Quotes:

...Multiple sources close to the matter have come forward to tell Public that Grusch’s core claims are accurate. The individuals are all either high-ranking intelligence officials, former intelligence officials, or individuals who we could verify were involved in U.S. government UAP efforts for three or more decades each. Two of them have testified, including as recently as last year, to both AARO and Congress.


This is not the first time government officials have suggested that the U.S. may possess alien spaceships. “I was told for decades that Lockheed had some of these retrieved materials,” said the late Senator Harry Reid, who fought for greater disclosure. “And I tried to get, as I recall, a classified approval by the Pentagon to have me go look at the stuff. They would not approve that.”

Former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Christopher Mellon, recently reported that he has spoken to more than four witnesses who say they know of “a secret U.S. government program involving the analysis and exploitation of materials recovered from off-world craft… Some have supplied information to the intelligence community’s inspector general, others directly to the staff of the congressional oversight committees.”


Members of Congressional intelligence committees and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) are taking Grusch’s claims seriously. The ICIG concluded in July 2022 that Grusch’s whistleblower complaint was “credible and urgent.” And, said a source who worked with him, Grusch’s superiors promoted him rapidly due to his talent. “He jumped ranks when they hired him as a GS-15. That’s a big jump for his position.”


“His assertion concerning the existence of a terrestrial arms race occurring sub-rosa over the past eighty years focused on reverse engineering technologies of unknown origin is fundamentally correct,” said Karl Nell, a retired Army Colonel who worked with Grusch on the UAP Task Force, which preceded the creation of AARO, told The Debrief,” as is the indisputable realization that at least some of these technologies of unknown origin derive from non-human intelligence.”

Some of the same sources who shared information with Grusch, as well as others, spoke to Public about retrieved spacecraft that they say is in the possession of the U.S. government. “I know of at least 12-15 craft,” said one person, who said they shared the information with AARO and Congress. “Every five years, we get one or two recovered for one reason or another, from either a landing or that we catch, or they just crash.”


All of the individuals pointed to secrecy as an obstacle to reverse engineering the craft. One military contractor said that, in December 2010, a major aerospace corporation tried to work around the secrecy by creating a buffer organization to prevent scientists and engineers who lacked top-secret clearance from learning where the tech they worked on came from. But the military sharply rejected the proposal.

The proposal, the person said, was that “We would apply science and engineering talent because the aerospace corporation security meant they were not having as much success as had been hoped for. And so we were proposing to horizontally cut through the stove pipes [which compartmentalize work to keep it secret] so there would be very few people interfacing with the aerospace company, and the science and engineering talent wouldn’t need to know about the full nature of the tech.”

The contractor said the US government agency rejected the idea. “The [aerospace corporation] vice president took it back to his customer, a government agency I won’t name, and they refused. It was a very strong refusal; there was no chance of this ever happening. The main concern was that there would be a potential for a leak, but it seemed like it was a very flat ‘no’ with not a lot of reasons given.

“The aerospace vice president was pretty stressed out about the whole thing. Apparently, it was not a very polite ‘no’ that was given. The main problem, according to the aerospace corporation, was that they were handcuffed left, right, and center. And that was the last we ever heard of it.”

One source estimated there were only between 100 and 700 individuals in government or working for government contractors who know about the retrieved crash, while another person estimated that even fewer knew about the full program to reverse engineer alien technology. “Maybe on our side, there were three people total,” said the contractor whose proposal to cut through the stovepipe was rejected. “There were 4 or 5 people who I knew of on the aerospace corporation side.”

And that’s a problem, said the people we interviewed. “The problem is this overwhelming security apparatus. And so a brainstorming session that is necessary to scientific and engineering is not possible.”

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31 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 1:24 AM
[-]Max H11mo94

Many people around the world believe that aliens live among us or have visited Earth at some point. By base rates, it's not surprising that some of these people are high-ranking officials in the DoD or other governments. 

Some of these officials have access to classified / non-public info, and are probably sincerely convinced that they have found strong evidence for aliens. But I haven't seen anything to suggest that the publicly available information is actually strong evidence, nor that the believers with access to private information are particularly strong rationalists with well-calibrated priors and strong Bayesian updating skills. So the fact that they allegedly believe something isn't much evidence that such a thing is true.

Have you actually read the article?

There's a difference between vaguely believing in aliens and believing it with the specificity where you can say that there are 12 crafts in US possession. Especially, when the person makes those statements under oath. 

