Luis Elizondo, former head of the Pentagon's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Programme (AATIP), has accused the US Department of Defence (DoD) of trying to discredit him so that the government can continue to cover up details about "unidentified flying objects" (UFOs), also referred to as "unidentified aerial phenomena" (UAP) or "anomalous aerial vehicles" (AAVs).
In 2008, Elizondo was assigned to work for a DoD programme that investigated reports of "unmanned aerial phenomena".
Politico on Wednesday reported that Elizondo had filed the 64-page complaint with the Pentagon's Inspector General on 3 May, a document that pointed out "several internet bloggers were notified […] that I [Elizondo] had no duties regarding AATIP and that AATIP did not involve the study of UAPs".
U.S. Navy UFO sighting footage confirmed by the Pentagon. 🛬🛸 pic.twitter.com/rQDlFqKDce— Igor Ferreira dos Santos (@igor_thisworld) June 9, 2019
"As a result, the bloggers began to disseminate reporting, accusing me of being a fabricator", the complaint reportedly read, adding "these negative actions against me have resulted in great personal and professional challenges to me and my family".
The complaint also ostensibly claimed a senior official warned Elizondo he would "tell people you are crazy, and it might impact your security clearance".
Politico also cited Elizondo's lawyer Daniel Sheehan as saying that the complaint's main goal is to pressure the Pentagon to come clean about the US military's alleged close encounters with UFOs.
"Nobody seemed to be taking this thing seriously. The different units and different groups that are responsible for responding to this particular phenomenon […], they're not briefing each other on this", the lawyer reportedly said.
The DoD's Inspector General (IG) did not comment on the complaint, but opened a probe into the Pentagon's "actions" on UFOs the same day Elizondo's document was filed.
Looking forward to the UFO report in June by Pentagon. pic.twitter.com/DQUpvkUnH1— sketchbook (@1sabrina_fan) May 2, 2021
"The objective of this evaluation is to determine the extent to which the DoD has taken actions regarding" UAPs, the memo announcing the IG's investigation read.
The move came after Elizondo told the New York Post in late April that a soon-to-be-released DoD report on UAPs comes at a time when "the [US] government has acknowledged the reality" of UFOs.
"I think they all want answers and I think they are all willing to ask the hard questions", he added.
Elizondo also argued that senior US national security officials had been unwilling to release more UAP-related information to the public because "they felt that it made them look inept". According to him, "they felt in some cases that it challenged their philosophical and theological belief systems […]", and "they just couldn't process it".
The remarks followed US media reports claiming Pentagon-confirmed imagery featuring "pyramid-shaped" UFOs, as well as other such objects resembling a "sphere" and an "acorn", will be deciphered as part of the DoD's "ongoing investigations" into UAPs.
In August 2020, the Pentagon launched a special task force to further look into UAPs under Deputy Secretary of Defence David Norquist. The DoD emphasised at the time that they "take any incursions by unauthorised aircraft into our [Pentagon] training ranges or designated airspace very seriously", pledging to "examine each [such] report".