Showing posts with label Robert Bigelow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robert Bigelow. Show all posts

Thursday, April 7, 2022

The Pentagon UFO Program: Documents Released

Update: The AAWSAP - AATIP documents on the DIA website under the heading "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” were temporarily removed. After two weeks the folder was (mostly) restored under the new name, "Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program."

John Greenewald shared this statement on Twitter from Pentagon Spokesperson Susan Gough:
"DIA mistakenly selected UAP as the tab label for those documents.  We’re working with them to change it to a more accurate name. As we have said before, while the AAWSAP contract allowed for research drawn from a wide variety of sources, including reports of UAP, the examination of UAP observations was not the purpose of AATIP nor the AAWSAP contract."
As a result, the links below to the DIA site for the documents no longer lead to the intended results. They will be updated once the documents are re-posted by the DIA. For now, use the link to the collection hosted by The Black Vault at the end of the main article.

Documents recently released from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provide more insight into the inner workings of the alleged Pentagon UFO program. The DIA’s FOIA Electronic Reading Room has been updated with a section for “"Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program." About 50 documents relating to AAWSAP/AATIP recently released under the Freedom of Information Act are now hosted there.

The disclosure finally makes it clear that the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application Program (AAWSAP) and the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) were the same entity. AATIP was the “Unclassified Nickname” used by Senator Harry Reid when asking for Special Access Program status and funding for the project.

More than 30 of the documents are the subject studies, Defense Intelligence Reference Documents (DIRDs), subcontracted contracted by Bigelow Advanced Aerospace Space Studies (BAASS) to fulfill the requirements of the primary objective of their contract with the DIA. The other documents include the contract proposal, PowerPoint presentations on AAWSAP progress reports, and correspondence requesting and rejecting SAP status for AAWSAP/AATIP. As of this writing, there is no documentation that AATIP existed beyond the termination of the contract with Bigelow Advanced Aerospace Space Studies (BAASS) in 2012.

Was AAWSAP/AATIP a U.S. government UFO Program?

The 2021 book, Skinwalkers at the Pentagon was written by two participants of AAWSAP, James T. Lacatski and Colm A. Kelleher, along with journalist George Knapp. The authors state that AAWSAP was definitely a UFO program, but it also studied associated phenomena, such as the strange paranormal events reported at Skinwalker Ranch. In an appendix at the end of the book, it lists over a hundred reports BAASS produced under the contract, all supposedly delivered to the DIA. James Lacatski’s interest in the topic caused him to contact Robert Bigelow and work with Sen. Harry Reid to develop the program with the government.
The AAWSAP contractor bid form 

The BAASS contract with the DIA contains no reference to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, UFOs or any such terminology. If it was a UFO project, it was camouflaged. As a result, there has been speculation that AAWSAP was just what the language stated, a study into future developments in aerospace technology that could pose a threat to the US. It’s clear that Bigelow was conducting UFO research with funding under the contract, and that Lacatski approved it. The question is: Was the UFO research secret outside the program? Apparently, yes.

The newly released documents show that the DIA was aware of only the DIRDs and made their decisions about the program based on those studies. From the DIA visit with Senator Harry Reid, Nov. 19, 2009:

“To our knowledge, the senator did not receive copies of these draft reports [DIRDS], although he was aware of the general topic list. Thus, we can not find a direct link between the content of the reports and his letter.” [Later] “Senator Reid cites the ‘identification of several highly sensitive, unconventional aerospace-related findings' that will 'require extraordinary protection.’ Although most of the unclassified reports discuss unconventional aerospace technologies, DIA is unaware as to which ones the senator believes are sensitive.”

As a result, their conclusion was:
“Based on the content of the delivered FY09 and expect FY10 technical reports, DIA can not find sufficient grounds under DoD regulations to establish a restricted SAP.” 
They did state however, that if the project moved instead into technological “research, development and acquisition (RDA) effort that lies outside the DoD Intelligence Community's purview.”

Where Did the Money Go?

To the DIA, the DIRDs were all that AAWSAP produced, but there was something justifying further expenses for FY10 (fiscal year 2010). In the PowerPoint presentation from mid to late 2009, “Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Contract – Update,” slide 7 is “Option Year 1 (FY10) Deliverables.” At the bottom, it contains a box stating:

“FY10 $12M also covers BAASS overhead, staff, facilities, IT, security, databases, etc.”

In a previous article, The Pentagon UFO Money Trail, we tried to trace how the $22M was used by BAASS. That’ll give a more comprehensive look at what was treated as miscellaneous associated expenses.

There’s No Such thing as Bad Publicity

Media focus has centered on the 38-page DIRD authored by Dr. Christopher "Kit" Green, “Anomalous Acute and Subacute Field Effects On Human Biological Tissues.” It’s the only of the documents that explicitly refers to UFO research. “Appendix A: Schuessler Catalog of UFO-Related Human Physiological Effects (Frequency Distribution)” relies on data from a UFO book:
“The Schuessler catalog, UFO-Related Human Physiological Effects, was complied in 1996 by MUFON's past Director, John F. Schuessler. Covering the time period 1873 - 1994, the catalog comprises a summary of 356 selected cases of UFO-induced physiological effects on humans during close encounters.”

The appendix included a frequency listing of over 50 physiological effects allegedly experienced in UFO encounters and abductions, ranging from skin discomfort to electromagnetic effects on vehicles. The tabloid media focused on the sensational and quoted the passage mentioning the case of an “unaccounted-for pregnancy.” 

As Dr. Adam Kehoe noted in a series on Twitter, Schuessler’s book UFO-Related Human Physiological Effects, 
“… is a catalog that is derived from reports in ‘newspapers, magazines, UFO organization journals,’ etc… The quality of sources is often poor, including publications like National EnquirerFlying Saucer Review… The problem is structural. This is not data: it is a collection of stories.”
Kehoe concluded by discussing Green’s paper and the other DIRDs:
“Returning to the DIA paper, the use of the MUFON material is not a throwaway reference… Because these documents were produced as the result of a DIA contract, they have an aura of mystery and authority. However, chasing the references shows weak underpinnings.”
Of the 1500 or so documents released, Dr. Green’s paper represents just about 2.5% of them. Yet the sensational UFO material within has gotten all the press. John Schuessler was a key member of Robert Bigelow’s National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), and in his leadership role in MUFON, the facilitator for their contract with BAASS to provide UFO data and investigations. It’s poetic justice that Schuessler’s work is responsible for the AATIP story getting tabloid press. It's the kind of sketchy data that Bigelow’s project was founded on, so in that sense, maybe the most accurate portrayal yet.

