October 9 2022
The Defense and Intelligence Communities’ spending bills in Congress await final approval with a final vote and Presidential signature. For the past couple of years, it appears that executive branch functions have attempted to keep official attention and activity limited in addressing the increase in UAP encounters with military personnel and operations. This apparent attempt to apply some brakes has been countered, though, by voices in the House and Senate seeking a more robust and transparent effort to get to the bottom of what has been a big mystery overtly pondered by us for nearly 8 decades now. One aspect of further changes to executive branch approaches now being legislated promises to be a significant game changer enhancing the position of those inside and outside government seeking disclosure. Here is the relevant text, first describing a requirement to identify and report out existing non disclosure agreements:
(1) Identification of nondisclosure agreements.--The Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the heads of such other departments and agencies of the Federal Government that have supported investigations of the types of events covered by subparagraph (A) of subsection (b)(1) and activities and programs described in subparagraph (B) of such subsection, and contractors of the Federal Government supporting such activities and programs shall conduct comprehensive searches of all records relating to nondisclosure orders or agreements or other obligations relating to the types of events described"
Since the pending legislation has strong measures for all UFO info to be collected and shared in a single repository, a significant barrier for many reporting very secret info is removed:
(1) Protection from liability.--It shall not be a violation of any law, and no cause of action shall lie or be maintained in any court or other tribunal against any person, for reporting any information through, and in compliance with, the system established pursuant to subsection (b)(1). (2) Prohibition on reprisals.--An employee of a Federal agency and an employee of a contractor for the Federal Government who has authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action, shall not, with respect to such authority, take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, a personnel action, including the revocation or suspension of security clearances, with respect to any individual as a reprisal for any reporting as described in paragraph (1).
Recent reporting by a Stanford biologist, Garry Nolan while being interviewed on Fox News regarding briefings he imparted to members of Congress, indicate that there are people now in sensitive UFO programs (special access programs shielded from elected officials) ready to come forth and “report” what they know, given the new protections mentioned above.
The Secretary of Defense (SD) in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) are tasked to create an office either within the Department of Defense (DOD) or within a joint organization of the DOD and DNI. The deadline for that is 120 days after passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023.
This UFO related office will be an expanded version of what the Defense Department first initiated at the end of 2021 (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force). Key members of the Senate and the House advocated for greater focusing and transparency and drafted legislation for FY 2022 that expanded upon what Pentagon figures had renamed as the “Airborne Object Identification and Management Group”. On July 15 2022 the Defense Department began moving on the new legislated requirements and renamed the UFO office the “All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office”. Dr. Sean M. Kirkpatrick, who had been serving as chief scientist for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missle and Space Intelligence Center, was appointed as Director (and still is as of the date of this paper).
Legislation for FY 2023 further modifies and expands with the UFO office now to be renamed the “Unidentified Aerospace-Undersea Phenomena Joint Program”. The Office of the Defense Secretary appoints the Director and the DNI appoints the deputy Director (who reports back on administrative matters and the Director reports back on operational matters).
The duties of this office are itemized:
- Develop procedures “to synchronize and standardize the collection, reporting, and analysis of incidents, including adverse physiological effects, regarding unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena across the DOD and Intelligence Community (IC) in consultation with the DNI, and submitting a report on such procedures to congressional defense committees, intelligence committee and leadership”.
- “Developing processes and procedures to ensure that such incidents from each component of the Department and each element of the intelligence community are reported and incorporated in a central repository.”
- “Establishing procedures to require the timely and consistent reporting of such incidents.”
- Evaluate potential links between phenomena and foreign governments and non state actors.
- Evaluate for potential threats.
- Coordinate with other departments and agencies as appropriate: FAA; NASA; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); National Science Foundation; Department of Energy
- Coordinate with allies to figure out nature and extent of the phenomena.
- Preparing reports for Congress in both classified and unclassified form.
- Whenever some incident is determined to be “man-made”, report that to all appropriate elements of the IC.
