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The startling revelations have been revealed in a new Military.com article based on interviews with a number of former officials involved in the Pentagon investigation into UFO sightings.
An Oregon man said his health deteriorated after a glowing blue ball passed through his body. A family in California reported strange lights and a thin-legged gray figure in their garden. A werewolf-like creature allegedly prowled around houses in suburban Virginia. All three incidents were investigated by the Pentagon’s secret UFO investigation program.
According to the people who led it, for two years a connection was established between flying objects and paranormal phenomena. This was the start of a multi-year effort by UFO researchers that eventually led Congress to pass legislation in December 2021 directing the Pentagon to spend the next four years investigating unidentified flying objects.
Retired Defense Intelligence Agency officer James Lacatski admitted in an interview that the military began to take UFO claims more seriously after fears arose that aliens could pose a threat to national security.
“You know what was on the internet at the time, it just sounded like advanced technology to me,” Lacatski said. “I said, ‘I’m interested. We need to do something about this if it’s true.’ And I spoke to my management, and it started from there,” he said.
Lacatski’s later work brought to light the case of Navy pilots with the USS Nimitz strike team who saw a mysterious flying object in the shape of a “Tick-Tock” during an exercise in the Pacific.
This incident and eyewitness testimony became key evidence after a 2017 leak that former Pentagon and CIA officials used to push the government to take UFOs seriously. For the UFO program, Lacatski would work closely with Colm Kelleher, a contractor who ran its daily operations.
Kelleher was trained in Ireland as a biochemist and cancer researcher and speaks with the remnants of an Irish lilt. He had spent years working for Robert Bigelow, a wealthy Las Vegas real estate mogul and aerospace company owner with a deep interest in UFOs and the afterlife.
Both of them spoke in an interview with Military.com about three military personnel whose identities were hidden by researchers and the Department of Defense.
After the Nimitz investigation, the sailor and two Marines were sent to a Utah property known as Skinwalker Ranch.
Skinwalker sits on just over 500 acres of steppe land near the town of Ballard in northeastern Utah. It has long been an alleged epicenter of strange happenings, dating back to tales from the Native American Ute tribe and Navajo people, who believe in malevolent witches called skinwalkers who can transform into animal-like creatures.
They allegedly witnessed a black void on the earth, which filled them with fear. Lacatski and Kelleher claim the men experienced paranormal activity after leaving the ranch and returning to homes in the Washington, D.C., area, such as orbs, dark figures in bedrooms at night, and strange noises.
In turn, Lue Elizondo, a veteran of the army and a former counterintelligence special agent who was also involved in the investigation, always carefully weighs his words.
In 2008, Lacatski met with Elizondo in an office in Rosslyn, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The DIA analyst had identified Elizondo as a potential recruit into the DIA program.
“He looked at me very seriously and he said, ‘So, what do you think about UFOs?'” Elizondo said in an interview with Military.com. “I told the truth. I said I don’t think about it. He said, ‘What do you mean, you don’t believe in them?’ I said, ‘I didn’t say that. What I said is I don’t think about them.'”
Elizondo didn’t end up joining with Lacatski. But he did go on to run the Pentagon’s smaller in-house UFO program created when the DIA program ended.
Elizondo worked to get infrared cockpit videos of the Navy encounters cleared for public release. Then, he quit the Pentagon in protest and emerged in public as a whistleblower in 2017. The three videos were leaked to Chris Mellon, a former deputy secretary of defense for intelligence, in the Pentagon parking lot.
The New York Times broke the story that the Pentagon had a UFO program in December 2017, with Elizondo and Mellon as key sources.
Elizondo and Mellon were original members, along with Hal Puthoff, a physicist who worked on the DIA and CIA psychic remote viewing programs of the 1970s and 1980s.
“We all knew that this did not belong to the military, that this phenomenon and these UAPs are appearing everywhere,” said Semivan, who also did consulting work for Elizondo when he headed the Pentagon AATIP program. “They’re appearing over military sites, nuclear sites, over carrier task force groups and things along this line, but they’re also appearing all over the United States and all over the world in general.”
“If something’s been here for a long period of time, and it really is showing up in people’s bedrooms, or in front of an F-18, or on a petroglyph wall, or in an ancient text down in the archive of the Vatican, or whatever it might be, it’s obviously doing something and it’s obviously having an influence,” DeLonge said in a YouTube video posted in December.
The research by Lacatski and Kelleher would remain largely out of public sight through much of the UFO debate in Washington. The outstanding questions about UFO sightings were nonetheless convincing to those on the Hill.
“There are too many things that are unexplained that we just need an explanation for,” said Emily Harding, the deputy director and senior fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank.