The request came after revelations in 2017 that the Pentagon is investigating a number of unexplained intrusions into military airspace, including high-powered vehicles recorded on video Stalking Navy ships.
However, those advising the investigations advocate significantly more time and resources to obtain information from agencies, which in some cases have shown reluctance, if not total resistance, to share classified information. And they fear that without high-level involvement it will be difficult to force the agencies to release what they have.
“Just getting access to the information because of the diversity of security bureaucracies is an ordeal in itself,” said Christopher Mellon, a former Pentagon intelligence officer who advocated disclosure and continues to advise policy makers on the matter.
For example, he claims that a Pentagon task force Founded last August and run by the Navy, the company had few staff or resources and only modest success in obtaining reports, videos, or other evidence gathered by military systems.
The Pentagon Task Force is expected to be the primary military organization contributing to the broader government report.
“I know the task force was denied access to relevant information by the Air Force and they were heavily armed by them,” Mellon said in an interview. “That is disappointing, but not unexpected.”
The Air Force most historically associated with UFOs from his investigations During the Cold War, all questions on the matter were referred to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which similarly has said little publicly about the effort.
“In order to protect our employees, maintain operational security and protect intelligence methods, we do not discuss the details of the UAP observations, the task force or the investigation in public,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Susan Gough, who refused to address the criticism.
The report presented to Congress will “provide a detailed analysis of unidentified phenomena data collected by a variety of resources,” including imaging satellites, wiretapping devices and human spies.
It must also include “a detailed analysis of the FBI’s data derived from investigations into the intrusion of unidentified air phenomena data over the restricted airspace of the United States.” The report must “contain a detailed description of an inter-agent process to ensure timely data collection and centralized analysis of all unidentified aerial phenomena reported to the federal government, regardless of which service or agency received the information.”
Gathering such information from across the national security bureaucracy is an enormous challenge, Mellon said.
“You have to repeat this painful process with dozens of different agencies,” he said, citing the Army, the CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
A spokesman for the director of the National Intelligence Service, Avril Haines, told POLITICO that the report to Congress was in the works but declined to provide further details. “We are aware of the requirement and will react accordingly.”
Any delay in delivery is likely to be viewed by a large section of the public as an attempt by the government to hide what it knows.
However, Congress is growing under pressure to better pool the government’s efforts and show how it is trying to solve the riddles.
Sen. Marco Rubiowho was responsible for requesting the report, told Fox News this week that he does not believe that the military and intelligence agencies have come to solid conclusions about the origins of the UFOs. However, he insisted that the reports require more extensive information gathering.
“We have to try to know what it is,” said the Florida Republican. “Perhaps there is a logical explanation. Perhaps it is foreign opponents who have made a leap in technology?”
Rubio also maintained the prospect that it would take the agencies more time to finalize the report. “I’m not sure they’ll be on time,” he said. “I’m not sure if by June 1st you have come to a hard conclusion about what you are up to and there may be more questions or new questions than full answers …”
“I can tell you that it is being taken more seriously now that it has ever been,” he added.
The pressure to disclose what the government is doing has only increased after recent comments from the former top intelligence official.
“We have many reports of what we call the unmanned aerial phenomenon,” said John Ratcliffe, who served as director of national intelligence under former President Donald Trump. said in an interview with Fox News last week. “When we talk about sightings, we are talking about objects that have [been] Seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or taken from satellite imagery, frankly performing actions that are difficult to explain. “
He cited “movements that are difficult to reproduce, that we don’t have the technology for … or that travel at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom.”
One such recent case, in which a swarm of unidentified “drones” was involved, which struck a flotilla of destroyers of the Navy off the California coast in 2019. was revealed this week from technology website The Drive.
However, there has been tremendous opposition from within the bureaucracy to the upcoming release, said Lue Elizondo, who led research on UAPs at the Pentagon until 2017 and publicly resigned in frustration that the issue was not being treated seriously enough.
“They have all of the stigma and taboos that come with it,” said Elizondo, who serves as the informal adviser to the military. “Organizations whose missions might include this are opposed to accepting this mission. For decades there has been so much public taboo that no one wants to risk their professional careers and that of their bosses on a subject like this without being instructed.”
He also sees what he called “passive resistance” or “they just won’t do anything to support him,” such as using resources or human resources for the activity.
Others see a lack of cooperation between different agencies and a desire to protect sensitive information that could benefit the adversaries.
“One of the challenges that [the Defense Department] In the past, many of these intelligence agencies, many military service organizations that collect data on intruders, have been extremely stovepipes and federations, “said Ellen Lord, who served as Undersecretary of State for Acquisition and Sustainability through January and became informed of Pentagon efforts.
She also said there might be valid reasons not to make everything public. “I think it’s just sometimes … going down a rabbit hole for the sci-fi alien piece of it,” she said in an interview. “In reality there is a lot of technology that has been used by our adversaries and we have ways of dealing with it.
“But that is not usually talked about on public forums. That is the challenge of some of these things,” she added.
The secrecy of the effort was evidenced by the Pentagon’s refusal to discuss any details of its UAP task force, not even how many staff it was allocated or what budget it was allocated.
Elizondo believes there is little chance such obstacles can be overcome by June under the current efforts and advocates an interim report that will require more time and resources. “We can do this right or we can do it right now,” he said.
“There is certainly not enough time to come up with a comprehensive, government-wide report that Congress not only expects but deserves Congress and, frankly, the American people,” he added.
Mellon believes it could take months or more. “In addition to the arduous task of getting everyone to get clean,” he said, “there will be a sensitive and possibly difficult process of getting all the players to agree on the language and approve it. That process alone could. ” take weeks or months. “
Mellon also said the direct involvement of senior executives, including Haines and Assistant Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, “is likely to prove necessary to enforce the cooperation necessary to get the job done properly.”
The good news, “he added,” is that leadership on both sides appears to be taking this issue seriously and acting in good faith. “