Fortunately, it seems that there's enough noise that Congress will hold a public inquiry and we will get better data.

[-]Max H11mo63

Two of them have testified, including as recently as last year, to both AARO and Congress.

 

I think it's plausible-to-likely that this testimony actually happened, and that if it did happen, that it's very likely the officials who testified sincerely believe that they have observed strong, concrete evidence of alien spacecraft. Furthermore, I think it's likely that there is actual material at the DoD and Lockheed which many people there believe is at least plausibly from aliens.

These officials are sticking their necks out and making honest, specific, and testable predictions. I confidently predict they're all wrong, despite the fact that they access to more data than I do.

Why? I expect that most or all of these officials:

  • have not considered alternative hypotheses for their observations in enough detail and breadth.
  • have not explicitly considered the likelihood ratios given their observations for any alternate hypotheses they have thought of.
  • have bad priors about the topic (implicitly, I expect most are not thinking in terms of probabilities and Bayesian updates at all)

Note that my own prediction is based on priors, rather than looking into any of the specific claims or evidence available about aliens specifically. And the bullet points above apply more generally to the question of how to treat the beliefs of others, in terms of how much Bayesian evidence they are about the underlying belief.

To quote HPMOR:

"Should I be convinced?" Harry said. He didn't look away. "Just because you believe it? Are you a strong enough rationalist now that your belief is strong evidence to me, because you'd be very unlikely to believe it if it weren't true?

The existence of numerous alien craft on Earth would make me much less concerned about the more cosmic variety of AI Doom scenarios. Any extraterrestrial visitors that haven't destroyed us seem likely to possess both the means and inclination to prevent us from doing anything that would propagate harms beyond Earth.

[-]Dagon11mo62

Not necessarily.  If they're so incompetent that they have left "numerous" pieces of hard evidence in our hands, they have either limited means or incomprehensible inclinations.  

Setting aside the specific scenario discussed in recent news stories, there's ways craft could change hands through interactions that don't involve limited means or inscrutable goals. Some examples:

A combination gift/test: see what we can learn from some samples, and prove we're worthy of joining the interstellar community as they observe what we choose to do with the gains.

A calculated technology transfer, where we get very old junk and then gradually newer junk as our understanding improves. Essentially foreign development aid across a much larger wealth and tech gap.

Anything that's crashed or that we've otherwise obtained, was meant to be disposable, or was so old it was meant to crash long ago. I always assume that if there are aliens watching Earth, they've had automated probes here for millions of years at a minimum.

[-]lc11mo20

The message behind the inclinations may merely be incomprehensible for us. If I were an alien civ anticipating these humans to one day become something much more intelligent, and I wanted to tell them not to harshly expand without endangering myself, one strategy to take would be to just say "I'm here" in the form of airspace trinkets with the expectation that the successor civ fills in the blanks on priors. To tell them a whole lot more about myself wouldn't be prudent until I had an idea of what their intentions were.

[-]Dagon11mo50

Incomprehensible messages are a failure mode that indicates insufficiently advanced capabilities.  Ambiguity doesn't help with that message, to the current or to the successor civ.

I mean, yeah, a clever writer can think up scenarios that kind of work on first blush, and are probably good enough for a Netflix series.  But I haven't heard any that actually work out as either intentional or accidental physical acquisition of hard evidence by a small group of humans, who then understand the situation well enough to keep it secret for decades.

[-]lc10mo20

Incomprehensible messages are a failure mode that indicates insufficiently advanced capabilities. Ambiguity doesn't help with that message, to the current or to the successor civ.

You do not understand what I am saying. The message is not for us and so our inability to interpret the message is irrelevant. Ambiguity and in general the small amount of relevant information is an important security property that helps ensure the aliens do not convey more than they mean to.

[-]awg11mo40

I find this Above the Law article to be a rational take on the parts of this that actually seem compelling.

Pretty much, in so far as any of this has legs, it's the boring, normal legal proceedings that are the most interesting thing here. Yes there have been "whistleblowers" in the past, but only in the prosaic sense. This is the first time someone is using the actual whistleblower protections and procedures to come forward with stuff through entirely official channels.

[-]GdL75211mo10

To broaden things a bit discussionwise.

The leap from 1950's transistors and semi conductors to what...early 90's?