Also, the Secretary of Defense and the DNI are tasked with designating “one or more line organizations within the DOD and IC that possess appropriate expertise, authorities, accesses, data, systems, platforms, and capabilities to rapidly respond to and conduct field investigation of incidents”. The Secretary and DNI are responsible for assuring there are enough resources and adequate response capacity.
The Secretary of Defense and DNI are also to choose “one or more line organizations that will be primarily responsible for scientific, technical, and operational analysis of data gathered by field investigations and other sources (including testing of materials, medical studies, and development of theoretical models), to better understand and explain unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena”. Each line organization tasked with this shall have “authority to draw on the special expertise of persons outside the federal government with appropriate security clearances”.
The requirements next identified is an area where there may be continued resistance from some “elements”. All elements of the IC, and “military and civilian personnel of the DOD or an element of the IC, and contractor personnel of the department or such an element, have access to procedures by which personnel shall report incidents or information, including adverse physiological effects, involving or associated with unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena directly to the office”.
They are also tasked to carry out “an intelligence collection and analysis plan to gain as much knowledge as possible regarding the technical and operational characteristics, origins, and intention of unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena”. They are also to take up resources and capabilities “to detect, identify, and scientifically characterize unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena”.
The task of gathering geospatial intelligence related to UFO incidents is given to the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Here is an “advanced definition” by wikipedia of “geospatial intelligence”:
“GEOINT encompasses all aspects of imagery (including capabilities formerly referred to as Advanced Geospatial Intelligence and imagery-derived Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) and geospatial information and services (GIS); formerly referred to as mapping, charting, and geodesy). It includes, but is not limited to, data ranging from the ultraviolet through the microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as information derived from the analysis of literal imagery; geospatial data; georeferenced social media; and information technically derived from the processing, exploitation, literal, and non-literal analysis of spectral, spatial, temporal, radiometric, phase history, polarimetric data, fused products (products created out of two or more data sources), and the ancillary data needed for data processing and exploitation, and signature information (to include development, validation, simulation, data archival, and dissemination). These types of data can be collected on stationary and moving targets by electro-optical (to include IR, MWIR, SWIR TIR, Spectral, MSI, HSI, HD), SAR (to include MTI), related sensor programs (both active and passive) and non-technical means (to include geospatial information acquired by personnel in the field).”
The Director of the Unidentified Aerospace-Undersea Phenomena Joint Program (currently, as of October 2022, Dr. Sean M Kirkpatrick) is required to brief Congressional defense and intelligence committees as well as Congressional leaders, first 90 days after passage of the bills for FY 2023 and then every 90 days thereafter.
The Director also must develop a “science plan to develop and test, as practicable, scientific theories to account for the characteristics and performance of unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena that exceed the known state of the art in science or technology, including the areas of propulsion, aerodynamic control, signatures, structures, materials, sensors, countermeasures, weapons, electronics and power generation…”. Also, Congress wants the program to create the basis for recreating all the observed advanced technology and capabilities.
The legislation tasks the DNI, consulting with the Secretary of Defense, with assigning “an appropriate level of priority within the National Intelligence Priorities Framework to the requirement to understand, characterize, and respond to unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena”.
Then there is a requirement that 180 days after the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2023 is enacted, the program Director with the DNI and SOD “shall jointly establish a core group within the Office that shall include, at a minimum, representatives with all relevant and appropriate security clearances from the following: CIA; NSA; Department of Energy; National Reconnaissance Office; Air Force; Space Force; National Geospatial Agency; Department of Homeland Security.
The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), currently Avril Haines, will be required (in consultation with the SOD) to submit reports on unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena to the appropriate Congressional committees first 180 days after the law is enacted and then annually after that for the next four years.
The reports are expected to include:
~~All reported events for that year.
~~Events from other times but not included in earlier reports.
~~Analysis of the data obtained via geospatial, signals, human, measurements and signature intelligence sources and methods.
~~Number of reported incidents over restricted USA airspace for that year.
~~Identification of potential threats to national security.
~~An assessment of whether incident can be attributed to a foreign adversary.
~~An assessment of others having achieved ‘breaktheough aerospace capacity”.
