Thursday, June 30, 2022

"Skinwalkers at the Pentagon" - a Book Review about Ghosts and Werewolves

This book came out last October, and I confess that for quite a while I paid little attention to it. 'Oh great,' I thought, 'more loopy stories and fairy tales.' (Which it does contain in abundance.) But after seeing a few excerpts from the book that had been posted, I realized that it was much more than that. After reading it, I realized that this book is by far the most important thing that has yet been written on the subject of AATIP, AAWSAP, and all aspects of the Pentagon UFO/UAP story. The authors are first-hand participants in the events, which they detail and document. James Lacatski administered the AAWSAP program for the Pentagon. I wrote about the reports and other data delivered by that program. Colm Kelleher was the contact person for the contract, working for Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies. George Knapp is a journalist who turns up absolutely anywhere there might be a good story about UFOs. And if you have been following the conventional AATIP story, this book pretty well upends everything you've previously heard on the subject.

The conventional Pentagon UFO story that everyone has heard from Luis Elizondo, Leslie Kean, Tom DeLonge and "To The Stars," etc., goes something like this:
  • The military was getting concerned about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena seen by its pilots, sailors, etc. 
  • They created the AATIP - the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program - to study UAPs. There was also a program called AAWSAP - Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program - which was the same thing, just a different name. Luis Elizondo headed up the program. Much of what Elizondo knows is classified and cannot be revealed.
  • In 2017, Elizondo resigns his job at the Pentagon, and joins Tom DeLonge's "To The Stars" organization. 
  • Starting in December, 2017, Leslie Kean, with co-authors Michael Blumenthal and Helene Cooper publish a series of articles in the New York Times about "Glowing Auras and Black Money", telling the story of Elizondo and AATIP. This sets off a long-lasting media frenzy, resulting in countless media interviews, and a successful two-season series The Unidentified on the "History" Channel, starring Elizondo, DeLonge, and the "To The Stars" team.
That is the Gospel of AATIP according to Elizondo (and many others). But as Lacatski, Kelleher, and Knapp show, practically none of that is true. And they give specifics about meetings, persons attending, communications, etc. supporting their account. The supposed history of AATIP we have been given has always been rather woozy and lacking details. In this book, however, you will find plenty of specifics. In this version, the history of the Pentagon UAP investigation goes something like this:
  • Pentagon scientist James Lacatski reads the 2005 book The Hunt for the Skinwalker by Kelleher and Knapp, which tells of numerous supposedly paranormal events occurring at Robert Bigelow's so-called "Skinwalker Ranch" in Utah. He is very impressed.
  • Lacatski suggests to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and to Bigelow, that the government might fund an investigation into UAPs and allegedly paranormal phenomena "collocated" with UAPs, in the interest of national security.
  • Reid uses his political connections to create the AAWSAP program, with a budget of $22 million. Bigelow creates a new division of his company, BAASS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies), which submits the only bid for the contract. 
  • AAWSAP investigates not only claims of UAPs, but alleged paranormal phenomena "collocated" with them. People claim to have 'brought home' poltergeist phenomena and such after visiting Skinwalker Ranch. Blue orbs are also said to menace those who get close to the phenomenon.
  • AAWSAP is funded for two fiscal years, 2009 and 2010. Reid, Lacatski, and others try to get additional funding, but are unsuccessful.
An illustration of AAWSAP investigations (from the podcast The Basement Office)

This is a very different picture than we have been shown before! There have long been hints of this side of AAWSAP, but because of there being so many conflicting accounts of the program(s), many people (including me) were inclined to dismiss them. Way back in May of 2018, KLAS in Las Vegas (where George Knapp works) published an anonymous "Statement from a Senior Manager of BAASS" (who very likely is Kelleher):
The investigations by BAASS provided new lines of evidence showing that the UFO phenomenon was a lot more than nuts and bolts machines that interacted with military aircraft. The phenomenon also involved a whole panoply of diverse activity that included bizarre creatures, poltergeist activity, invisible entities, orbs of light, animal and human injuries and much more. The exclusive focus on nuts and bolts machines could be considered myopic and unproductive in solving the larger mystery of UFOs.
Which is exactly what it says in Skinwalkers at the Pentagon. Apparently Knapp has been dropping bread crumbs for us to follow for quite some time.
What does the book say about AATIP? "AAWSAP was not AATIP" (p. xxiii). AAWSAP had an allocated budget of about $22 million. AATIP had a budget of zero.  "AATIP involved a small group of people working on the UAP problem, with direct knowledge of their superiors, when their day jobs allowed them to." (p. xxiii-xxiv. Although I seem to recall that Elizondo once said that his superiors did not know what he was doing with AATIP.). AATIP was also described as a "small unofficial effort" (p.27). Take that, Elizondo! And what does the book have to say about Elizondo? Very little. He is mentioned just a few times, in passing. About the only insight it gives us  about Elizondo is,
As he enjoyed his steak tartare, Elizondo regaled those around him with some war stories, including one hair-raising exploit  about how his advanced intuition and remote viewing ["psychic"] capabilities had saved his life and the life of his men while on a covert combat mission in Afghanistan (p. 49).
Oh my, so apparently Elizondo brags in private about his psychic powers? Strange that he has not mentioned this in public interviews. He obviously would prefer for this not to become public, so its inclusion suggests  an agenda. 

The "Broad Scope" of AAWSAP Research

The authors emphasize that 
the decision to research paranormal phenomena that co-locate with UAPs and to examine psychic effects in UAP witnesses, in addition to scrutinizing  the core UAP technology itself, was not taken lightly because of the controversial nature of the UAP-paranormal debate....[witnesses] frequently reported poltergeist effects, humanoid-shaped black shadows, loud footsteps, hauntings, discarnate voices, small flying orbs,or some combination thereof, in their homes. These people also regularly reported precognitive, clairvoyant, telepathic, or unusual electromagnetic phenomena, as well as occasional increases in meaningful coincidences in their lives in the aftermath of a UAP encounter  (p. 161).
So with AAWSAP, we are getting not just reports of sightings, but a wide assortment of Things that go Bump in the Night. While some might see this as a bold new approach to UFOs, in fact it has been a part of the writings of UFO theorists like Jacques Vallee, John Keel, etc. for more than fifty years. There is nothing new here. (Vallee worked with AAWSAP on preparing its database.) 

Is this a dagger which I see before me?

We read of a mysterious incident occurring to Lacatski on his very first visit to the Skinwalker ranch:
Mike Oldfield's album Tubular Bells
Abruptly, Lacatski was transfixed by something behind where Bigelow and the [caretaker] couple were chatting: an unearthly technological device had suddenly and silently appeared out of nowhere in the adjacent kitchen. It looked to be a complex semi-opaque, yellowish, tubular structure. Lacatski said nothing but stared at the object, which was hovering silently. He looked away, looked back, and there it still was. It remained visible to Lacatski for no more than 30 seconds before vanishing on the spot (p. 39-40).
Three other people were present, but did not see this. Lacatski later said that the object looked like the illustration on this album cover.

"Bringing Something Home - The Infectious Agent Model" (p. 80).

I wrote in 2018 that Dr. Eric Davis, one of Bigelow's science contractors, claimed that a poltergeist followed him home from the Skinwalker Ranch. Now we read that "Most people who spent more than a day of Skinwalker Ranch brought "something" home with them from the property. The effect was almost universal, and universally unpleasant" (p. 80). What kind of incidents and sightings are we talking about?
  • "The freakish hybrid of small dinosaur and large beaver had silently and suddenly appeared" (p. 56)
  • "nightmarish 'dogmen' appearing in their backyard" (p. 81)
  • "two wine bottles were flung across the room, ceiling fans would turn on," etc. (p. 81).
  • "a large wolf-like creature standing outside his bedroom looking in at him" (p. 84)
  • "strange blue lights flying around his backyard" (p. 84).

Tied into the Skinwalker "mystery" somewhat peripherally is "the Geller effect", when in 1973 several scientists in California testing the Israeli spoonbender's alleged magic powers were supposedly plagued in their homes with UFOs, orbs, and "black shadowy forms" (p. 88). The authors correctly note that physicist Dr. Hal Puthoff was a "central player" both in these tests of Geller, and also "as an AAWSAP BAASS consultant and contractor, in the Axelrod and other post Skinwalker Ranch incidents" (p. 89).  Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff famously investigated Uri Geller back in the early 1970s, and were very impressed by him. Geller's supposed psychic powers were shown by James Randi and other magicians to be bogus

AAWSAP requested, but did not get, funding for a "remote viewing" program, but they conducted a "limited feasibility test." They asked the noted remote viewer Joseph McMoneagle to view a target allegedly unknown to him, which was actually Skinwalker Ranch. His descriptions of it "were excellent" (p. 121). The authors do not mention that back in 1984, McMoneagle was working with the CIA, and attempted a remote viewing of Mars in the year 1 million B.C. He described a "pyramid" that was 20,000 meters tall, and structures with large rooms, built by "an ancient people trying to survive."

We are informed in Chapter 8 that "Blue Orbs Are not Benign" (p. 70), Several accounts are given of humans allegedly being injured or sickened by encounters with nasty Blue Orbs that are said to fly about like angry wasps. When three dogs on the Skinwalker Ranch allegedly disappeared after being menaced by a blue orb, "The rancher" [Terry Sherman] came upon "three black greasy lumps," and "presumed that his three dogs had been incinerated" (p. 76).

There is much more about the Spookernatural in Skinwalkers at the Pentagon, but this review is already long enough, and you get the picture. There is no actual evidence of paranormal phenomena presented, only reports. In several cases, we are told that photos or videos of the incredible phenomenon were taken, but somehow the phenomenon erased itself from the device(s). When I hear such an account, I say to myself, "this story is completely fabricated." But the authors seem to believe such accounts.


Related to the above is is this very interesting Podcast by Steven Greenstreet of the New York Post. I seldom watch or listen to any podcasts, since I can read an author's article in just a few minutes, while their podcast requires thirty minutes or more. But this one is worth watching. First he tells the AATIP story as it's usually told (and I'm thinking "that isn't right). Then he says that all of that is wrong, and presents the actual history, as documented in Skinwalkers at the Pentagon. Strictly speaking, the book does not discuss "werewolves," but to apply that term to reports of a bipedal, wolf-like creature seems pretty appropriate. Likewise, the book does not discuss "ghosts," but does discuss "discarnate voices."

NEW! UFOs, Werewolves & Ghosts | Shocking truth of Pentagon AAWSAP program

Greenstreet pays careful attention to inconsistencies and contradictions of the AATIP narrative, which few have noted. One very important point made by Greenstreet is where he quotes Leslie Kean, prime mover behind the highly influential Fake News stories about AATIP in the New York Times, explaining that she did not mention that ghosts, werewolves, etc. were being studied because "the angle I was taking in my reporting was to try to get credibility for the subject." So she admits that she was writing not as a journalist, but as an advocate. The New York Times has yet to correct or retract any of the articles she wrote, which deliberately misrepresent the Pentagon's UFO investigation program.

I love it! The New York Post is taking the New York Times to the woodshed over its fake news reporting, not long after the New York Times dismissed the New York Post's explosive Hunter Biden laptop story as Fake News (now sheepishly admitted to be genuine). I'm thinking that perhaps the New York Post is becoming the new 'Newspaper of Record!'

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Meet the Face of the Pentagon's "UAP Task Force" - Dr. Travis Taylor!

For some time now we have been hearing about the Pentagon's Task Force to investigate UAPs/UFOs. We didn't know who any of them were, but honestly we were not impressed by their investigative skills. They apparently were fooled by a Mylar balloon photographed by a pilot, described as an  “extremely clear” photograph of an unidentifiable triangular aircraft (but looking very much like a Batman party balloon). They did not understand that the 'triangle shaped objects' supposedly swarming US Navy ships were just out-of-focus images of an airplane, stars, and the planet Jupiter. And the Task Force apparently made little or no effort to seriously investigate the original Pentagon "big three" UAP videos, about which there is a great deal of analysis on Metabunk and elsewhere, suggesting they are prosaic objects. If the UAP Task Force believed that the object in the "go fast" video was actually "going fast," then they didn't understand simple geometry.

But on June 21, the UFO reporter with the mostest, George Knapp of KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, revealed one of the members of that task force to be none other than Dr. Travis Taylor: "Physicist reveals he’s a UFO hunter for the Pentagon".

