This morning Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean published a story in the Debrief reporting on claims made by a former liaison to the UAP Task Force alleging knowledge of a secret UFO crash retrieval program and the recovery of complete space alien vehicles. The report, however, raised several important questions about the quality of UFO information circulating in the Pentagon and of the information being provided to the United States Congress by advocates for UFO “disclosure.”
David Charles Grusch, 36, formerly the National Reconnaissance Office’s liaison to the now-defunct UAP Task Force, and the lead UAP analyst for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, filed a complaint with the Pentagon Inspector General’s Office claiming the Defense Department retaliated against him after he attempted to expose the existence of eight decades (!) of UFO crash retrieval programs and a vast global reverse-engineering program.
According to UFO researcher Joe Murgia, Grusch began peddling his UFO story when he attempted to convince Skinwalker Ranch aficionados and dubious UFO weaponizers George Knapp and Jeremy Corbell to help him take it public on their podcast while he was still employed by the government. The two declined, though not before taking him to a Star Trek convention to meet with ufologists, so he turned to the credulous team of reporters connected to his friend, Lue Elizondo.
Grusch made an astonishing claim, for which he provided no evidence:
Grusch said the recoveries of partial fragments through and up to intact vehicles have been made for decades through the present day by the government, its allies, and defense contractors. Analysis has determined that the objects retrieved are “of exotic origin (non-human intelligence, whether extraterrestrial or unknown origin) based on the vehicle morphologies and material science testing and the possession of unique atomic arrangements and radiological signatures,” he said.
The claim Grusch offers is substantively the same as the claim offered by Erik W. Davis (who also teased Grusch’s claims last week on Facebook), for which there is no evidence, and the analysis Grusch describes is substantively the same as the faulty testing of alleged “metamaterials” by Robert Bigelow’s Skinwalker spook crew and To the Stars Academy of Science (i.e. “defense contractors”). It is quite possible that Grusch is simply describing those previous efforts secondhand. Is this merely a description of Hal Puthoff’s various brainchildren all over again?
Kean and Blumenthal described the evidence in an unclear way (probably on purpose), making it difficult to determine exactly what Grusch claims is the supporting information for his assertions. While Kean and Blumenthal imply the existence of documents and wreckage, Grusch states that he never saw any wreckage, and the “documents” provided to Congress were, according to Kean and Blumenthal, only a transcript of Grusch’s own oral testimony—not actual paper evidence of a secret eight-decade program.
Grusch’s “investigation” involved talking with unnamed intelligence officials. “Grusch’s investigation was centered on extensive interviews with high-level intelligence officials, some of whom are directly involved with the program,” Blumenthal and Kean write. Via Twitter, Tim McMillan, who oversaw the article for The Debrief told me that Grusch provided the General Counsel for the House and Senate Intelligence Committee with unspecified documents. Ross Coulthart, the UFO journalist, has a clearer description, albeit again without evidence: “Dave [Grusch] is not a direct witness. He has not touched a flying saucer, or been inside the program. But he’s done the next best thing. What he’s done is he’s found the documents, the photographs, and the people who do, and they have given their evidence under oath.” Of course, no one has a photograph or a document to show.
Grusch claims that rather than blow the whistle themselves or provide physical or documentary evidence of the program, these intelligence operatives simply told him about illegal wrongdoing—hiding the program from Congress—so he would do something about it. Uh-huh.
Kean and Blumenthal add that the Pentagon approved Grusch’s claims for publication. That means that they determined that his assertions did not contain any classified information. Take from that the obvious conclusion. What kind of secret program to collect space alien tech and reverse engineer it wouldn’t be classified? Grusch quit his government job in April to devote himself full-time to UFO disclosure, according to Blumenthal and Kean. Take from that the obvious conclusion, too.
