Monday, December 18, 2017

DeLonge Overload - And a Secret Federal UFO Investigations Program!

So much exciting stuff to write about, I scarcely know where to begin. I will assume that by now, everyone here has read or heard about the recent big UFO story in the New York Times. If not, here are the links for you to read about this:

This "UFO disclosure" is what Tom DeLonge has been promising for some time, and it looks like he has finally delivered something, although apparently it falls far short of what some people were expecting. DeLonge says that three UFO videos have been released, but he shows us only two. You can see them here on his website, along with his commentary.
GIMBAL video
2004 Nimitz FLIR1 video

I won't make any detailed comments about these videos yet, as many people are now looking into them very carefully, and we should know a lot more soon. I will write about them as soon as some definitive information is available. Over on Metabunk, Mick West makes a good case that these images show distant jets. In fact, they seem quite similar to the "Groundbreaking UFO video" that Leslie Kean (one of the authors of the New York Times UFO article) obtained from Chile's UFO investigations group early this year, quite conclusively shown to have been a distant jet aircraft whose position had been misjudged.

An image from the "Groundbreaking" Chilean UFO video promoted by Leslie Kean in January 2017, later shown conclusively to be a distant jet aircraft. Kean's Chilean "expert" labeled the object's "envelope" (envoltura). According to the New York Times story, the objects in the newly-released UFO videos are surrounded by a "Glowing aura"!

The most surprising "revelation" to me was that almost $22 million in federal funds were (reportedly)  secretly spent in investigating UFOs. According to the New York Times story,
The shadowy program — parts of it remain classified — began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space...
Contracts obtained by The Times show a congressional appropriation of just under $22 million beginning in late 2008 through 2011. The money was used for management of the program, research and assessments of the threat posed by the objects.

The funding went to Mr. Bigelow’s company, Bigelow Aerospace, which hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program. [emphasis added]

Bigelow Aerospace received  almost $22 million in federal funds to study UFOs? What happened to this money?? How was it spent?

Bigelow Aerospace "hired subcontractors"??? WHO were these subcontractors, and what research did they produce? Contracts invariably have specifications of work and deliverables. What deliverables were produced? Now that the UFO program is no longer classified, the public has a right to see whatever reports and analyses it has produced using taxpayer money.

Bigelow received his initial federal UFO funds in late 2008, and the one obvious (in hindsight) use of them was (ironically) the contract he signed with MUFON in February, 2009 to fund their "STAR Team Rapid Response UFO Investigation Unit." 
The STAR Team Impact Project (SIP) was a MUFON program funded in part by Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) where MUFON was subcontracted to provide information from the CMS data base (website) and witness reports related to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) directly to BAASS.

MUFON had a contract with BAASS (per the terms of the contract agreement) MUFON provided data from sighting reports that were submitted to MUFON CMS website in exchange for BAASS paying funds directly to MUFON each month. This Contract was sometimes referred to as a Purchase Agreement (purchase of information) and the project was referred to as the SIP Project (STAR Team Impact Project).

Part of this money was used to directly fund the STAR TEAM, which consisted of paid investigators who would be deployed to investigate the most compelling cases and a dispatch operation that would work continuous shifts to monitor the activity of the cases coming into the CMS website.
Unfortunately, Bigelow's deal with MUFON quickly turned sour. According to Richard Lang, who was the manager of the STAR Team, the deal soon got tangled up in financial controversy and audits, and was terminated in January, 2010. He says that MUFON only received about $324,000 total from Bigelow, a small fraction of the money Bigelow received from the federal government.

So far as I am aware (and I talk to a lot of MUFON people), none of them were aware that Bigelow was in essence passing federal funding onto them. In fact, I am sure that some of them will be upset that Bigelow was, in essence, making them unknowingly participate in a federally-funded investigation.

Data on the Federal Elections Committee website shows that Bigelow was a campaign contributor to Harry Reid.

That "Searchlight Leadership Fund" is also tied to Harry Reid, and there have been accusations of corrupt practises concerning it. In fact, accusations of corruption have long dogged Reid, who was the leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate. In 2016 Reid made the "surprise announcement" he was retiring from the Senate, in the wake of a  2015 Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General’s report, which found that 
 Reid pressured a compliant DHS official to override normal departmental procedures and rush through 230 EB-5 foreign visa applications, thereby freeing up $115 million the applicants invested in the SLS Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The report did not, however, reveal the now confirmed fact that the owner of that casino project had hired Reid’s son, Rory Reid, to provide legal representation for the project.

It seems very implausible that it would be possible for Bigelow to spend over $21 million in analyzing two (or maybe three) videos of purported UFOs. How was this money spent?

