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A glimmer of light from the black world
But is ex-AAWSAP director James Lacatski telling the truth?
Gee, whaddaya suppose generations of secret defense contractors in the secret stovepipes are doing with their secret funds to give America a secret technological leg up on UFOs? [Sculpture by Mike Moffett]
“At the conclusion of a 2011 meeting in the Capitol Building with a U.S. Senator and an agency Under Secretary, Lacatski, the only one of this book’s authors present, posed a question. He stated the United States was in possession of a craft of unknown origin and had successfully gained access to its interior. This craft had a streamlined configuration suitable for aerodynamic flight but no intakes, engine, fuel tanks, or fuel.”
The actual question – “What was the purpose of this craft?” – is secondary to its context. In three short sentences, and without further elaboration, a now-retired Defense Intelligence Agency senior analyst who established and directed a secret Pentagon UFO project from 2008-10 not only added heft to July’s sworn congressional testimony by former intelligence officer David Grush. The brains behind the Defense Department’s $22 million Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Application Program also painted a bright red “Subpoena Me” bullseye on his head for whenever lawmakers over at the Delta Tau Chi House decide to quit stuffing their faces with midnight pizza and go to work.
In one fell swoop, James Lacatski’s news bomb last week marginalized whatever headlines might’ve been generated by the plodding and desultory first annual UFO report issued by the DoD’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office.
In a soporific rehash of AARO director Sean Kirkpatrick’s Senate committee briefing in May, the Pentagon’s 15-page assessment added another 274 unknowns to its caseload during an eight-month period that ended on April 30. Most were submitted by military and commercial pilots, bringing the total unknowns in the UAP database to 801. No details were included, just a few reassurances:
Not a single one of the recent incidents posed flight-safety hazards. None “have directly contributed to adverse health-related effects to the observer(s).” Only “a very small percentage . . . display interesting signatures.” And “many reports are probably the result of sensor artifacts, equipment error, misidentification, or misperception.”
Submit or else . . .
But AARO’s report is so hard up for padding that two lengthy paragraphs in its Executive Summary are literally repeated word for word later in the document. The agency notes that it evaluates cases logged before its own inception in 2022, and that “No transmedium . . . reports were submitted to AARO.” Yet, in August, Customs and Border Protection finally declassified the 2013 Aguadilla video, where a UFO flaunts brazen transmedium capabilities in the waters off Puerto Rico. The wording in AARO’s report indicates such footage must be submitted before Pentagon analysts will even bother to look at it.
Two months ago, openly acknowledging AARO’s dysfunction, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks stated her intention to play a more hands-on role, timing her announcement for the simultaneous and overdue rollout of a UAP website. But the only posted update since then has been last week’s inconsequential report.
Which meant, on the headline-value scale, James Lacatski had the floor to himself.
Inside the U.S. Government Covert UFO Program: Initial Revelations marks Lacatski’s second collaboration with co-authors Colm Kelleher, a biochemist, and journalist George Knapp. Their first, Skinwalkers at the Pentagon in 2021, was a trippy look at the origins of DIA research into UFOs and associated paranormal activity, largely at the now-famous Skinwalker Ranch in northern Utah. By contrast, Initial Revelations — Lacatski’s claim of America’s possession of an anomalous craft notwithstanding — largely eschews unsubstantiated sensationalism for revisiting the past in search of a way forward.
Among AAWSAP’s legacies is what the authors call the “world’s largest coherent UAP/UFO database,” extolled as a roadmap for collecting, categorizing and cross-referencing future research. Listing nearly a quarter million cases dating back to ancient China, the so-called AAWSAP-BAASS Data Warehouse is available to AARO or anyone else with the right credentials or know-how to take a peek. From a 1954 case in France involving an F-450-sized UFO leaving landing marks suggestive of a 30-ton vehicle, to a late 1970s scourge of malevolent activity over the Colares region of Brazil that left scores burned and 10 dead, Initial Revelations’ invocation of selected Data Warehouse entries makes AARO’s stuff look like Sesame Street.
Maybe consider John Malkovich?
But could anyone be weirder than James Lacatski himself? In a four-way “Weaponized” podcast involving the authors and filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, the cagey physicist often speaks in the sort of riddles, diversions and evasive non sequiturs that conjure a Hollywood version of the counterintelligence game. To that end, Lacatski is a gift from central casting.
In the podcast, the bespectacled spook who approached the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2007 about securing congressional funding for what would become AAWSAP addresses the world from what could pass for an interrogation room. Illuminated by an offscreen accent light, the walls are white (at least they appear to be white) and devoid of shelving, windows, books, photos, memorabilia, or any other clues to location, agenda, motivation, or lifestyle. Partially obscured off his right elbow is a briefcase, resting on some half-seen platform.
Lacatski talks about the early days of the AAWSAP project, the secrecy, how no one but the director, the director of analysis, his office chief and division chief knew about it because of its “closed stovepipe system.” Compartmentalization is a point of pride that worked well for everyone on the team. “I was also protected by the stovepipe nature of that . . . I was insulated. But they were too.” That said, he throws in a contradiction: “Nothing was purposely being hid.”
His fleeting smile seems more reflexive than authentic, like maybe a cigarette would be more authentic when you’re not in control of the script. He talks about how alleged government documents surfacing in the backwash of his AAWSAP project are “out and out forgeries,” but he declines to give examples. “In regards to Skinwalker Ranch,” he goes on, “you’ve seen nothing yet – nothing. You’d be flabbergasted at some of the documents. And yes, there is documentation.” But he refuses to provide or elaborate.
He “can’t answer that” when asked directly if he entered the “craft of unknown origin” himself. Corbell wonders “if the answer was no, you could answer that, right?” Lacatski’s terse response: “We found no smoking gun – that is the standard answer we’re to give. So, I could say no, and it still not be the truth.”
Yeah, what are ‘legitimate’ Men in Black?
Knapp wants to know if maybe Lacatski’s “craft of unknown origin” story might itself be the result of a counterintelligence sting. “You confronted the keepers of the secrets” Knapp says, “you were on the trail of what the keepers of the secrets have —” Lacatski reacts sharply at the 51:37 mark, like he’s having a seizure, clenching his eyes shut, drawing his hands toward his face in prayer mode, gold band on his left ring finger, as Knapp continues — “the biggest secret in the history of the U.S. government is how we described it in that book.”
Lacatski recovers and never explains what stoked that jarring interior moment. Ultimately, he dodges Knapp’s question altogether.
He seems bemused when ticking off the kinds of sweet offers he’s entertained and snubbed for a tell-all confessional. Unsolicited, he brings up the “Men in Black” puzzle: “What is the purpose of Men in Black?” he asks his listeners in a rhetorical flourish. “Is it to draw attention away from the UFO phenomenon? Or using reverse psychology to draw attention to it?” There are “legitimate” Men in Black and phonies as well, Lacatski warns. But he declines to define legitimate.
He says people need to ask themselves why AAWSAP was started in the first place. But he “can’t get into that” when pressed for an answer. “The bottom line may not be what you anticipate,” he declares. “There may be no bottom line. There may be multiple bottom lines.”
It’s hard to tell if James Lacatski is being mystical, a professional mindfuck artist, or something in between. Maybe the most revealing comment in the entire interview is this: “We are surrounded by our enemies. And our enemies, you can be sure, are listening to this show right now. You can be sure that they were monitoring AAWSAP. You can be sure that perhaps they had employees . . . in the contractor part that were giving out information. And I know that.”
But don’t let that intimidate you
Lacatski’s mindset goes to the essence of suspicions raised by investigative British journo Nick Cook. In 2001, the former aviation writer for Jane’s Defence Weekly delivered The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antigravity Technology as a masterpiece of investigative reporting. But it’s an ultimately unsuccessful 10-year quest to discover what happened to defense contractors’ progress on exotic physics after the mid-1950s, when published research fell off a cliff and went totally black. Bending over backwards to downplay the UFO factor, he focused instead on secret Nazi aviation tech, most of which flowed west during Operation Paperclip after WWII.
During a recent interview on the Project Unity podcast, Cook had clearly undergone a profound transformation, shaped by his research into yet another mystery. No longer laboring under the UFO stigma, Cook made the case for consciousness as the missing engine in UAP schematics.
“Unfortunately, as we know from Dave Grusch’s testimony on Capitol Hill, what comes with the black world is a great deal of engendered fear and anxiety,” Cook said. “It is held in place by a system that is designed to be fearful. So, inevitably, in my view, you’re gonna get people investigating this stuff . . . in those compartmented corridors and walls and labs and all the rest of it, and there’s gonna be a lot of fear.
“What we are consistently told by people outside of that world is that, in order to make it work, we need to engender an all-of-science approach. In fact, not even all of science – everyone needs to be able to have access to what’s going on. Because it is not even bound up within science, in my opinion . . . It drifts into philosophy and psychology and this and that. We keep getting told, ‘They can’t get the technology to work.’ Well, duhh, it’s because you’re not engendering the right atmosphere in the laboratories where you’re trying to get this stuff to work.”
Flashback to the 1994 incident at the Ariel School in Zimbabwe, when dozens of elementary schoolkids were startled by a broad-daylight encounter with a UFO and its occupants during playground recess. After staring into the Black Mirrored eyes of a visitor, a little girl named Emma tried to translate what she attributed to a telepathic download: “I think they want people to know that we are actually making harm on this world, and that we mustn’t get too tech-knowledged.”
Well, that ship has already sailed. When asked “Was the 2020 election stolen?” earlier this month, Amazon’s inextricable virtual assistant Alexa minced no words: “From rumble.com — the 2020 election was stolen by a massive amount of election fraud.”
So it goes.
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