Should we be afraid, excited or apprehensive about the presence of UFOs among us?
Credits: UFO PHOTO ARCHIVES
The news that the United States government, through a program embedded among many others of the Department of Defense, was spending part of its budget to study UFOs came to the public late last year and the news was exceptionally controversial. The initiative in question was called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). Its mission was to gather and analyze information about military encounters and what we call the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (FANI), and most call it UFOs.
When The New York Times published an article about it at the end of 2017 [See issue UFO 255, now available in full at www.ufo.com.br], the program had already been officially concluded for five years, but this closure it was a facade, not real. The AATIP remained active and functioning normally, the only thing that changed was the way it was financed. Until 2012, the money to maintain it came from the Defense budget and, therefore, from the taxpayers. After that, other forms of financing were developed, so that the studies continued.
It is important to point out that the government transferred part of the research to the private sector, something that is not uncommon – there are several Department of Defense contracts with private companies and corporations, and this is done, among other reasons, because it is cheaper for for the country to use third-party facilities than to build all that it would need to carry out its studies. In the specific case of AATIP, the contracted company was Bigelow Aerospace, chosen for already developing joint projects with the North American Space Agency (NASA). Bigelow developed and provided all kinds of space and equipment we needed to continue our research, in addition to being able to count on the help of several of its scientists.
At the same time as the article in The Times, the Department of Defense released two videos made by military pilots, on different occasions, showing flying objects that in our understanding are characterized as FANIs or UFOs. These footage aren’t the only ones out there, there are many more of course, but as only these two have been released, let’s stick to them. By now most people must have watched the videos, which went around the world. There is no terrestrial explanation for the artifacts shown in the footage. Nothing that the United States or any other technologically developed nation has in its inventory comes close to what we see in the images. And believe me, I would know if there were, because, after all, my main job was to know these things, since I was the director of AATIP.
While I was in government, I couldn’t express certain opinions, but now, outside of it, I feel freer to do so—and also to disclose what we’ve discovered and what we suspect about these mysterious and challenging objects and the physics involved. in their technology, which allows them to do what they do. And, precisely to talk about this, I’ve been giving talks in different places, because it’s important that people know what’s going on. So, I was very happy to receive the invitation from the editor of the UFO Magazine AJ Gevaerd to participate in the XXIII Brazilian Congress of Ufology, a wonderful opportunity to inform everyone about our knowledge and progress. But unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, I was unable to attend. This text, which I made especially for UFO,
And before I begin to develop the subject, I need to say that I am very grateful to all those who organized and to all those who attended the Congress, especially the editor of UFO for his efforts to keep these meetings going. It is very important that we exchange knowledge, because this is an effort and a collective study. We cannot do this alone. Everyone needs to do their part. I think this study is perhaps one of the most important undertakings of the century, our attempt to unravel this enigma, the mystery of these inexplicable phenomena we call UFOs.
Are we the only ones?
I would like to begin this conversation by asking you, the reader, a simple question, and I ask you to stop for a moment and think seriously about it before answering. And it is: what does it mean to be human? Is it the fact that we are made of flesh and blood? Of having a body? Well, that’s not that rare, since we have this in common with several other living beings on this planet. Maybe it’s because we can think for ourselves, right? Neither, because in case you didn’t know, there are some invertebrates that can do that. And it’s not as uncommon as you might think — I was also surprised when I discovered this. Maybe it’s because we walk on two legs, we’re bipedal and that’s what sets us apart from all other beings. But know that this is a trait we share with a simple ostrich. So we can also cross out this option.
One of the Bigelow Aerospace units contracted by the Pentagon, outside Las Vegas
Source: BIGELOW AEROSPACE
In fact, I think being human is something that is defined in the most intrinsic characteristics that we have, which is the way we can feel and understand things in a natural way. Still, it’s one of the hardest things to describe. Perhaps it is this characteristic, which is typical of humans, that sets us apart from all other life forms on this planet. We are human by the way we feel and understand things.
And now I ask you another question: what if the human species is not singular, but there are other “human species”, in the plural? Are we as a society ready to talk about this? Perhaps the things that most define us as human beings—like emotions, love, and empathy—are not necessarily unique to us, but exist throughout the universe. Perhaps other beings feel the same as we do. And it may be that the definition of a human being is not having two arms, two legs and looking like this, or having a body, hair or no hair, but something much deeper than that. Perhaps these characteristics are not unique to us. And that’s why, over the last decade, I’ve dedicated a good part of my time researching the subject,
the beginning of the search
Our studies and research were motivated by the findings made by AATIP. It was the videos and data collected by the program that made us look at UFOs in a different light — and what we discovered during this period was extraordinary in my opinion and in the opinion of my colleagues. When we started our journey, we didn’t know much about the UFO phenomenon and tried to stick to the tools and capabilities made available by the Department of Defense. Our scope was limited by what we were trying to get. In fact, very limited. It boiled down to trying to find out what those devices were and how they operated. Sometimes when people ask me, I joke that before I took office I couldn’t even spell UFO correctly.
In fact, the initial phase of our studies made it clear how much we didn’t know about the subject. We used a broad approach to the study of the phenomenon, something like using a net to catch a fly. However, over time, we were able to refine our methodologies and improve our collective efforts to the point where we were much more effective in trying to find out what it was all about. So we started putting the pieces of the puzzle together and we did that by creating categories for observations that we knew were unique and unrelated to anything that we or any other country had in our inventories.
It was then that we started to decipher the challenge, doing what any child does when they find one: we try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. We were all taught that we should start assembling these figures from the corners, because there are only four of them, and that way we can find these shapes more easily. Next, we assemble the edges and separate the parts that we can fit together. Then we gather all similar colors together, because they are likely to be part of the same scene, and so on. Anyway, we use a methodology very similar to this system in our AATIP program.
What characterizes a UFO
We had in the unidentified flying objects five characteristics that were completely different from anything that exists in terms of ground-based aerial artifacts, to separate the observations. I will summarize them, but it is likely that the reader is already familiar with them. The first of the five categories is the sudden and instantaneous acceleration of UFOs, common in the description of sightings, when objects stop and accelerate instantly, often disappearing within seconds. The second is hypersonic speed — note that it’s not supersonic speed, because that’s what we can do, but hypersonic, something much greater.
The first of the five categories of UFOs is their sudden and instantaneous acceleration, something common in the description of sightings, when unidentified objects stop and accelerate instantly, often disappearing within seconds.
The third category of classification is low visibility, that is, artifacts are often difficult to see and register on radar. The fourth category is what we call transmedia travel, which is the ability for an object to move effortlessly through the atmosphere, in high and low orbits, and believe it or not, even in water. The fifth and final category is positive lift, or antigravity. When we started approaching the UFO issue in this way, gathering information, things started to make sense. So for the first time, especially in recent years, we now have mathematical formulas and scientific modeling to explain these characteristics or behaviors, plus, of course, observations, electro-optical data, and so on, all converging in the same direction.
Dealing with Prejudice
Originally, as I said, our goal was to find out what these objects were and how they operated. Unfortunately, I still don’t think we’re that close to finding out what they are, but I’m very excited that we’ve just discovered at least how they operate — and in our opinion what we’ve found is very convincing. I think more has been done in the last two and a half years in this area than in decades before. At least from the US government’s perspective, as I cannot speak for the private sector. But I think from our perspective, the governmental perspective, we understand these things a lot better now than we did two and a half years ago. We’ve reached the point where we can even replicate the physics of UFOs in the laboratory.
When we started this project, many on the show were worried because they thought that maybe we were dealing with something elusive, some kind of science fiction. But in the end, we were really dealing with real objects and scientific facts — and that makes us think that perhaps what some consider to be fringe science is just advanced physics and applied quantum theory. We’ve come a long way here and I believe the news is exciting. However, and there is always a but, a challenge, all of this was something difficult to deal with. After all, they were UFOs! And we, scientists and military, as a rule do not believe in these things. But nevertheless, there they were proving to be real. It’s interesting how we react to certain things… For example, when we think of the word parachute, what come to mind? Remembering that the prefix para, in Latin and Greek, usually means beside or above.
In the case of the parachute, most of us think of a life-saving device that prevents someone from hitting the ground and dying or being seriously injured, which is a positive thing. Let’s try it with another word: paramedic. What does this mean for the reader? We usually think of a rescuer, a lifeguard, someone who is good for society and helps people. Something positive, isn’t it? Now let’s try the same reasoning with the word paranormal.
It’s paranormal until it becomes normal
What comes to your mind when you think about it? I suspect that some readers had the same reaction that some of us within the show had. This is quite normal, but also unnecessary. Because paranormal is no different from paramedic, parachute, or anything with the prefix para. And there’s reason why people react the way they do to the paranormal, whether they’re self-conscious, smirk or raise an eyebrow—they do it because of stigma and social conditioning.
We need to fight this because, to be very honest, by definition, everything in this universe is considered paranormal until it becomes normal. What guides these concepts is precisely knowledge, study, research, and this needs to be done in an impartial way, without disguising results or trying to make the research point to what we want it to point to. We call everything paranormal that we know exists, but that we don’t know how it works. From the moment we discover how the object, the phenomenon or whatever works, that will be considered normal.
For us, today, using a computer for a videoconference is something absolutely normal, but 30 or 40 years ago this would be considered something paranormal, that is, above and beyond the normal. That kind of mindset is one of the challenges we try to take down. We have to remove the barriers so that we can dialogue. Dialogue for collaboration among our leaders, among our rulers, among ourselves, as countries, societies and civilizations. These are some of the things that we need to fight as best we can and remove the social stigma from these conversations on this subject, so we can find out what we’re dealing with.