I'm not familiar enough with material science or any of that to make an intelligent call but does it seem like a logical progression or on inspection does it actually raise questions about recovered UFO technology?

At the very least I feel like experts in those fields either have or could point out that something seems fishy or they could convincgly dismiss the assertion.

Semiconductor chips don’t carry the secrets of their manufacture.  Let’s say a modern chip fell into 1958.  They had electron microscopes, so they could see there were tiny structures there.  And they had analytical chemistry for macroscopic samples, so they’d be able to tell the chip was almost pure silicon, with small admixtures of the sort of impurities that form transistors.  But they didn’t have ion milling and scanning microprobes, so they wouldn’t be able to tell how the impurities were arranged into devices.  And they certainly wouldn’t know how to reproduce the highly developed engineering that manufactures these chips nowadays.

So the best they could do would be to start the development of ever-smaller semiconductors, knowing that someday they would be very impressive.  And until then, they would do good stuff along the way.  Which is pretty much what happened in real life.

Epistemic status: I designed chips from 1982 to 1994.  I never saw an alien spaceship.

[-]Vaniver11mo134

I'm not familiar enough with material science or any of that to make an intelligent call but does it seem like a logical progression or on inspection does it actually raise questions about recovered UFO technology?

I've studied this history moderately closely; I would describe it as a logical progression, and not like a jump from acquiring alien technology. 

[-]Dagon11mo30

It seems like this should come with some examples of technology with surprising leaps.  It's plausible that some advances can accelerate massively though reverse-engineering, or even just the knowledge of a possibility to direct research in a direction.   It's NOT plausible that such a secret can be kept by this many, for this long, and used so subtly that people aren't studying WHERE a breakthrough came from.

Basically, the sources seem to suggest that because of their desire to keep things secret, that they didn't pursue the reverse-engineering with enough manpower to be very effective at reverse-engineering. 

[-]awg11mo10

It's funny, because it's kind of like the same story with AI safety and alignment. Why no progress? Well, we've only had like 100-300 people taking it seriously and working on it.

100-300 knowing about it and working on it are two different things. While MIRI was somewhat secretive, I think there was a lot more exchange than what's described there.

[-]awg11mo10

The same basic principles would apply, though, no? For essentially 10-20 years, MIRI was shouting into the void. Only now that the technology is taking off are people actually taking it seriously and starting to work on the problem. Whether it was known about or not, the point is that only a small handful of people were taking it seriously and trying to come up with innovative solutions.

Even now that AI is immensely popular, isn't the estimation that still only about 100-300 people are working on solving AI alignment full time? And that that's been one of the biggest hurdles to progress? The thing that all AI safety people have essentially been trying to do is to get more people working on the hard problems.

[-]lc11mo20

See the several paragraphs inside the last quotation. According to the article, they haven't actually gotten anywhere with reverse engineering these things.

[-]shminux11mo1-6

The least realistic part of the alien tech claim is that no other country seems to have it, or they are that good at keeping potentially revolutionary secrets. Still betting on this turning out to be nothing like a central example of "alien tech".

[-]lc11mo50

One quote:

The sources said they suspected that the Chinese and Russians had also retrieved craft, but they did not know for certain.

[-]awg11mo50

I totally get the impulse, but I am getting a little sick of folks just dismissing completely out of hand without even engaging with the information.

From the original Debrief article:

[Grusch] said he reported to Congress on the existence of a decades-long “publicly unknown Cold War for recovered and exploited physical material – a competition with near-peer adversaries over the years to identify UAP crashes/landings and retrieve the material for exploitation/reverse engineering to garner asymmetric national defense advantages.”

Edit: oops, meant to reply directly to shminux, my b. Leaving it here for now.

Words. Show me the "physical material".

[-]awg11mo43

See my other reply, but to add to that: the physical material and evidence that Grusch claims to have (second-hand accounts or no, though he does claim to have names, locations, photos, etc.) is all classified. Grusch could have pulled a Snowden, perhaps, and leaked it all directly, but I don't think that would have been as effective as what he's doing right now, because still no one would have reason to really believe him. What he's doing instead is going through the proper government channels, pulling the proper government levers, with the proper people in the proper positions of power (namely the ICIG and Congress) in order to get his allegations investigated properly.

