivating conversation about The Intelligence Authorization Act for 2021 that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence recently introduced and that includes an official public request for a UAP Task Force and an unclassified UAP report.  

Episode 4 will explore an analysis of what the legislation means if passed, who is accountable for the report, the difference with AATIP, how Special Access Programs work, and an explanation of the UAP threat narrative.

- Hey, everybody, Tom Delonge here with To The Stars Academy. We have just started doing these podcasts, and it's been amazing so far. We've had a lot of people listening, and we're gonna try and ramp up some of the conversations to include you guys, and on some of the conversations that we have daily at To The Stars. Today, we have Lue Elizondo, the former director of Pentagon's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, and TTSA director of Special Programs. We have Chris Mellon, the former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and TTSA national security advisor, who was an integral part of informing key policymakers on the Hill about the facts behind the UAP events, and the need for legislation that requires better reporting. Today, we're here to discuss some pretty big things that happened this week that we have been working on as a company for a few years now. Chris Mellon, when he joined To The Stars, I didn't really understand the workings of Washington, D.C. I didn't understand the workings of the Department of Defense. And I remember early on when he joined that we had these discussions about we needed somebody that was present out there, that understood how it worked, that could get in there, and get people the right information. Being kind of just like a normal civilian I wasn't thinking the U.S. government is this one kind of symbiotic organism. This is what they say, this is what they know, this is what they do. Boy, I had a lot of education I needed to have about how the government actually works. Not everyone really works together. Not everything is cohesive as you think. And knowledge is power to some people, so trying to spread around information to get people the knowledge they need to kind of represent the American people better. It's not something that was on my mind. I was always thinking that it was different. We only know what we see in the movies really. So when Chris Mellon joined it was a really big deal because I realized very quickly how badly we needed somebody like him to be able to do the bidding that we're all after, which is transparency, and accountability, and all these different things. Well, this week, we saw some of the fruits of that labor come out. So I wanted to spend some time today to talk about this unprecedented decision for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to introduce legislation that requests the creation of a UAP task force that will issue a public report on the phenomenon. Chris, this is like a huge deal. We all know it's a huge deal. We knew what you're working on. I think people need to understand why this is so important because when people that study UFOs, like myself, we have all these things in our head that this kind of goes counter to. Like we're thinking, okay, they know everything, and they're just not talking about it, or whatever. Then all of a sudden everyone's going, wait, a task force now. I think people need to understand what's the architecture here, and why that's important.

- Sure, and, yeah, I'm glad you asked that. And if you notice in the language the committee itself refers to the fact a couple of times that there is no cohesive process for gathering, and integrating this information. And so that was one of the problems we were hoping to solve by getting the Senate to take this approach. The best way to think about it, I think, the easiest way is to look at the way we handled terrorism before the establishment of the counter terrorist center. And so before 9/11 the FBI wasn't sharing information with the CIA. Had they done so, the hijackers might have been caught before that tragic event that took so many lives. So in the after action when the National Commission was studying what went wrong, and what we could do better, one of the recommendations was create a fusion center so that all of the information from all of the agencies regardless of who collects it comes together in one place, and a group of people have the benefit of that, and can put the pieces together. Otherwise, it's like different people in different rooms with some puzzle pieces trying to put the picture together, but they're not coordinating. They don't have all the pieces. So one of the things that this is gonna do, we hope, is to establish a focal point that everybody, and there's so many different agencies, and departments and components that have relevant information that is not coming together right now, and it can flow into one place. It also puts more of a highlight in accountability in one place, so the department now for the first time has to actually step up and put something on paper in black and white saying what's going on here, what this is about, do we have a handle on this? So it also establishes accountability, which has been lacking, and that's crucial.

- And that's a legal thing. When you say accountability what I've learned from you guys is that's not just like, hey, this is your job. That's like isn't this law the way they have to operate, and what they have to do? It's a big deal.