The documents are available for now for us to read and judge for ourselves.

You can find the AAWSAP/AATIP documents at:

The Defense Intelligence Agency’s FOIA Electronic Reading Room, section: “"Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.

The DIA’s publication of the AAWSAP/AATIP documents is a bit jumbled. John Greenewald at The Black Vault has published a page that is more user-friendly organized f, arranging the documents in chronological order and displaying both the DIA file name and title or description. The Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) Documentation.

For a deeper examination into the AAWSAP and AATIP saga, see the earlier articles at Blue Blurry Lines, many of which were co-authored by Roger Glassel:

Part one uncovered a trove of information about the origins of AATIP, about the contract between the Pentagon and Robert Bigelow (BAASS), and secret subcontracts with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) to produce technical papers and furnish them with case files and access to investigation sites. Documents were reproduced from the MUFON Advanced Technology Establishment (MATE) and the contracts between the group and Bigelow.

The Pentagon UFO Program’s Secret Partner March 17, 2020

In the second part of the article, participants of the secret MUFON contracts spoke about their involvement and the fact that most of them were unaware that Bigelow’s sponsor was secretly the US government.

Breaking the Silence: AATIP's Secret Partner Speaks March 23, 2020

Continuing the examination, we probed the $22 million government funding for Robert Bigelow’s company under the AAWSAP contract. We attempted to trace where the money was spent.

A related article examined Dr. Kit Green's DIRD from the perspective of the Cash-Landrum UFO case. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Pentagon-funded Paranormal Research at Skinwalker Ranch

The UFO program by the US Defense Intelligence Agency contracted Robert Bigelow in 2008 to gather information for the stated purpose of developing advancements in aerospace and weapons technology. The name on the original documents was the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP), but it later became known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). 

Due in part to the non-disclosures required of participants, few people involved have been willing to talk, especially on the record, and details and documentation about the true nature of the program have been slow to emerge. In working with Roger Glassel on the AATIP story, we reached out to former participants and heard from some of the MUFON players. This article presents the story of one Robert Bigelow’s employees, one the men hired to protect what was hidden at Skinwalker Ranch. His memories provide new details about the BAASS investigations under the AAWSAP contract, with insight into the people doing the work, and just what kind of  research was funded.

Chris J. Marx became a naturalized citizen of the US in 1992 after moving here from his birthplace of Germany. Before his military service, he worked in Law Enforcement in New Mexico from 1995 to 2004, as a Sheriff’s Sergeant and an Investigator. In 2006 he joined the U.S. Army Military Police Corps, deploying for two tours of combat in Iraq between 2007 and 2009, and in his second tour, held a top-secret clearance and worked in military intelligence. After returning to civilian life, in April 2010 Marx was selected to work for Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), providing security and assisting research at Robert Bigelow’s Skinwalker Ranch property in Utah. 

In the two weeks between his hiring and first deployment, Marx was instructed to read at the library at Bigleow’s offices at 4975 Polaris Avenue, Las Vegas. There, he studied material that included Hunt for the Skinwalker by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp, and a dossier on the 1947 Roswell UFO incident. If that wasn’t strange enough, for his first task,” they handed me a stack of orders... from 1942... about a German excursion, a U-Boat excursion to find the sunken city of Agartha. I spent at least 10 days on translating that.” He’d been given the task, because, “that’s my native language.”

Bigelow HQ at Polaris Ave. in Las Vegas
He said that all guards hired had to have security clearances, and many were former Air Force, law enforcement, or other military. On his first deployment to Skinwalker Ranch, he received a tour of the property, and instructed that in addition to patrols, guards were required to routinely perform experiments “to document anomalies” as directed by BAASS scientists. There were about ten guards total, and they worked there for two weeks at a time, then relieved by the next team, typically with a partial one-day overlap. They’d return to Las Vegas for other duties, debriefings, and time off until their next rotation.

Ranch photo by Chris Marx
With all the property he owned and leased, Bigelow's ranch consisted of about 1000 acres. Marx explained that the land itself was beautiful, but the structures on the property were in poor condition, and the newest one, the double-wide trailer that served as their base was sitting on blocks and had a dilapidated deck behind it. There were three dogs there, but not trained canine guards, just pets, really. “Bio sensors,” was the BAASS designation for the dogs, the same as the cattle on the property. 

Part of the attraction of working for a technological company like Bigelow’s must be the access to cool toys, but if that was what Marx had expected, he was in for a letdown. The trailer had some equipment, but it was old and in poor working condition, and he described a collection of low-quality digital cameras, an antiquated night vision unit that was shoddy and grainy, and a thermal imaging system also in poor working condition. There was also an old laptop with Ethernet but no WiFi, a telephone and an old paper-fed FAX machine. Marx said personnel filed reports by Fax, one sent to BAASS, with a copy also sent to the “government sponsor,” but at the time, he had no idea what agency it represented.  

Undated photos of the trailer interior by Chris Marx.
As for the chain of command, Marx described the people he interacted with; Robert Eickenhorst was first-line supervisor or manager, above him, Loran Huffman and Doug Kurth as Ranch co-administrators, then Dr. Colm Kelleher, and at the head, owner Robert Bigelow. 

The guards were left on their own, and for military men, it was strange to have no SOP (standard operating procedure), with almost no guidelines provided and no oversight. They were required to make a daily report, but some guards spent most of their time watching television and wrote a token three-line report without receiving negative consequences.

Chris Marx on duty at the Bigelow ranch
With his background in investigations, Marx was compelled to do more than was asked of him. Since the tools provided were so poor, Marx asked Kelleher if he could bring his own equipment and was given permission to do so. Marx said that since he started bringing his own equipment, he had “hundreds upon hundreds” of photos, and has records of almost everything from the experiments and investigations he conducted at the Ranch, with the exception of the DNA samples he’d sent off to back to BAASS.

