Ex-official who revealed UFO undertaking accuses Pentagon of ‘disinformation’ marketing campaign

“What he’s saying is there are specific people within the Protection Division who actually have been attacking him and mendacity about him publicly, utilizing the colour of authority of their workplaces to disparage him and discredit him and have been interfering in his means to hunt and procure gainful employment out on the earth,” stated Daniel Sheehan, Elizondo’s lawyer. “And in addition threatening his safety clearance.”

Sheehan, a public curiosity lawyer and activist, has an extended historical past of taking over the federal authorities on behalf of high-profile shoppers, together with defending The New York Occasions within the Pentagon Papers case in addition to one of many Watergate burglars.

He’s additionally broadly considered as a provocateur who has an abiding curiosity in UFOs and has spoken publicly about alien visitations. He additionally served as counsel for the Disclosure Challenge, led by ufologist Steven Greer, that has sought to drive extra authorities transparency on UFOs.

When requested for remark, Elizondo referred inquiries to Sheehan.

Sheehan maintains the purpose of Elizondo’s IG grievance is way greater than clearing his identify: He desires to compel the Pentagon to clear up all the anomaly about what it is aware of about UFOs.

“No person appeared to be taking this factor severely,” Sheehan stated of Elizondo’s issues when he left the Pentagon in 2017. “The completely different items and completely different teams which can be liable for responding to this specific phenomenon … they are not briefing one another on this.”

“The outdated dodge,” Sheehan says, “is ‘oh nicely, the true drawback was that one store wasn’t speaking with the opposite store.’ That’s the traditional bureaucratic dodge. I’m attempting to get the Protection Division to make clear for the general public and media what precisely is the cartography contained in the Protection Division for coping with this specific phenomenon.”

A spokesperson for the Protection Division IG’s workplace declined to touch upon the standing of Elizondo’s grievance. “I can’t speculate or deliberate about complaints that our workplace might have acquired,” stated Dwrena Allen. “I definitely can’t verify or deny the existence of an investigation to the identical.”

However a day after Elizondo filed his grievance, the IG introduced a probe into Pentagon “actions” on UFOs, which is being undertaken by the assistant inspector normal for evaluations on house, intelligence, engineering and oversight.

“We might revise the target because the analysis proceeds, and we are going to contemplate recommendations from administration for extra or revised goals,” acknowledged the IG’s memo saying that probe.

It stays unclear whether or not Elizondo’s claims can be discovered to benefit an official investigation, however his authorized workforce says he’s scheduled to satisfy once more with investigators from the IG subsequent month.

Elizondo has turn out to be a minor celeb since he retired from the Pentagon in October 2017 and went public in regards to the Superior Aerial Menace Identification Program, or AATIP, a secret Pentagon effort that was initiated in 2008 by then-Sen. Harry Reid. POLITICO and The New York Occasions revealed the existence of the workplace and Elizondo’s position in it in December 2017.

Elizondo complained on the time that his Pentagon bosses have been failing to take severely quite a few intrusions into army airspace by high-performance plane of unknown origin.

“It was throughout this time I grew more and more pissed off by the dearth of assets and curiosity by senior management,” he states within the IG grievance. “UAP reporting to our workplace was growing, but our assets have been minimal, and management involvement was nearly non-existent.

“After elevated frustration, ” he added, “I turned alarmed by the frequency and period of UAP exercise in and round managed U.S. airspace. The cases appeared extra provocative, and through one occasion, they got here inside ft of a U.S. fighter plane.”

After he retired from authorities service, Elizondo additionally shared with the media a trio of Navy movies he received declassified earlier than he left authorities service.

He claims he has since endured a coordinated effort to malign his popularity, together with Pentagon press statements asserting he had no official position in UFO analysis, even after his position was formally confirmed. He additionally alleges a private vendetta from a Pentagon rival he claims has sought repeatedly to wreck his profession, together with attempting to have him investigated for releasing the video after he had been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Elizondo fees “malicious actions, coordinated disinformation, skilled misconduct, whistleblower reprisal and specific threats perpetrated by sure senior-level Pentagon officers,” in accordance with the grievance, which incorporates dozens of supporting paperwork.

POLITICO is declining to publish the names of the Pentagon officers who’re cited within the IG grievance as a result of it’s unclear whether or not they’re being investigated.

However Elizondo informed the IG he has proof, within the type of emails, paperwork and the general public file, “which suggests a coordinated effort to obfuscate the reality from the American folks whereas impugning my popularity as a former intelligence officer on the Pentagon.”

“These destructive actions towards me have resulted in nice private {and professional} challenges to me and my household,” he provides within the grievance.

In recounting one episode within the days after he left authorities service, Elizondo claims a senior official warned him that he would “inform folks you’re loopy, and it would influence your safety clearance.”

“I responded … by telling him that he can take any motion he thinks is prudently obligatory, however that I used to be not mentally impaired, nor have I ever violated my safety oath,” Elizondo wrote within the grievance, saying he didn’t meet with the official once more “after our dialogue as I feared he would take retribution towards me.”

The IG grievance additionally fees that the Pentagon’s press operation has engaged in a disinformation marketing campaign to discredit him by suggesting he was mendacity about his UFO work.

He cites a number of public statements asserting the division had no file of his involvement in UFOs even after saying that he did work for AATIP.

“A number of web bloggers have been notified … that I had no duties concerning AATIP and that AATIP didn’t contain the examine of UAPs,” Elizondo informed the IG. “In consequence, the bloggers started to disseminate reporting, accusing me of being a fabricator.”

He stated when he inquired why the Pentagon had modified its official story about AATIP, he claims one particular person straight concerned informed him he “was not pleased with the best way this was being dealt with internally with the Division.” The official additionally stated he “was conscious I ran AATIP, however forces throughout the constructing have been telling him to not admit it,” in accordance with Elizondo.

The Pentagon public affairs workplace declined to remark for this story.

The Protection Division this month publicly acknowledged in an announcement that the AATIP program was concerned in UFO analysis, nevertheless it has not corrected the file on Elizondo’s involvement, he says.

“It goes past easy ambiguity,” Sheehan stated. “There [are] precise discordant narratives which can be occurring. They’re professing a considerable quantity of confusion.”

Elizondo maintains that the efforts to punish him for coming ahead proceed. The IG grievance outlines that his launch of the three unclassified UFO movies was investigated by the Air Power Workplace of Particular Investigations and “there have been no findings of me conducting any form of Unauthorized Disclosure.”

However he says he was contacted this April by the Protection Counterintelligence and Safety Company advising him to undergo a brand new interview to keep up his clearance regardless that it was renewed in January 2021. And he maintains he was informed it was about issues over whether or not he violated the principles when he made the UFO movies public.

“Regardless of a earlier favorable AFOSI investigation, I’m beneath accusation of releasing the movies in an unauthorized method,” he wrote within the IG grievance.

Elizondo has continued to publicly preserve that he believes the federal government is protecting up what it is aware of about UFO sightings. And Sheehan additionally claims Elizondo’s expertise throughout the Pentagon’s paperwork signifies a a lot deeper resistance to coming clear.

He stated there may be “this terribly weird course of occurring within the coronary heart of the nationwide safety state paperwork the place normal officers, secretaries of protection usually are not being briefed in on one thing that’s transparently inside their jurisdiction.”

“That could be a profound and elementary drawback that they view as being above their pay grade,” Sheehan added. “They know one thing is happening, they usually don’t dare go there.”

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