- It is a big deal, but the report language is not law, is not binding legislation. And to a large degree, ultimately, there's a certain comedy between the executive, and legislation branches, and there's a lot of precedence. So they usually honor these requests, and, of course, if they don't, Congress, ultimately, has the power of the purse, and they can cut back their budget, and use those kind of techniques to give an incentive to comply. So there's a little bit of a Kabuki dance that goes on. It's not actually going to be law in the same sense that we have with criminal statues, or something like that, but nevertheless it puts down a marker, and it gets the conversation going. And if they don't comply the issue will be elevated.

- After 9/11 when they merged, made the ODNI, and how the intelligence agencies work together, hopefully, more cohesively, which I know you were probably a big part of it because it happened during your time. That legal structure provided kind of like a house that everyone has to live in together. I'm frustrated when I see now when the House is trying to subpoena somebody from the administration, they just go, no, I won't show up. And you're just like, man, you really want people to be accountable. And I'm wondering if this task force and this focal point that you're describing comes together down the road is there anything to make them act?

- Congress's leverage, ultimately, is the power of the purse, and that's what it comes down to. That's the club that they wield at the end of the day. The DNI, that position, and that organization was actually mandated in law. That is law that's in statute that's on the books. It's report requirements are not law in that sense, but it's an expression of Congress that we want, and need this information, and expect you to provide it. And if you don't then, of course, that can escalate it. I believe that the DNI has already expressed support, and indicated the committee that he will look into the issue. I don't know that for certain, but I've heard that. And I believe during his closed confirmation hearing there was some discussion about this issue. At least that's what I've heard.

- And so maybe like an organization that is law that looks at subject potentially it's ways away, obviously, so it would be kind of a step above a task force because the DNI is an actual organization, it's not a task force that's the difference, right?

- That's right, the organization is not mandated law. The task force is not. Task force, generally speaking, Congress does not like to mandate organizations in the executive branch. They like to give the commander-in-chief the flexibility to organize military forces, and adapt to changing circumstances, and it's very hard to get new legislation to change the structure once you put something into law. So they don't do that often and easily. Task forces are something that are often established independently by the military, and those structures are kind of fluid, but they're very powerful once they are established, and very effective at combining information.

- And my last question before we introduce Lue here is I know that one of your jobs was, for lack of a better way to describe it you would audit a lot of the very secret sexy programs of the United States, and all the different areas that it was, and can you explain to people how organizations, or agencies might come across some kind of evidence, or data, or they saw something weird, and how that wouldn't necessarily make it up to all the places us civilians just assume it's all going into a room with some guy with these Spielberg touchscreens on the wall, you know? Like what happens, how does that? Because you know how all that works like the Navy sees something they capture on radar, or they find something, or something happens, but how come that doesn't already go somewhere with accountability?

- You're a good student, Tom. You described very well how fractured the system actually is in practice. A lot of what we refer to as stovepipes, which are sort of vertical organizations that aren't integrated with any other organization. So information flows out through that organization, but it doesn't flow across to other organizations it's not shared. So some technical systems have architectures that connect different organizations, and do share certain information, but a topic like this there hasn't been guidance. There hasn't been an organization. You've had a stigma and unwillingness on the part of many people even to report these incidents when they happen. So there are a number of things that have to change in order for our government to really bring this into focus, and figure out what's really going on here. And this can help at all those levels.

- So, Lue, when you were back at the Pentagon, and you were running this program that was studying unidentified aerial phenomena, when I heard about this I kind of thought of you guys like kind of a task force in a way, but it sounds that was pretty different than what the Senate intelligence, or the select committee I want to say, or how do you say it it's the Senate select?

- It's the Committee on Intelligence.

- Yeah.

- It's easy.

- So what they're kind of suggesting is a different thing than the AATIP program, and how would that be different than what you were doing?

- Well, Tom, I think it's a great question. Let me backtrack a little bit in order to answer that question a little bit more comprehensively. First and foremost, what we were doing was also mandated by Congress. In this particular case as we know AATIP was supported by a bipartisan effort both on the Republican and the Democrat side. Obviously, Senator Harry Reid, Stevens, and anyway all those folks. What you see now is a codification, if you will, in writing the establishment of a quote, unquote, task force, but in order to understand where we're going with this I think it's important first we understand what is a task force? And in terms of government a task force is a temporary body established to, if you will, short circuit a lot of the bureaucracy in order to accomplish a mission. So when we had, for example, our brave men and women in uniform in the desert, we established a counter-IED task force. And the job of that task force, or an ISR, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance task force. This is a multi-agency organization that comes together to come up with very quick solutions, okay. So then what you're seeing now in this bill is Congress recognizing the need, a requirement to have a body of experts look at this problem, and then report those findings back to Congress. It's not really a lot different than AATIP other than unlike AATIP where we really didn't see much Congressional language, it was kept very hush-hush. This is for the first time out on the open books. And I think what's also very important here is when you read this language that's in the bill it says in there they want a report in 180 days at the unclassified level. Tom, that's revolutionary, okay. What you're seeing here is an attempt by certain members of Congress to be completely transparent with the American people, and their constituents, right?

- A big deal, yeah.

- So this is something that I think the folks like Harry Reid and others wanted to do, but because of as Chris said stigma and other issues it just wasn't tenable at the time. I think you're beginning to see a shifting of the winds in a very dramatic way. And so although the capability of this task force is very similar in the intent in what we did in AATIP, it's enjoying much more, if you will, public level of acceptance, which we did not have when I was at AATIP.

- There's a couple things like two parts of this story to break and kind start at the Senate that I think we should go over. One would be dealing with people have heard the term threat thrown around with UFOs, and UAP, and there's a lot of kind of polarization that you see out in social media about that because there's a lot of people that believe they might have seen something, or felt something that didn't seem like a threat at all, but then there's these reports where there were things that we just don't understand enough about it, so I think it would be good, Lue, for you to explain why the word threat is thrown around with this because I think people think we're just like fear-mongering, or something, and I think once we can describe that part, the second part of the mechanism that maybe Chris can describe is what was needed to take that information to actually get this legislation proposed. So why do we use the word threat? Like where did that come from associated with this subject so people understand why it's out there?

- No one can tell you unequivocally something is or is not a threat until you have all the data, okay? So, frankly, we don't have all the data yet, but let's look at where this program resided. It resided in the Department of Defense, okay? By definition, department, entire organization that is aligned to defending your national security of a country, so Department of Defense. It's not department of humanitarian assistance. It's not the department of all sing Kumbaya. It is the Department of Defense. So everything that the department does is aligned to identifying real perceived, or potential threats, okay. I think where this falls into the category of is potential threats because we don't have enough information to establish whether something is or is not a threat. So at least from my time at AATIP we had to work under the auspices that everything is a potential threat until we are sure it is not a threat. And, frankly, you want your Department of Defense to look at things through that optic. We're not a humanitarian assistance organization. When you look at what the job is of the Department of Defense it's too very quickly identify, and neutralize a potential adversary. So it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. Now what we're trying to do in the government is determine is it a threat, and if so to what degree or what level is a threat? And I think it's important when you have this conversation if you say to somebody, look, it's nine o'clock in the evening, you're sitting on your back patio, and all of a sudden you see a strange shadow of a person walking through your backyard is it a threat? Well, we don't know. It could be your neighbor coming over for a cup of sugar. It could be a potential intruder looking to determine if they can break into your house, right? So for that reason I think it's prudent that we take the approach to determine whether or not if things are a threat. When you look at what we are seeing from an intelligence perspective there seems to be key interest in our military capabilities, and specifically our nuclear capabilities. If that's the case and we don't know what they are, we don't how they work, we don't know whose behind the wheel, we don't know what their intentions are, and somehow they can operate without impunity in our airspace I think it's a safe bet to say, okay, whatever is doing that could be a threat if it wanted to be threat, so let's try to figure out what this is. I think probably Chris can shed, also, some additional insight. I know he has his own perspective on this. We are not fear-mongering. We're not trying to go out, and if you will saber-rattle, and get people energized, and say we need to go out with pitchforks and torches, and this is an absolute threat. The bottom line is we don't know. Anybody who says that they know for sure it's not a threat they don't know what they're talking about because they don't. I don't think any of us at this point really know whether or not, definitively, this is or is not a threat. So I think just to be on the side of safety is that we go ahead and presume something with this type of technological capability could be a threat should it want to be a threat. And I'll turn it over to Chris.