In September 2010,  Marx was paired with a new hire, Chris Bartel. Marx said they were instructed to report on “phenomena” at the Ranch. He had a number of unusual experiences while there, noting that several key locations each had their own particular characteristics. In particular, he cited the trailer, Homestead 2, Homestead 3, the Mesa, and the river, each seeming to produce different effects, such as emotional changes, physical sensations, and electromagnetic interference. Marx described a debriefing where he was questioned by Bigelow, who was interested in the emotional changes and asked detailed follow-up questions about specific physical effects. He noted that Bigelow and the others accepted the accounts uncritically, as if it was what they expected to hear, and he got the feeling that they were comparing it with previous similar reports. Marx said that the ten guards in rotation all had similar experiences, which they would discuss in their overlap between the shift changes. 

Marx stated the guards furnished their own weapons, “Everything that you used was supplied by you, from your weaponry to whatever else.” Some guards carried AR-15 or M4s, but Marx preferred a tactical shotgun at night, since the most likely threat was unfriendly mountain lions rather than trespassers.

In discussing the funding, he said at the BAASS headquarters in Las Vegas on Polaris, he saw 10 Canon cameras. He asked if he could use those for the ranch and was told no. there was a deck in disrepair behind the trailer and he was not allowed to repair or replace it when the ranch vehicle needed new tires they were purchased on the cheap.

In discussing the finances, he said there was no money, that it was a cheap operation and he noted that they were the facilities and equipment were in disrepair, and when he asked for permission to upgrade them it was denied. There was no indication of any money put into the ranch. When the septic system broke, it took weeks to get it fixed by the lowest bidder. The trailers were plagued by rats and mice, and standard mouse traps were used, which he noted was the cheapest solution, and the guards themselves were expected to solve the problem rather than engage a professional  exterminator.

BAASS Leadership: Douglas Kurth and Loran Huffman

Douglas S. Kurth had an interesting role in the Bigelow organization, but little is known about it . As Lt. Col. “Cheeks” Kurth, he was a key witness in the 2004 Nimitz UFO encounter, and in Dec. 2007 was the first known hire for Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, LLC, which was registered as a Nevada business the next month. At Kurth’s LinkedIn profile, he lists his role as “Program Manager”and left BAASS in June 2013. He’s documented as part of the BAASS team, along with Colm Kelleher, but he doesn’t want to talk about it

Clips from STAR Team Impact Project (SIP) update to the MUFON Board of Directors, 2009
When Chris Marx was asked about the roles and job titles of Douglas Kurth and Loran Huffman, he said, “I dealt with Kurth sporadically. Kurth was not really a people person kind of guy. I had brief conversations with him. I knew he was a fighter pilot at some point, I did not know he was part of that Nimitz issue, and quite frankly, I’d never heard of the Nimitz [UFO encounter] at that point, I had no idea. I mostly dealt with Loran, Kurth seemed more in the background of it all, and I never dealt with him a whole bunch, just here and there... All I knew was he was Ranch administrator along with Loran Huffman, but what his specific role was, I have no idea. And even with Loran’s specific role, he dealt with personnel, he was more like the HR kind of guy, but what his specific scope was I don't know.” 
The LinkedIn profile for Loran Huffman states the he was:
“Director of Investigations and Security (FSO) [Facility Security Officer], Bigelow Aerospace
Jan 2009 - June 2012”

(Kurth left BAASS in 2013, Huffman in 2012.)
BAASS Experiments on the Ranch during AAWSAP

Marx said that while he was there, he never saw or heard about government officials visiting the ranch, and that visits from BAASS scientists were rare. The experiments Marx described below all took place between early 2010 and 2012.

Bean sprouts - Marx mentioned this one in passing, but described it in greater detail in an interview with the Black Vault. Two female BAASS scientists “set up the bean sprout [experiment] for a couple of hours and then immediately left. They planted bean sprouts in several locations, and a control group was grown back at BAASS headquarters on Polaris for comparison. Marx thought the experiment lacked a scientific basis due to the great differences in climate, humidity, elevation etc., but later realized it must have been a test to measure radiation exposure at the Ranch.

Electromagnetic anomalies - Marx said, “The only [other] scientist that ever came up during that time was Jason Viggato, who from what I understood was a physicist. We set up a daisy chain of laptops around Homestead 2 to measure, what was explained to me, electromagnetic pulse. We hooked them up, turned them on - I was there with him, and they would flatline. There was some sort of a measuring capacity that they had, to measure the electromagnetic pulse - phenomena, I guess, so it was explained.

We did this for 4 days because they would all fire up fine and then would baseline where nothing was measured for anywhere from fifteen seconds to a minute - minute and half after they were turned on. All of a sudden there would be some sort of a spike, and all - it was the seven or eight laptops, all would shut down at this exact moment and they all batteries were completely depleted. These were freshly charged, coming off the wall chargers. We did this for about 4 days, did it in a radius of about maybe a hundred feet, 75 to 100 feet around Homestead 2 with the same results every single time. They would fire up, and it was like somebody clicked that magic switch and all of them were dead.”

Psychic contact - Another experiment Marx mentioned was not set up by scientists, but by BAASS management. Quoting from Chris Marx on Skinwalker Ranch & Human Experimentation, The Black Vault Radio. Ep-46: 

“When I talk occult, what opened the door to that was we - actually, this was an experiment that was designed by Doug and Loran, Loran Huffman, Douglas Kurth, who were overseeing the Ranch prop, well, some of the experiments, and came up with different methodologies. Loran and I walked the Ranch together, identifying what we believed to be hotspots... and we came up with 13…” Marx said they had 13 tamper-proof evidence bags each with written questions that had been prepared, the contents known only by one person controlling the experiment. “We placed those evidence bags at those locations, and... when the new guards came in, Loran and Doug were up there, and we set up video cameras and audio equipment, and all that. They had designed a Ouija board that would basically show the thirteen different bags, and then through Ouija, ask what the answer to question number one is, or number two, or number three. So we were trying to communicate with it through Ouija. ...this is not anything that was just done on the fly, this was very well thought out, that was very much designed, and there were seven of us total that were in the room in, the kitchen, in the trailer, and four of us sitting [at] the table...”

Those management-directed experiments came to an end around 2011, matching the timeframe when Bigelow lost his government funding. Several things changed around that time, and he says the Faxed reports to the government also ceased. The skeleton crew at the property was cut in half, from two men, to one per deployment to guard the billionaire's entire Skinwalker Ranch acreage.

The Bigelow Pama Lane Complex

When researching The Pentagon UFO Money Trail, we found a stray puzzle piece. Former BAASS guards working at Bigelow’s Skinwalker Ranch say that while back in Las Vegas from their two-week deployments, they were sometimes assigned to provide security for another Bigelow property, a building complex on Pama Lane. Chris Marx described it as four different buildings that included offices and laboratories, completely built and finished, but for some reason, never occupied. According to real estate listings, the facilities were built in 2007, currently offered for sale at a price of about $7.5M.

