The language reads, in part, as follows:
The Committee supports the efforts of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force at the Office of Naval Intelligence to standardize collection and reporting on unidentified aerial phenomenon, any links they have to adversarial foreign governments, and the threat they pose to U.S. military assets and installations. However, the Committee remains concerned that there is no unified, comprehensive process within the Federal Government for collecting and analyzing intelligence on unidentified aerial phenomena, despite the potential threat. The Committee understands that the relevant intelligence may be sensitive; nevertheless, the Committee finds that the information sharing and coordination across the Intelligence Community has been inconsistent, and this issue has lacked attention from senior leaders.
It goes on to direct that the resulting report must include the FBI’s analysis of UFO data, which surprises me since they haven’t been in the UFO business in decades (and deny having any current involvement), and it asks for the creation of an “individual” who would coordinate UFO analysis and reporting across the whole government—a UFO czar! It’s rather strange even by current government standards and seems tailor-made to further TTSA’s publicity agenda. It ends by suggesting that UFOs are enemy vehicles from a foreign adversary.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is chaired by Marco Rubio (R-FL), but the Committee’s vice-chair is Mark Warner (D-VA), the senator who previously went cuckoo for TTSA after reading about Unidentified in the New York Times. He demanded a Pentagon briefing on UFOs following the publicity surrounding the launch of Unidentified last year. I’m suspicious that Warner is the one who inserted the language.
This isn’t necessarily a conspiracy. TTSA does a good job of seeding the media with stories connecting UFOs to government research, and their efforts helped prompt the Navy to release rules for reporting UFOs earlier this year. TTSA, especially Christopher Mellon, has lobbied Congress on UFO issues for a while now. Adam Kehoe echoed my thoughts, writing that Mellon, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and former Senate Intelligence Committee staff director, is almost certainly the lobbyist responsible for the inclusion of this language. No surprise that Mellon has been tweeting more than usual about related issues in recent weeks. Mellon is also a cast member on Unidentified.
In fact, Tom DeLonge tweeted Wednesday afternoon that my guess, which I made on Twitter Wednesday morning, was in fact correct, and TTSA was behind the unusual appropriations paragraphs:
If DeLonge is to be believed, TTSA wrote some of the language used in the bill—which only makes sense, given how weird it is.
I reached out to Sen. Warner for comment. Warner’s office declined to answer any questions about the senator’s involvement with adding the UAV language to the appropriations bill, or about any connections with or lobbying from To the Stars Academy, directing all inquiries to Sen. Rubio’s office.
Rubio’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Isn’t it lovely that the Senate will take advice from History Channel hucksters but don’t want to talk about it?
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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