Saturday, July 25, 2020

Unexplained Aerial Vehicles, the New TImes, and Eric Davis

In what I suspect The New York Times thinks of as an exclusive story, Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal reported that the AATIP program, which had supposedly been suspended and disbanded, still existed. The name had been changed and the location changed but the Office of Naval Intelligence was still gathering information on UAPs, which is the new and improved name for UFOs.

We learn that the program, now known as the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force (UAPTF) was to “standardize collection and reporting” on these UAP sightings or what has been described as unexplained aerial vehicles which seems to put back into that acronym some of the trouble found with UFO. UFO, an Unidentified Flying Object implied, in the name, that there was an object and that it was flying as if under some sort of control.

An Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon brought none of that baggage to the discussion because a cloud, under bizarre conditions, could be described as an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon.

But I digress…

According to the Times report, the findings of this renamed and relocated organization, would be made public every six months (which should have actually said, that the director of national intelligence is supposed to report 180 days after the enactment of the authorization and not every six months). The Times noted that some of the retired senior officials hoped “the program will seek evidence of vehicles from other worlds,” but the main focus would be to discover if our competitors on the world stage have developed an aerial platform that allows them to penetrate our air space and well, basically, spy on US military facilities.

Senator Marco Rubio, the acting chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that they were worried about “unidentified aircraft” over US military bases. Rubio said that some of the unidentified aerial vehicles (and now another new acronym: UAV, which also means Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) possibly exhibited technologies that are not available to US military forces but he also suggested that there might be “a completely, sort of, boring explanation for it…”

All of which strikes me as a bunch of weasel worded statements meant in an attempt to spice up a story about nothing. Might be, possibly, maybe and the like. No one came out and said what he or she really thought about it because in the world of politics it is necessary to carefully phrase a statement so that, if it turns out to be wrong, the speaker can deflect the criticism.

But I digress, again…

The real problem with this latest expose is that one of the sources quoted is Dr. Eric Davis, who had earlier claimed that in private conversation with Admiral Thomas Wilson, he had learned about the on-going UFO or UAP studies, and that there had been crash retrievals. That meant that the technology had failed and that US authorities were in possession of that technology. In passing, in a comment on national radio, Davis suggested that the Del Rio UFO crash was real. He refused to expand on this.

Dr. Eric Davis
To me, that suggested that Davis might not be as inside as he would like us all to believe. The Del Rio UFO crash is based on the testimony and affidavit of a single source, a man who claimed to be a retired Air Force colonel and fighter pilot. Robert Willingham first told his story in March 1968 in an issue of MUFON’s first magazine known as Skylook.

In that earliest, 1948 version of the story Willingham had said that he was flying an F-94, when he was alerted by the Dew Line (a radar fence built in Canada) that a UFO had been tracked. Willingham said that he saw three objects, one of which was in trouble. It eventually crashed just south of the Mexico-Texas border near Del Rio. He managed to get there to witness part of that retrieval operation.

In the 1970s, Willingham provided an affidavit about the crash, altering some of the details. Eventually, it was claimed that the crash of a single object had taken place in 1950. Later still, Willingham changed the date to the mid-1950s. There were other problems with his tale, and the lack of proof that he had been an Air Force officer, let alone a colonel didn’t help. I went over all this on this blog and you can read about it here:

The point here, however, is that if Davis was on the inside of these sorts of things, he would have known, as so many of us do, that the Del Rio crash is a hoax. I published that information more than a
Robert Willingham in
his CAP uniform.
decade ago along with the reasons the story is not true. But that is not the only credibility issue here.

In his “notes” about his discussion with Admiral Wilson, who denies everything about this alleged 2002 meeting, he said that Wilson had met with or talked to General Michael Kostenlnik sometime in April, May or June 1997 about a Special Access Program which dealt with UFOs. Chris Lambright discovered that Kostelnik was not involved in the SAPs and he had left his position in the Pentagon in the Secretary of Defense Office some two years before Wilson attempted to gather the information. When Davis alleged that Wilson had met or talked with Kostelnik as the director, Kostelnik was assigned to a new job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

To be accurate, Wilson, if he truly told Davis anything, should have mentioned Kostelnik’s successor rather than Kostelnik. Both of these items, his belief in the Del Rio crash and his job at the Pentagon should raise red flags about the reliability of Davis’ information because it demonstrates a problem the value of his information. At best, it was out of date and at worse it is based on Internet searches to provide a note of credibility to what is, in fact, an incredible story.

John Greenewald published his own analysis about those notes, suggesting it read more like an early treatment for some sort of drama as opposed to actual notes taken during a meeting. You can listen to him describe that here:

In the final analysis, there is not much to this story. We already knew that former Senator Harry Reid had been involved in securing the financing for the AATIP program. We had already seen the trouble with the three Nimitz videos released into the public arena and we had listened to the various Pentagon statements about them.

To make matters worse, the Times posted a correction to an earlier version of the story. According to them, Senator Reid had been quoted as saying that he had not said that “[UFO] crashes had occurred and that retrieved material had been secretly studied for decades.” He had said that he believed it, which removes a great deal of importance from his statement. In fact, it changes the revelations from authenticated and moves them into a realm of speculation that has been discussed, literally, for decades.

When this latest “Breaking News” is digested, it turns out to be little more than rumor based on the tales Eric Davis, whose inside information is no better than that of a ten-year-old kid with Internet access. Given all that is known about this news inside the UFO community is it astonishing that no reporter thought to ask a few questions that would have put this latest information into its proper perspective… interesting but nothing newsworthy.


William Strathmann said...


In this continuing alleged Davis/Wilson interview notes saga, I had been interested in finding out more about USNR Commander Willard Miller, since he was involved with Dr. Greer and Dr. Mitchell in "briefing" Adm. Wilson in the first place.

Here's a link to a UFO UpDates page that reviews a Leslie Kean article from 20 years ago in the Boston Globe, posted by Kenny Young. It includes some background on Miller.

Evidently Davis has never yet claimed responsibility for the notes. One wonders if Miller might be able to contribute to this conversation.

mouseonmoon said...

Breaking News NOW
just heard on Daily Blast Live (just happened to see it ) now on YT Monday July 27, 2020
after talk about Unemployment checks about 2:41:50
“UFO Sighting in Long Beach” - which gets blocked -
but the real 'news' from host Samantha is her declaration :
“ I actually have an inside source , this is someone who gets briefed.
This is the inside source of all sources”
“ I asked this person to give me a quote, and the person gave me a laundry list of quotes,
but I’m going to read one little part here (reading) and

‘they say that the issue goes deep into the soul of who we are and where we belong in the universe.
This is the most important topic of our history and Now it’s time for the secrets to be released.
ETs are here. They always have been. We’re going to find out why together.”

Who's her source !

mouseonmoon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Kevin wrote:

"The real problem with this latest expose is that one of the sources quoted is Dr. Eric Davis, who had earlier claimed that in private conversation with Admiral Thomas Wilson, he had learned about the on-going UFO or UAP studies, and that there had been crash retrievals. That meant that the technology had failed and that US authorities were in possession of that technology."

This is inaccurate. Davis never claimed he learned about UFOs and/or crash retrievals during the conversation he had with Wilson. That's a very basic fact you have gotten wrong. He's spoken about that in various interviews (C2C, Open Minds Radio, Erica Lukes, and in a quote to me) but that's not addressed in the Wilson/Davis notes

Kevin wrote:

"When Davis alleged that Wilson had met or talked with Kostelnik as the director, Kostelnik was assigned to a new job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base."

I'm sure Wilson was able to get Kostelnik's phone number and call him. And maybe Kostelnik knew more than you realize and unlike his successor, was willing to talk to Wilson. Is that possible, Kevin?

Kevin wrote:

"When this latest 'Breaking News' is digested, it turns out to be little more than rumor based on the tales Eric Davis, whose inside information is no better than that of a ten-year-old kid with Internet access."

Really? Come on, Kevin. You're better than that. I least I hope you are. Do you know what clearances Davis has or has had in the past to be making such proclamations?

If you or your readers would like to educate yourself on the Wilson/Davis documents, read my blog. You'll also find an extended interview with CMDR Will Miller.

PS - I trust Davis' opinion on Del Rio 100 times out of 100 versus pretty much anybody in UFOlogy. You were wrong about a basic fact regarding the Wilson/Davis notes. What else have you gotten wrong?

Was Edgar Mitchell also lying in 2010? How about Bob McGwier?

Read my blog and get caught up on the latest.

Joe Murgia

Unknown said...

The argument in this article is wrong. Davis never admitted veracity of the notes. If that was the case, it would be a sensational news. If admitted by Davis, debate would be on the completely different level. Other claims; could easily see opposite rebuttals with equal strength since conclusions were made on missing data. But will leave it there. I don't hold this against Kevin too strongly since he probably just wanted to do a quick post and messed it.

KRandle said...

Joe -

The real point is that Eric Davis attempted to validate the Del Rio crash which is, as I have said, single source and that source is not reliable. He was not an Air Force colonel nor was he a fighter pilot. So, if Davis got this wrong, what else has he gotten wrong.

Never said that Edgar Mitchell was lying. Just pointed out the quote attributed to him was without names and those putting names in were speculating. That does not translate into saying that anyone was lying.

The same for Bob McGwier...

In fact, on the Del Rio crash, there is nothing to suggest that Davis was lying. He might truly believe there was a crash there, but he would be wrong... Wrong, not lying.

Unknown said...


I will not argue Del Rio and I should never have brought it up since I can't debate it properly. I know the basics of your issues with the case and know Davis believes it was a real UFO crash retrieval event. Until more evidence comes out, we won't know.

But you haven't addressed my main point about your post not being accurate:

"The real problem with this latest expose is that one of the sources quoted is Dr. Eric Davis, who had earlier claimed that in private conversation with Admiral Thomas Wilson, he had learned about the on-going UFO or UAP studies, and that there had been crash retrievals. That meant that the technology had failed and that US authorities were in possession of that technology."

It's just not accurate. Have you read the notes? If you have, I'm not sure how you were able to get this so wrong. The only comment Davis has made about the Wilson/Davis (W/D) document (to me and James Iandoli) is "no comment." He also told Steven Greenstreet (NY Post) and I (in separate comments) that the W/D documents came from the Edgar Mitchell estate. He also added a few more comments to me, which are in my blog. I believe it's in part 3 of the MegaBlog which I linked to in my previous post.

And once again, this comment from you?

"When this latest 'Breaking News' is digested, it turns out to be little more than rumor based on the tales Eric Davis, whose inside information is no better than that of a ten-year-old kid with Internet access."

That's just unprofessional.

Unknown said...

Also, you wrote:

"Never said that Edgar Mitchell was lying" and "The same for Bob McGwier..."

Do you know what Bob McGwier has claimed? Bob says he saw a letter (in late 2004 or early 2005) from Admiral Wilson to "someone else," where Wilson was "confirming the meeting and content" of Wilson's 2002 meeting with Davis. Are you going to accuse Bob of not being able to read and decipher a letter?

You need to get caught up on this story. McGwier blog here...

And as far as Mitchell not mentioning names?

He said he met with the chairman of the intelligence committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, I think you know who that was. Admiral Thomas Wilson. And Wilson has admitted that the meeting with Mitchell, Miller and Greer took place. He just disputes that he went looking for, and later found, the SAP.

William Strathmann said...


The Thomas R. Wilson wiki page -- -- paints an extremely impressive picture of Adm Wilson, and includes the following:

"Returning to the United States for duty after five years overseas, CAPT Wilson reported to the Navy Staff at the Pentagon in July 1989 where he assumed duties as Special Assistant for Intelligence and Special Access Programs (SAPs) for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Naval Warfare Requirements (OP-07). In this position Captain Wilson coordinated the preparation of the Director of Naval Warfare for Special Program Review Group (SPRG) deliberations and decisions on the degree to which intelligence and highly classified developmental operational programs actually satisfied validated naval warfare requirements."

So, surely, surely, Wilson was intimately familiar with how SAPs operate, and who was privy to accessing any particular SAP and who was not. It seems ridiculously far-fetched to assert that Wilson, in the back seat of a car, talked in detail about an SAP that he was not read into with someone else, off the street, Davis, who also was not read into that SAP.