- So let me mention a couple things. With regard to the threat, and this arises in the context of our show "Unidentified" as well. We emphasize military witnesses and experiences largely because they're so credible, and they often involve sensor information, and so forth, so those are often the best cases. And people have asked sometimes why such a strong emphasize there? Why do you use the term threat? When I met Lue this was the situation. Imagine a military base with extremely sensitive capabilities inside including nuclear weapons, a high fence around it with barbed wire, posted no trespassing, and security personnel are seeing strange dudes that aren't American military walking around inside the perimeter, and, no, it's not getting reported, it's not going up the chain. Not only is it happening it's happening on a recurring basis, and week after week. And pilots are reporting, well, that's what was going on in the air. These are restricted military areas where our carrier battle groups are doing workups, and so forth, and they're being penetrated on an ongoing recurring basis, and nobody in the chain of command is being informed. And that's unacceptable, that's incredible. That's a breakdown in the system. So that was one of the things that motivated us, and got us engaged at the outset, and that's why we consider it a potential threat. That's just not acceptable. So in terms of how we proceeded on this, Lue and I had been around the department long enough, and anybody who has I think would agree, it's very, very hard to make big changes from the inside. There are so many people that can say no. If you put a memo together for the SecDev, for example, it will go to like 18 different offices, and it will take months. And any one of the can say, oh, I've got a question about this part and send it back. And it can take years. I've literally seen that happen in the counter-terrorism area before Marines were killed in Beirut there was an individual on the SecDev staff who had been proposing some changes, and people kept changing positions. It was almost two years had elapsed, and his paper had still not gone forward, and his recommendation that's how bad it is. So we knew there needed to be a forcing function from the outside if anything serious was gonna happen, and, Lue, to his credit had done everything possible to work through the system on the inside. And I had tried to assist by making some introductions to people who were close to General Mattis still couldn't get it done. And it was at that point that it became clear either we give up and kind of throw in the towel, or take it to Congress and the people and the press. And the stakes were so large, Lue just couldn't accept that this was not gonna happen. That this was gonna continue to be ignored the risks were so potentially great. So that's why we use that terminology on "Unidentified," and people when our second season begins on July 11th at 10 p.m. on Saturday night, people will again see a lot of military folks bringing forward completely new stories, and additional information that's never been brought to light before that I think will further underscore why we consider this a potential threat. I wanted to mention, also, in terms of how this differs from AATIP, and Lue can add more on this if he likes, but from talking to the AATIP people looking at what they did I think it's pretty clear they did not have the access to sensitive, classified Air Force information, and large volumes of classified information that were in different stovepipes as I said earlier. And this the Congress is making it very clear here they want all hands on deck. They want all these organizations to contribute everything they have regardless of what compartment it's in they want the full picture to be incorporated into these results. So this is gonna be a very different sort of process, and analysis in that regard.