~~Update on efforts with allies and partners to “track, understand, and address unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena”.
~~Update on efforts to capture or exploit discovered unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena”.
~~An assessment of any health related effects experienced by those who have encountered a UAP.
~~The number of reported incidents, and descriptions of them, associated with “military nuclear assets, including strategic nuclear weapons and nuclear-piwered ships and submarines”.
~~Also, the number of incidents related to the “facilities or assets associated with the production, transportation, or storage of nuclear weapons or components”.
~~Consulting with the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, report on the number of incidents associated with nuclear power generating stations, nuclear fuel storage sites, etc.
Finally, there is also supposed to be identification of all the line organizations involved in all of the above. Reports are to be submitted in an unclassified form “but may include a classified annex”.
Heads of each part of the IC are required to submit a year after passage reports of what they did in support of the Office (“Office” term in legislation referencing the newly established joint UFO/UAP program).
The Congressional Committees in both Senate and the House addressing this issue are Armed Services; Appropriations; Foreign Relations (Foreign Affairs in House); Intelligence; Homeland Security
A last section addressing “Reporting” is key. A small portion was already posted at the beginning of this paper. Here in full is included the language (among other points) which may enable many to come forward and share information which frankly would rock the world:
SEC. 703. UNIDENTIFIED AEROSPACE-UNDERSEA PHENOMENA REPORTING PROCEDURES. (a) Authorization for Reporting.--Notwithstanding the terms of any nondisclosure written or oral agreement, order, or other instrumentality or means, that could be interpreted as a legal constraint on reporting by a witness of an unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena, reporting in accordance with the system established under subsection (b) is hereby authorized and shall be deemed to comply with any regulation or order issued under the authority of Executive Order 13526 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to classified national security information) or chapter 18 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2271 et seq.). (b) System for Reporting.-- (1) Establishment.--The head of the Office, on behalf of the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish a secure system for receiving reports of-- (A) any event relating to unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena; and (B) any Government or Government contractor activity or program related to unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena. (2) Protection of systems, programs, and activity.--The system established pursuant to paragraph (1) shall serve as a mechanism to prevent unauthorized public reporting or compromise of properly classified military and intelligence systems, programs, and related activity, including all categories and levels of special access and compartmented access programs, current, historical, and future. (3) Administration.--The system established pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be administered by designated and widely known, easily accessible, and appropriately cleared Department of Defense and intelligence community employees or contractors assigned to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force or the Office. (4) Sharing of information.--The system established under paragraph (1) shall provide for the immediate sharing with Office personnel and supporting analysts and scientists of information previously prohibited from reporting under any nondisclosure written or oral agreement, order, or other instrumentality or means, except in cases where the cleared Government personnel administering such system conclude that the preponderance of information available regarding the reporting indicates that the observed object and associated events and activities likely relate to a special access program or compartmented access program that, as of the date of the reporting, has been explicitly and clearly reported to the congressional defense committees and congressional intelligence committees, and is documented as meeting those criteria. (5) Initial report and publication.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the head of the Office, on behalf of the Secretary and the Director, shall-- (A) submit to the congressional intelligence committees, the congressional defense committees, and congressional leadership a report detailing the system established under paragraph (1); and (B) make available to the public on a website of the Department of Defense information about such system, including clear public guidance for accessing and using such system and providing feedback about the expected timeline to process a report. (6) Annual reports.--Subsection (j)(1) of section 1683 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (50 U.S.C. 3373), as amended by section 703, is further amended-- (A) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ``and congressional leadership'' after ``appropriate congressional committees''; and (B) in subparagraph (B), by adding at the end the following new clause: ``(xvii) A summary of the reports received using the system established under section 703(b)(1) of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.''. (c) Records of Nondisclosure Agreements.-- (1) Identification of nondisclosure agreements.--The Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the heads of such other departments and agencies of the Federal Government that have supported investigations of the types of events covered by subparagraph (A) of subsection (b)(1) and activities and programs described in subparagraph (B) of such subsection, and contractors of the Federal Government supporting such activities and programs shall conduct comprehensive searches of all records relating to nondisclosure orders or agreements or other obligations relating to the types of events described in subsection (a) and provide copies of all relevant documents to the Office. (2) Submittal to congress.