Television viewers know astrophysicist Dr. Travis Taylor as an intrepid investigator of UFOs and the paranormal at Skinwalker Ranch and on other History Channel programs. Only a handful of people in the world knew that Taylor was leading a double life, secretly working as the chief scientist for the Pentagon’s UAP Task Force. 
“I would say other than the people who already knew on the task force, you’re the first person to figure it out, George,” Taylor said.

As a scientific prodigy, Taylor earned advanced degrees at a young age and has spent his entire adult life working on classified projects, first for the U.S. Army, then for defense contractors. He wrote a book about how the U.S. government should prepare for alien contact which caught the attention of Jay Stratton, a high-ranking intelligence official who has been involved with each of the Pentagon’s Secretive UFO investigations including AAWSAP, the largest UFO program of all, managed by the Defense Intelligence Agency, based at Bigelow Aerospace in Las Vegas, funded with $22 million secured by late U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.  Stratton worked with AAWSAP, then its successor program AATIP. Later, he took charge of a third effort, the UAP Task Force, long before Congress formally created that team.   

Dr. Travis Taylor uses his knowledge of astronomy to help seekers of buried treasure (so far unsuccessfully).

So now we know the names of two members of the UAP Task Force - Jay Stratton and Travis Taylor. Blogger Jason Colavito wasted no time in responding:

Travis Taylor Admits to Being a Paid Government UFO Researcher... While serving in this capacity, Taylor appeared on CBS Sunday Morning in 2021 to analyze UFO videos and comment on the imminent UFO report without disclosing to CBS or to the audience that he was a paid government UFO researcher working on that very report. He has appeared since then on both Ancient Aliens and The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch to analyze and research UFOs without disclosing to the audience that he served as a paid government analyst of the same material he discussed on the History channel as an “independent” analyst. Taylor also works for a defense contractor analyzing UFOs for the federal government. Taylor and his former UAPTF boss both now work for the same contractor.

The shocking lack of ethics astonishes even me, as does the incestuous relationship between government UFO “research” and cable TV UFO media. This is the second time a star of a History channel show “investigating” UFOs admitted to also serving as a paid government UFO researcher. Lue Elizondo’s lawyer, Danny Sheehan, recently admitted that Elizondo has been the lead UFO analyst for Space Command, during a period when he presented himself in the media—including on 60 Minutes as well as his History channel show Unidentified—as an independent ex-government analyst...

We should all be disgusted that the Pentagon and Congress continue to patronize the same crew of lying spooks and kooks orbiting Skinwalker Ranch—people who have turned up no evidence of aliens or space ghosts after decades of taxpayer-subsidized research, people who frequent shows claiming racist space aliens had sex with prehistoric women, people who grift across UFO conferences and media, people who have no compunction about lying to the public while collecting media and government checks. It’s corrupt, and bright red line that should never be crossed.

Dr. Taylor is a big star on the "History" channel (I use parentheses because that channel no longer presents shows about actual history, but instead promotes far-out claims.) He appeared on  The Curse Of Oak Island (Episode "Rock Solid," Season 6) to suggest that a constellation map superimposed over Oak Island yields the location of buried treasure of the Knights Templar. (Those avid treasure hunters have now been searching Oak Island for eight seasons, but have yet to find the treasure.)

Dr. Taylor is a regular guest on The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, where (among other feats) he devised a "startling experiment" that "proves alien civilization." (How it proves that is not explained.)

He has even appeared on Ancient Aliens, where he teamed up with Giorgio Tsoukalos to test the flight characteristics of a model aircraft made from descriptions of sky vehicles called "Vimanas" in ancient Hindu texts. They found that it's a good aerodynamic design!

Travis Taylor and Giorgio Tsoukalos check out a supposed aircraft design from ancient aliens

Dr Taylor told George Knapp,

One of the primary jobs of the task force was to write a report to Congress summarizing the known evidence about UFOs.  The team had already created a classified briefing consisting of the most intriguing military encounters, starting with the 2004 Tic Tac incident. The task force whittled down a huge database into 144 of the very best cases. Dr. Taylor helped write the final report.

“We picked sources that were, we knew had a chain of custody of the data,” Taylor said. “And out of those 144 to 143 of them, we still couldn’t figure out what they were, where they came from and what their intent was.”

I'm starting to see why the Task Force was so unsuccessful in identifying its UAPs!