May 3rd was an eventful day for the Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office (DoD IG) with a UAP whistleblower complaint filed, and a general UAP program inquiry begun. The whistleblower complaint was filed on behalf of Luis Elizondo, who was formerly part of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). The separate general program review is about how the Pentagon handles UAPs. (“Evaluation of the DoD’s Actions Regarding the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” Project No. D2021-DEV0SN-010016-000.) The ultimate question is about whether the Pentagon is committed to cooperate with four congressional committees who oversee defense and intelligence issues, including the activities of the UAP program. From what we know so far, we cannot express confidence that the Pentagon will be forthcoming about this vital subject.
First, a little background is needed. The Pentagon Inspector General’s Office is the watchdog for the DoD. Its mission is to “detect and deter fraud, waste, and abuse in Department of Defense programs and operations”. It helps promote “economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the DoD”. The Office is an independent voice with legal authority to investigate programs, personnel, and general operations of the Pentagon. Investigations, like the UAP inquiry, can be evaluative in nature, making recommendations to help Pentagon programs operate efficiently. In this respect, they perform a similar function to a civil grand jury’s review of local government. In cases like the Elizondo whistleblower complaint, the IG has a separate section that investigates complaints of potential Pentagon wrongdoing alleged to have caused damage to current or former service members. The DoD IG also handles investigations into potential criminal conduct by military personnel or defense contractors. The IG is the eyes and the ears of the public. Its statutory mandate is to investigate sensitive matters without political interference. The mere fact that the DoD IG is engaged in this issue is a positive. However, the filing of a whistleblower complaint raises questions about whether Pentagon officials will be truthful in the Senate/UAP inquiry.
Elizondo Whistleblower Complaint
The 64 page Elizondo whistleblower complaint alleges that Pentagon officials have denied his involvement in the AATIP program to undercut his credibility and damage him personally. (See: Ex-official who revealed UFO project accuses Pentagon of ‘disinformation’ campaign – POLITICO.) The contents of a whistleblower complaint are kept confidential to protect the parties involved while the matter is being investigated. There is a special unit that handles whistleblower complaints in the IG office. For whistleblower investigations, there is no specific timeline for completing the investigation.
The whistleblower complaint was filed by attorney Daniel Sheehan who is familiar with the inner workings of Washington D.C. The central premise of the complaint is that some Pentagon officials have waged a campaign to undercut Luis Elizondo’s involvement in recent Pentagon UAP efforts. Based on the public record, Mr. Elizondo appears to have a valid claim. In response to a Pentagon spokesperson’s statements denying Elizondo’s involvement, retired Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) confirmed Elizondo’s AATIP participation. The core fact of the whistleblower complaint, Elizondo’s participation in AATIP, has been verified by the former Senate Majority Leader who championed the program.
DoD UAP General Inquiry
The UAP-related investigation is a broader inquiry. (“Evaluation of the DoD’s Actions Regarding the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” Project No. D2021-DEV0SN-010016-000.) Assistant Inspector General Randolph R. Stone is conducting the investigation. He specializes in evaluation of space, intelligence, engineering and program-related oversight. This decorated member of the DoD IG’s office appears to have appropriate credentials to conduct this UAP oversight investigation. As an evaluative review, the IG will point out potential operational flaws in the UAP program(s) and recommend curative measures.
The Elizondo whistleblower complaint will be conducted separately from this general operational inquiry. It is highly unlikely that Assistant IG Stone will have any responsibilities as part of the investigation of the Elizondo matter. Because of the privacy rights of the personnel involved, little will be publicly revealed until completion of the investigation.
