Luis “Lue” Elizondo has had a distinguished career in intelligence, and is a very significant researcher who was a member of leadership in the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). He served as a counterintelligence officer for the Department of Defense, operating in various regions including Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Latin America. His work involved leading tactical and strategic missions in both wartime and peace, as well as conducting sensitive source operations against significant adversaries.
Elizondo is notably recognized for his role as the director of AATIP, a secretive Pentagon unit that studied UFOs. He played a pivotal role in the program, leading scientific and intelligence investigations into UAP incursions into controlled U.S. airspace. Despite official statements that the program ended in 2012 when funding ceased, Elizondo has stated that the program continued, with him working with Navy and CIA officials until his resignation in 2017.
Elizondo resigned from his Pentagon position in 2017, motivated by his commitment to raising awareness about UAPs and the need for greater transparency. He has since been involved in advocacy and public discussions to shed more light on the subject. He joined To the Stars Academy, founded by Tom DeLonge, to continue this work and has been featured on History Channel’s “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation”.
Post-resignation, Elizondo became a public figure, participating in various media interviews and television programs. He has faced challenges, including disputes regarding his role in UFO research and allegations of a disinformation campaign against him by certain individuals in the Defense Department. His attorney, Daniel Sheehan, asserts that Elizondo’s goal is not just to clear his name but also to compel the Pentagon to be transparent about its knowledge of UFOs.
Intelligence and Counterintelligence
Elizondo’s career was marked by significant roles in the intelligence community. He conducted and supervised highly sensitive espionage and terrorism investigations globally. As an intelligence case officer, he was responsible for running clandestine source operations across various regions, including Latin America and the Middle East. This experience in the field of intelligence and national security provided him with a deep understanding of complex global issues.
Prior to his role in AATIP, Elizondo had experience dealing with aerospace threats. He described his involvement in a sensitive aerospace threat identification program focusing on unidentified aerial technologies, indicating his long-standing interest and expertise in the domain of aerial phenomena.
Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP)
Luis Elizondo’s involvement with the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) is a subject of considerable interest. The AATIP was a secret Pentagon effort initiated in 2008 to study Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), commonly known as UFOs. This program was revealed to the public in 2017, primarily through media reports in POLITICO and The New York Times.
Elizondo’s extensive experience in intelligence and his academic background played a significant role in preparing him for his eventual leadership of the AATIP, where he delved into the investigation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs). His transition from a career in intelligence to becoming a key figure in UAP research and advocacy highlights a unique trajectory, blending scientific acumen with intelligence expertise.
Senator Harry Reid confirmed that, “As one of the original sponsors of AATIP, I can state as a matter of record Lue Elizondo’s involvement and leadership role in this program.” Elizondo retired from the Pentagon in October 2017 and publicly disclosed his involvement in the program. According to Elizondo, his role in AATIP included overseeing investigations into numerous reports of UAPs, particularly those that were intruding into military airspace. He expressed frustration at the time over what he perceived as a lack of serious attention and adequate resources from senior military and defence leaders for these investigations.
One of Elizondo’s major efforts while at AATIP was advocating for the declassification and release of three Navy videos capturing UAPs. He believed that making these videos public would help in establishing an unclassified database for better understanding these phenomena. His objective was to create a “community of interest” for sharing information about UAP sightings among various agencies and even state and local officials. The Washington Headquarters Services’ declassification division approved the release of these videos for unlimited distribution within the government, recognizing that the footage did not compromise national security or reveal sensitive intelligence.
To the Stars Academy
At TTSA, Elizondo has been actively involved in leading efforts to bring credible military witnesses and government officials from around the world to the forefront, revealing new cases on UAPs. This has been part of a broader effort to destigmatize and legitimize the topic of UAPs in the mainstream media and public discourse.
Elizondo has played a crucial role in TTSA’s media outreach, particularly through the History Channel’s series “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation,” where he has been a central figure. The series, and by extension Elizondo’s involvement, has been pivotal in facilitating the release and public discussion of the Pentagon UAP videos, contributing significantly to raising awareness about UAP phenomena.
At TTSA, Elizondo serves as the Director of Government Programs & Services. His statement following the Pentagon’s official release of UAP video footage underscores his commitment to transparent government communication about UAPs and his ongoing efforts to demystify the phenomena.
Elizondo’s work, both in the government and with TTSA, has not been without skepticism and controversy. Despite doubts about his claims and role in UAP research, Elizondo has maintained his position and continued to be a prominent voice in the UFO community, actively participating in documentaries, interviews, and public discussions.
Elizondo’s approach at TTSA has been characterized by a focus on long-term goals and strategic progress. He has emphasized the importance of doing things professionally and correctly, rather than hastily, in the realm of UAP research and disclosure. This approach reflects a commitment to rigor and credibility in the field.
TTSA, co-founded by Tom DeLonge, has been described as a public benefit corporation, mobilizing a team of experienced individuals from the U.S. intelligence community. The academy aims to bring transformative science and engineering related to UAPs and other phenomena out of the shadows, collaborating globally for the benefit of humanity. Elizondo’s involvement in TTSA is a part of this larger initiative to revolutionise understanding and technology related to UAPs.
Conflicting Claims from the DoD
Due to the secretive nature of AATIP, there have been conflicting accounts regarding Elizondo’s exact role and responsibilities within the program. Harry Reid backs up that Elizondo has led the program, some Pentagon statements have disputed this, stating that he had no assigned responsibilities in AATIP during his time at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)). The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was the administering body for AATIP, and while Elizondo interacted with the DIA office managing the program, there are claims that he did not lead it.
Elizondo has accused certain senior-level Pentagon officials of engaging in a disinformation campaign against him. He filed a complaint with the Pentagon’s inspector general, alleging that these officials were discrediting him and interfering with his ability to seek employment after leaving the Department of Defense. He also claimed that these actions were part of a coordinated effort to obfuscate the truth about UAPs from the public.
Despite the controversy, Elizondo has received support from various quarters, including endorsements of his leadership in AATIP from other professionals involved in UFO research. Hal Puthoff, a former contractor with AAWSAP/AATIP and now a partner in TTSA with Elizondo, has asserted Elizondo’s leadership and responsibility in maintaining the continuity of the program.