Bigelow's Pama Lane Campus in Las Vegas
The AATIP New York Times story from 2017 stated that Bigelow’s “company modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials.” The timeline suggests that Bigelow intended for the Pama Lane complex to house BAASS for its work on the DIA, and one of the conditions from AAWSAP stipulates: “Contractor shall provide a work facility (including unclassified information systems) with a Top Secret Facility Clearance granted by the Defense Security Service (DSS).” Marx didn’t know if any of the Pentagon’s $22M went towards funding the project, but notes it was put up for sale after the AAWSAP funding was withdrawn and BAASS folded. 

The Puzzle: Medical Tests on Skinwalker Ranch Personnel

The dogs at Skinwalker ranch were designated “bio-sensors” by BAASS, and it may be the guards served a similar function. Marx talked about tests done on BAASS employees working the Ranch, saying, “I know there was a fridge up there that held bodily fluids, like urine and so forth, people had to pee in bottles.” When asked how the samples were collected and analyzed, he said, “They were taken back to Las Vegas at shift turnover, and I don’t know who they ended up with, but they were taken back by the guards themselves.” 

Marx said that in July 2011, BAASS ordered them to undergo medical examinations. “Bartel and I, my partner, were pulled aside by Loran [Huffman] ...and he said, you guys are scheduled to go to Reno.” They were to fly there for MRI tests, “and we asked of course, why? We were told that they wanted to check if us being in contact with these anomalies, if that somehow... changed our brain.”

BAASS MRI consent form
While at the Reno clinic, “...we both underwent the MRI... What else was tested? I don't know, I think there may have been more from evidence that has come out since then.” When they asked about the results, “we were told that we would not receive that information,” just that they would be notified if there was a “brain tumor, or a life-threatening condition.” When asked about the frequency of this testing, he said, “Chris and I only went up there once... but, I know of at least 5, possibly 6 MRIs that were conducted on Ranch personnel.” 

Marx took a leave from BAASS for a military tour of service in Afghanistan, and when he returned in 2016, he found Bigelow had sold the Ranch to a new owner. BAASS was being dissolved and he says that he and Colm Kelleher were its last two employees, both transferred to the main company, Bigelow Aerospace, and Marx stayed there until February 2019. 

After Marx left Bigelow, he found some of the news stories about AATIP, and “ began to put the pieces of the puzzle together.” He read the AAWSAP solicitation contract, and knew that the DIA was the “government sponsor” that had received the Fax reports from the Ranch. The stated purpose of the program was to develop advanced aerospace propulsion, cloaking techniques and Radio Frequency Directed Energy Weapons. It also called for the study of “human effects.” Marx began pursuing the possibility that he and the other Ranch guards were used as human test subjects, either from the alleged energies at the Ranch, or for weapons research and testing done there under Bigelow’s government contract. He began asking questions to see if there was a connection.

Recently, Bartel and Marx requested and received copies of their MRI tests from the Reno clinic, and the paperwork. “It was funny because a while prior to that,  Eric Davis had said - he’s been very critical of all of this... (saying, Chris and I are... just in this to make a quick buck and to sue somebody... crazies with a crazy theory…) saying it was just a pre-employment test. And so when I got this letter back, it was very peculiar for me to see that it actually said on the letter that it was pre-employment.” Marx says that’s nonsense, because he’d “already been working there for a year and a half, so it definitely wasn't a pre-employment anything.”

He went on to say, “So, long story short, it dawned on me, no this wasn’t just an MRI, because the people who were CC'd on these findings were - first of all, were not just ordinary physicians, and second of all, there’s a HIPAA issue with sharing medical information across the board. So there were a few red flags that popped up, and like I said, it became a puzzle, and the more pieces of that puzzle became available, the more it created a picture, and the more it answered the questions that I had early on, how it was such a Mickey Mouse operation up there and nobody cared what you did, all they cared about was what you experienced and the questions they were so specific [about] your own physiological changes and into your mental state,  it all of a sudden started making sense. Why would you publish a book, Hunt for the Skinwalker, and then on the other hand, try to be all hush-hush? There are so many contradictions, the bean sprout experiment is another one, I mean there are so many…”

A possible answer comes from a “Senior Manager of BAASS,” published a statement on May 4, 2018:
“The BAASS approach was to view the human body as a readout system for UFO effects by utilizing forensic technology, the tools of immunology, cell biology, genomics and neuroanatomy for in depth study of the effects of UFOs on humans.”  

Marx now believes that whatever may (or may not) be at Skinwalker Ranch, there’s been a deliberate agenda to create a myth by exploiting Native American tribal lore to blame anything strange that happens there on, “the unexplained - the anomalous.” He also has reason to suspect that the AATIP story may have been a part of it.


Chris Marx is just one of 50 or more employees of BAASS from the AAWSAP contract era, and there were many others involved, subcontractors, from MUFON, EarthTech, and the authors of the 38 technical studies used as DIRDs. All these people hold pieces of the puzzle, and bit by bit, the truth will come out.

. . . 

For Further Information

There’s more to Chris Marx’s story, but the focus of this article was on the BAASS operations, funding, and investigations, so we’ve mostly omitted his accounts of unusual encounters while at Skinwalker Ranch, but more information can be found at the sources below.

Chris Marx interviewed on UFO Classified with Erica Lukes:

In Inside the Pentagon's Secret UFO Program, Tim McMillan described reviewing a copy of the 2009 “BAASS Ten Month Report” for AAWSAP, and stated that it included a passage on Skinwalker Ranch as a “possible laboratory for studying other intelligences and possible interdimensional phenomena.” Elsewhere, he said the report discussed it as a “living laboratory of interaction with non-human intelligences,” and his impression was that BAASS interested in physiological changes resulting from that interaction.