DeLonge may think that he has opened up a locked box to let secrets out and sunshine in. But in fact, he has just opened a giant Can of Worms.


  1. Just for comparison: the cost of the Condon Report was about $500,000 in 1968 dollars. The consumer price index in 2010 was just about six times that of 1968, so the cost of the Condon Report was about $3 million in 2010 dollars.

    Bigelow Aerospace received more than seven times what the Air Force paid for the Condon Report, in inflation-adjusted dollars. The Condon Report produced a huge volume of published investigations. What did Bigelow produce, given seven times that?

  2. Was the 22 million for the entire term of the project or was it for one year? I got the impression they had a budget each year of 22 million for five years. If accurate, that means it was over 100 million dollars! One wonders why nobody wrote an article with the title of a 22 million dollar fiasco?

    1. I saw Ralph Blumenthal, one of the authors of the NYT article, on a TV interview, and he clarified that the $22 million was for the entire program, not each year. Some news stories have said it was $22 million per year, but this is not correct.

  3. As a former AF program manager, managing defense contracts, let's look at the scope of this $22 million venture. Remember, we are talking tax payers money.

    1. Bigelow Aerospace receives this funding by what process? Was there a competitive bid process involved? If so, who were the other bidders, if any?

    2. What did the governments, ie, Harry Reid's Request For Proposal (RFP) consist of? Requirement Specifications? Scope of Project? Statement of Work? Contract deliverables?The list goes on which as Robert states includes subcontractor work.

    3. Was a risk analysis done on Bigelow Aerospace's project bid...and other potential bidders? Past performance data and so forth.

    Just food for thought.

    1. Based on what I'd read about the way ol'Harry operated, I doubt any of that was followed. Jes Harry doin' a favor for a friend.

  4. I agree completely. It was just a scam in which a crooked senator funneled money to a Las Vegas businessman friend who then funneled some of it back to the senator.

    Corruption in Las Vegas? In government generally? I am shocked!

    And then there are two old videos which will be easily explained in no time.

    All this shows is that crooks are crooks and that anybody is susceptible to the "UFO" myth and delusion.

    1. Yes, I suspect that a few people were keeping quiet about this for reasons other than national security and won't be at all happy that this has come out. There could be repercussions well beyond the field of UFOlogy.

  5. I would like to know, why, when UFOs are the subject, always somebody,somewhere,somehow does the best to do the worst.I am not a believer.I know that UFOs exist because I've seen them two times and I know a lot of Physics(Aerodynamics include) that either they are not from this world or that so much people are liars.Clyde W.Tombaugh, for instance, not to mention President Carter or the Air France retired air commander Jean Charles Duboc.
    As a veteran investigator,I didn't like Bigelow's entry into this field. He's just a businessman,neither a scientist nor a dedicated UFO researcher,and sudedently he gets 44 times the Project Condon funds.All right his enterprise got something made. Indeed an inflatable module is presently attached to the ISS,for a 2 years tests, one year already completed. But as to UFOs...tsk.tsk...Too much thunders and a bucket of rain...In short, looking at UFo phenomenon unbiased and face to face, it's harsh,nasty. But one mnore time one took the wrong way.Pardon me Skpetics, continue that way,making too good use of such mistakes. Unfortunately, in the future,mankind will pay an awful price for so much awkwardness.Suggestion and answer,please: where are Flix Moncla and Fred Valentich? Things like these are much important than Bigelows either the nusinessman or Billy Bigelow in Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Carousel"

  6. Wow, you've seen two UFOs and "know a lot of Physics (sic) (Aerodynamics (sic) include (sic)" ... and are a "veteran investigator" [Aside: Who reading this hasn't investigated many things?] "Too much thunders (sic) and a bucket of rain." How did you pass English Comp 101?

    1. Have you ever read "Anatomy of Human Destruictiveness"? you mind to exchange tests in another language?Mine for instance? Yes because most you don't even know where my country is and which language we speak.An many foreigner woudl say the same.You Americans eithert hate to speak foreign languages, don'k know many things about many countries and parts of the world and think that they are able to correct any fault bec ause, we, foreigners have the obligation of speaking English perfectly. My accent, or my faults only prove that I am able communicate in in another language than you do. As for the rest take a look at this. It's a circular wing Made in USA. Sucessful? That's another story This is a sample alittle one about what I know and realize and iot seems you don't.

    2. Complementing my response, you remind me of Carly Symon:"You're so vain".Or at least you look like.I'm not telling you are vain. But le me see if you translate this: "Quem não quer ser lobo que não lhe vista a pele" .Well I doubt you are able to but let me explain or translate it "who doesn't want to be wolf, better not to put its skin on.

