But the gorilla gets a pass
“So just to confirm, you’re not aware of any technology or engineering resources that have been focused on these efforts besides what we’ve mentioned today …” — Rep. Mike Gallager, 5/17/22
Former Defense Intelligence Agency director Thomas Wilson watched a little of Tuesday’s UFO hearings in Congress but “didn’t stick with it because I had more important things to do.” He tuned into opening remarks from Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie, and Scott Bray, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence. He watched them field a few questions from lawmakers before turning to more important things.
Wilson doesn’t dismiss the idea of true unknowns testing American airspace. “But most of what I heard had either been released before, or I’d seen a lot of it before,” said the retired admiral from his home in Virginia.
What Wilson found out after he’d turned it off was arguably the biggest surprise of the historic 90-minute session. That’s when, two-thirds of the way through the testimony, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) asked Moultrie if he was “aware of a document . . . sometimes called the Admiral Wilson memo, or the EW notes memo.”
Also referred to as the Core Secrets or Smoking Gun memo by advocates of its authenticity, the notes suggest at least one unnamed defense contractor is holding UFO material so tightly, not even America’s elite brass have access. Allegedly written by physicist Eric Davis during a 2002 interview with the just-retired admiral, the controversial 15 pages describe an interview in which Wilson confides his frustration over being denied a security clearance in 1997 to see what the corporate world was hiding. Davis has never defended nor disavowed the document, although he has participated in closed-door meetings with lawmakers about his knowledge of UFOs. Wilson has consistently called the documents “bogus.”
And that hasn’t changed.
Several weeks ago, the former Joint Staff Director of Intelligence said he was approached by a “Senate committee” liaison who wanted to know if he had “any objections to a law being considered where, if someone’s being questioned by Congress, they can’t say, well, I’m not cleared to talk about it because it’s a black program. I said no, not as long as there’s a process in place to … get clearance.”
But if Congress called him to testify about the memo, Wilson said he’d show up, and he wouldn’t need a guarantee of immunity or legal cover.
“This is a ridiculous goose chase and I’ve said so all along. I think they called me about that because somebody still has the mistaken impression that what I have said about it is only because I’m trying to not to violate a secrecy agreement that I have. I told them that wasn’t the case.
“You know, there’s a lot of state secrets I could talk about, but not on this issue. I don’t know who they are, but apparently there are a group of zealots who are doing whatever they can to keep the story alive,” Wilson said. “But I would tell Congress exactly what I’ve told you over the years.
“They may have put the ‘Wilson memo’ in the Congressional record, but there’s a lot of stuff in the Congressional record that’s not necessarily true. Just because it’s in there doesn’t mean it’s factual.”
Either way, Gallagher’s ballsy bid to elevate a fringe buzz into the political mainstream was just one element in what had to be – for at least a few hardcore UFO freaks (me) – among the most clarifying milestones in the long and exhausting timeline of high strangeness.
Technical difficulties, please stand by
It really didn’t matter that Bray and Moultrie brought bupkis to the table – nobody expected these two to submit the Starchild skull with an accompanying hybrid DNA chart for Nobel consideration. And that little yawner of a Navy-pilot clip? An absolute gift, and not just for showcasing Bray’s bumbling inability to freeze-frame the underwhelming UFO blip for the House intel subcommittee. It was also the perfect insult to a growing subculture that’s already seen government footage of the Aguadilla UFO plunging into the waters off Puerto Rico. What’s missing – and what a conscientious effort to repair the Pentagon’s credibility would have presented – was the unedited version of the Aguadilla phenomenon, with the deleted crew chatter intact. Moultrie and Bray might also have won converts by premiering the rumored 23-minute triangle video, which has been making the rounds within the IC for more than a decade, according to former AATIP director Luis Elizondo. He says the long tracking sequence has left small select audiences “rattled.”
But the first public congressional hearings on UFOs since 1968 likely left the entire military establishment rattled, because some committee members appeared better informed than Moultrie and Bray. When queried about the 1967 nuke-missile shutdown by UFOs at Malmstrom AFB, Moultrie tossed the hot potato to Bray, who tried to swat it back: “That data is not within the holdings of the UAP Task Force.”
Venturing one of the most intriguing questions was Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL). He wanted to know “the consequences for people … or groups” involved with “unsubstantiated claims or manufactured claims of UAPs … or false information.” He was likely referring to civilian hoax-mongers, but the net was broad enough to include government obstructionists who allegedly kept Elizondo from forwarding AATIP’s UFO research results to SecDef James Mattis in 2017.
Moultrie replied with the word salad equivalent of We’re Working On It.
“Are there examples,” LaHood went on, “that you can give us where people have been held accountable by this misinformation or disinformation?” Moultrie (short answer): No.
“Well, I guess, what’s the deterrent from people engaging in this activity?” LaHood wondered.
Moultrie: “I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t have that answer.”
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) wanted to hear about data gathered by underwater sensors, and whether or not UAP encounters have “altered the development of, either our … offensive or defensive capabilities or even our sensor capabilities.” The guests tabled their answers for the classified setting afterwards.
Apparently unequipped with any meaningful historical perspective, the public faces of the Pentagon clung to the rigid scope of the not-quite-two-year-old UAPTF when grilled by Gallagher. Gallagher wanted to know, for the official record, about any additional Defense Department UFO research being conducted above and beyond the USAF’s Project Blue Book, which ended in 1969, and the AATIP initiative, which grew out of a $22 million earmark from Sen. Harry Reid in 2008.
“I’m not aware of any contractual programs,” Moultrie responded, “that are focused on anything related to (UFOs) other than what we are doing in the Navy Task Force.” Ditto from Bray: “Same answer. I’m not aware of anything outside what we are doing in the UAP Task Force.”
Still, as informed as many committee members were, no one dared speak of the gorilla in the room. It’s been getting a pass since 1969, and is obviously content with letting the Navy take the heat for security holes in American airspace since the New York Times broke the AATIP story in 2017. Unfortunately, the question is so bloody obvious there’s no way to ask it delicately:
Where is the fucking United States Air Force?