Estimate of the Situation

The UFO Report from U.S. Intelligence May Blow Minds

U.S. intelligence agencies are at the crossroads — they will soon formally acknowledge UFO/UAP reality or they will commit to a new generation of deception.

Bryce Zabel
Mar 21 · 11 min read
The Director of National Intelligence has until June 25, 2021 to produce an unclassified report on UAP for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

There are cracks breaking wider day by day in the once monolithic denial of UFO/UAP reality by the U.S. intelligence community. The latest came on March 20 from John Ratcliffe, who served as Director of National Intelligence under Donald Trump from May 2020 to January 2021. That position is, effectively, the top dog for the entire U.S. intelligence community.

Ratcliffe told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo that he’d wanted to get a great deal of UAP material out to the public before the clock ran out on the Trump Administration but simply couldn’t get it organized and declassified in time.

Having fallen short of his goals while on-the-job, former DNI John Ratcliffe waded right into the subject, on-the-air and on-the-record. His words are truly shocking on a subject that has been shaded in secrecy for the most of its history.

“There are a lot more sightings than have been made public. Some of those have been declassified. And when we talk about sightings, we are talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain. Movements that are hard to replicate that we don’t have the technology for. Or traveling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom.

John Ratcliffe talks about UAP on Fox News

In short, things that we are observing that are difficult to explain. There’s actually quite a few of those. Sometimes we wonder whether or not our adversaries have technologies that are a little bit further down the road than we thought or than we realized. But there are instances where we don’t have good explanations for some of the things that we have seen. When we talk about sightings, it’s not just a pilot or just a satellite, or some intelligence collection. Usually we have multiple sensors that are picking up these things.”

John Ratcliffe was a three-term Texas congressman when he got the job and was widely considered a strong Trump partisan and lightly qualified for the job. Even so, the man was experienced enough to know that making this kind of statement to the media (or at least Fox News) would be newsworthy, particularly in the context of the times we are living in.

U.S. intelligence agencies are at the crossroads — they will acknowledge UAP formally or they will commit to a new generation of deception.

Remember that in mid-2020, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence called for the Director of National Intelligence to put together a report on UAP activity within 180 days of the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act. The IAA was just a part part of the Omni Bill passed by both houses of Congress and signed by then President Trump in December 2020 to get the Covid relief funding out there.

The bottom line is that Trump’s signature caused the Act to be enacted. That set the clock ticking and quick calendar consult set June 25 as the drop dead date for turning in the homework. Buried inside that massive bill filled with dry legislative language was this:

“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 US military assets and installations.The Committee directs the DNI, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of such other agencies as the Director and Secretary jointly consider relevant, to submit a report within 180 days of the date of enactment of the Act, to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees on unidentified aerial phenomena…

When this language was first released, part of its shock value was also that it flat out says there is an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force (UAPTF) operating within the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) is now chaired by Senator Mark Warner, replacing acting chair Senator Marco Rubio. Both men have taken questions on the UAP subject and been clear that they think answers are due. First, Warner:

“The military and others are taking this issue seriously which I think in previous generations may not have been the case.”

Politico quotes a “senior member of the Intelligence Committee” on the issue. That’s not definitive that it’s Warner, but there’s a good chance.

“I would take it one step at a time. I’m not saying that’s what it’s all about… I don’t know the answer to what it is… And we need to find out if we can.”

Then last July, after the SSCI produced its version of the IAA, Senator Marc Rubio got a great deal more specific in a TV interview:

“We have things flying around military bases and places where we’re conducting military exercises, and we don’t know what it is and it isn’t ours. So that’s a legitimate question to ask and I’d say frankly if it’s something outside this planet it would actually be better than the fact that we’ve seen some technology leap on behalf of the Russians, the Chinese or some other adversary that allows them to conduct this sort of activity. The bottom line is, if there are things flying over military bases and you don’t know what they are, they’re not yours, and they exhibit potential technologies you don’t have at your disposal, that to me is a national security risk and one we should be looking into.”

Let’s also remember that one of the committee members who voted “aye” to demand the UAP report was none other than Senator (now Vice President) Kamala Harris. Unlike the committee chairs, Harris has not spoken publicly on this topic and was not even asked about it during the 2020 campaign.

Many other big names, however, have spoken publicly on this subject and recently. Former Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid has been incredibly outspoken. We’ve also heard from President Obama’s former Chief of Staff John Podesta, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, plus the gang of government insiders who did a turn with the To The Stars Academy like Christopher Mellon, Luis Elizondo and Steve Justice.

What many of these people have in common is that they didn’t talk about UAP while on-the-job but do seem ready and willing to opine once they’re out of office. Falling into that category and carrying a resume far more burnished than that of John Ratcliffe is former CIA director John Brennan, who served under Obama for four years.

Brennan was on-the-job when those Pentagon UFO videos surfaced publicly in a New York Times investigative report back in 2017. He recently spoke publicly in an interview conducted for a podcast produced by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

“I’ve seen some of those videos from Navy pilots, and I must tell you that they are quite eyebrow-raising when you look at them. It’s vital for professional analysts to not go into this particular type of challenge by rejecting types of possibilities or believing in advance that it is certainly either X, Y, or Z. You try to ensure that you have as much data as possible in terms of visuals and also different types of maybe technical collection of sensors that you have at the time. Were there some things that were happening on the ground, or other types of phenomena that could help explain what seems to be quite a mystery as far as what is there?