    3. Heh “unknown” it appears from his name that English might potentially not be his first language. Sometimes you get postings from non-USA citizens. It’s called the World Wide Web for a reason.

  7. Alberto Francisco:

    I don't believe anyone has ever suggested Jimmy Carter and Clyde Tombaugh were liars. Neither is the whereabouts of Felix Moncla or Fred Valentich more mystifying than that of countless other missing persons.

    Robert has supplied a perfectly valid answer to Jimmy Carter's UFO some 35 years ago (just in case you are still concerned about it).

    1. Oh I see. Now answe all this.
      OK, Rosales is a layman.But even so, take a complete look and then ,please, tell me why there are so many crackpots, believers ,practicval jokers and the like in this world?taThen tell me : what ever happened to Moncla, his co-pilot aboard the heaviest armed Fioghter of their time, e.g. a Northrop F-89D Scorpion? OK go on. I don't want you to cause you sleeping problems.

    2. Hello,

      Concerning Duboc's sighting, I suggest a "Veteran Investigator" to read a chapter of the French book "Les OVNI du CNES" devoted on the case (then in French, I'm so sorry).

      Also it is rarely said in the UFO Gospels that the radar "correlation" have been itself proposed by the French Air Force as a possible tourism airplane without transponder, landing in the little aerodrome where the trace is located...

      Important "detail" too, the radar-"correlation" is situated on the OTHER SIDE of Duboc "sighting"!

      Remember one Klass's principle: "Whenever a light is sighted in the night skies that is believed to be a UFO and this is reported to a radar operator, who is asked to search his scope for an unknown target, almost invariably an "unknown" target will be found. Conversely, if an unusual target is spotted on a radarscope at night that is suspected of being a UFO, an observer is dispatched or asked to search for a light in the night sky, almost invariably a visual sighting will be made."

      I must add that I was a reader of his blog/site. He defended several pictures as having captured an UFO when we saw us photo artifacts, garbage in a car window, bag/garbage during Fukushima accident and Tsunami, an helicoper passing but deformed cause YouTube compression (Fukushima too) and more. So well, Duboc not probably not the best "IFO" individual to be confident with...



    3. Alberto,

      Felix Moncla had suffered bouts of vertigo (spatial disorientation) according to other squadron personnel, but as these were considered hearsay their comments were not included in the official AF report. Spatial disorientation is a pilot-killer par excellence and anyone with a predisposition for it should not be flying.

      It is most likely he had another bout of sudden disorientation while maneuvering to intercept the radar track and ended up impacting the lake at speed. The F-89 disintigrated from the impact forces and whatever wreckage remained sank to the lakefloor, which is thickly coated with mud (the wreck of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, also in Whitefish Bay, sits nearly up to her load line in the mud)

  8. According to the NY times, Bigelow used some of the funds to modify some of his Las Vegas buildings for storing various metals recovered by his "subcontractors" and the AATIP! This sounds like he simply took his share of the loot and used it to upgrade some of his buildings that probably needed repairs. I would be greatly interested in what "modifications" had been done and if ANY metals had been really recovered. My guess is that the modifications had little to do with storing exotic metals and that no metals were ever recovered.

    1. Tim, interesting suggestion. I wrote in my Psychic Vibrations column (Skeptical Inquirer), January/February, 2013, concerning a UFO discussion panel held at the The National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas. They had a special exhibit on "Area 51."

      "During the question and answer session, Las Vegas skeptic John Whiteside asked about the supposed “authentic alien artifact” in the Area 51 exhibit. The moderator referred the question to reporter George Knapp, in the audience, who (scandalously) was the source of that “artifact.” Knapp has made a career out of reporting on weird stuff like alleged saucers at Area 51, Robert Bigelow’s Haunted Ranch in Utah, etc. Who had verified that supposed artifact? The Russians, and others. Who exactly? No answer. Encouraged by the moderator the two to take the discussion off-line afterwards. Immediately after the close of the questions, Whiteside says he was approached by Jim Brown who identified himself as the Acting Director of the Museum. Brown berated him for asking such a question, claiming that it threatened their funding. If a Museum’s funding is threatened by asking a legitimate question, the fault lies not with the questioner, but with the Museum. Whiteside went looking for Knapp after this, no more than five minutes later, to find that he had quietly slipped out the door."

      I'm thinking it's very likely that this was one of the same "artifacts" that Bigelow had.

      How many TONS of artifacts would one need to have before one had to modify a building for them?

      And when can we see these alleged "artifacts"?????

