A document leaked by KLAS and a letter from the DoD given to a government documents researcher proves the Department of Defense (DoD) did release Navy videos related to UFO incidents, despite an earlier denial.
In the December 16, 2017 article published by The New York Times that revealed the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a secretive Pentagon project to investigate UFOs, there were two videos included. The videos were Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera videos captured by Navy jet fighters of unidentified objects. The New York Times claimed these videos were “released by the Defense Department’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.”
Much, not all, of the information The New York Times received about AATIP was from the former head of the program, Luis Elizondo. He retired from the DoD in October of 2017. The same month he joined Tom Delonge and other former high-level officials in a new venture called the To the Stars Academy (TTSA). This group also researches the UFO phenomenon.
Soon after The New York Times released the videos, TTSA also released them. According to TTSA, the videos were released “through the official declassification review process of the United States government and has been approved for public release.”
Questions first arose about the release of the videos soon after The New York Times published their article. The same day The Washington Post also published an article, and regarding the videos, they wrote: “Elizondo, in an internal Pentagon memo requesting that the videos be cleared for public viewing, argued that the images could help educate pilots and improve aviation safety. But in interviews, he said his ultimate intention was to shed light on a little-known program Elizondo himself ran for seven years: a low-key Defense Department operation to collect and analyze reported UFO sightings.”
I was able to interview Leslie Kean, one of the authors of The New York Times article, in January of 2018. I asked about The Washington Post’s claims. Kean said The New York Times had received the videos from the DoD and had verified they were real. She references a document called a DD 1910: Clearance Request For Public Release of Defense Information. She says although they have not made the document public, it was a release approved by the DoD that authorized the release of the videos. She says the document was vetted by The New York Times and is confident it is real.
In February of 2018, during a Q and A for the International UFO Congress, Elizondo was asked to give further information about the release of the videos. This was a question I slipped in. Here is an excerpt from the transcript of that interview.
Q: How were the videos released? Was it under a false pretense or a trick as the Washington Post suggests?
A: No, there was no trick, and there was no false pretense. The videos were released in accordance with the strict manner that DOD prescribes to DOD manuals and regulations involving the release of information. It went through the official DOPSR process and then furthermore an additional step was taken to have the videos reviewed by foreign disclosure representatives. In fact, the most senior foreign disclosure representatives in the department, and ultimately required OCA or original classification authority approval and review to release the video. So in essence, I didn’t release anything; the department of defense released those videos. The documentation is held by the department of defense, and the justification for releasing those videos were exactly as stated, and that was to create an unclassified database that people could then access and help us identify the signatures we were seeing.
Although Kean and Elizondo shared what they knew about the videos, researchers, rightfully, were still seeking official confirmation. However, the DoD threw us another curve ball. Researcher John Greenewald received a letter from the DoD that claimed, among other things, the “DoD has not released videos related to this program.”
WTF? Were The New York Times and Elizondo wrong or lying, or did the DoD spokesperson get it wrong? My guess was the latter. Kean had stressed they thoroughly vetted the videos. Also, historically, the military press departments often get information wrong regarding UFOs. Case after case we have seen this. Greenwald has also often received erroneous information from military and government press offices.
We finally got more insight into this situation just this week. On May 1, George Knapp and Matt Adams of KLAS 8 News Now in Las Vegas released a copy of the DD 1910.
“The request specifies the three videos: Go Fast, Gimbal and FLIR, which was the original name for the Tic Tac encounter. Some personal information has been redacted, but the document shows authorization for release was granted on August 24 2017. The I-Team also acquired the Department of Defense directive which spells out how the release procedure works. The form shows the videos were released by the book.”
Not everyone was satisfied with this leak of the DD 1910. They argued this was still not an official statement. Fortunately, the DoD responded to a request by Greenewald for a confirmation that the DD 1910 KLAS leaked was real.
The DoD responded:
“I can confirm that the form DD1910 you asked about is a valid DD1910. The standard procedure is for blocks 1-7 on the form to be filled out by the submitter before sending to DOPSR; however, occasional exceptions have occurred. The submitter is responsible for any disclaimers on the form as approved, and also abiding by any amendments that may be included in additional communications from DOPSR to the submitter as part of the approval process. Per block 3 of this form DD1910, the submitter requested release of the videos solely for research and analysis purposes by the US government agencies and industry partners, and not for general public release.”
So Elizondo and Kean were right, and the DoD press department’s initial response regarding the videos was wrong. The DoD spokesperson did not directly address why they made their initial claim of having not released the videos. However, they added at the end of their response the claim that the videos were not released “for general public release.” It is readily apparent this is not accurate.
The DD 1910 is a request for “public release.” This DD 1910 was approved, so the videos were indeed approved for public release. The DoD spokesperson may have been referencing a note in the form that says the videos are not being released for “publication” which is not the same thing as the general public. A publication is an article, book, journals, etc.
The request said the videos would be released for “research and analysis ONLY and info sharing with other USG and industry partners for the purpose of developing a database to help identify, analyze, and ultimately defeat UAS threats.” There is nothing that prohibits these databases from being publicly available. Further, again, this DD 1910 is a form to approve information for “public release,” and it was approved.
Nowhere does this form limit the release to not include the “general public.” My guess as to why they added this note to the end of their response to Greenewald is that they are trying to justify their original false statement that the “DoD has not released videos related to this program.” Even if for some reason you agree the videos were not released for the “general public,” it is still not accurate to say the “DoD has not released videos related to this program.”
In the end, the DoD has now admitted the DD 1910 proving the DoD released the videos is real. The DoD did release the videos, just as Kean and The New York Times had discovered, and Elizondo had claimed.