The article includes support for Grusch’s claims from two other sources, one a retired colonel, Karl Nell, who also worked on the UAP Task Force and claims non-human craft are in government possession, and the pseudonymous Jonathan Grey, a UFO analyst at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. Grey made an astonishing statement:
“The existence of complex historical programs involving the coordinated retrieval and study of exotic materials, dating back to the early 20th century, should no longer remain a secret,” he said. “The majority of retrieved, foreign exotic materials have a prosaic terrestrial explanation and origin – but not all, and any number higher than zero in this category represents an undeniably significant statistical percentage.”
We know from hints in decades of declassified documents that various intelligence agencies have recovered an examined material that fell from the sky, seeking out Soviet satellites and spy planes, for example, and recovering meteors and unusual rocks along the way. (In 1965, for example, the CIA recovered and analyzed an exploded metallic object that flew across the Congo, explicitly labeled a UFO.) That much isn’t surprising. That Grey would use the fact—the expected fact—that some materials aren’t immediately identifiable as support for space aliens is an astonishing failure of critical thinking. In earlier decades, going back to 1947, when unidentified materials raised suspicion of space aliens, it often turned out to be industrial waste and slag, whose composition appeared unusual because it was unintended and largely unstudied.
All of this should give us some pause when we learn that Grusch not only gave (recorded) testimony to Congress (legally, he can’t speak to them live while an IG complaint is pending) about secondhand knowledge of space alien crash retrievals but was invited to help write the UFO section of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act—the same NDAA that incorporated apparent references to Jacques Vallée’s false assertions about the “retrieval” of a UFO in the 1945 Trinity incident, almost certainly a hoax. This seems less than ideal.
Blumenthal’s and Kean’s story did not run in the New York Times, their usual outlet, likely because it contains no documentary evidence to prove its main claim. Both authors posted to Twitter that they were under “growing pressure” to publish fast and their preferred outlet, the Washington Post, was taking too long to edit the story. They did not explain from whom they faced pressure. The piece ran just hours after Chris Mellon published an op-ed in Politico Magazine calling for disclosure of crash retrieval programs. Mellon, who previously and famously claimed to have had no knowledge of any such program while serving in government, facilitated the alleged whistleblower’s testimony to Congress and almost certainly coordinated his op-ed with Blumenthal and Kean, his UFO advocacy colleagues, for maximum propaganda value, and to drive interest in the relatively obscure Debrief. Mellon also previously claimed that Vallée’s Trinity claims—again, based on a hoax—were strong evidence for a secret crash retrieval program, saying it provided “fresh reason to believe that our government is concealing physical proof of alien technology.”
Mellon, however, admitted to Kean and Blumenthal that the witnesses he sent to Congress did not provide him with physical evidence. He claims they described the program’s “governing documents” to him—in theory, a violation of national security, as they would be classified—but did not provide them.
There is a certain prima facie ridiculousness to Grusch’s claim that many world governments have been collecting crashed spaceships for almost eighty years and secretly studying them in a global “arms race” to make use of E.T. tech, all while keeping absolute secrecy—even with the agreement of enemies at war. Aliens crash that often? And never anywhere where the news media or even ordinary citizens might get to them before some shadowy intelligence agency?
I think Grey probably came closer to the truth in discussing the existence across government of various efforts to collect and study things that fall from the sky. We know that since 1947, a small group of military personnel have been convinced that anything anomalous must be alien. The original group, within Project Sign, came to that conclusion because they could not stomach the alternative—that heroic all-American pilots could be mistaken about what they see in the sky. Since the 1970s, a small group embedded within the intelligence community has hunted paranormal and extraterrestrial mysteries thanks to Hal Puthoff, Jacques Vallée, and other gurus with undue influence. In the 1950s, military officials already complained that pulp magazines and comic books had influenced younger service members to believe in aliens. Today, that assumption of aliens is shared by military personnel of all ages thanks to the saturation of X-Files-style narratives in pop culture, making it very easy for individuals working on compartmentalized jobs in programs whose purpose that they may not fully understand to convince themselves of space aliens.
My guess is that what we are getting through Grusch and the other so-called whistleblowers is a somewhat distorted and exaggerated account of what the true believers inside the government imagine themselves doing when they collect industrial waste, slag, meteors, and other detritus and work on cutting-edge technologies.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.