    2. Lee Speigel published a (small) photo of one of the supposed "UFO artifacts" that were on display at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas:

  9. Those who waded their way through Leslie Kean's "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record" will recall that she spent many pages arguing that the [by implication US] government should set up an investigative project to analyse UFO reports, presumably with greater effort & funding than Blue Book did/had. The book was published in 2010 I think. Now we discover that just such a project was in hand at the time at the DoD, and produced not a lot but "reams of paperwork" and consequently was closed down. I wonder in my unkind way if Ms Kean has registered the irony?

    PS: Just what kind of modifications do you need to make to a storage area to accommodate "alien" metals? Shelves?

    1. My Dear Dook,

      I can think of two reasons that Bigelow might need to modify his buildings to accomodate UFO Samples:

      1. Bigelow has large amounts of debris from a crashed flying saucer, and is trying to reassemble it full-scale, the way aircraft accident investigators do after a crash,


      2. He thinks that his UFO samples are extremely valuable, like gold bars, and he is building vaults and fortifications, to protect them from being stolen away.

  10. ...."parts remain classified"...So how will we ever know?
    Cant wait to see how this gun camera footage will be debunked.
    Will we ever see the "CIRVIS" report? (Comms Instructions Regarding Vital Intelligence Sightings) from the pilot?

  11. I find it rather amusing that I've read numerous news reports from credible mainstream sources that have isolated on the "alien artifacts" in storage. These are supposed to be hard core reporters wondering about such things, yet none have gotten off their rear ends to actually go and investigate these supposedly valuable finds and ask the hard questions. UFO aficionados, MUFON et. al. want publicity so here is their golden opportunity.

    The above would be "disclosure" but the UFOers would have to be the ones disclosing...what f'ing irony. Would they wilt under heavy scrutiny?

  12. Other than a CNN report, I noticed that nobody seems to be questioning the possibility that this was a boondoggle for Bigelow. They should be asking what modifications were made to Bigelow's properties and have Bigelow show them these modifications. They should also ask about the artifacts that were recovered. Finally, it was hinted that LK had viewed documentation created by the AATIP. If so, why hasn't that been published? Are they afraid to reveal that the cases are not that good and that a good many of them will be quickly debunked just like the Chile video, Roswell slides, and various MUFON cases? Meanwhile, UFO proponents are chomping at the bit to get their hands on these documents. I encourage them to do so but what I expect is more of the same type of report collections we have seen over the years. They will contain a lot of IFOs, some insufficient datas, and a few "unidentifiables".

    1. I have gotten confirmation that Leslie Kean does have the CoC documents. I had asked that question on her facebook page and she replied "Yes we have the document." She did not mention anything about publishing them.

  13. You don't need a lot of money to fund this sort of project and it seems to me that you are trying to diminish the importance of the project by comparing it to other black money projects. 22 mil will go a long way when you have a lot of high tech infrastructure already in place to track and image these objects.The facts remain that the US government DID spend public money on the study of UFOs!

    To be honest I am hoping that the skeptics finally come to grips with the reality of the UFO phenomenon. You will need to eat an enormous piece of humble pie regardless of your MENSA status. Good luck!

    1. I invoke the 'Curse of Philip J. Klass'. Good luck.

    2. I'm sure he would now be rolling in his grave!

    3. I'm sure he wouldn't, as zero has changed in UFOlogy since his death. Still the same old hucksters dealing the same old nonsense to the same old gullible.

      Anyway, this is my last comment on this matter (assuming it's approval), as we're getting way too far off topic.

  14. I want to see the rest of the research they did. “If” and that is a big if, the materials found can’t be man made materials that would be huge. I am nervous because if the money was mishandled, it will negate everything. I think the pilot is sincere.

  15. After reading this post and comments so far there seems to be a lot of the standard criticisms coming from the usual skeptics and their playbook by Philip Klass. Fuzzy video, my expert says . . ., fake video, fake audio, witness testimony suspect, documentation suspect and the like. I am somewhat amused by all this skeptic consternation as many in the Ufology community are being far more cautious regarding these video's and interview that have been released so far. After saying that I believe a few of the skeptics have good questions that need some valid answers. The main question at the moment is not the video's but is the CoC documentation that has not be been released to the public. There is not much question that the program existed and that Luis Elizondo (ret) was head of this program. I do not hear many skeptics bashing the fact that the USG said over and over that they had no interest in the phenomena since project blue book. A complete lie. In any case this release looks heavily controlled along with the alleged CoC documentation. The release also came from a public entity not officially from the DOD. With all this in mind I think it is important to not get ahead of ourselves hear. This story is not going to go away and for many incl skeptics and serious Ufologists alike who have studied this phenomena over the years the stories ending should be a game changer one way or another. Not a fan of Tom Delonge, not sure about Mr. Big or Lesie Kean. But let's stop second guessing here as in the end some could end up looking really foolish and I am not saying who.


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