Is there a secret US defense program studying captured alien technology?
Could an Australian architect be the person who lifts the lid on a longstanding cover up of a top secret scientific program to analyse technology that is “not of this Earth”?
Many have voiced doubts over the authenticity of leaked documents pointing to the existence of just such a black budget research program.
But this year’s remarkable admission from the Pentagon has brought the material back into public focus.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) made history when it confirmed US Navy fighter pilots have tracked fast-moving and apparently intelligently controlled unidentified objects with capabilities far in advance of the jets doing the tracking.
A statement issued by the DoD on April 27 confirmed videos of these encounters — published by the New York Times in 2017 and 2018 — were genuine and that a “thorough review” had concluded the publication of the videos “does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems”.
In other words, they were not US-built.
University of Ohio political scientist and UFO phenomena researcher Alexander Wendt said this constituted the “first official release of unidentified UFO footage” by any government in the world.
Dr Wendt has been arguing for years that unexplained encounters such as these continued to mount and that academia needed to stop treating the topic as taboo and take it more seriously.
Since the debacle of the Roswell UFO case in 1947, in which the then US Army Air Force initially confirmed but days later denied it had retrieved a “flying saucer”, both the Navy and Air Force have strenuously denied the existence of anything in US air space that defied official classification.
It was a denial that flew in the face of numerous sightings that remain unexplained to this day, many of them recorded by the US Air Force’s own Project Blue Book, set up in 1952 to investigate UFO phenomena.
Blue Book was shut down in December 1969, and for decades senior defense figures officially denied and dismissed all such sightings.
But the DoD’s April statement on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) guaranteed that elected US officials will be taking the subject seriously from now on.
On June 17, Senate Intelligence Committee acting chair Marco Rubio tabled a bill calling on the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force at the Office of Naval Intelligence to report relevant material to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees now examining the topic.
That bill declares that “information sharing and coordination across the Intelligence Community has been inconsistent, and this issue has lacked attention from senior leaders”.
George Knapp talking to Joe Rogan (Image: YouTube).
Nobody knows better than Las Vegas-based investigative reporter George Knapp how hard it is to sift fact from fiction on the UFO topic — he has been at it for more than 30 years.
In a podcast posted on July 17, Knapp told host Joe Rogan that governments around the world are taking the UFO question very seriously.
“Our government’s working on it, the Russians are working on it and the Chinese are working on it — that we know of for sure. That’s been told to me directly.
“And if some of us can master that technology — the Russians get it, the Chinese get it before we do — we’re in trouble.”
It was Knapp who brought physicist Bob Lazar to world attention in 1989.
Lazar told a jaw-dropping story about his personal involvement in a program studying captured alien spacecraft at a secret Nevada air hangar in a place called Area 51.
To this day, Knapp is adamant Mr Lazar (with whom he remains in contact) was telling the truth.
Are there more revelations to come?
Senator Rubio’s bill clearly spells out concerns about a lack of transparency on the topic of UFO research.
This begs a question: What more is there to be revealed on the topic?
Material leaked to the internet early last year, known as EWD Notes, while still dividing opinions over its authenticity, appears to support Bob Lazar’s story about a top secret research program.
There are many people — including the Australian man who first brought the material into the light — who insist the EWD Notes must be taken seriously.
If genuine, it is no less than a smoking gun, outlining a program run by private enterprise and deliberately kept at arm’s length from DoD oversight.
EWD are the initials of the document’s alleged author, astrophysicist Eric W. Davis.
Dr Eric Davis remains a consultant to the US DoD on UFOs.
The material consists of 13 pages of typed notes in bullet points (as well as a related letter) that record the highlights of a conversation in 2002 between Dr Davis and US military intelligence chief, Vice Admiral Thomas Wilson.
The EWD Notes are neither a full transcript, nor an official record. They are conversation dot points that outline a top-secret program to analyse an “intact craft” that was “not of this Earth”.
Several months after the material hit the internet, Melbourne architect James Rigney put his hand up as the source.
Mr Rigney, by his own admission, is keenly interested in both the US space industry and the UFO subject and said he was “the right man on the spot at the right time”.
He said a friend from the space community allowed him to copy the material.
He said that friend had discovered the EWD Notes in the personal files of Apollo 14 astronaut and UFO researcher Dr Edgar Mitchell, who died in February 2016.
After walking on the Moon, Edgar Mitchell became heavily involved in UFO research. (Image: NASA)
‘It all seems credible’
“I had no idea what the document was, or who the people were,” Mr Rigney said.
“When I found out, months after I got it, who the players were, I released that this might be something significant.”
Mr Rigney eventually handed the material to Canadian UFO researcher Grant Cameron, by then believing it to be genuine.
A few months later, the EWD Notes found their way to the internet.
“The content of the docs is so detailed, so personal and contained so many verifiable names, events and organisations that it would be impossible for a non-insider to fake it,” Mr Rigney said.
He said it “defies belief” to suggest the material was handed to him as a deliberate hoax.
“I think the information in it is likely real, as I now know so much of the back story and it all seems credible.”
‘I took briefings’
I tracked down Admiral Wilson on the telephone to ask him about it.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, he flat-out denied the 2002 conversation took place.
Admiral Thomas Wilson admits he met with UFO researchers in 1997.
On the other hand, Dr Davis — the supposed author of the notes — has not denied it.
