We recently learned that the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Defense had opened an evaluation of the Pentagon’s activities during investigations of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs, or UFOs for all of you old-school folks). At the time, the reason for this evaluation being launched was something of a mystery, but now there’s another IG story breaking in the news that may or may not be related. From the beginning of the public disclosure of the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) and (later) the Pentagon’s UAP Task Force, the driving figure behind all of this activity has been Luis Elizondo, the former head of AATIP and a career military intelligence official until 2017. What’s been equally obvious for the past three years is that there were people in the Pentagon who were very unhappy with Elizondo going public with this information. There have been efforts to discredit him and deny his leadership role in these investigations. But now, according to a statement released by his attorney, it looks as if the conflict was even worse than we were led to believe. Politico is reporting today that Elizondo has filed a complaint with the Inspector General’s office alleging an ongoing Pentagon campaign to discredit him, damage his reputation and even threaten his security clearance.
The former Pentagon official who went public about reports of UFOs has filed a complaint with the agency’s inspector general claiming a coordinated campaign to discredit him for speaking out — including accusing a top official of threatening to tell people he was “crazy,” according to documents reviewed by POLITICO.
Lue Elizondo, a career counterintelligence specialist who was assigned in 2008 to work for a Pentagon program that investigated reports of “unmanned aerial phenomena,” filed the 64-page complaint to the independent watchdog on May 3 and has met several times with investigators, according to his legal team.
The claim that the government is trying to discredit him comes weeks before the director of national intelligence and the Pentagon are expected to deliver an unclassified report to Congress about UFOs and the government’s strategy for investigating such encounters. The report is expected to include a detailed accounting of the agencies, personnel and surveillance systems that gather and analyze the data.
We learned a couple of weeks ago that Elizondo had enlisted the services of Daniel Sheehan to act as his attorney. You may recognize that name, as Sheehan has handled many famous cases against the federal government including investigations involving the Pentagon Papers and Watergate. In addition to trying to damage his reputation and threatening his security clearance, Sheehan alleges that individuals inside the Pentagon have worked to block Elizondo from seeking gainful employment in the civilian world.
The conflict between Elizondo and at least some leaders in the Pentagon has seemed obvious from the beginning. I’ve written about this apparent disconnect on many occasions and there have been plenty of clues. The sole point of contact for media questions about the UAP subject is Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough, a retired career Army Lieutenant Colonel and intelligence officer. She has repeatedly put out statements to all of us who have sent her questions saying that Elizondo “had no assigned duties” at the Office of the Department of Naval Intelligence (which oversaw AATIP), insinuating that Elizondo wasn’t even involved. That flies in the face of the multiple confirmations that Elizondo ran AATIP, including a glowing letter of recommendation from former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who arranged the original funding for the AATIP program.
That’s always been something of a mystery to those of us who have been reporting on the subject. We’ve also noted how the Pentagon has continually changed its story about AATIP, the UAP Task Force and UFOs in general. But assuming Elizondo’s allegations are accurate, it begins to make a bit more sense. Lue’s stories about the lack of cooperation he received from many high-ranking Pentagon officials while running the program and their anger over his public disclosure of the project speak to the bad blood that’s existed between the two sides.
The other interesting fact that just came out is that Elizondo’s complaint was filed on May 3. The announcement of the IG evaluation of everyone involved in UAP research came on May 4. Can that really be a coincidence? In any event, this situation has the ufology community up in arms, including Andreas Freeman Stahl, one of the first investigators pushing for an end to UAP secrecy by the government.
The message to the small DoD faction from us all at #EndUAPSecrecy is pretty clear cut. Tell the truth about #UAP#AATIP and Elizondo’s role, or we will eventually find out names, who lied, and we promise you will become part of the story and you can take your place in history.
I may be part of a panel that will be interviewing Lue Elizondo tomorrow evening. If so, you can rest assured we’ll be asking about this, though he may not be willing to comment publicly while the investigation is ongoing.