The Sun newspaper triumphantly announced on 5th April, 2022 that through the Freedom of Information Act, after waiting more than four years, it had obtained from the US Department of Defense over 1,500 documents related to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP).
The AATIP – according to some the second word in the title stands for Aviation rather than Aerospace – was secretly run under the auspices of the Defense Department from 2007 to 2012 as part of the $22 million Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP). Much of the early work was contracted out to Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) to study ‘advanced aerospace weapon threats from the present out to 40 years in the future.’
Colm Kelleher headed the BAASS studies, and under his direction at least 104 Defense Information Research Documents (DIRDs) about ‘weird science’ ideas were produced. He claims that they looked at civilian and military investigations supported by contractors… whereas AATIP associated with the mercurial Lou Elizondo, had zero funding, no contractor support, and was the unclassified nickname for the overall AAWSAP program.
To untangle this web of projects it is worth consulting Keith Basterfield’s ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – Scientific Research’ blog, which gives a timeline of these studies, as well as Robert Sheaffer’s Bad UFOs blog.
The Sun focused on one sensational report ‘Anomalous Acute And Subacute Field Effects on Human and Biological Tissues’ which outlines injuries caused by ‘anomalous advanced aerospace systems.’ It quotes from the report:
Sufficient incidents/accidents have been accurately reported, and medical data acquired, as to support a hypothesis that some advanced systems are already deployed, and opaque to full US understandings.
It lists 42 reports that indicate that UFO close encounters cause hair loss, nightmares, fever, headaches, nose bleeds, heart palpitations, burnt skin and even one unaccounted-for pregnancy. The report states that this indicates these witnesses were exposed to ‘unconventional and advanced energy systems.’
The truth is that it is based on a civilian report written in 1996 which was never classified. That report was called ‘A Catalog of UFO-Related Human Physiological Effects’ by John F. Schuessler, a former director of the U.S. Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), and you can easily find it online.
None of these cases were actually researched by AAWSAP, or by any official UFO investigation team in the US or the UK. Indeed, these and the other cases are merely culled from the files of MUFON and are sourced from UFO magazines and tabloid newspapers like the National Enquirer – a rather lazy way of collecting data for a serious research document.
The report itself was written by Dr. Christopher ‘Kit’ Green, who famously stated the Roswell Alien Autopsy film is real, and has often worked as a consultant for the CIA. Jack Brewer on his UFO Trail blog notes that:
The newfound attention propelled the paper to be mischaracterized rather far and wide, misrepresented as portraying DIA official conclusions that people were seriously injured during otherworldly UFO encounters.
Luis Elizondo in particular is quoted from a GQ magazine interview, where he speaks about the health effects of a close encounter:
I’ve got to be careful, I can’t speak too specifically, but one might imagine that you get a report from a pilot who says, “Lue, it’s really weird. I was flying and I got close to this thing and I came back home and it was like I got a sunburn. I was red for four days”’.
Well, that’s a sign of radiation. That’s not a sunburn; it’s a radiation burn. Then [a pilot] might say, if [they] had got a little closer, “Lue, I’m at the hospital. I’ve got symptoms that are indicative of microwave damage, meaning internal injuries, and even in my brain there’s some morphology there.”
Note the key words that Elizondo often uses in his interviews, namely that he cannot speak ‘specifically’ about cases, he has to be ‘careful’, and ‘imagine’. He is not a medical expert, but he is apparently able to diagnose a radiation burn, and willing to accept the self-diagnosis of an imaginary pilot.
Two days after The Sun article, The Daily Mail featured Kit Green and his authorship of the paper. The Wayne State School of Medicine professor states that ‘subtle, highly powered, highly modulated microwaves’ could have hit patients by the propulsion systems of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs).
He claims the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not want him to refer to these radio frequencies as being produced by alien spacecraft, and he had to respect the fact he had signed an oath to keep classified secrets. Nonetheless he told the Mail:
I think that there are serious people in the Department of Defense who believe that some of the objects that are identified as “unidentified flying objects” are real, and are extraterrestrial.
It’s reasonable that reasonable people are concerned about that.
Perhaps, Green was referring to people like Elizondo who have made a media career out of making wild claims about UAPs with the shield of having to keep official secrets when asked about specific details. The bombshell part of the interview is that Green says:
I don’t have to invent aliens in order to explain the cases that I get.
Instead, he thinks these ‘injuries could all be explained by current human technology, including advanced microwave and radio frequency non-lethal weapons developed by the US and other countries.’
Jack Brewer also spoke to Green, who confirmed that:
I don’t think it’s a guy with slanty eyes from far, far away in his shape-shifting universe. I think these are human technologies.
Green thinks there is a strong overlap between the cases he looked at and the Havana Syndrome, which involve U.S. officials suffering from the effects of targeted hi-tech weapons. Robert W. Baloh and Robert E. Bartholomew in their book ‘Havana Syndrome
Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria’ (Springer, 2020) note that the authorities and media were entranced by the exotic idea of a secret weapon rather than by any mundane explanations. They noted that audio recordings of the attacks were identical to the mating call of the Indies short-tailed cricket (Anurogryllus celerinictus) and to the sound of Jamaican field crickets (Gryllus assimilis).
The idea that the Havana Syndrome was caused by mass hysteria was regarded as a sign of mental disorder and weak-mindedness, and the authorities preferred to stick with the exotic weapon theory. We might well think the overlap is due to the influence of mass hysteria in respect to this syndrome and high-strangeness UFO cases, not imaginary weaponry.
The MUFON database used by Green was a very weak source of information to even suggest non-human technologies have caused injuries, let alone bring aliens into the equation. He confessed to Brewer:
In my paper, I didn’t think any of the stories were necessarily valid.
He (Green) was citing the cases to narrow his demographic of study and eventually work directly with patients in which he could control the administration of such procedures as brain scans and blood collection when illness from radiation was suspected. He was not citing them as necessarily true stories.
Brewer points out:
Green’s paper nor any of the DIRDs collected during the AAWSAP represent official statements or positions of the Defense Intelligence Agency or Department of Defense. They are theoretical papers, collected by Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies during its work on the Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Application Program.
The danger of UFOs is not radiation burns or unexplained pregnancies, but speculation based on tenuous data to feed the fantasies of believers in alien visitors, who are always pressuring the Pentagon for full UFO disclosure and who hog the media with their wild claims.
- “Pentagon releases 1,500 pages of secret documents about shadowy UFO programme after four year battle”, The Sun, 5th April 2022
- “UFO encounters left witnesses with radiation burns, brain problems & damaged nerves, claims Pentagon docs”, The Sun, 5th April 2022
- “’They woke up burned or injured.’ Top brain expert and ex-CIA officer reveals hundreds of military servicemen suffered brain damage or symptoms of the mysterious ‘Havana Syndrome’ and even DEATH after encountering UFOs”, Daily Mail, 7th April 2022
- ‘Anomalous Acute And Subacute Field Effects on Human and Biological Tissues’
- ‘A Catalog of UFO-Related Human Physiological Effects’ by John F. Schuessler
- ‘The UFO Injury Study That Wasn’t’, The UFO Trail, by Jack Brewer
All the released documents are at