John Brennan talks about UAP with George Mason University

Life is defined in many different ways. I think it’s a bit presumptuous and arrogant for us to believe that there’s no other form of life anywhere in the entire universe. When people talk about it, is there other life besides what’s in the States, in the world, the globe? What that might be is subject to a lot of different views. But I think some of the phenomena we’re going to be seeing continues to be unexplained and might, in fact, be some type of phenomenon that is the result of something that we don’t yet understand and that could involve some type of activity that some might say constitutes a different form of life.”

So where does this leave us? It’s not as if retired insiders haven’t spoken out before. One of the most famous is a man that Brennan knows a great deal about, Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the first Director of the CIA, between 1947 and 1950. After a decade out of service, he wrote a letter to congress and it was a stunner:

“It is time for the truth to be brought out. Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense. I urge immediate congressional action...”

So, to review, both the first CIA director and Obama’s CIA director have said that UFOs are not nonsense. If the head of the CIA is not in a position to know something on the topic, then who is?

Who’s Putting the Report Together?

We started with Trump’s DNI John Ratcliffe but the person who has to finish up the report is the new DNI, Avril Haines. Given her mandate, she must have more than a few people working on this report which, as of this writing, will be due in just over three months. Politico recently talked to her spokesperson who says that “we are aware of the requirement and will respond accordingly.”

Avril Haines was a former Obama administration national security legal counsel and deputy adviser. Importantly, she also is the first woman to oversee the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Haines has worked with Biden going back to her tenure as deputy chief counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2007–2008 while he was its chairman. She worked at the White House starting in 2010 as a legal adviser to the national security adviser. In 2013, she became deputy director for the CIA and two years later she returned to the White House as principal deputy national security adviser — the first time a woman held either of those roles.

Let’s just say this. Avril Haines must already know a good deal about UAP although she has not spoken publicly either, nor was she asked about it during her confirmation hearings. She also must know that her boss and his #2 have some deep knowledge themselves, given their work at the highest levels of the government.

So, she will have to reach out as instructed to Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to see what his thoughts are on handling this tricky issue and what he himself may already know. Then there is going to be (or has already been) a four-way discussion at minimum that will include Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Lloyd Austin and Avril Haines. Two of the people in that conversation will be tough, competent, intelligent women. That’s a first.

Worth stating again, none of these people — Biden, Harris, Austin or Haines — has spoken out publicly on the UAP topic. They have the cards now and they are playing them close to the vest.

What Should We Expect from the Report?

It might reasonably be assumed that the newly retired insiders like Ratcliffe and Brennan and the others who have been speaking out are doing their best from the outside to encourage those on the inside today to be as forthcoming as possible.

While some expectations are warranted, Politico says it’s “hearing rumblings that scant resources have been dedicated to the effort.” Further, they state that they hear it has a good chance of being delayed. That would be unfortunate, and the DNI should endeavor not to let that happen.

What will Biden, Harris, Austin and Haines ultimately decide to do with this demand for information from the United States Senate, a demand that, in a time of extreme partisanship, was issued in a bipartisan unanimous fashion?

  • A Limited, Modified Hangout. Are they going to try to dodge the issue, to muddy the waters, to put the good stuff in the classified addendum and to generally slow the roll on the disclosure of UAP reality? Will it be another whitewash like the one put out by the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book before they called it quits in 1969?
  • An Unambiguous Confirmation of UAP. Or will it be something different? Something that could start the process in earnest and change history? Could this report and its deadline be seen as a chance to make a big leap forward, to start the discussion by admitting that UAP is real?

At the beginning of this article, my observation was that the DNI report that is due by June 25 will blow some minds. Let me clarify that.

It will be difficult, given the number of high level sources in the Senate itself and in the intel community who have confirmed UAP reality, to issue a report that says, “nothing to see here.” That would put such a report in direct contradiction to what members of the Senate committee already know and what former intelligence officers have already said publicly. That is not going to work.

The report is more likely to put more meat on the bones of what’s already been said. There are things flying out in the skies of Earth that violate physics as we know it, we don’t make them, we don’t think Russia or China make them, and we don’t know where they come from. The report is not at all likely to go into the vast history of the phenomenon. No mention of any of those classic cases going back to the end of World War II. Just a focus on the present as if the history never happened (or never didn’t happen as the U.S. always implied).

Many of you reading this already know that there is a deep reality to the UFO/UAP issue. Your minds have been turned on to this issue for many years in most cases. You may not be shocked.

Your friends and family, however, have managed for their entire lives to pretend this issue does not exist. When they see an unclassified government report that says UFO/UAP reality is a real issue, we can safely say that some minds will, indeed, be blown by that state of affairs, particularly when the message is amplified across virtually all media platforms.

A process was started in December of 2017 when the New York Times wrote that first story and publicized the Nimitz and other cases. In the three and a half years since, there has been a slow, steady arc that solidifies the argument.

This is the other shoe, the government admission. It will drop sometime soon.

People get ready.

Trail of the Saucers

Remixing UFO/UAP News, Culture, Analysis, History & Opinion

Bryce Zabel

Written by

Writer/producer in features & TV. Creator, five primetime series. Ex: TV Academy CEO; CNN reporter; USC professor. Author: Beatles, JFK what-ifs. UFO analyst.

Trail of the Saucers

Remixing UFO/UAP News, Culture, Analysis, History & Opinion from an Expanding Collective of Writers

Bryce Zabel

Written by

Writer/producer in features & TV. Creator, five primetime series. Ex: TV Academy CEO; CNN reporter; USC professor. Author: Beatles, JFK what-ifs. UFO analyst.

Trail of the Saucers

Remixing UFO/UAP News, Culture, Analysis, History & Opinion from an Expanding Collective of Writers

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