The problem is, Dr Davis also stopped short of confirming the notes as his own, arguing he remained bound by “secrecy oaths”.
Dr Davis has publicly admitted to working as a “consultant” to the Pentagon’s UFO research program, formerly known as Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), since 2007.
According to the DoD, the AATIP program ended in 2012.
In May, Dr Davis told New York Post reporter Steven Greenstreet in a video blog post that he remained a consultant to the program.
“AATIP never ended. It changed names, changed location, changed leadership … I’m still a consultant,” he said, adding that the program was attached to “the OUSDI” — the Office of the Under Secretary of Defence.
Bound by ‘secrecy oaths’
When I emailed Dr Davis about the EWD Notes, he replied: “As I still retain US Government (USG) security clearances and remain bound by the secrecy oaths I have taken, I believe it is in the best interest of the USG and myself not to comment on any documents that purport to describe classified USG programs or information.”
In 2002, Dr Davis was an advisor to a research group funded by aerospace billionaire and UFO enthusiast, Robert Bigelow.
At that time, Vice Admiral Wilson was deputy director of the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).
The EWD Notes suggest the pair met in the car park of a Nevada business with links to Area 51.
The notes cite Vice Admiral Wilson telling Dr Davis: “If you blow my trust, I’ll deny meeting you, deny everything said, won’t meet with any more people to talk about this topic.”
Longtime American UFO researcher Richard Dolan has put his own credibility on the line by insisting the EWD Notes must be genuine. He said an “impeccable” source had shown him the same material in 2006 and “I’ll never forget the chill that down my spine”.
Researcher Richard Dolan says he is certain the EWD Notes are genuine. (Image supplied)
“The first and most important point here is what UFO researchers like myself and others have been saying for years — there is a black budget unacknowledged special access program (USAP) to study ET tech, plain and simple,” Mr Dolan said.
The EWD Notes outline Vice Admiral Wilson’s efforts to track down a top-secret research program and his anger that this program was not reporting to him.
Vice Admiral Wilson allegedly told Dr Davis he met three people from the research program, including a lawyer and the program director, who told him they were working on “an intact craft they believed could fly” and that “it was technology that was not of this Earth — not made by man — not by human hands”.
The notes also refer to a 1997 meeting Vice Admiral Wilson held with UFO researchers Steven Greer, Lieutenant Commander Will Miller — and Edgar Mitchell.
Dr Greer has spoken publicly about this meeting on multiple occasions dating back to 2001. He said they spent several hours with Vice Admiral Wilson, even though it was supposed to be a 45-minute meeting. He said they briefed him on evidence of a research program into alien spacecraft operating without government oversight.
Vice Admiral Wilson admitted over the phone that this meeting did occur — “out of courtesy to a former astronaut and a Navy captain”.
But he insisted neither he nor his staff acted on the information he received.
“I took briefings from folks in that timeframe  and I told them I had no intention of following it up,” Vice Admiral Wilson said.
In July 2008, Dr Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the Moon, was interviewed by CNN’s Larry King and also told a very different story about that meeting, possibly also alluding to the EWD Notes.
“We told our story, and this gentlemen, a Vice Admiral, said to us, ‘Well, I don’t know about that but I’m gonna find out’,” Dr Mitchell told King.
Edgar Mitchell told Larry King a “Vice Admiral” confirmed there was a cover up. (Image: YouTube)
“[He] called a few weeks later and said he had found the source of the black budget funding for this project and that he was going to subsequently investigate. Because if it was real, he should know about it and, as a matter of fact, he should be in charge. That was his words.
“And so we did get calls from him sometime later and a report much later than that, that he had found the people responsible for the cover up and for the people who were in the know, and were told, ‘I’m sorry Admiral, you do not have need to know here and so goodbye’.”
Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the US Department of Defence would not comment on the veracity of the EWD Notes.
She repeated DoD’s insistence the AATIP program had ended.
But in March 2018, former Pentagon military intelligence official Luis Elizondo — who now works with To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTSA) — accused the US Government of ignoring evidence of unidentified craft in its skies.
Links to military and intelligence
TTSA is, among other things, a research endeavor dedicated to UFO disclosure and development of new technologies. It was founded by Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge.
Among TTSA’s board of directors is physicist Dr Hal Puthoff, a long-time associate of Dr Davis.
The TTSA website cites Dr Puthoff as an advisor to NASA, DoD and intelligence on “leading-edge technologies and future technology trends”.
TTSA lists among its advisory board former US deputy assistant secretary of defence for intelligence Chris Mellon, and former CIA analyst Dr Norm Kahn.
DeLonge has said in numerous interviews he was encouraged by high-ranking members of the US military (whom he declined to name).
The emergence of TTSA coincided with an apparent shift in thinking within the Pentagon on the topic of unexplained phenomena.
The Navy pilots involved in the unexplained sightings mentioned above have likewise spoken openly to the media about their experiences, apparently without recrimination.
In May 2019, Mr Elizondo told Fox News reporter Tucker Carlson he believed the US Government knew more than it was letting on in regard to unexplained aerial phenomena.
Asked if the US Government had debris from a UFO in its possession, Mr Elizondo replied: “Unfortunately Tucker, I really have to be careful of my NDA [non-disclosure agreement], I really can’t go into a lot more detail than that, but simply put — yes.”