(see below for a two part video presentation on this topic)
by John Greenewald, Jr. – The Black Vault – Originally Published: February 12, 2021
UFO related social media circles were excited by news this week that the Pentagon had admitted it has “UFO debris” in its possession and that they had released the test results. That is, according to one UFO researcher, anyway. Tacked on to numerous UFO related headlines in the past few years, the claim seemed to reinforce a public hope that humanity was on a one way train to “D”isclosure-ville, and that an extraterrestrial presence was about to be acknowledged by the powers that be. The only problem is that those powers that be see it much differently.
The idea that the U.S. government possesses crashed alien technology would be a game changer on numerous levels for humanity. The very notion redefines science; turns world religions upside down; and would make nearly every human re-think their place in the cosmos.
The idea that there is UFO debris out there has been touted most recently by the New York Times, having reported in July of 2020 that one astrophysicist claimed there were “retrievals from ‘off-world vehicles not made on this earth.’”
Luis Elizondo, the man who says he ran a secretive UFO study within the Pentagon known as the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program” or AATIP, told Tucker Carlson in 2019 that he believed the U.S. government has “material” from UFOs. When pressed, Elizondo referred to his non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and would not elaborate.
An Extraordinary Claim Is Made
Although many claims have been made over the past couple of years, there is one vital piece to the puzzle that has been missing from the debate: the evidence. There are no test results; no confirmed artifacts; and no official government admission that any of it exists in the way some say. Up until now, there have just been words, claims, and speculation. Yet, nothing definitive.
However, Anthony Bragalia, a UFO researcher who runs the “UFO Explorations” blog, said he believes he made the Pentagon admit to the reality that they hold UFO debris; say that they’ve analyzed it; and he says he has the results. In his most recent blog post, he ran the headline, “Pentagon Admits It Has UFO Debris, Releases Test Results.”
“A stunning admission by the US government that it possesses UFO debris was recently made in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed over three years ago by this author,” Bragalia began his blog. “In a reply letter, the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has ended decades of speculation by verifying that UFO material has indeed been recovered.”
Bragalia then outlined his original FOIA request, along with the response he received, in full. The original FOIA request asked for an array of seven various items surrounding UAP “material” in relation to the AATIP program. In a response video created by The Black Vault regarding his claims, it was proposed that one item specifically triggered the resulting records, and likely was simply in response to the “material” aspect of the request, rather than the “UAP” part. Given the fact that responsive documents never once mention “UAP,” “UFO,” “alien,” “extraterrestrial” (in the way he claimed), or “crash debris,” it would appear a logical way to look at it.
Bragalia disagrees. “You naively assume that such technical reports would actually reference aliens, Roswell, etc.,” Bragalia said in a publicly posted comment to The Black Vault. “It does not work that way and your thinking that these technical reports would discuss such things in such a way shows that you do not have a true grasp of materials science and engineering studies.”
Regardless of Bragalia’s stance, a new fact emerged that was omitted from Bragalia’s blog post. This was learned by The Black Vault and confirmed by the Pentagon the next day, that there were amendments to Bragalia’s original FOIA request to expedite getting the documents. Once asked, Bragalia then supplied The Black Vault the string of e-mails between him and the DIA. It proved the original FOIA request was modified, and it further supports The Black Vault’s theory on why the responsive records were sent out.
To summarize the back-and-forth, an agreed to amendment to Bragalia’s original FOIA took the original seven items, and amended it to start with only a single item, then move on to the others. The amended item asked for “test results from the UAP material from Bigelow Aerospace under contract to the DoD/Pentagon” to be processed first.
Amendments such as these are commonplace when filing FOIA requests. Officers working on their growing case-loads seek out amendments to shorten processing times; save on review fees; or just decrease overall workloads. In Bragalia’s case, he amended his request to get the material analyses quicker and the remaining items would be processed but released (if anything) at a later date (this is known as a “rolling release”).
As a result, Bragalia received the first batch of material consisting of 154 pages, and included five “Defense Intelligence Reference Documents” or DIRDs.
The DIRDs, 38 in total, were created under the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program or AAWSAP. There has been some confusion about the relationship AAWSAP had with AATIP, but according to the Pentagon, AAWSAP was the portion of AATIP outsourced to the private sector. In this case, Bigelow Aerospace‘s subsidiary BAASS. They were the organization that created the reports, and issued them back to the DIA to fulfill their contractual obligation.
The five reports sent to Bragalia were all the DIRD reports dealing with “material” in some way, hence why The Black Vault believes that is the responsive portion of the request which triggered them to be sent. The “UAP” portion became secondary and irrelevant on the final release of records, which will be explained more below.
The Pentagon Addresses the Claim
Bragalia’s claims were not well received by the Department of Defense. The Pentagon told The Black Vault that the claims Bragalia were making about the first batch of documents he received, were “inaccurate” and “misleading.”
“The testing referred to in the documents released by the Defense Intelligence Agency under the Freedom of Information Act was of known materials, conducted for study purposes pursuant to the Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program’s mission of establishing a center of expertise for advanced aerospace technologies,” Pentagon Spokesperson Susan Gough said in an e-mail to The Black Vault. “Any claims that the tests are of debris are inaccurate and misleading.”
Could the amendment to the FOIA case prove Bragalia got the DIA to admit to UFO debris, and the resulting documents were UAP material analyses? He says yes.