Keith Basterfield’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena - scientific research, on Chris Marx, BAASS and Skinwalker Ranch

John Greenewald interview: Chris Marx on Skinwalker Ranch & Human Experimentation, The Black Vault Radio. Ep-46 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Pentagon UFO Money Trail

From Skinwalker Ranch to Bigelow Studies

By Curt Collins and Roger Glassel
(with research assistance from Keith Basterfield and Marc Cecotti)

Finding the truth about the Pentagon UFO program has been difficult since it is tangled in deception from its creation. The fog partly lifted, but was replaced by smoke, from promotion by advocates, to the contradictory statements from Pentagon officials. Select information has been downplayed or omitted, and some of the people involved do not want their involvement revealed. Others may wish to maintain the mystery for their own agendas. Even the name of the project has been a matter of controversy. Documents prove it was originally created in 2008 as AAWSAP, but by 2009 was commonly referred to as AATIP:

Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP)
Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP)

The AATIP news coverage has portrayed it as a UFO project, which former players Dr. Hal Puthoff and Luis Elizondo insist is accurate. The Pentagon’s statements have been all over the chart, from it being a UAP study to a flat denial of the same. Part of the confusion comes in the original AAWSAP goals which stated: 

“The objective of this program is to understand the physics and engineering of these [advanced aerospace weapon system] applications as they apply to the foreign threat out to the far-term, i.e., from now through the year 2050.” 

There was no reference whatsoever to UFOs, but former Senator Harry Reid said that the first program manager (Dr. James T. Lacatski) wrote the AAWSAP contract with scientifically ambiguous terminology that would wouldn’t raise red flags, apparently so AAWSAP could get funding as an aerospace study of potential technological breakthroughs. The program contract stated: “The contractor shall complete advanced aerospace weapon system technical studies” on 12 topics, from propulsion to directed-energy weapons.

When AATIP was made public in the Dec. 16, 2017, New York Times, the article revealed that Robert Bigelow’s company “hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program.” That confirmed what had been suspected by a few ufologists, that Bigelow’s research, and that the work he contracted with MUFON had been funded by the US government. That disclosure went largely unnoticed at the time, with the spotlight put on the Navy UFO videos released in connection with the story. It was over a year later before an official statement from the US government acknowledged the Bigelow company’s involvement, defined their contracted responsibilities, and gave some indication of where the money went.

(Note: FY indicates Fiscal Year, the 12-month period from October 1 through September 30 used by the Federal Government for budget formulation and execution.)

The Pentagon Acknowledgement of Robert Bigelow’s Role in AATIP

(Email to Roger Glassel) 
12 Feb. 2019 from 
James M. Kudla M CIV DIA (US)
Public Affairs Officer
Office of Corporate Communications
Defense Intelligence Agency

“Mr. Glassel – Here is the information DIA has shared about the program:
The purpose of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) was to investigate foreign advanced aerospace weapons system applications with future technology projections over the next 40 years and to create a center of expertise on advanced aerospace technologies. The goal was to help understand the threat posed by unconventional or leap ahead aerospace vehicles/technologies that could have national security implications for the United States.

DIA awarded a contract to a sole bidder [Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, LLC,] who identified and worked with academics and scientists to produce 38 technical reports. The contract goal was to study 12 technical areas: lift, propulsion, control, armament, signatures reduction, materials, configuration, power generation, temporal translation, human effects, human interface, and technology integration.

After an OSD/DIA review in late 2009, it was determined the reports were of limited value to DIA and there was a recommendation that upon completion of the contract, the project could be transitioned to an agency or component better suited to oversee it. Funding for the program was ended in 2012.

I have no additional information about the program after it ended at DIA in 2012.”

Answering a follow up question the same day, Kudla responded:

“Mr. Glassel – The information I shared is the totality of the program while DIA ran it. The DIA program did not cover ‘anomalous events.’ The program required the contractor to produce studies in the 12 technical areas.”

The relevant portion about the BAASS funding from a reply by Susan Gough to a similar question:

(Email to Roger Glassel)
24 May 2019 from 
Susan L (Sue) Gough CIV OSD PA (USA)
Pentagon Spokesperson
Defense Public Affairs Operations

“As AAWSAP, the program commenced in FY2008. The first 26 technical reports produced under the program were completed by late 2009. The FY2010 Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) included an additional $12 million for the program and 12 additional reports were produced. A total of 38 technical reports were delivered.”

Based on the available evidence, up until 2010, BAASS was AATIP. Bigelow’s company was contracted by the DIA to do all the research, investigation and analysis. Perhaps all AATIP amounted to at the Pentagon end was funding, filing and administration.

Most of the information from the statements by Kudla and Gough above were derived from the original 2008 AAWSAP bid contract awarded to BAASS. It made no mention of UFOs or phenomena, but as we’ll see, that was apparently a deliberate deception. That’s the Pentagon’s version of the story, now let’s compare it to what has been documented from other sources.

The AAWSAP-BAASS Origin Story: The Self-Laying Egg

In the beginning there was Robert Bigelow, a billionaire with an interest in UFOs and the paranormal. He owned Bigelow Aerospace, operated the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) in 1995, and the next year purchased the Skinwalker Ranch. Bigelow NIDS shut down in 2004, but it certainly did not end his interest in the unexplained.

Bigelow associates George Knapp and Harry Reid
According to Bigelow associate George Knapp, the New York Times AATIP story, “sort of conflated some of the facts. The 22 million dollars that they allege funded AATIP, actually went to AAWSAP, the program that basically funded [Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies], that funded the study of Skinwalker Ranch and funded a much broader discussion, much broader than just UFOs. What we’d call paranormal activity.”

Relating a story about the 2007 time frame, Senator Harry Reid said his friend Robert Bigelow contacted him about receiving a letter from a a Ph.D, “a senior, longtime member of this security agency,” who wanted to visit Skinwalker Ranch. Afterwards the scientist (Dr. James Lacatski) said, “Somebody should study it.” When Reid asked how to persuade the US Senate who controlled over the defense money, the scientist replied, “What I will do is prepare something for you that anyone can look at it that wants to, it’s strictly science.” That would ultimately become the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP).

Skinwalker Ranch promoters claim that during this visit the DIA scientist had a paranormal encounter that no one else present witnessed. Supposedly it persuaded him of the reality of the phenomenon and prompted him to launch a Pentagon study.

Bigelow created a sister company, Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, with the first known employee (Douglas S. Kurth) hired in Dec. 2007, then the company registered as a LLC in Jan. 2008, therefore in development several months prior to AAWSAP’s inception. Possibly a chicken or the egg question? With his friendship with Reid, or his contact with the DIA scientist, Bigelow may have known the AAWSAP bid opportunity was coming and spent months preparing for it. Harry Reid said, "we wanted to make sure people couldn't complain about it that it was some sweetheart deal" and that that the job open to any qualified contractor, "put out to bid."