- Tom, let me step in there, too, for a second. Chris is absolutely right. The lessons learned we gained from being part of the AATIP effort. We were able to take those lessons learned, and Chris was very clever in that draft language to ensure that we don't make the same mistake twice, and basically give this new effort, this task force real teeth, right? The ability to breakdown some of these silos, and these stovepipes that Chris talks about, which are, by the way, very real, and hindered our progress tremendously while at AATIP. Even though we had a lot of authority there was still a lot of authority we didn't have, and so what you see now in this draft language that is now being proposed in the bill is kind of, if you will, a remedy to some of those shortcomings that we had in AATIP when I was part of the AATIP program. And I think Chris had a front row seat to a lot of our frustration in the program, saw to the levels that we were briefing this information, and the work we were doing with some of the other agency organizations out there as well. And at the end of the day we were unsuccessful moving the ball over to finish up. We made great progress moving the ball forward, but it was done in fits and spurts, and, unfortunately, there wasn't a consistent level of support across the intelligence community to cross our national security apparatus. So that's why I think this language you see now that's coming out and has become quite public is fundamentally different because it fixes a lot of the things that were wrong with the system when we part of AATIP.

- I remember when we started To The Stars, and our partner, Jim, he was asking me, and I said, look, I can imagine that there's some pretty kind of scary, unnerving things about this subject for people that don't know anything about it, or what it possibly could be doing that the sky is the limit, but I still feel like it's part of nature. So it's like trying to hide the fact that there's like hurricanes. There's things out there that could be stronger than us, more advanced than us that we can't totally control, but we still should know about it. I mean, obviously, you share that opinion because we're working to have everyone know about it, but how do you think the public's gonna take it one day if this was to all come out in the way that we're working towards?

- I'd like to take a shot at that, and, also, say one thing, I want to be clear. The language that is in the report is not language that I drafted. I did draft language and did provide it to the staffers, but what is reflected there is their own wording, and their own crafting, but in terms of what may happen, and the impact I'm concerned, and there's a possibility there may not be a public report. We're not there yet. This has to go a conference between the House and Senate. And it has to go to the president for signature before the Intelligence Authorization Act becomes law. I don't know if there will be pushback, and if there is of what nature. We can't assume that things may not change. There may be pressure to do that. So I'm concerned about that, and I just wanted to mention that because it's not a done deal yet.

- Right.

- If we do get a public report, which I certainly hope we will, we're all believers in openness and transparency here. I think it's in everybody's best interest including the defense departments. And I've reminded some of my friends over there that if the Sputnik Russian space launch back in '57 had been kept from the public we might not have had a space program, and we might not have been the first people to land on the moon. And we didn't beat the Russians in the Cold War because we were better at protecting information, but because we were better moving it, and we were more efficient.

- Tom, I'm gonna jump in, too, real quick because you said something very interesting that some people say, well, natural occurring phenomena, what-not. Okay, fine, but we spend millions of dollars each year in our country trying to predict when the next major earthquake is gonna hit, and that's a natural occurring phenomena that we deal with all the time, and yet we want to be prepared, we want to know, and I think, ultimately, this issue is like no other issue whether natural or not natural. It's better to know than to not know. I think we're well beyond now I think we've crossed the Rubicon in the conversation that whether or not these things are real. They are real, they are there, it's a fact. The question is what are they? And do they pose a threat? And that answer we still don't have anything solid to go on other than more and more data that we continue to obtain on a regular routine basis. I believe that having that information allows our leadership with our country to make informed decisions. That's what we pay them to do, and I think transparency is very important when it comes to this topic because, ultimately, this is a topic that affects everyone of us. Let's not forget that government derives it's power, and authority from the people, okay? Not the other way around. The government works for us. The government serves us, we don't serve the government. And I think it is incumbent upon the government when you're talking about something like this that affects all of us to have a conversation. It's not unlike any other topic of concern whether it's civil unrest, or it's health care, or it's lack of education, or poverty in America, or anything else. This is a topic that doesn't get better the longer you keep a lid on it. I think we need to have that conversation, and the sooner we have this conversation, and keep it in the open public, in the eye of the public the better. I do believe that sunlight is a great antiseptic.