"Show me the physical material" is right. The thing is, Grusch, and others in his position, are not able to do that without risking serious legal repercussions. Instead, they're using the proper whistleblower protections and legislation written out to help them come forward with these claims in a proper way that actually gets them investigated by the right people. That's important. That's how we actually get answers to any of this (whatever those answers turn out to be). If he just Snowden'd the whole thing, I think people like you would be like "Yeah, bullshit, whatever," and move on, just like with any of the other wild claims that have come out through improper channels (Bob Lazar, etc.). 

If instead he comes to the ICIG and Congress with it and gets them to do a full-on investigation that then produces answers, people like you are going to be much more likely to take the matter seriously.

[-]shminux11mo3-3

It is the same source, so zero new information if one does not trust the source.

[-]awg11mo30

So then your argument should be something like: "I don't think any of these sources are credible at this time and therefore don't find anything they present to be valid."

Your argument should not be to misrepresent what the sources actually say.

I would not think the source was non-credible if the claims were to contradict my rather firm priors and my model of the world significantly less. As it is, If someone otherwise credible claims they can extract energy from "quantum vacuum" without explaining how they managed to overturn all of the Standard Model, I would dismiss the claims as the usual crackpot noise. A number of prominent and distinguished scientists went off the rails that way. The alien tech claims are in about the same ballpark. A lot of what we think we know about the universe would have to turn out wrong for the claims to be accurate. I would love to be proven wrong though, but it would require a lot more than words of one or two humans, or of a niche media outlet.

[-]awg11mo41

The thing that I think you're missing, personally, is that David Grusch is really not asking any of us to believe his account just based on his words in an interview. His words as of now are not the thing that matters. What matters is the hundreds of pages and photos and hours of testimony given under oath to the Intelligence Community Inspector General and Congress. That's the evidence that matters, not Grusch's words.

I don't know if I can believe Grusch, because I too haven't seen the things he claims to have, the sources, documents, names, locations, etc. But you know who has? The ICIG. And he has deemed Grusch's allegations credible and urgent. It is the ICIG I'm choosing to "believe" right now, in so far as there is anything to believe in. Or maybe not even him, as a person, but the office and legal procedures and government apparatus he represents.

If someone otherwise credible claims they can extract energy from the "quantum vacuum" without explaining to me how they did it, of course I would be incredulous. But if it was shown that they provided hours upon hours of sworn testimony to officials at the Department of Energy, who then said they were taking it very seriously, then my ears would prick up. Then I would go, "Oh, huh, some otherwise serious people in a serious bureaucracy dedicated to these things are taking this person's claims seriously. I wonder what that's about? Surely if there was nothing there they would not be taking him seriously."

That's the point we're at here. I'm not inclined to believe there's something to what Grusch is saying based on his words in an interview. I'm inclined to believe there's something because an entire government apparatus (who has actually seen the evidence Grusch claims to have in his possession) is taking him seriously. And that, to me, seems worth taking seriously right now.

What matters is the hundreds of pages and photos and hours of testimony given under oath to the Intelligence Community Inspector General and Congress.

Did Grusch already testify to Congress? I thought that was still being planned.

[-]awg10mo30

He's provided classified information to congress already yes. The intelligence committees in both houses I believe.

Information on these vehicles is being illegally withheld from Congress, Grusch told the Debrief. Grusch said when he turned over classified information about the vehicles to Congress he suffered retaliation from government officials. He left the government in April after a 14-year career in US intelligence.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jun/06/whistleblower-ufo-alien-tech-spacecraft

The one you linked is a new set of hearings planned by the House Oversight Committee.

The Event of a Millennium, and no one noticed...

Why Now?  Yes, the Pentagon is still denying, but that's the default mode...  How about:

- FINANCIAL -- Keane & others mentioned (but I haven't verified) that keeping this UFO stuff secret now takes more $ than the research of the artifacts - I wouldn't doubt it;

- CONTRACTUAL -- companies like Battelle (near Wright-Patterson) have been involved since Roswell; and, IIRC, Lockheed proposed "opening up" the research to a wider pool of scientists (reverse the stove-piping), but DOD rejected it for security reasons.  Sounds like Schellenberger got some of his best intel from contractors -- maybe some self-serving leaks / leakers;

- THE INTERNET -- makes keeping secrets much much harder now than 75 years ago.

* Is this a "soft-landing" or battle-space preparation?  Maybe.  I read & re-read Clarke's "Childhood's End" many times, so who knows?  But, to be 100% selfish, I hope we find out before I depart this mortal coil...