On August 18, 2008 the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program contract bid solicitation date opened, and the process closed on Sept. 5, with BAASS, the sole bidder, being awarded the contract. Just as Dr. Lacatski had told Sen. Reid, it was “strictly science” and made no mention of UFOs, anomalous events, or aerial phenomena. By mid-September 2008 BAASS was hiring scientists and other personnel in relation to the contract.

Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies was unveiled to the public in an interview with George Knapp on the radio program, Coast to Coast, Sept. 28, 2008. Bigelow used the show as some sort of substitute for a BAASS press release, describing most everything except for the fact that the DIA was funding the operation:
“The mission for this company is to pursue exotic, novel technologies. ... We have sponsors. We have partners, in this effort...” He described the initial stage would be hiring a number of people with “...diverse backgrounds; that are all experts in a variety of fields. We have to organize offices and office facilities. ...we’re going to be initiating relationships and contracts with various organizations and people...”

KLAS-TV 8 News Now, May 4, 2018, presented an article from a Bigelow unidentified former officer, “Statement from a Senior Manager of BAASS,” who described how Bigelow’s plan was implemented:

“BAASS broke new ground in professionalism by hiring, training and deploying 50 full-time staff comprising retired military intelligence and law enforcement officers, PhD level scientists, engineers, technicians, analysts, translators, and project managers to create the largest multi-disciplinary full-time team in history to investigate the UFO topic.”

As for Bigelow’s initiating “ relationships and contracts,” on September 20, 2008, he contacted John Schuessler of the Mutual UFO Network, who in turn shared the word with the Board of Directors about a “contract for MUFON... The work is proprietary...” Bigelow concealed the fact from MUFON that they were doing subcontracting work for the US government. The outcome of the BAASS-MUFON contracts was examined in detail in the article,  The Pentagon UFO Program’s Secret Partner 

Luis Elizondo was interviewed on Jan. 30, 2018, by George Knapp, and stated that he was familiar with BAASS and how it worked:
“DIA chose Mr. Bigelow, and Bigelow Aerospace. Bigelow, then further subcontracted this out. ...He looked for the best and brightest in the aerospace and the investigations field and everywhere else, to try to answer the mail, the mission, that the U.S. government, legally gave him.” He approved of Bigelow’s methods, saying, “I would have done it exactly the same way.” When prompted, he agrees that BAASS delivered a lot of material for the program. Elizondo responds, “Very quickly, by the way too. That organization provided a very clear snapshot of not only what we knew, but more importantly, what we didn’t know.”

Next, we’ll look at the projects connected with the program, and the money spent on them.

The Known AAWSAP Projects and Funding

To date, the DIA and Pentagon spokespersons have only acknowledged 38 scientific studies for the program, Defense Intelligence Reference Documents (DIRDs), that were produced by contractor Robert Bigelow’s company BAASS, thorough a subcontractor, Dr. Hal Puthoff’s EarthTech. (See the appendix for an examination of DIRDs) It has since been revealed that BAASS produced much more than the DIRDs under the DIA contract. What remains unknown is how much of what BAASS produced actually served the purpose of AAWSAP, and how much of that data gathered was actually delivered to the Pentagon. First we’ll examine the Skinwalker ranch involvement in the AATIP story, then take a look at the UFO projects chronologically.

Pre-AAWSAP: Skinwalker Ranch

Robert Bigelow reportedly paid $200,000 for Skinwalker Ranch in 1996, and it’s conceivable that his greatest investment there was not in the land, but the research conducted there between from 1996 to the early 2000s during the operation of NIDS. Supposedly the Ranch was a key point of interest in initiating the DIA program, but by all credible accounts, there was no substantial scientific work conducted there during the BAASS-AAWSAP contract period. The Ranch was staffed by only two guards at a time. They were there to guard the property, with the secondary directive to observe and report on anything anomalous. The guards were provided a small collection of outdated equipment, and their assigned investigative duties were minimal. It was a low-budget operation. 

Late 2007/early 2008 - BAASS was created, months before AAWSAP technically existed, or the bid for the contract went out. 

September 20, 2008 – In late Sept. Bigelow was awarded the FY09 contract for $10 million. Robert Bigelow approached MUFON about contracting for the technical papers in the 12 areas of AAWSAP interest, but did not reveal that the funding came from the DIA. The first MUFON contract resulted in 5 papers from the MUFON Advanced Technology Establishment (MATE), for which MUFON was paid about $10,000

September 28, 2008When BAASS awarded the contract, Bigelow appeared on Knapp’s Coast to Coast show to make an announcement of the company and what it was supposed to do, which included establishing facilities and building a team of scientists and technicians to conduct studies and analysis. The outlay of funds is unknown, but the salaries alone for the team must have been significant. Estimating 50 employees at $695,000 each, that would have been $3,450,000 per year.
September 30, 2008 - AAWSAP Contract Base Year started. BAASS was paid $10 million through contract # HHM402-08-C-0072. 

2008 Date? - Jacques Vallee oversaw the "Capella Project”, creating a vast UFO database. See: Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) and Vallee's "Capella" Project by Keith Basterfield

A Strategy for Research by Jacques F. Vallee, July 2014 CNES/CAIPAN Workshop
Oct. 3, 2008 - Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies registered the domain, however it appears to have never been active beyond hosting email addresses, two of which are known: and

Jan. 2009 - A BAASS hired a translator to transfer French GEIPAN documents into English, apparently to include them in the “Capella” database.

February 18, 2009 - after weeks of negotiations, a second contract between BAASS and MUFON was signed, for UFO field investigations and access to MUFON’s CMS for current and historical UFO sighting reports for a contracted fee of $56,000 monthly. BAASS subsequently ordered 40 MUFON Field Investigator manuals, for their team, in the amount of $1800 + shipping. 

Circa April 2009 - Equipment purchases for BAASS field investigators. A former BAASS employee’s LinkedIn profile states: “Managed the procurement of a wide variety of electronics, materials, thermal, night vision equipment and detectors.”

Date? 2009 - EarthTech - DIRDS 26 in FY09.
Dr. Hal Puthoff gave a talk on February 8, 2020 at an event held in Berkley Springs, WV, "DOD Unidentified Aerial Phenomena: The Back Story, The Forward Story." 