--The head of the Office shall-- (A) make the records compiled under paragraph (1) accessible to the congressional intelligence committees, the congressional defense committees, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives, and congressional leadership; and (B) not later than September 30, 2023, and at least once each fiscal year thereafter through fiscal year 2026, provide to such committees and congressional leadership briefings and reports on such records. (d) Protection From Liability.-- (1) Protection from liability.--It shall not be a violation of any law, and no cause of action shall lie or be maintained in any court or other tribunal against any person, for reporting any information through, and in compliance with, the system established pursuant to subsection (b)(1). (2) Prohibition on reprisals.--An employee of a Federal agency and an employee of a contractor for the Federal Government who has authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action, shall not, with respect to such authority, take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, a personnel action, including the revocation or suspension of security clearances, with respect to any individual as a reprisal for any reporting as described in paragraph (1). (e) Review by Inspectors General.--Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Inspector General of the Department of Defense and the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community shall each-- (1) conduct an assessment of the compliance with the requirements of this section and the operation and efficacy of the system established under subsection (b); and (2) submit to the congressional intelligence committees, the congressional defense committees, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives, and congressional leadership a report on their respective findings with respect to the assessments they conducted under paragraph (1). (f) Definitions.--In this section: (1) The term ``congressional defense committees'' has the meaning given such term in section 101(a) of title 10, United States Code. (2) The term ``congressional leadership'' means-- (A) the majority leader of the Senate; (B) the minority leader of the Senate; (C) the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and (D) the minority leader of the House of Representatives. (3) The term ``Office'' means the office established under section 1683(a) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal [[Page S5418]] Year 2022 (50 U.S.C. 3373(a)), as amended by section 703. (4) The term ``personnel action'' has the meaning given such term in section 1104(a) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3234(a)). (5) The term ``unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena'' has the meaning given such term in section 1683(o) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (50 U.S.C. 3373(o)), as amended by section 703. SEC. 704. COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES COMPILATION OF UNIDENTIFIED AEROSPACE-UNDERSEA PHENOMENA RECORDS. (a) Definition of Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomena.--In this section, the term ``unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena'' has the meaning given such term in section 1683(o) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (50 U.S.C. 3373(o)), as amended by section 703. (b) Compilation Required.--Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall-- (1) commence a review of the records and documents of the intelligence community, oral history interviews, open source analytic analysis, interviews of current and former government officials, classified and unclassified national archives (including those records any third party obtained pursuant to section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the ``Freedom of Information Act'' or ``FOIA'')), and such other relevant historical sources as the Comptroller General considers appropriate; and (2) for the period beginning on January 1, 1947, and ending on the date on which the Comptroller General completes activities under this subsection, compile and itemize a complete historical record of the intelligence community's involvement with unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena, including successful or unsuccessful efforts to identify and track unidentified aerospace-undersea phenomena, and any intelligence community efforts to obfuscate, manipulate public opinion, hide, or otherwise provide unclassified or classified misinformation about unidentified aerospace- undersea phenomena or related activities, based on the review conducted under paragraph (1). (c) Report.-- (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date on which the Comptroller General completes the compilation and itemization required by subsection (b)(2), the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report summarizing the historical record described in such subsection. (2) Resources.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include citations to the resources relied upon and instructions as to how the resources can be accessed. (3) Form.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex as necessary. (d) Cooperation of Intelligence Community.--The heads of elements of the intelligence community whose participation the Comptroller General deems necessary to carry out subsections (b) and (c), including the Director of National Intelligence, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, and the Director of the Unidentified Aerospace- Undersea Phenomena Joint Program Office, shall fully cooperate with the Comptroller General and provide to the Comptroller General such information as the Comptroller General determines necessary to carry out such subsections. (e) Access to Records of the National Archives and Records Administration.--The Archivist of the United States shall make available to the Comptroller General such information maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration, including classified information, as the Comptroller General considers necessary to carry out subsections (b) and (c).