- I agree with you, and I think most people do, so that's why I think most people are excited about the stuff that we've been able to pull off, and what we see coming it's a tidal shift. I mean, I've been looking at this stuff for decades, and I know you guys obviously have, too, but it's like this kind of stuff with the Senate, and so on and the task force like it's just wow. We have some questions from some people. Somebody named Dan, he was wondering how do they decide what's classified and unclassified? And will our AI be directly involved in the data collection effort they go through? What do you guys think about that?

- The people who put the report together the information comes to them in a classified form in various levels of classification depending on the source. So the originator of the information classifies it at the appropriate level. They then take all of that, form their analysis, and if they want to prepare and then classify a report they've got to find a way of expressing the content of the conclusion without disclosing anything that might betray, or compromise some of our sensitive sources. So that will be the goal in this effort, that is often done, it's done on a daily basis, so somewhere in the government probably everyday that they take something classified, and render an unclassified form for a policymaker to be able to use at a press conference, or whatever. So they know how to do that, and there's no reason they can't do it in this case.

- And the source could be like a satellite, too. It doesn't have to be like I think we think of sources.

- It's not human sources. It's mostly technical sources these days overwhelmingly. Satellite, signals intelligence, electronic intelligence such as radars, measurement and signals intelligence is referred to in the language, which is even a more specific subset of certain kinds of sensors. So, yes, it's very heavily technical these days. Overwhelmingly, the information obtained is acquired through technical systems.

- As far as this other part of this question about their AI, I mean, our goal has always been to build this system, and help out government partners however we can. And since we're a little early on that we have built the beta version of it, but it's not something we've deployed with any government partners yet, and we hope to. I think that we have something really compelling for them to consider using, but until we're there I think to answer Dan's question it's a little bit too early to say that it's gonna help in that regard, but from John do you think this will manage to identify further hidden SAPs that study elements to do with the phenomenon? Would this fall into the annexed off classification? So it sounds like he's talking about this task force might hold up other things that may or may not be there. Do you guys think that that could potentially happen?

- I want to address this because there are a lot of misunderstandings about how the department in Congress manage these special access programs. There is actually a registry, and anytime you establish a special access program you are required to enter that into this registry. There's a comprehensive system for tracking those, for monitoring them. I served on the committee that reviewed them, and they are all briefed to Congress, so Congress knows about all of these, and some of them are very, very limited to maybe only a handful of members of Congress, but the law requires that. Now the president could in some select cases as sort of the constitutional right, but I don't recall that ever happening in the case of any special access programs that I was involved with. There were some that were briefed to only four members of Congress as provided for by Section 119 of Title 10, but they're not gonna be finding things that senior people in the department that were not accounted for already. It's a question of getting access to things that senior people know exist, and making sure that people doing the work have access to the right special access programs to get information they need to make this judgment, and this determination.

- One of the great things I think that TTSA is doing is this it's like kind of educating people on how the government works so they don't get so angry like the American people, me being one of them, I used to get so angry what's going on? Tell me what I want to know, but the more I learn about the bureaucracy, and the oversight and all that kind of stuff, I've become more grounded in my thoughts largely because of you guys. You've took me out of the clouds a little bit, I'm still in the sky.

- Could I go back, also, for a second because I failed to answer adequately one of the questions you asked which was how do we manage to get the committees to go along with this? And really there was no particular secret sauce. It was really the Navy pilots that put this over the top, and our military personnel. And the Congress has just been kept in the dark on this, and it was largely a matter of just getting the right people in front of them, and informing them. They had not been informed, kept in the dark for years. So that's what really I think made the difference is they're sitting down with credible military personnel, fighter pilots, et cetera, and hearing this from firsthand, and seeing some of the videos and so forth, and then they began to realize and understand this is not some flaky thing with people with tinfoil hats.

- The cool thing about the pilots, which I didn't understand, again, following your guy's lead here is they are trained observers. There's millions of dollars spent on them before they ever even reach a plane. They've gone to college, they're officers, they're in charge of multimillion dollar weapons platforms, sometimes over American cities, sometimes carrying nukes over half the world. I mean, these guys we should trust them for all the reasons that people kind of make fun of somebody that saw something in the sky. Well, these are the ones that are trained to see things in the sky, so I think that was really smart, and it worked. Like you said, it worked. You can't discount them. I mean, it's like to discount what they're saying would discount all the training, and everything we do with these guys in the first place, so.

- In addition to that in some cases, for example, with the Nimitz incident, there was independent technical data that corroborated exactly what Dave Fravor and others were saying and seeing. So you had multiple sources of information that all agreed perfectly on what was happening. And that's very hard to ignore.

- Here's another question from Ryan. We got about two more questions here. I've heard from several current Navy pilots that absolutely no new protocols have been given to pilots about reporting UAPs. It's been over a year since the Navy announced this, and they still haven't implemented the new protocol. What's up with that? And thank you for all you've done, and continue to do at TTSA.

- That's news to me. My understanding is the protocols have been issued, and that they're getting some feedback from the pilots, especially, in the Navy, or at least in the Navy. I don't know, Lue, if you're hearing something different?

- No, actually, I'll reiterate the same thing, Chris. It's my understanding that some of that policy guidance has been disseminated, and pilots are actually responding to that guidance. And just, by the way, not just pilots, so. I do think that just because a policy is written, and disseminated doesn't necessarily mean everybody and their moms can have a chance to see it. A lot of these policies, particularly when you're talking about the Department of Defense, they can restrict the dissemination of certain policy even if it's not classified. They can put it under the umbrella of what they call FOUO, For Official Use Only. And, basically, that means you can't share this information even though it's not necessarily classified it's still sensitive, so. I wouldn't necessarily expect to see a policy that comes out of the Navy broadcast throughout the civilian world. It's probably gonna stay within those restricted channels within the department, and those who need to have available that policy so they can do what they need to do with it.

- I'm kind of thinking, too, if there would ever be a case where they have this policy, the pilots might not necessarily hear about it, but if they report something now that policy has that report to go.

- Correct.

- So it's not necessarily being told to the pilot maybe?

- Yeah, and we do know for sure that there are certain elements within the USG, within the U.S. government that are now actively reporting this type of information through the appropriate channels. I won't elaborate what those channels are because frankly it's not for me to have that discussion, but information is going up, and it's relevant information, and it's new information.

- Tom, you're right, the intel officer for the squadron if he's informed of an incident by a pilot, he at least should now know what to do with that information.

- Okay, see, that's something I wouldn't even know, and people don't know that there is an intel officer for a squadron of planes. That's probably why this person is saying this. It's like, well, the pilots don't know anything. No, it would be that particular person. So those are things that we just don't know as civilians, so that's interesting. I think this is a pretty important question. This kind of touches on something I've always wondered, it's from Alturo. Why is the Air Force silent on this subject when they are the ones who dominate our skies? Also, is it a fact that many within our government, or DoD are scared to approach, or even entertain this subject because of religious reasons? It's kind of a loaded questions both ways, but I would be one that goes the Air Force this is kind of their jurisdiction. The Navy has really stepped up, and that made me really proud when the Navy did that. I was like that's what the kind of leadership we want. How come the Air Force hasn't you think?

- I know Lue wants to answer this question.