For further details, see: “Transcript: Hal Puthoff, Transition Talks Lecture” by Joe Murgia. 

Puthoff discussed AATIP, stated that he chose the topics of study, and explained how his company, EarthTech International, became involved:

“Well I came into the picture when BAASS contacted me, contacted my organization and asked me to collaborate as a subcontractor... I was contracted to commission papers from experts around the globe. ...over a two-year period, I let out thirty-eight contracts. ...if you read between the lines, and you see... This was definitely a UFO program. ...These papers were collected together and put out as a series of Defense Intelligence Reference Documents (DIRDs). They were put up on a special server called JWICs (Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System).”
To date, we don’t have documentation for the cost per paper of the subcontracted studies, but BAASS had contracted the MUFON Advanced Technology Establishment for five similar studies at a price of $2000 each. We can estimate a minimum expenditure on the first 26 DIRDs at $52,000 

May 30, 2009 - BAASS hired a Portuguese translator in preparation for a 2009 “mid summer or fall” Brazil trip to pursue UFO material, including Colares cases documents from the government’s “Operation Plate.” See: “BAASS team visited Brazil” An investigation by Marc Cecotti and Keith Basterfield. Their investigation revealed an email exchange from August 2009 relating to the purchase of UFO data and materials, and Ademar Gevaerd from Brazil recently confirmed: “We spoke about a contract of services… in order to find metamaterials.” There was a second trip by a BAASS team to Brazil, but no evidence has surfaced of any resulting purchases, so these trips are cited to document examples of BAASS travel expenditures.

June 2009 - Bigelow had another tactic to collect UFO reports. He bought them outright. Canadian researcher Brian Vike, writing about the HBCC (Houston British Columbia Canada) UFO Research site: "I did own and operate it at one time, but I sold my 5 domain names to Bigelow Aerospace back I believe in June of 2009." The site is no longer active, but here's an archive of HBCC UFO Research from 2010, under BAASS management.

July 2009 - BAASS Ten Month Report delivered to DIA. According to Tim McMillan in Inside the Pentagon's Secret UFO Program, for the DIA, BAASS produced a “ 494-page ‘Ten Month Report,’ ...chock full of strategic plans, project summaries, data tables, charts, descriptions of biological field effects, physical characteristics, methods of detection, theoretical capabilities, witness interviews, photographs, and case synopses—each one entirely, explicitly about unexplained aerial phenomena.” there was also a mention of Bigelow’s Skinwalker Ranch in Utah as a “possible laboratory for studying other intelligences and possible interdimensional phenomena.”

Sept. 30, 2009 - For FY10, the AAWSAP contract with BAASS was renewed, funded for another year at $12 million.

Jan. 31, 2010 - The MUFON SIP field investigation program first had its funding cut by BAASS, and the contract was subsequently not renewed, so shut down. Under the reduced funding, $324,000 total was received from BAASS over the life of the project. 

March 25, 2010 - Colm Kelleher emailed Australian researcher Bill Chalker
“Since like 2008, I have been part of Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies... we are interested in compiling a database of high-quality cases from around the world. ...we would love to hear of any cases in Australia or China that have physical evidence (including trace evidence) associated with them.” Nothing resulted, but this indicates that a global search was underway by BAASS, and that they were ready to pay for it if necessary.

2010 Date? - EarthTech subcontracted 12 more technical studies to be used as DIRDs, for a minimum estimated price of $24,000.

June 10, 2010 - Robert Bigelow uncharacteristically made public comments to the New York Times on UFOs and emphasized the danger from them:
“I’ve been a researcher and student of U.F.O.’s for many, many years. Anybody that does research, if people bother to do quality research, come away absolutely convinced. You don’t have to have personal encounters. People have been killed. People have been hurt. It’s more than observational kind of data.” It’s possible these comments were intended to help secure another year of BAASS funding by the DIA.

June 2010. A large number of BAASS personnel were laid off according to their LinkedIn profiles. Marc Cecotti obtained a quote from a former BAASS employee that “One day in June 2010 the suits from the Defense Intelligence Agency showed up for 15 minutes, left. The next day we were all laid off.”

July 29, 2010 - An FAA memo effective July 29, 2010 stated: “... air traffic control reporting of UFOs in the United States should now go to BAASS...” Colm Kelleher confirmed that BAASS had an office to receive UFO reports. As with most other BAASS projects, it’s unknown how much was spent on the project or what became of the data gathered.

Sept. 30, 2011 - AAWSAP option year 3 started, apparently without any funding for BAASS. AATIP was transferred to OSD control (according to Luis Elizondo).

The Money: Tracking what the Pentagon Funding Purchased

One of the most paradoxical aspects of the AATIP story is the BAASS subcontract MUFON, which was simultaneously the most publicly known project, but held some of the greatest secrets. Of the $22M from the AAWSAP contract, only the payments of BAASS to MUFON can be accounted for.

The MUFON-BAASS Transactions and Tax Reporting

$10,000 (MATE papers)
$1800 (Field Investigator manuals)
$324,000 (SIP funding and CMS access)
$335,800 (total)

"MUFON is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 charitable corporation," according to their website. When Bigelow approached MUFON with the proposition to hire them, some of the Board of Directors questioned how it might affect their non-profit tax status or conflict with the group’s goals. Here’s an example, a Dec 9, 2008, MUFON email between the MUFON Advanced Technology Establishment team:

“Dear Mates:
... The issue has been raised as to what form of business entity our project should utilize. That may depend on whether we decide to go with a start up company for the power generation project or actually run the project ourselves. If we should decide to run the project ourselves, it has been suggested that we should set up another not-for-profit organization. In considering that question, we have to ask what our goal would be? 

MUFON already has not-for-profit corporation status. Is the goal to keep the information from the board? All we really want to do is to keep the name of the sponsor from becoming known, isn't it? If there is that much concern about the board members knowing the name of our sponsor, perhaps they could agree in principal that they don't need to know that information (based on John Schu[e]ssler's and James' assurances?) but can participate generally in decisions. If we keep the information about what we're doing from the board, doesn't that place James, Bob and Robert in a tough and possibly unethical position? We could have the board members sign the second NDA form, or something similar, so that they realize they are jeopardizing their position with MUFON if they reveal the information.”

Ultimately MUFON elected to continue the contract under their existing structure, justifying the income as financing their core mission. The MUFON Federal tax filing from 2008 and 2009 reflects the money from Bigelow shows a total of $344,667 as “contributions” from BAASS rather than contracted work, services rendered, or goods purchased.