Should we be afraid, excited or apprehensive about the presence of UFOs among us? Are they a threat or a blessing? We do not know. I think we need more data to have the answer — and the only way we can get that is to stop denying that the phenomenon exists and study it broadly and dispassionately, as we did within the AATIP program, seeking to understand what they are and how they can do what they do. Anyway, since the publication of the article in The Times and the concomitant release of the videos by the Department of Defense, all kinds of theories and suspicions began to be thrown about me, about the program and about the reasons that led me to leave the Department and joining a private organization, To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science. In truth,
I firmly believe that if I had been able to attend the XXIII Brazilian Congress of Ufology, last May, in Porto Alegre, I would have been asked about many things, which is absolutely normal, because, after all, this is a serious matter and people have doubts. and they want to know more about him—and obviously about me, too, because, after all, I was the one who decided it was time to make what we knew public. That’s why I’ve made a selection of the five most frequently asked questions I’m asked both in person and online, and I’m going to answer them below.
The first one is what I mentioned above, that is, because I left the Department. The answer to that may not be so simple, but there’s an old saying that sometimes if you like an organization, you should stick with it. But other times, when you love an organization, you must get out of it. And this, of course, was my case. I left the Department because my loyalty to him, the people, and the Secretary of Defense is undisputed—those are some of the most extraordinary people I have ever had the honor and pleasure to serve with. But the bureaucratic challenges that exist in the Department I believe need to change. For example, I do not agree with the excess of secrecy or the volume of bureaucracy that exists for information to circulate. I believe the Secretary of Defense, who was my boss, deserves to know the truth. He is an honorable man and I have seen him serve his country in very difficult situations. And if there’s a man capable of changing the system from within, he’s the one, I can assure you. That’s why I left and it hasn’t been easy. It was actually quite difficult. It’s easy to sit in a chair and watch it all from afar, in comfort. Another thing is to get your hands dirty.
The truth about UFOs
The second question I hear most is whether I believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life. And my answer to that is yes, I believe. I believe it is entirely possible that there is life outside the Solar System. In the past I was very careful to answer this question while I was still on AATIP. Remember that the purpose of the project was to know what those unidentified devices were and how they operated, and we purposely avoided knowing who controlled them.
Many people say that UFOs come from the Pleiades and from Alpha Centauri, but I cannot confirm any of that. I think we need more data. But could they come from there? Of course they could! But could they also be from somewhere else? Absolutely! In short, until we have more information, we simply don’t know and could spend all day speculating. The problem is that when data is lacking, we tend to fill in the gaps with what we know and often with what we don’t know and only imagine. And that can be dangerous. I don’t know where UFOs come from, but I think anything is possible and that, in principle, we shouldn’t rule out anything. Are they interstellar? interdimensional? Anyway, we need more data…
Many people also ask me if I believe we are close to discovering how UFOs work. And here too the answer is yes, we are. We’re pretty close. To tell you the truth, and based on my experience, maybe we’re only missing something like 20 years. And it’s no longer a theoretical question about whether it’s possible for us to replicate spacecraft technology. We have already demonstrated the physics involved in the process with experiments done with the Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and elsewhere, and we know for sure that some of the physics behind what we see is not only possible , as replicable. We’ve already done it on a tiny level, it’s true, but the question is no longer whether it can be done, because it’s already being done right now — the problem now is one of scale, of size.
The AATIP program, despite all the challenges that surrounded it, is victorious and this is also a very frequent curiosity. What determined the show’s success when all others failed? Undoubtedly, the difference lies in the people involved in it. Without them there would be no organization and we would have nothing. These are the people who work hard every day, doing their jobs, most without receiving any credit. And when other individuals find out what they do, they sometimes make fun of them, despite there being evidence proving the reality of the unidentified objects studied. It is these very brave men and women who serve their country, society and, in my opinion, the world that make the difference. They are true heroes.
Latin America and UFOs
The last question concerns what would be the importance of Latin America in helping the world to better understand the UFO phenomenon. I would say it is absolutely critical. We cannot make this movement without Latin America, and for several reasons, starting with the most obvious, which is the fact that several nations of the continent have already openly recognized the existence of the phenomenon and have programs for the study of ufological phenomenology. I find all of this extraordinary and I would like the United States to be like that. I think we can go much further on this issue.
In this sense, some Latin American nations already practice a mutual dialogue between their governments, the armed forces, intelligence groups and the population, and this is vital, as there is an exchange of information and the possibilities for research are greatly increased. On the other hand, the region has a high incidence of cases and incidents involving UFOs. For some reason, the mainland, in some ways, is a hot spot for the phenomenon. I’m not saying other places aren’t, but Latin America has a long history in this regard.
It is also necessary to take into account the evidence that has been collected and cataloged by researchers from Latin American countries, much of which is extremely convincing. They, both military and civilian, have done an excellent job of gathering evidence and I sincerely hope that in the United States, very soon, we will reach a situation where we can have a relationship with such nations in order to collaborate and exchange data and experiences. with them, so that we can collectively employ our resources and finally solve this incredible puzzle. There are very interesting cases that we can research together.
The most important thing, and which I would very much like to put on record here, is that this is a subject and a study that concerns all of us, including those who do not believe in the UFO Phenomenon. The reason is simple: anything we can learn from these artifacts will impact all of our lives in one way or another. This is a reality that humans, as a species, must face. UFOs exist and they are here. Now the question is: what can we learn from them?