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In October of 2017, Luis Elizondo stepped out of the shadows. Whether he wanted it or not, he became an instant celebrity to UFO enthusiasts the moment he walked across a dimly lit stage. He stepped up to the microphone and began recounting his time with the Department of Defense (DOD), and how he had run a “sensitive aerospace threat identification program.” Then, at a moment which appeared to be marred by some reluctance in his voice, Elizondo told the world that while he ran that program, he learned “the phenomena,” as he called it, was “indeed real.”

The “phenomena” he refers to is that of the “unidentified aerial” kind; or more popularly referred to as simply UFOs.

He was introduced to the stage by Tom DeLonge, a rock star and entrepreneur who had recently formed To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA).  Elizondo was part of a newly developed team which aimed to, “…investigate the outer edges of science and unconventional thinking in order to push human knowledge.” Exactly what Elizondo’s role would be in this newly formed group was not immediately known, but his story intrigued the masses.

Two months after Elizondo was introduced, the NY Times and Politico simultaneously published bombshell articles that took Elizondo’s story to a whole new level of exposure. Elizondo went from a celebrity within UFO circles, to becoming the headline of an international story.

Rumors of metal alloy debris recovered from “unidentified aerial phenomena”; allegations that tens of millions of dollars on UFO research was secretly spent; and an in-depth look under the veil of secrecy which surrounded Elizondo himself were just some of the bullet points within these viral stories. It was picked up by media outlets around the world, and very quickly, the subject of UFOs was no longer a laughing matter.

To many who had researched “the phenomena,” this was the moment they had been waiting for. They believed that “disclosure” by a world government of an extraterrestrial presence was about to take place. But despite that enthusiasm by many; others were cautious and even downright conspiratorial. Ideas began floating in some circles that Elizondo was part of a CIA backed cabal aimed to misinform the masses. And DeLonge, who was already known for saying some ‘out there’ ideas on his social network platforms, was simply a pawn in a shadowy government disinformation campaign. Then, you had those in the middle. This group was optimistically cautious about the narrative, but they began to see red flags raised about some facts and motives surrounding the story – and they wanted answers.

The ideas floating around about exactly what was unfolding were not only diverse; they were incredibly divisive. Many found themselves firmly planted on one side of the debate, or the other, and battle lines within various online ‘communities’ were drawn. Emotions would run high, and friendships would be challenged, or even broken. Colleagues would head their separate ways from working with each other, and to make all matters worse; verifiable facts were scarce to help differentiate between what was right and what was wrong.

Although the Pentagon confirmed that the secretive Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) existed; controversy quickly began to brew about what the U.S. government’s position really was. Could AATIP really have been a secret UFO program? What exactly did it find? Was the entire viral story simply a misinformation campaign orchestrated by the U.S. intelligence community? Official statements did very little to answer those questions.

However, those uncertainties all paled in comparison to what would happen next. The Pentagon dropped a bombshell of their own in June of 2019 and said Elizondo had “no assigned responsibilities” on AATIP; the exact program he claimed to have ran. Although worded cryptically, the intentions were clear. Whether truthful or not, the Pentagon now aimed to hurt the credibility of one of their own. The story that the public was fed for a year and a half which caused so much excitement and confusion, was completely called into question.

This was the tipping point that took the story to the trenches of yet another deep debate. The roller coaster of official statements that brought good news, and bad, now seemed to come to a screeching halt. Elizondo’s story, along with the claims about AATIP, were being challenged by the U.S. government.

To the surprise of many, Elizondo stayed quiet as the Pentagon unleashed their assault.  While some stood strong and believed the U.S. government was involved in a character assassination campaign against Elizondo; others would start to, or continue to, have their concerns that this was all the capstone to an entirely fabricated narrative fed to the public.

However, despite the onslaught by the Pentagon continuing, Elizondo maintained his silence about the controversy. Although he still made numerous television and radio appearances, the Pentagon’s “shots across the bow” went unchallenged and unaddressed.

This only fueled the controversy and the claims of conspiracy, along with creating more questions about something that already had few answers.

Now, that silence has been broken. After enduring months of on-and-off Pentagon statements challenging his credibility, Elizondo has chosen to speak with The Black Vault one on one.

To read more, click here.
Category: Weird Desk