- I do, let me give you, I have a personal opinion, and then I have, I think, more of a professional response. So let me stick with the professional response. When you look at the job of the Air Force, the Air Force, yes, they're all over the place, and they fly airplanes, but they're relegated primarily to those concentrated areas where you have an Air Force base. Now let's look at that in juxtaposition to the Navy. The Navy is all over the world, but they have airplanes on boats, and these boats are never in the same place twice. These are think of a mobile Air Force base. You have everything you have at an Air Force base, but rather than being locked somewhere in the middle of Ohio this thing is mobile, and it's constantly moving. So I think it makes sense that Navy is really taking the lead on this just because they have that global presence. Yes, Air Force does, too, but, again, they're relegated to specific geographic spots. You can only fly a plane for so far before you have to come back to base. And that can limit you to some degree. When you're the Navy you bring your base with you, so you really are all over the world, over the land, over the sea, and everywhere else. So I think that may be one of the reasons. From a personal perspective, yeah, I'm pretty frustrated that the Air Force hasn't stepped up yet. The question is why? Now, I have an inkling of an idea of probably why. I don't know for sure. Some of it may be due to stigma, and previous involvement into things like "Blue Book" where quite frankly they got stung pretty bad. It could also very will be that they are involved, and that involvement hasn't yet come to light. That's also very, very true. I know Chris has some ideas on it. I want to be careful I don't say too much because when I was in AATIP it would be disingenuous of me to say that we didn't do anything at all with the Air Force, but I will share with you that I remain a little frustrated that we couldn't do more with them. Chris, any ideas?

- Yeah, so I'll offer a couple thoughts, and can't claim to know entirely why they haven't been more engaged. And it is a really good question in part because some of the Navy reports from these restricted flight zones, Air Force pilots operate in those same areas with the same radar systems in some cases. And they haven't been reporting, or sharing the same information. And so that really pointedly raises an issue. I think in general terms it's easier for the Navy to say we've got a problem with our airspace, and people entering our airspace then it is for the Air Force to acknowledge that. For the Air Force to acknowledge that is to acknowledge at least in some sense mission failure. And they're responsible for aerospace defense, so that's a much more bitter pill to swallow for them. That's more concerning, more difficult, more disrupted. That's not something seniors want to hear, and everybody at the lower levels knows that. I think the Air Force is also a bit more conventional. Our military unlike some others emphasizes conformity. All military forces do to a degree, but I think the U.S. military compared say to the British, or the Israeli Armed Forces stress that even more, and it's harder for people. People are more concerned about doing things that might be considered irregular, out of line, or something. Even though they're told think outside the box what really speaks is actions. And if people who do think outside the box get penalized that's the end of that you can talk 'til you're blue. In terms of the issue of fundamentalists I do know some officers and incidents that have occurred where they expressed the view that brought religion into the conversation.

- Right.

- It doesn't belong there. I don't think it happens very often, but I do think it's true that that has happened. I've heard accounts from people who have been told oh, that's demonic, or something, and we shouldn't be studying that, and that sort of thing. So, hopefully, that's the exception, and doesn't happen very often.

- I will tell you, Tom, that Chris is absolutely right. I witnessed it firsthand, and so did my colleagues at AATIP at the time. There was a small minority, but very influential group of individuals that this topic rubbed them the wrong way philosophically and theologically, and it created a tremendous challenge for what we were trying to accomplish.

- The last thing I'll say to wrap up this awesome conversation is my mom is like super religious, and I would have a hard time thinking how she would in her own belief system connect this to her belief system, but I can get it, though, I mean, it's how people govern their own philosophies on life, and what this is all about, and those are strong. We see it in our politicians all the time, so it makes sense that some people are like that, but at the end of the day like you said there's muddy footprints that are in your house you got to know whose putting them there, you know? I mean, that's a really good way to look at it.

- It would be tragic and ironic if we found out that some of these things were Russian or Chinese, and we hadn't been investigating because somebody thought they were demons, or something.

- Yeah, I know.

- That's just not an appropriate mindset in this context.

- I agree.

- When military sensor systems are detecting things flying around aircraft carriers.

- Well, we will be doing a lot more of these. Thank you, guys, so much for your time, and let's look forward to the next discussion. And you guys have an awesome day. And to everybody listening out there thank you for being a part of To The Stars, and paying attention, and helping us get these things out to the world. And then we'll follow it up with all the great films, and technologies, and everything else that we're looking at doing, and, hopefully, make this world a better place along the way. Thanks everybody, talk to you soon.

- Thanks, Tom.

- Thank you very much, Tom.