The unclassified report on what the US government knows about UFOs that was ordered by Congress last summer may wind up being delayed past its June due date, thanks to the resistance of numerous military and intelligence agencies that are resisting the order to disclose their own information on unidentified aerial phenomena, according to former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Christopher Mellon. This resistance is not surprising, considering the depth of the culture of secrecy amongst government agencies, and the decades-old stigma that plagues the UFO phenomenon.
Mellon says that the UFO task force established by the Pentagon late last summer is understaffed and has been given inadequate resources, and has only been modestly successful in acquiring reports from various military agencies, despite the expectation that the team will be the primary contributor to the upcoming report. “Just getting access to the information, because of all the different security bureaucracies, that’s an ordeal in itself,” according to Mellon.
“In addition to the onerous job of trying to get everyone to come clean, there will be a sensitive and probably difficult process of getting all the players… to agree on the language and approve it,” Mellon said. “That process alone could take weeks or months.” These efforts may require higher-level intervention from senior executive branch officials, such as Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, who’s involvement may likely prove to be “necessary to compel the cooperation needed to do the job properly.”
“I know that the task force has been denied access to pertinent information by the Air Force and they have been stiff-armed by them,” Mellon said in an interview. “That is disappointing but not unexpected.” The Air Force has been deferring questions regarding UFOs to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which has also proven to be as tight-lipped.
“To protect our people, maintain operational security and safeguard intelligence methods, we do not publicly discuss the details of the UAP observations, the task force or investigations,” Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough replied when asked about the UFO report.
This report, ordered as part of Bill S. 3905, “Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021”, directs the DNI “in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of such other agencies as the Director and Secretary jointly consider relevant, to submit a report within 180 days of the date of enactment of the Act, to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees on unidentified aerial phenomena,” including observed airborne objects that have not been identified.” That 180-day countdown began on December 27, 2020, when the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021″ was signed.
And the Air Force is just one of dozens of government agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that are mandated to hand over what they know to Congress, with the Army, CIA, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency cited as additional examples by Mellon. “They have to repeat that painful process with scores of different agencies,” Mellon said, referring to the effort that will be needed to convince these myriad groups, all with long-established cultures of secrecy, to comply with the order.
Senator Marco Rubio, who was responsible for requesting the report, said in a Fox News interview that “we have things flying over military installations, over military exercises, and other places, and we don’t know what it is. It isn’t ours, it isn’t anything that’s registered with the FAA, and in many cases exhibits attributes of things we’ve never seen… the kinds of technology we haven’t seen before, at least that’s what it seems like. I think you have to know what it is, or we have to try to know what it is, that’s my view of it, without any preconceived notions.”
“The problem is with this issue is every time you raise it people get all nervous, ‘oh, does this mean UFOs and aliens and extraterrestrials?’ We don’t have to go that far, it’s very simple: there are things flying over national security installations, we don’t know who they are, we don’t know what it is, it isn’t ours, we need to find out.”
Regarding the UFO report he ordered, Rubio said that he’s not sure if it will “come in on time.” He went on to say that he’s “not sure that by June first they’ll have reached a hard conclusion about what they’re dealing with and there may be more questions, or new questions, than full answers…” Rubio went on to point out that “there’s a stigma associated with this, when a Navy pilot would report that they saw something they were told ‘you need to go see the flight surgeon, to check out your head’;” indeed, the culture of ridicule surrounding the subject of UFOs has traditionally been seen as a kiss of death for one’s career, and appears to be part of why government agencies are trying to avoid dealing with the June UFO report.
“You have all the stigma and the taboo that is associated with it,” remarks Luis Elizondo, former head of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). Elizondo is currently acting as an informal adviser to the military on the UFO issue. “Organizations whose mission this might fall squarely into are resisting adopting this mission. There’s been so much public taboo about this for decades that no one wants to risk their professional careers and that of their bosses on a topic like this without being directed.”
Elizondo says that, between the bureaucracy and the resistance to addressing the UFO subject in the first place, there is little chance that a report that contains any meaningful insight could be produced in such a tight timeframe, and says that more time should be allowed to gather the information. “It’s certainly not sufficient time to provide a comprehensive, government-wide report that Congress not only expects, but that Congress deserves and frankly, so does the American people,” he said. “We can do this right or we can do it right now.”
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