MUFON Tax Returns 2008-2009
MUFON 2008 Tax Return Schedule B shows $242,667 received from BAASS as a contribution. (Filed under Clifford Clift as director, filed 2010-02-01.)

MUFON 2009 Tax Return Schedule B shows $102,000 received from BAASS as a contribution. (Filed under Clifford Clift as director, filed circa Oct. 2010.)

MUFONs justified accepting the BAASS contracts for the following reasons:
  • Needed the money to fund research
  • Did not conflict with goals of sharing information
  • Case information provided was (supposedly) no different than what MUFON presented in CMS site and published in Journal. 

BAASS Estimated Expenditures for FY09 and FY10

With the documented MUFON figures in hand, we can extrapolate some of the other BAASS expenditures for the DIA contract. (Note - This includes known figures, estimates, and guesswork)

$6,900,000 - BAASS payroll est.
$400,000 est. cost of BAASS facilities
$20,000 est. cost BAASS equipment
$350,000 est. cost BAASS field investigations

$335,800 - MUFON contracts and purchases.

$1000 - HBCC UFO websites purchased from Brian Vike of Canada

$20,000 - est. Hal Puthoff and EarthTech team fees
$78,000 - est. for subcontracted 38 studies for DIRDs
$8,104,800 est. total 

The DIA’s contract with BAASS was for a total of $22M, so obviously the above list comes up short. Several possibilities exist. Perhaps the funds were used over a longer time frame, or the expenses were larger than are known or estimated - or the money went into projects yet undiscovered. It also may be that Robert Bigelow used AAWSAP to recover some of his previous research costs related to NIDS and Skinwalker Ranch. This exercise shows that like with the rest of the AATIP story, there are still a lot of questions yet to be answered.

 . . .

Appendix: AATIP ≠ DIRDs 

The best-known product of the Pentagon UFO program is the 38 scientific studies on the future of advanced aerospace developments. In late 2017, the New York Times and other news agencies were shown a dossier to establish the credentials of the AATIP program. The collection included a powerpoint presentation with the slide, “FY09 Technical Reports,” the first 26 DIRDs produced via Hal Puthoff’s subcontract with Bigelow. Part of this material was later posted on the site of Chris Mellon (of TTSA), but later removed. Mellon later displayed two of the missing slides during an episode of Unidentified, and we’ve used those to create a PDF to recreate the document. AATIP Powerpoint Briefing 2009.

AATIP FY09 Technical Reports
In response to the FOIA by Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, the DIA released a list of 38 research titles funded by AATIP. This document was created by the DIA stating that it was furnishing the Congressional Committee on Armed Services with “a list of all products produced under the AATIP contract” These were the 38 Defense Intelligence Reference Documents (DIRDs) contracted during the AAWSAP/AATIP project. By comparing it with the 2009 briefing document, we can determine that Puthoff contracted the following DIRDs for FY2010’s additional $12M in funding:

The FY10 Technical Reports:

Advanced Nuclear Propulsion for Manned Deep Space Missions, Dr. F. Winterberg, Univ, of Nevada -Reno

Aneutronic Fusion Propulsion, Dr. V. Teofilo, Lockheed Martin

Cockpits in the Era of Breakthrough Flight, Dr. G. Millis, Tau Zero

Cognitive Limits on Simultaneous Control of Multiple Unmanned Spacecraft, Dr. R. Genik, Wayne State Univ

Detection and High Resolution Tracking of Vehicles at Hypersonic Velocities, Dr. W. Culbreth, Univ of Nevada - Las Vegas

Aneutronic Fusion, Dr. W. Culbreth, Univ of Nevada - Las Vegas.

Laser Lightcraft Nanosatellites, Dr. E. Davis, EarthTech

MHD Air Breathing Propulsion and Power for Aerospace Applications, Dr. S. Macheret, Lockheed Martin.

Quantum Computing and Utilizing Organic Molecules in Automation Technology, Dr. R. Genik, Wayne State Univ

Quantum Tomography of Negative Energy States in the Vacuum, Dr. Eric Davis, EarthTech

Ultracapacitors as Energy and Power Storage Devices, Dr. J. Golightly, Lockheed Martin.

State of the Art and Evolution of High Energy Laser Weapons, J. Albertine, Directed Technologies (Product is classified UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY)

A few of the DIRDs have been located or leaked, and match the titles, authors, and content described in the DIA list of 38 research titles. See “The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) DIRD Report Research” by John Greenewald.

The second group of studies may give some insight either into the AATIP project, or at least what Robert Bigelow and Hal Puthoff thought would be valuable to their sponsors. It still remains unclear if the studies reflect the true goals of the project or served as a cover story for UFO research.

Further Reading on BAASS and AATIP

Bryan Bender’s article “The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs,” Politico magazine, Dec. 16, 2017, discussed the Bigelow-Reid connection and how AATIP was funded. “Reid initiated the program, which ultimately spent more than $20 million, through an earmark after he was persuaded in part by aerospace titan and hotel chain founder Bob Bigelow, a friend and fellow Nevadan... Bigelow... was also a regular contributor to Reid’s reelection campaigns, campaign finance records show, at least $10,000 from 1998 to 2008.”
Bender quotes an unidentified former senior intelligence official who was uncomfortable with the program, “I was concerned the money was being funneled through it to somebody else who was an associate of Harry Reid’s. The whole circle was kind of a bizarre piece.”

George Knapp on the structure of the post-BAASS AATIP from the 2019 Laughlin UFO MegaCon presentation
[AATIP] ...a group of people Lue Elizondo was the head of. It's not so much a program as it was a loose network of intelligence officials in different agencies, including the Air Force, and the Navy, CIA, DIA, DARPA, might be a couple of other agencies, but a case would come in from any one of their units, it would be shared with this group of people and analysis would be done, evidence would be looked at, and then it's stashed in a drawer and nobody ever sees it, it's not passed up the chain of command.”

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena - scientific research features a series of articles by Keith Basterfield and Marc Cecotti on the Bigelow-AAWSAP projects, the latest at the time of this writing is: How BAASS went about collecting UFO reports from across the globe, which features a timeline of known attempts to gather data and materials.

More MUFON tax returns may be found at the site: MUFON: A look at the Organization.

Also, see the previous articles by Roger Glassel and Curt Collins: