Nick Pope – Recently Released Government Documents – February 5, 2019

Open Minds UFO Radio: Nick Pope investigated UFOs for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) for several years in the early 1990s. He was skeptical about the phenomenon when he began looking into the matter. However, after having reviewed several credible cases Nick concluded that UFOs pose a real mystery, and unidentified vehicles in our airspace could pose a threat to national security. Since he has left the MoD, Nick has authored a book on the UK’s most credible and famous UFO case, Encounter in Rendlesham Forest: The Inside Story of the World’s Best-Documented UFO Incident. He is also a journalist and media commentator.

Recently, Nick was able to obtain Department of Defense (DoD) files regarding Advanced Aerospace Identification Program (AATIP), often referred to as the Pentagon’s secret UFO project. These are some of the very few official releases of documents related to AATIP that have surfaced. In this episode, we discuss what is in the files and how he received them. Nick also explains what we can infer from the documents, and why they are significant.

For more information about Nick, visit: NickPope.Net.


Alejandro Rojas

Alejandro Rojas is a radio host for Open Minds Radio, editor and contributing writer for Open Minds magazine as well as OpenMinds.tv. For several years Alejandro was the official spokesperson for the Mutual UFO Network as the Director of Public Education. As a UFO/Paranormal researcher and journalist, Alejandro has spent many hours in the field investigating phenomena up close and personal. Alejandro has been interviewed by media organizations around the world, including the largest cable and network news agencies with several appearances on Coast to Coast AM.

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  1. His inferences are total nonsense. None of these documents even remotely suggest UFOs. They are papers of similar topics that the government (ours and others, particularly Russia) has funded for decades. They are the same kind of papers (by literally the same authors) that NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Project in the late 90s put out. None of this is new or remarkable. Hell I had that Eric Davis paper several years ago, because I have studied advanced and speculative propulsion for decades. It made the rounds back when it came out, just no one noticed the AASWAP thing at the bottom of one of the page nor did we know what it was. So no one paid attention to that. Davis and Puthoff have been putting papers out like these for decades. The Air Force funded alot of the research before, like the Teleportation physics study. None of this, absolutely NONE OF IT, implies any tie whatsoever to UFOs. NASA still works on alot of this stuff (particular Eagleworks) and papers about these exact same topics have been published and given at AIAA symposiums for decades. There are conferences all about propulsion ideas like this. Even Jan Harzen has gone to a few of them in recent years. Like the SSE conference, or the Breakthrough Starshot conference on breakthrough propulsion, or the symposiums of the 100YR Starship project. You can find the entire sets of lectures from these conferences on youtube. Eric Davis even gave a talk in 2011 at SSE called ‘Gravity Control, Warp-Drive, Propulsion Frontiers’ that can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDx1po_apZU . If you follow any of those projects, or Tau Zero foundation, or any of these projects looking at advanced propulsion for interstellar travel these are exactly the kind of papers they publish and have presentations on. None of these projects have anything to do with UFOs but are putting out papers exactly like every single one on this list of 38.

    This is exactly the kind of thing I would expect AATIP/AASWAP to be investigating, as per what the DOD says the program was for, not the claims that its a UFO program which isnt backed up by the evidence. The DOD claims the purpose of the program was to look at foreign advanced aviation threats that might exist in 40-50 years (if it was UFOs, the threat is now, not in 40-50 years, it makes ZERO sense for it to be a UFO program if they are looking at technology that we might develop in several decades). This is exactly the kind of stuff you would be looking at , and expect foreign governments to be developing in the next 50 years. How do we know? Because we are doing that same research, hell we have been for decades. We know Russia and the UK has been as well. We also know space is the next big thing for the military. They would want to be looking at advanced propulsion and physics ideas to support a future in space. Particularly if interested in deep space travel. You can assume all militaries are looking at this kind of research with the same motivation of future space development, so we would need to be as well. None of this implies a relation to UFOs whatsoever. Not even the paper about the Drake equation and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Thats what astrobiologist study. Its what NASA studies, what SETI studies, none of these organizations are doing it under any relation to UFOs.

    Eric Davis even coedited a book that came out in 2009 called “Frontiers of Propulsion Science (Progress in Astronautics & Aeronautics)”. The papers in this book are practically identical to the 38 papers released in that DIA list in topic/subject matter. They are looking at the exact same kind of ideas. To imply that it has to do with UFOs just because they are looking at advanced and speculative future propulsion ideas is absolutely ridiculous and illogical. I really dont get why everyone is so excited about this list of documents. Its all old hat stuff (old hat that hasnt even been invented yet but researched and discussed for decades) that isnt new. And none of the people and groups that have been putting out this research for decades have anything to do with UFOs. why should we believe this is any different. It also supports the DOD’s claims of what the program really was, not what (and pretty much only him) Luiz Elizondo claims the program was (even he says it wasnt really about ufos, that was such a tiny tiny part of the job that he pretty much did it in his spare time. they encountered and looked at military ufo cases, thats a fact. but it wasnt just or specifically a ufo program). That is a UFO program. It makes perfect sense for what the DOD claims the program was for. So DOD 1 TTSA A BIG FAT ZERO.

  2. You are missing many of the biggest points expressed in this show. First, is that, according to the docs, AATIP was setup to “investigate foreign advanced aerospace weapon threats.” So what are the foreign powers of interest? The DIRDs do not indicate. Instead, we see references to theoretical propulsion and the Drake equation which estimates the likelihood of the existence of alien civilizations. Second, we have the word of the authors of these papers you reference, and the other major players such as Elizondo and Reid. None of the UFO nature of the program was really in question anyway, given their statements. This just further, and officially, supports what they have already said.

    You are right that in this is not that big if a deal, because we already knew much of this. The big deal is that it is official. As far as Elizondo being the only one who says the program was UFO related, you are WAY off on that, as we reviewed in the show. The NY Times had independent sources, there is Harry Reid, and the authors, as I mentioned.

    Finally, this is not a DoD versus TTSA thing. It is DoD versus DoD in a way, but as Nick mentions, a lower ranked DoD PR official who likely does not have the full story, and much higher ranked DoD officials. Many of the AATIP staff (Elizondo and contractors such as Davis and Putthoff), who would obviously be the most knowledgable of the work done in AATIP, have told us what they did with AATIP, but not as TTSA employees, as individuals.

    You are also misinterpreting what Elizondo has said. He did say the majority of what he worked on was not UFOs. That is because AATIP was not funded and he had to do it when he had time. Otherwise, he worked on other DoD projects to keep the country safe, like anti-terrorism.

  3. Disclosing the existence of a governmental entity, AATIP, which has nothing to do with the government disclosing UFOs, is a big deal, Alejandro? What’s the next big deal from AATIP or TTSA? Let us help you with that, Alejandro. The next big deal will be the disclosure of the name of the pilot flying the other F18 alongside pilot David Fravor’s F18. Coming summer 2019! Woo!

    I’ll tell you what’s entertaining about Nick Pope, though. It’s the way he pronounces the word, “extraordinary”.

  4. “Has nothing to do with the government disclosing UFOs” – I guess it depends on what or who you consider the government. In this case, we have Harry Reid, who got the original study funded, and the Luis Elizondo, the man who ran the project, both sharing studying UFOs was the goal of the project. That is disclosing there was a government project that looked into the matter. It isn’t hard. The government and the media seem OK with this as fact. These docs were disclosed because Congressional committees have been discussing AATIP. Did you all actually listen to the show?

  5. They didnt need to define ‘foreign’, it clearly means foreign governments. Are we going to change the definition of foreign now too? Start calling foreigners non-americans or something, and use foreign to mean alien now? This reminds me of MUFON deciding to call unknowns ‘UAV’ over this last year, when that is ridiculous. The term is already used to mean drones, unmanned aerial vehicles. Clearly foreign means other countries, not aliens. There is no reason to think they needed to define what foreign was, when its pretty obvious what foreign means. Pope even says in this interview that foreign governments would want to be looking at developing this stuff in the next several decades. Pope keeps talking about this disconnect, but the biggest disconnect seems to be his logic. Listening to this interview was hard, because at one point he is saying absurd things and making great leaps of logic that make no rational sense, and then other parts it sounds like he is making my argument for me (that china, russia etc.would be looking at developing the technologies discussed in these papers and so should we) and it contradicts what he was just saying minutes before.

    How can he possibly think a paper on a drake equation is the ‘smoking gun’ as he calls it, that AATIP was a UFO program? He suggest these documents as a whole are major proof to what Elizondo and TTSA has been saying all along, that it was a UFO program. I still stand by my original comment, and why these documents do no such thing. In fact they completely go against what they have been claiming, perhaps even disproving those claims to some extent and fully support what the DOD (and the bid request for contract papers etc) say the programs purpose was. Why dont you tell the SETI people (of which Drake was a founder) that because they wrote a paper on SETI/Drake equation that is a smoking gun that the program is UFO related. Thats crazy talk, and I dont see how Pope can even remotely think 1 paper on ETI means UFOs at all. Any program looking at advanced propulsion physics for deep space travel would need to look at the possibility of ETI. That no more makes AATIP all about UFOs, then it makes NASA all about UFOs.

    No one can dispute they looked at UFO incidents. We know about the few they have told us. But that does not make it a UFO program, or primarily a UFO program. If the military encountered something exhibiting extraordinary capabilities, a program like this (as the DOD claims) is exactly who they would have investigate it. After all, they are trying to figure out what kind of advanced technological threats might develop, and here is something exhibiting such advances right now. That wouldn’t make the program about UFOs. Now Blue Book, that was about studying UFOs (and explaining them away, but thats not the point here)

    What percent of the program is Elizondo claiming was about UFO studies then? Is he saying it was entirely about that (as you suggest)? Because that makes even less sense. And the program wasnt always unfunded, are you claiming he worked on the UFO stuff full time when it had funding? Because I heard him say what you said, but he never said (that I heard) it was because they didn’t have funding. That had they had more funding he would of worked on that aspect full time. Just that looking at that stuff (UFOs) was just a small part of it. But you have talked to him, not I, so I will defer to you on that. At least until I can ask him in March.

    This list of documents was created to let McCain and others know what the output of this program was. Basically what they got for the money invested in it. If this is the output of the program, how come not a single one of those papers mentions or is about UFOs? Would you not expect a program that is a UFO program primarily, or even in large part, to at least put something out related to studying ufos or anomalous incidents? I would, but we got nothing. None of these suggest they were studying UFOs, so where is that research? You cant claim ‘its classified’ because that doesnt wash. This wasnt a list intended for public distribution. And this project was never supposed to be classified. The paperwork shows that. There would be nothing secret about including titles of a paper that mentions or would be related to UFOs. Particularly since thats what all the public claims have said about the program since the NYT article. And this list was supposed to be the entire output of the program, not just what they wanted politicians to know and kept the rest secret.

    So where is the UFO research they did and how come they are not telling congress/senate/etc.. that they did any research into UFOs? What did they learn and how did they learn it? And what then are these papers for , why fund all of them when they were supposed to be looking at UFOs. I would expect at least some papers about the phenomenon. Perhaps some statistical analysis of data about UFOs. Ideas for instrumented analysis of ufo incidents. Something related to UFOs. Instead we have a UFO program (as claimed) that didn’t put out any papers related to studying UFOs. And we are expected to believe the program was strictly about UFOs? That’s what is a major disconnect and makes zero sense.

    Perhaps you can provide a reference of Elizondo claiming AATIP was entirely about UFOs and nothing else. Senator Reid wanting UFOs to be looked at doesnt make it a UFO program either. When that isnt what the program was sold as being. Was he lying to everyone else to get Bigelow some money to do UFO research? None of the paperwork for this program suggest it was about studying UFOs. What Reid, Elizondo, or anyone else HOPED the goal was to find and learn about, doesnt mean that was the task of the program. The purpose and task of the program is exactly what the DOD says it is. What they asked for the funding for. These papers support that 100%.

    One last comment on this overly long post (sorry), is it any wonder that UFO researchers are skeptical about all this? I mean this is by far not the first time people have came out with all sorts of claims. Ya, this is a bit more official (NYT article and all), but only to a point. We still have the official sources, contradicting the claims of people like Elizondo and TTSA. How is it a surprise that we want actual proof or evidence of these claims before we just start accepting them as a facts. We have been burned way to many times in this field, to start taking claims on faith. And thats what TTSA and others are asking from us. They want us to just believe what we are being told and wait for the slow trickle of information to follow (that hasnt by the way, we are still waiting for TTSA to even provide the documentation they have always claimed they had). If belief is fine for you and others, thats your right. If you think the NYT article was disclosure (as Jan Harzen ridiculously claims), thats fine too. Some of us want evidence. We prefer science not faith. Not claims without evidence. We got plenty of that already. That shouldnt be a surprise to anyone who has been in this field very long.

  6. “That is disclosing there was a government project that looked into the matter. It isn’t hard.” – No one is saying they didnt look into the matter at all. We know they looked at some UFO incidents, such as the Nimitz/Tic-Tac case. That isnt in dispute. That doesnt mean that was what the purpose of the program. Unless they fraudulent sold the program as something completely different in order to get funding to look at UFOs. Otherwise, this just means that AATIP undertook that task on occasion. As you would expect if they were looking at foreign advanced aerospace threats. That would be like calling NORAD a ufo program because they have tracked objects on RADAR. That doesnt mean thats what they do all the time. “The government and the media seem OK with this as fact. These docs were disclosed because Congressional committees have been discussing AATIP.” Not getting your point here. Can you provide evidence the government and media have accepted this program as being all about UFOs. This list of documents was because McCain wanted to know what the output of the AATIP program was. What they got for the funding put in. These papers say nothing about UFOs. So how do we know the they have accepted the program was about UFOs, when what they have been given, the output of the project (this list of documents), mentions no such thing. Surely if they accepted the UFO nature of this program they wouldnt of needed to ask for this supporting information in the first place. Which doesnt support UFOs, doesnt even mention them once. And there have been plenty of skeptical coverage in the media about the real nature of the AATIP program. So Id say no, the media hasnt just accepted it either. From what I have seen, most serious researchers are skeptical about all this. Particularly the real historians of the topic. Its the average normal UFO fan that buys it all up as fact and thinks the NYT article is the disclosure we have waited 70 years for. The kind of people who go to Alien Con vs say the people who goto SCU’s conference. Those of us that have been in the field for decades have became wary of claims without evidence.

    Lets see the evidence, not just the hopes and claims of a few people involved (who clearly did research into all sorts of non-ufo topics as part of this program). Lots of people with respectable verified careers , whether military or political or in business, have all sorts of crazy personal beliefs and ideas. That doesnt mean its true. Lazar claims he worked for the government on alien space ships and has a fake W2 to prove it, and thats no more provable then AATIP being about UFOs at this point. Welcome to see the evidence, if they ever put anything more out. Instead we are told to just believe , and wait for the little bits of new info they will give us over god knows how many years. Even these people in the know as you say, that are now part of TTSA, say contradictory things in different places. Seems less about what they really know, and more about what they believe or think about the UFO phenomenon. We want the evidence so we can distinguish between what they really discovered and KNOW or what they believe and think personally.

  7. Ugh. I suggest you listen to the podcast. I am not sure what historians you refer to. My experience has been different. So far everything aligns with what the multitude of people who were actually involved with the program have said publicly. Lazar is a terrible example in that his association with Area 51, nor is his background are verifiable. Elizondo, Reid, Bigelow, and the entire Bigelow organization that worked on the DoD contract are saying the same thing and their backgrounds can be verified. This is not just one guy spouting unverifiable claims, As far as the media, it starts with the NYT who independently verified the story. I never stated AATIP only did UFOs, but as we know from Reid, it was setup for that purpose. BTW, check your dictionary, foreign does not necessarily mean another country. In this case, Reid, Elizondo, Bigelow are the authorities and subject matter experts. Great point about the SCU, by the way, Elizondo will be their keynote speaker at their conference next month.

  8. Alejandro Rojas conducted a superb interview with Nick Pope. Nick Pope was spot on with everything he said about how things work within government (intel) and with how things can be couched a certain way etc. Pope was also spot on with Elizondo’s behavior as to why he can or cannot say certain things….yet. The DIA document that Pope broke is, indeed, significant and validates the kinds of things Elizondo was conveying not just overtly but between the lines. When listening to a former intel person who has signed a non-disclosure sort of document, it is important to listen carefully…very carefully, and not just the words but tone of voice etc. It’s not just what he says, but also what people he associates himself with what they might have said before or even now, and who are not hindered by a non-disclosure document. Content within context. Lots has already been revealed, actually. Anyway, Elizondo is the real deal, which by extension makes TTSA the real deal. He is honestly trying to help the best way he knows how. Knapp suggested last year there are those who will be stirring the pot. It’s true. I know first hand. We need to help Elizondo, not hinder him.

    At any rate, Pope did a masterful job with his commentary about the syntax of AATIP, and of explaining not just how he obtained DIA document but more importantly, its significance. Wonderful interview! Kudos Mr. Pope!

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