Military and intelligence agencies are withholding evidence from Congress, sources say
In April, the director of the Pentagon’s new program for studying UFOs said he had seen no evidence of alien spacecraft. “I should also state clearly for the record,” said Sean Kirkpatrick, the Director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), “that in our research, AARO has found no credible evidence thus far of extraterrestrial activity, off-world technology, or objects that defy the known laws of physics.”
The statement, which was part of a hearing on the topic, generated headlines around the world. “UFO sightings are up,” noted Politico, “but no proof of aliens yet, Pentagon official says.” Wrote News Nation, “UFO Chief: No ‘credible evidence’ of extraterrestrial activity.”
But on Monday, an Air Force whistleblower contradicted the Pentagon’s claim, telling The Debrief and News Nation that the U.S. government is in possession of “quite a number” of alien spacecraft. “I thought it was totally nuts,” David Grusch said. “I thought at first I was being deceived.”
But, Grusch said, he soon learned that United States government possessed “quite a number” of different kinds of non-human vehicles. “I have plenty of current and former senior intelligence officers who came to me — many of whom I knew almost my whole career — [and] who confided in me.”
This is not the first time government officials have suggested that the U.S. may possess alien spaceships. “I was told for decades that Lockheed had some of these retrieved materials,” said the late Senator Harry Reid, who fought for greater disclosure. “And I tried to get, as I recall, a classified approval by the Pentagon to have me go look at the stuff. They would not approve that.”
Former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Christopher Mellon, recently reported that he has spoken to more than four witnesses who say they know of “a secret U.S. government program involving the analysis and exploitation of materials recovered from off-world craft… Some have supplied information to the intelligence community’s inspector general, others directly to the staff of the congressional oversight committees.”
Grusch’s claims are shocking, and he has not made public any photographs, video, or written evidence to support them. He says he never saw any of the alleged nonhuman spacecraft himself. And, in response to a query, Defense Department spokesperson Sue Gough repeated what Kirkpatric had said in April. “To date, AARO has not discovered any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently.”
But while Grusch has not shared written evidence in an unclassified way, he did provide classified intelligence reports, emails, and other documents to Thomas A. Monheim, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, as the law allows.
As for photographs, the Defense Department prohibited Grusch from sharing any, as the letter from the DoD below shows.
And now, multiple sources close to the matter have come forward to tell Public that Grusch’s core claims are accurate. The individuals are all either high-ranking intelligence officials, former intelligence officials, or individuals who we could verify were involved in U.S. government UAP efforts for three or more decades each. Two of them have testified, including as recently as last year, to both AARO and Congress.
The individuals said they had seen or been presented with “credible” and “verifiable” evidence that the U.S. government, and U.S. military contractors, possess at least 12 or more alien space crafts, some of which they shared with AARO, which AARO has refused to provide to Congress. The reason AARO “has not discovered any verifiable information,” they said, is because it does have the authority to verify it and may not want to verify it.
“In his testimony to Congress, Kirkpatrick said that AARO is operating under Title 10 authority, but most intelligence agencies operate under a higher, Title 50 Authority,” explained a source “The intelligence community with Title 50, feels free to stonewall AARO with Title 10 because they view Title 10 authority as inferior to Title 50.”
The sources all expressed anger and frustration at the Pentagon’s denial of the existence of nonhuman craft and materials. “The denials coming out of Susan Gough and the Pentagon are specifically chosen to use AARO as the source of information when Grusch has already addressed that AARO didn’t have access. And so, of course, they didn’t discover anything.”
Said another individual, “The AARO response is typical because they are not doing any investigation of the testimony they’ve been given. Kirkpatrick has not been reporting properly to the congressional committees.”
Indeed, Grusch took a whistleblower complaint to the ICIG precisely because, he says, the military and intelligence community was withholding information from AARO and from Congress. It was only after becoming a whistleblower that Congress invited Grusch to give closed-door testimony in a secure information facility.
The Alien Craft
Members of Congressional intelligence committees and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) are taking Grusch’s claims seriously. The ICIG concluded in July 2022 that Grusch’s whistleblower complaint was “credible and urgent.” And, said a source who worked with him, Grusch’s superiors promoted him rapidly due to his talent. “He jumped ranks when they hired him as a GS-15. That’s a big jump for his position.”
Grusch, 36, is a senior intelligence analyst who represented the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, the precursor to AARO, from 2019-2021. Grusch is also a decorated combat officer for his service in Afghanistan.
“His assertion concerning the existence of a terrestrial arms race occurring sub-rosa over the past eighty years focused on reverse engineering technologies of unknown origin is fundamentally correct,” said Karl Nell, a retired Army Colonel who worked with Grusch on the UAP Task Force, which preceded the creation of AARO, told The Debrief,” as is the indisputable realization that at least some of these technologies of unknown origin derive from non-human intelligence.”
Some of the same sources who shared information with Grusch, as well as others, spoke to Public about retrieved spacecraft that they say is in the possession of the U.S. government. “I know of at least 12-15 craft,” said one person, who said they shared the information with AARO and Congress. “Every five years, we get one or two recovered for one reason or another, from either a landing or that we catch, or they just crash.”
A different contractor said, “There were at least four morphologies, different structures. Six were in good shape; six were not in good shape. There were cases where the craft landed, and the occupants left the craft unoccupied. There have been high-level people, including generals, who have placed their hand on the craft, and I would have no reason to disbelieve them.”
One source described having seen three kinds of craft, including one shaped like a triangle and another that “looked like a chopped up helicopter, with the front bubble of a Huey helicopter, with the plastic windows, or more like a deep sea submarine, with a thick piece of glass bubble shaped, and where the tail rudder should have been, it was a black, egg-shaped pancake, and instead of landing gear it had upside-down rams horns that went from the top to the bottom and rested on the ends of the horns.”
The sources said they felt compelled to speak out publicly to validate Grusch’s claims but did not want their names used. “We have non-disclosure agreements or secrecy agreements that we are supposed to take to the grave,” said one person. Two of the three sources declined to answer certain questions, even off the record, out of concern for their safety and continued access to information.
“I briefed the Senate intelligence committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and ARRO, and so that information is out there,” the person said. “What Grusch did was the first giant step to get the information out.”
The sources said that the Pentagon and military contractors keep the nonhuman spacecraft in different locations, including Area 51 in Nevada, and that they move the craft around to different facilities, both military bases and contractor facilities, for research.
The sources differed on whether the U.S. was able to operate them. “As far as I know, we are not able to operate them,” said one person, who said they were last briefed on the crashed craft five years ago. “There are people who say we have reverse-engineered them and are flying them. I never found any support for that. And found a lot of support for saying we can’t figure it out. If we do, it would be in some program at a higher security level.”
Others said that the U.S. has been able to fly at least one of the retrieved craft. “Some of the tech is very cutting-edge,” said a source, “and they have to travel to places like Italy, Belgium, and Indonesia to do flight testing. It’s worldwide. Some of our allies know about the programs. The clandestine places that they work out of have grown larger.”
The sources said they suspected that the Chinese and Russians had also retrieved craft, but they did not know for certain.
Public is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, please subscribe now.
The Trouble With Secrecy
All of the individuals pointed to secrecy as an obstacle to reverse engineering the craft. One military contractor said that, in December 2010, a major aerospace corporation tried to work around the secrecy by creating a buffer organization to prevent scientists and engineers who lacked top-secret clearance from learning where the tech they worked on came from. But the military sharply rejected the proposal.
The proposal, the person said, was that “We would apply science and engineering talent because the aerospace corporation security meant they were not having as much success as had been hoped for. And so we were proposing to horizontally cut through the stove pipes [which compartmentalize work to keep it secret] so there would be very few people interfacing with the aerospace company, and the science and engineering talent wouldn’t need to know about the full nature of the tech.”
The contractor said the US government agency rejected the idea. “The [aerospace corporation] vice president took it back to his customer, a government agency I won’t name, and they refused. It was a very strong refusal; there was no chance of this ever happening. The main concern was that there would be a potential for a leak, but it seemed like it was a very flat ‘no’ with not a lot of reasons given.
“The aerospace vice president was pretty stressed out about the whole thing. Apparently, it was not a very polite ‘no’ that was given. The main problem, according to the aerospace corporation, was that they were handcuffed left, right, and center. And that was the last we ever heard of it.”
One source estimated there were only between 100 and 700 individuals in government or working for government contractors who know about the retrieved crash, while another person estimated that even fewer knew about the full program to reverse engineer alien technology. “Maybe on our side, there were three people total,” said the contractor whose proposal to cut through the stovepipe was rejected. “There were 4 or 5 people who I knew of on the aerospace corporation side.”
And that’s a problem, said the people we interviewed. “The problem is this overwhelming security apparatus. And so a brainstorming session that is necessary to scientific and engineering is not possible.”
One of the sources revealed that there has existed since the early 2000s a top-secret computer discussion platform known as “R-Space,” and that it has grown to include 1,500 government or government-funded scientists and analysts evaluating UAPs. “All the people on R-Space have top secret, very high clearance to get there,” the person explained. “But Area 51 is above that. It has special access programs where you have to be read in.”
It’s not clear that the programs are under democratic authority. “Only certain politicians and presidents who grew up in this world, who touched this program, get read in,” said a source.
The question now is whether Congress will act. Some members have shown some willingness to press whether ARRO really has the mandate to investigate. “Do you have the authorities you need to extend your collection posture between agencies or branches of the military?” asked Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV). “Do you need any authorities that you don’t have to get the data you need?”
In response, Kirkpatrick noted that AARO was operated under Title 10 authority and that “there are some authorities that we need.” Noted The Debrief, “Kirkpatrick attempted to downplay AARO’s lack of Title 50 authority but acknowledged that “having additional authorities for collection, tasking, counter-intelligence, those are all things that would be helpful, yes.” And, added The Debrief, by “operating solely under Title 10 authority, AARO has limited ability to force the Intelligence Community to assist in UAP investigations.”
In other words, AARO is not a serious investigative body. If that’s to change, Congress, the media, and the American people will need to demand it. Shortly before he died, Former Senator Harry Reid told the New York Times, “It is extremely important that information about the discovery of physical materials or retrieved craft come out.”
What’s most changed about the topic is the public discussion, the willingness of members of Congress to stand up to the Pentagon, and the courage of insiders to speak out as witnesses and whistleblowers. That suggests that the time is running out if government officials are indeed hiding evidence of nonhuman ships. After all, if government agencies and military contractors are not hiding spacecraft in their facilities, then the gatekeepers should have no good reason to oppose a serious effort by Congress to find them.