Page 22 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - August 2019
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22              Did Elizondo Expert Really Run AATIP?

              The Media Loves This                       prominently featured in the show.) He appears to also said that he put the shares in a trust that
                                                         be having the last laugh at everyone who called “would be donated to a charity.” He believes that
          UFO Expert Who Says He                         him looney tunes for having chased after transaction has been completed and that he now
                                                         Bigfoot and flying saucers in the Nevada desert. owns “zero stock” in the company, he wrote.
            Worked for an Obscure
                                                                                                                As it happens, Knapp also appeared in
            Pentagon Program. Did                        THE ADVANCED AEROSPACE                  Threat the first episode of “Unidentified,” lauding
                                                         Identification Program received widespread DeLonge for his “unprecedented” efforts in
                             He?                         press coverage after Elizondo disclosed its advancing the UFO issue.

                                                         existence almost two years ago. “You can laugh         Another fixture in the UFO orbit is John
                                                         if you want, but a lot of people are taking this Greenewald, the FOIA researcher and a sort of
                  Continued from Page 22
                                                         revelation seriously,” Brett Baer said on Fox antithesis to Knapp. Initially enthusiastic about
                                                         News days after the New York Times broke the To the Stars, Greenewald became increasingly
                                                         story with its lavish front-page Sunday spread skeptical when he was unable to verify many of
          “If you were trying to come up with the A-team  on December 17, 2017.                          Elizondo’s claims about the government’s UFO
          of former, high-level government officials who         Virtually overnight, Elizondo went from program     through   FOIA     requests   and
          would come forward on this issue, you can’t    living “in the shadows,” in his words, to conversations with Pentagon representatives. So
          really think of a better team,” Bender says in the  hopscotching between cable news studios, last year, Greenewald reached out to To the Stars
          screener. “Lue Elizondo, Chris Mellon — these  where he talked gravely about  hypersonic, spokesperson Kari DeLonge (Tom’s sister) for
          guys still have security clearances, still have  gravity-defying “unidentified aerial vehicles” more information about Elizondo’s involvement
          networks in Washington, still are in the business,  that, in recent years, had encroached on military in AATIP.
          if you will.”                                  training areas in restricted airspace. Many of         I mentioned Kari DeLonge’s response —
                 That last part sounds like a cryptic    these reports were conveniently illustrated with about Elizondo having taken over AATIP and
          reference to contract work they might be doing  videos taken from cockpit cameras of F-18 run it “out of the Office for the Secretary of
          for a U.S. intelligence agency or some other   fighter jets that Elizondo had arranged for the Defense (OSD) under the Under Secretary of
          government entity. Elizondo confirmed to me    Pentagon to release just before he quit.  The Defense for Intelligence (USDI)” — to
          earlier this year that he is, in fact, working as a  grainy footage of tiny, darting objects, combined Sherwood, the Pentagon spokesperson who had
          government contractor, “but it’s not what you  with Elizondo’s earnest claims of “compelling told me unequivocally that Elizondo “had no
          think it is,” he said. Mellon did not respond to  evidence” for “phenomena” he couldn’t identify, responsibilities with regard to the  AATIP
          my request for comment.                        made for great television. (Sherwood, the program while he worked in OUSDI.”
                 In the feverish UFO community, in       Pentagon spokesperson, said the videos were            I then asked Sherwood how he knew that
          which conspiracy theories have long thrived like  released “for research purposes … and not for Elizondo hadn’t worked for AATIP during his
          a mutating virus (sometimes with good reason),  general public release,” which seems a time with the Office of the Under Secretary of
          some suspect that DeLonge is being played like  meaningless distinction given their widespread Defense for Intelligence, where he was based
          a useful idiot — and that his  To the Stars    use by news organizations.)                     from 2008 until his retirement in 2017.