The Curious Timing of the IG’s UAP Inquiry
An interesting question is how these two UAP-related matters came to be filed on the same day, May 3rd. In an interview, legal counsel Daniel Sheehan stated that he believed that the Elizondo filing prompted the DoD IG to start the general UAP inquiry. (Ep. 1432 FADE to BLACK Jimmy Church w/ Daniel Sheehan: The UFO Attorney for the People – YouTube.) At first glance, this assertion contradicts a recent story about the general UAP/Pentagon inquiry. The story in the Debrief reports that the UAP/Pentagon general inquiry was begun because of complaints from “senate leadership” about the pace on Pentagon actions to respond to their UAP questions. (Inspector General Launching Evaluation into The Pentagon’s Actions With UFOs – The Debrief.) “Two sources familiar with the matter” claim that senate leadership pressure was the impetus for the general inquiry. From the article, it is uncertain how these anonymous sources learned this information. The story does not address what vantage point they gained this knowledge. Were the article’s sources located in the Pentagon or the Senate? The answer to this question could speak to how they learned about the IG’s motivation to start the UAP inquiry. It could also have a bearing on how much the sources knew the whole story. Yet, even if “senate leadership” was the initial impetus for the general investigation, the whistleblower claim could have given the DoD IG another reason to speed up launching the DoD’s UAP inquiry. Serious enough impetus to start the general inquiry on the same day, May 3rd.
Considering the circumstances, the timing of the IG UAP inquiry is puzzling. It was begun too late to be of any help to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) who should be close to finalizing their response to the Senate Intel Committee’s UAP inquiry, due June 25th. The IG’s effort appears to be duplicative. The IG’s UAP inquiry will cover the same ground as the response to the Senate Intel request. If the purpose of the general IG inquiry were to help respond to the Senate inquiry, it should have begun months earlier.
A separate question is whether the IG UAP inquiry could be quickly started on the same day as the whistleblower inquiry. On its face, it appears that the start of the UAP inquiry did not need much preparation time. The Debrief article has a copy of the Office of the Inspector General’s initial notice of the UAP inquiry. It reads like a standard “fill in the blanks” form letter, including using a pre-established sequential numbering system to keep track of the inquiry. This would make it easy to begin the process, even on the same day it was authorized. The letter triggers a five day period for affected DoD divisions to appoint a liaison for the inquiry. Until the contact personnel are in place, no actions would be necessary by the DoD’s IG office. In other words, not much effort is required to start the process. Logistically, the IG’s UAP inquiry could easily have been started on the same day as the whistleblower complaint.
What are the Implications?
The mere fact that Mr. Elizondo’s whistleblower’s complaint has some merit, on its face, calls into question the veracity of some Pentagon personnel. This concern does not bode well for those who want forthright answers to the questions raised last year by the Senate Intel Committee. If an easily verifiable fact has been misrepresented, can we trust the answers contained in any future report issued by the Pentagon?
The fact that Elizondo felt it necessary to file a whistleblower complaint alleging intentional disparagement does not bode well for those who want transparency in government operations. Whether or not the contents of the Report from the DNI and the SecDef to four congressional committees will be censored by Pentagon insiders, there will always be suspicion about its contents as long as the whistleblower complaint is not satisfactorily resolved. Lying about a simple, verifiable fact casts doubt on the veracity on any future report about the military’s UAP program. The consequences are important to the public and to service personnel who depend on the chain of command to keep them out of harm’s way.
The main premise of the Senate Intel Committee’s interest in UAPs was based on concern that they may be threat. If they are a threat, Congress needs accurate information so that they can provide appropriate support to deal with the threat. If UAPs are not a threat, lack of Pentagon candor will increase the risk that any legislative response will be based on a false threat narrative. Congress may end up budgeting funds for the wrong reasons. Taxpayers could end up footing the bill for unnecessary programs. Any inquiry into government operations should be based on objective facts. It is no different for an inquiry into the source of UAPs and their ultimate intentions. Legislative oversight cannot be based on a false narrative. The filing of a whistleblower complaint that has merit is a red flag raising questions about the motives of persons entrusted with our safety. In a democracy, legislators must be able to rely on information they use to set public policy. Lack of candor could obscure the source of UAPs and their intentions. Perhaps to our detriment. Hopefully, the whistleblower complaint will lead to more candor from the DoD and intelligence community than has been shown so far. Public confidence in the ultimate outcome of the Senate inquiry is depending upon it.
 The Pentagon term “Unidentified Aerial (sometimes Anomalous) Phenomenon replaces the 1952 term “Unidentified Flying Object”, which replaced the 1947 term “Flying Saucer.”