According to Bragalia, the DIA’s FOIA officer confirmed to him that they were processing “a request for UFO/UAP related test results” and not “for known aero-defense metals as the Pentagon now claims.” But could just this acknowledgement by the FOIA officer in what he was processing prove the responsive records were UFO/UAP related test results on potentially extraterrestrial debris like Bragalia claims? Likely not. Here’s why:
FOIA Cases Solidify a Proven Track Record
The Black Vault has filed more than 10,000 FOIA requests in nearly 25 years. Within some of those cases, it is proven that FOIA case officers will often try hard to help requesters get what they want, and will sometimes send material that is loosely responsive, rather than exactly responsive, in an attempt to meet the requesters needs. Although that is not always the case with some agencies, there are numerous real-world examples that can be referred to.
In FOIA case 143F-97, filed by The Black Vault to the U.S. Army, all “records concerning and/or captioned Unidentified Flying Object (UFO),” were requested. The result included a large stack of documents relating to the Horton Brothers, and the World War II era “flying wing” design developed by Nazi Germany. That was always an identified craft, and one that was not fully pertaining to the The Black Vault’s FOIA request. However, since in some circles the design was referred to as a “Flying Saucer,” the FOIA case officer at the time, Russell Nichols, provided them as responsive. Loosely related to the request, but not exactly “responsive.”
Another example is FOIA case 15-0007 that The Black Vault filed to the Naval Research Laboratory. This request asked for all records pertaining to Project Argus, a US Navy program that “exploded three fission type nuclear bombs 480 km above the South Atlantic Ocean, in the part of the lower Van Allen Belt closest to the earth’s surface.” The request went into extensive details about the nuclear tests that the FOIA request was seeking documentation on.
The result, was a document pertaining to a Project Argus, but the record was about a 1960s era US Navy program on “isolation and confinements research.” There is no mention of anything nuclear. In this case, FOIA officer Richard Thompson saw the name of the program, and sent the responsive document. Loosely related by name, but far from exactly responsive.
These examples, along with many more citable from over the years, shows an aura of helpfulness on the side of many FOIA officers; and not one of obfuscation. As a result, however, some results can be misconstrued, like in Bragalia’s case.
The story surrounding “UFO Debris” has been drowning in muddy waters since many of the claims have surfaced.
Although the NY Times reported in 2017 that Bigelow Aerospace had modified buildings at its Las Vegas headquarters for, “…the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena,” CEO Robert Bigelow says they never had any material at all.
In a one-on-one interview with George Knapp of MysteryWire.com, Bigelow was asked directly on this matter. “NY times reported that you modified your facility here in order to house some material from somewhere else. Did you ever have it?” Knapp asked. Bigelow responded, “We never had any.”
This denial seems to further invalidate the claim that the Pentagon admitted to studying UFO debris, and releasing the results, given the fact that Bigelow himself was the one who owned BAASS, and was responsible for creating the DIRD reports in question. Bigelow’s team can not analyze what they say they never had.
To ensure accuracy, The Black Vault also reached out to Dr. Hal Puthoff, the lead engineer who headed the AAWSAP program for BAASS. According to Dr. Puthoff, he was the one responsible for choosing the topics of the DIRD reports.
In an e-mailed statement to The Black Vault, Dr. Puthoff offers the nail in the coffin for Bragalia’s allegation. “The five-cited DIRDs that we commissioned addressed advanced-material topics potentially significant for advanced aerospace application, not evaluation of UAP debris in hand.”
The inaccuracies about UFO debris claims go well beyond the most recent with Bragalia’s FOIA response. In July of 2020, two of the three same journalists who broke the AATIP story three years prior, returned to report about “off world vehicles.” It was originally reported by the NY Times that former Senator Harry Reid confirmed that “vehicles from other worlds had occurred and that retrieved materials had been studied secretly for decades.” However, this claim was pulled back the next day, and the NY Times issued a correction, and they deleted the reference.
Reid even tweeted out a response to this, also reinforcing he had never said such things.
The Black Vault reached out to Bragalia to address the newer parts of this story, including the Pentagon’s statements and the contradictory evidence to his claims. Despite an extensive back-and-forth for on the record comments, Bragalia retracted all submitted e-mails to The Black Vault, and rather pointed to an online article he wrote. The Black Vault’s article here was adjusted prior to publication to adhere to Bragalia’s request.
Bragalia claims in his newest published rebuttal that a “lawsuit against the Pentagon… has been initiated today with the retention of counsel to uncover the underlying truth.” Although he maintains his position, he now adds more to the story that there were phone calls with the DIA reinforcing his stance; a fact also absent from Bragalia’s original blog. Phone calls with government officials are hard to verify in relation to content and context, since nothing is recorded or logged.
Regardless of any truth to his new claims and evidence, nothing he has put forth disproves the Pentagon or Dr. Puthoff’s stance that this material is not related to UFOs or UAPs.
The Black Vault has long maintained a UFO cover-up of some kind. There are thousands of documents that prove that. Yet, extraordinary claims about the government admitting to UFO debris, must be backed up by evidence that is verifiable/reproduceable. In the above examples, not only with Bragalia’s claims, but the NY Times as well, nothing is.
With each claim, whether it be printed (then retracted) by the NY Times; or ones made by UFO researchers; or ones that appear from anonymous sources – the waters become more murky when it comes to “UFO Debris.” The “facts” presented often fall apart when pursued, and the foundation for each claim often crumbles easily when pushed upon.
Maybe that is the ultimate plan by those who operate within the shadows. Confuse the public enough, they fall into a pit of uncertainty about the entire topic that they can’t get out of.
Or, maybe those at the root of the “UFO Debris” claims, are either easily convinced without evidence or maliciously deceiving with their intent.
Either way, the absolute truth remains hidden. And the public, remains in the dark.