The controversial former Pentagon official who claims he headed up a program examining reports of UFOs by military aviators said the release of a government report on the phenomena was as a “historic moment” Friday.
“This is certainly a historic moment for us, for our country, and I think, for our military and our intelligence community,” Luis Elizondo, who says he formerly led the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“The government has formally and officially come out and informed Congress that these things are — a, they’re real — and two, that they’re not ours and that they seem to be performing, at least some of them … in remarkable ways,” he added.
The long-awaited report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) acknowledged 144 UFO sightings by armed forces personnel across the US since 2004. The report described the objects as a threat to flight safety and possibly national security, but added that there was no “single explanation” for their appearance.
The report separated the unknown objects into five categories: airborne clutter, such as birds, balloons and random debris; atmospheric phenomena; classified programs by US corporate or government entities; technologies deployed by foreign nations or non-government entities; and what the report describes as “a catchall ‘other’ bin.”
The report’s authors said they would put most of the objects reported to them in the “catchall” category “pending scientific advances that allowed us to better
understand them.” Just one reported UFO was identified “with high confidence” as a “large, deflating balloon.”
“The question is: What is it? … One of the hypotheses when I was at AATIP was that this could be as natural to earth as we are, we’re just not at a point where technologically we’re advanced enough that we can begin to actually collect information on it, and begin to try to figure out what it is,” Elizondo told host Tucker Carlson. “There’s been other hypotheses that these things are possibly from underwater, and as outlandish as it may seem, there is some anecdotal evidence that supports all of these observations.”
Elizondo told the Post in April that he had received reports of vehicles that can fly 50 feet above the Earth’s surface, reach speeds over 11,000 MPH, ascend to 80,000 feet in altitude and even submerge underwater without any mechanical compromise. When asked if UFOs are human-made or extraterrestrial, he offered a third option.
He began by emphasizing, “This is important,” then explained that humans can only perceive “a narrow band” of reality. A lot of stuff (infrared, radio waves, cosmic radiation) is invisible to the human eye. There are “things that are right in front of your eyes, but you can’t see them.”
He then brought up the “sea monsters” described by sailors in the Age of Exploration.
“There really are sea monsters — but now, 500 years later, we call them great squids of the Pacific, great white sharks and whales,” he said back in April. “They’re part of nature and we learned to understand them.”
Elizondo said humanity could once again be faced with the same scenario. “Maybe,” he proposed, “this is just another expedition over the horizon. Maybe we’re going to realize that what we thought were monsters are really just our neighbors.”
Friday’s report did not specifically address the possibility of extraterrestrial beings as responsible for the UFOs, but Elizondo told Fox News the idea is not as far-fetched as some may think.
“When I’ve had my private communications with some of my former colleagues and some people that are still in Washington DC, the conversation that these are non-human-controlled vehicles, but still intelligently controlled by something or someone, is certainly not off the table,” he said.
“These are conversations that are absolutely occurring, but … because of stigma and taboo, no one’s having this conversation really publicly … that’s part of the problem.”