Former DIA director Thomas Wilson says he doesn’t know Eric Davis and hasn’t been to Las Vegas since 1979 or ‘80 — but I went there last year and this thing blew my mind.
Just two days after former Los Alamos National Laboratory project manager Oke Shannon took to a podcast to reaffirm his connection with the Pentagon retired flag officer at the center of a simmering UFO controversy, Vice Admiral Thomas Wilson pushed back. In a brief email response during his vacation travels, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency continued to diss Shannon’s version of events.
“Nothing in your email has the ‘ring of truth’ as far as I’m concerned,” Wilson stated in reply to my condensation of Shannon’s hour-long interview Saturday on Project Unity. “To my knowledge I have never met Oke Shannon, and certainly didn’t call him to arrange any meetings with anybody . . . This whole debate about ‘the memo’ is ludicrous as far as I’m concerned.”
In other words, nothing substantively had changed since my last chat with the admiral earlier this year. However, during The Project Unity interview with Jay Anderson (I forwarded that link to Wilson), Shannon added more details, above and beyond my first interview with him in 2019. And the most interesting wasn’t Shannon’s claim that he’d seen a “stingray-shaped” UFO during his tenure at Los Alamos. What was most interesting was his assertion that it was Wilson, not Shannon, who initiated the conversation about Eric Davis.
Now, if you’re new to this convoluted tangle of competing narratives, mucho apologies. They’re so convoluted, I’ll skip the deep dive and refer you directly to Richard Dolan’s recap from 2019. That’s the year when a set of notes, purportedly written by physicist Eric Davis in 2002, surfaced on the Internet. Davis himself has since refused to comment on the papers, and Wilson has rejected them as “fiction.”
What they describe, if legit, is a scandal of incalculable significance. During the alleged face-to-face encounter in Las Vegas 20 years ago, shortly after Wilson left the Navy, Wilson vented to Davis over being frozen out of a Special Access Program concerning the privatization of research into crashed UFO material. The big snub supposedly occurred in 1997, just months away from his appointment to lead the DIA.
Congress can settle this, right?
According to the notes, Wilson began running down rumors that a defense contractor working under an exclusive SAP was attempting to reverse engineer recovered off-world tech so closely guarded that no one in Congress or the Oval Office was allowed to be read in. Wilson’s efforts stalled when the contractor’s program manager, as well as its corporate attorney, refused to give even the Joint Chiefs of Staff insider the clearance to review its progress.
Wilson’s appeals to the Senior Review Group of the Special Access Program Oversight Committee were rejected. “I do have relevant regulatory/statutory authority over their program,” Wilson reportedly fumed to Davis. “That’s my position!!!” The only concession, according to the notes: the SAP project manager told Wilson the material “was not of this Earth – not made by man – not made by human hands.” According to the notes, Wilson told Davis he was warned to drop the investigation or lose the impending promotion.
Oke Shannon, whose name is prominently featured in the account, told Project Unity that, although he had no idea if the contents – commonly referred to now as the “Wilson Memo” – are authentic, he said he’d worked with both Wilson and Eric Davis prior to 2002. Shannon said that explains why Wilson called him in 2001, to see if Davis could be trusted to keep his mouth shut.
The controversy might well have ended in a fringe-world draw – and who knows, it might still – were it not for what happened during the House UAP hearing back in May.
Rightfully pissed if the “Wilson Memo” is in fact authentic and lawmakers have indeed been barred from monitoring how taxpayer $$$ is being spent, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) dropped the docs into the Congressional Record four months ago. That action is meaningless by itself, but the notes are still sitting there, daring Capitol Hill to perform due diligence. Shannon told Project Unity he’d be willing to share his story under oath. Wilson said the same thing back in May, adding that the “Memo” story is so bogus he wouldn’t need legal protection to talk about it. Tiebreaker: Eric Davis?
Earth to Congress – you guys still paying attention to this?
Yo, wait — one more thing
As I sit here on the edge of the tidal surge waiting for Hurricane Ian to dole out another humility lesson I damn sure don’t need at this point in my life, I leave you with some actual scholarship.
How about that brand new logo for the National Intelligence Manager-Aviation, under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence? Pretty cool, right? A flying saucer? Really? Hey, will somebody please inform Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall the cat’s out of the bag?
Back in 2007, geographer, artist and author Trevor Paglen published a nifty little book illustrated with bizarre, obscure yet original military/intelligence unit patches. Called I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me, it seemed almost too fanciful to be true. Yet, he followed up two years later with more ominous road-trip research called Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of The Pentagon’s Secret World. Basically, the guy sought out the locations of secret labs and black ops facilities in places that have literally been scrubbed off of U.S. maps as America’s clandestine activities have accelerated.
Anyway, the flying saucer NIM-A insignia shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody who’s looked at Paglen’s stuff. Those military artists and brainstormers are pretty clever.
The I Could Tell You book title comes from an all-black patch with red trim lettering in Latin, Si Ego Certiorum Faciam … Mihi Tu Delendus Eres. Rough translation: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. It dates back to Homer’s Iliad, but was appropriated by the Navy’s VX-9 Air Test and Evaluation Unit, the “Vampire” squadron which initially operated in the dark.
There’s also the grey-black alien-faced AF TENCAP Special Applications logo, short for Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities. Its Latin motto is Oderint Dum Metuant, a Caligula-era exhortation meaning “Let them hate so long as they fear.”
Someone please tell Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall there’s no shame in being up to your ass in UFO data.
My personal fave is a logo for the 509th Bomber Squadron (of Roswell fame), produced during one of the early B-2 Stealth bomber flights in 1989. Beneath the words “Classified Flight Test,” and sandwiched between an apparent fork and knife, a space alien draws the bat-winged craft to its mouth, directly above the Latin Gustatus Similis Pullus, for “Tastes Like Chicken.”
The “Classified Flight Test” banner, notes Paglen, was later yanked for an homage to a classic “Twilight Zone” episode: “To Serve Man.”
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Can't recall the specific detail, but Wilson also claimed the opposite of something that the late Edgar Mitchell said in a TV interview regarding the meeting at the Pentagon with Greer and Mitchell. (Keeping track of this isn't easy for us old-uns.) But it would seem there's Wilson's version of events and then there's everyone else's version of events.
Tastes like chicken. Smells like a rat.