          Academy is a front for some kind of black ops          Months later, after the attention from the Sherwood said he’d spoken with OUSDI
          project.                                       mainstream media died down, Elizondo hit the leadership, including individuals who are “still
                 If he is not a stooge, he is certainly an  UFO banquet circuit, where he stroked the egos there” from the time when Elizondo started
          odd figure for Mellon and Elizondo to hitch their  of believers. “People may have associated you working in the office.
          wagons to.                                     with being fringe or out there,” he told one rapt      Maybe Elizondo was running  AATIP
                 In fact, the whole origin story of To the  audience of hundreds at a UFO conference last under the purview of another office or agency
          Stars, which DeLonge recapped in a bizarre     July. “All along, you were right.” It was the first within the Department of Defense? Sherwood
          public rollout in October 2017 and in an even  public forum in which Elizondo laid out the acknowledged that Elizondo “worked for other
          more bizarre interview with podcast host Joe   history and objectives of the AATIP; soundbites organizations in DoD.” But that, too, would
          Rogan, is pretty bananas. In sum, DeLonge      from his talk were sprinkled throughout the first have contradicted Kari DeLonge’s statement to
          claims that he is the military’s chosen vessel for  episode of “Unidentified.”                 Greenewald.
          UFO disclosure.                                        By then, though, longtime UFO                  Kari DeLonge did not respond to
                 “Why you?” Rogan asked on his           researchers were having trouble finding out multiple requests for comment.
          podcast. “What could you do?”                  what the program exactly did, as well as the           It bears noting that, although Elizondo
                 “Communication,” DeLong responded.      scope of Elizondo’s role. FOIA requests were has made a point of providing various
          “They don’t have a way to make a movie, a      turning up dry.                                 documents to reporters (including me) to
          book. They don’t have a way to go on a show            Elizondo was ready for them. “In the establish his bona fides, he does not appear to
          like this.”                                    Department of Defense, there’s always a paper have supplied any materials that validate his
                 It’s worth noting that, several years   trail,” he told the audience at the UFO connection to the government UFO program he
          before DeLonge took on this momentous          conference.    “When     you    establish   an insists he led. No memorandums, no emails
          communications assignment, he created a        organization, there’s a paper trail. When you dis- discussing deliverables or findings, and no
          website called Strange  Times that was         establish an organization, there’s a paper trail. paperwork addressed to or from him that
          essentially a clearinghouse for UFO news and   You won’t find one for this program.”           connects him to AATIP.
          conspiracies. “Think of it as a Huffington Post        Some dubious, unofficial documents             The documents he has provided include
          for the tin-foil-helmet wearing crowd,” wrote  leaked out to George Knapp, a Las Vegas TV recent annual Defense Department performance
          one music blogger.                             journalist who, for decades, has been a fixture in evaluations and his October 4, 2017 resignation
                 Somehow, we are to believe that this is  the UFO media orbit. Knapp has been a vocal letter to then-Defense Secretary James Mattis,
          the mindset with which staid former members of  defender of Elizondo and DeLonge for the past which bears the apparent seal of the Office of the
          the military and intelligence community sought  two years, pushing back on critics who have Under Secretary of Defense. In the letter,
          to join forces. But perhaps there’s a more     raised thorny questions about  To the Stars. Elizondo alludes to internal opposition at the
          innocent answer.  To the Stars, which raised   Knapp also purchased stock in the company, Pentagon to investigate UFOs that he wrote had
          more than $2 million from investors, was       something he has not always revealed to readers menaced Navy Pilots and posed an “existential
          originally hyped as a UFO research company     and viewers in his reporting.                   threat to our national security.” He was leaving,
          that would explore the “outer edges of science,”       In an email to  The Intercept, Knapp he strongly implied in his letter, because the
          but its Security and Exchange Commission       acknowledged buying 400 shares of the Pentagon wasn’t taking that threat seriously.
          filing identifies it as a “Motion Picture & Video  academy’s stock in 2018, “not as an investment,    The letter does not mention  AATIP or
          Tape Production” concern.                      but as a way to support their fledgling company Elizondo’s role as its director.
                 That designation seems appropriate now  and their work.” He wrote that he had “made
          with the making of “Unidentified,” which lists  that information public” and “informed” his                           (Continued on Page 27)
          DeLonge as executive producer. (He is also     employer” at KLAS-TV in Las  Vegas. Knapp
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