Beyond that, in Joe Murgia's extended interview with CMDR Will Miller, Miller does not say he ever wrote an actual snail-mail paper letter to Eric Davis, but that he only remembers ever sending a limited number of mundane emails. So, that throws into serious doubt pages three and four of the fifteen pages of alleged Davis notes of an alleged Wilson interview.

Personally, Murgia's interview of Miller left many pertinent questions unasked, but, there you go.

While the alleged notes contain factual details about some things, that would not mean they were not fabricated into this "leak of the century" as Richard Dolan has claimed.

SugarRayTaylor said...

Davis is also the same person who claimed that he was temporarily possessed by some sort of entity at the farcical Skinwalker ranch. He claimed that the being spoke through him saying "We are watching you, you're not welcome here".
So, yes to Kevin's point, you really have to wonder about Davis' judgement on many things. He has also made demonstrably false statements regarding the FOIA which John Greenewald has shown time and time again that Davis talks out of his backside quite frequently.
He's yet another to add to the list of people in the field who are somehow above criticism, despite showing themselves to be very deserving of criticism.

William Strathmann said...


It is worth mentioning that if the alleged Davis/Wilson "notes" were literally cooked up by some party, then it would not necessarily have to have been Eric Davis. Someone familiar with the general flow of Dr's. Greer and Mitchell, and CMDR Miller's meeting with Adm Wilson, and familiar with Dr. Eric Davis's involvment with NIDS might have been able to fabricate such "notes" apart from Davis, Wilson or Miller.

It wasn't too long after the purported date of these notes that another famous set of papers was cooked up, the fake Killian documents that were forged to negatively influence the US presidential elections of 2004,, which Dan Rather had asserted were authentic.

So, it would not be a stretch to suggest that someone other than Davis or Miller forged these "leak of the century" notes. One thing is clear, in Steven Greer's 2017 film, Unacknowledged, beginning at about the 39 minute mark, Greer reiterates his 1997 "briefing" of Adm Wilson, together with Mitchell and Miller, and then Greer says that Wilson, as J2, was furious that he had not been made aware of the SAP for UFO technology. So, here Greer mentioned Adm Wilson by name, in 2017, in precisely the same way the notes purport Wilson reacting. So, what is Steven Greer's relationship to these purported notes by Eric Davis, if there is any relationship?

Interestingly, about a year ago at Keith Basterfield's blog post on the alleged Davis/Wilson notes, Richard Dolan stated:

"I can say definitively that Steven Greer has absolutely nothing to do with this document."

It seems curious that Dolan even mentions Greer in his posting. But the fact Dolan did mention him seems to indicate that he was aware of suspicions that Greer actually was involved in the notes.

William Strathmann said...


Keith Basterfield quotes from Steven Greer's book of 2006.

The original Greer/Wilson meeting

On pages 151-152, of US researcher Steven M Greer's, 2006 book, titled "Hidden Truth: Forbidden Knowledge," it states:

"The day after the Congressional briefings in 1997, I was asked to do a briefing for the head of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Tom Wilson. In advance of this important meeting we sent a document to his people. His assistant told me that the Admiral had, in fact, found these code names and code project names and numbers useful; he inquired through channels and found some of the ops in a cell in the Pentagon.

Once Admiral Wilson identified this group, he told the contact person in this super-secret cell: "I want to know about this project." And he was told, "Sir, you don't have a need to know. We can't tell you."

Now you can imagine being an Admiral, J-2, the head of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Pentagon, and being told, "We're not going to tell you"? Well, he was shocked and angry.

I took one of our witnesses, Shari, our military advisor, and the Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell with me to this meeting with the Admiral. It was a stand-up briefing. As the briefing progressed, he began canceling other appointments - he was so interested in the information. The only reason the meeting ended when it did was because Ed Mitchell had to get up to New York for a TV interview. But the Admiral, I know, would have kept it going for some time more.

During this briefing, the Admiral and I discussed the risk this rogue group - that had shoved him aside - was to the United States, the rule of law and to the national security. I pointed out that the first CIA director, Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoeter, had written a letter in the early 1960's stating that the secrecy related to UFOs - and not the UFOs - were a threat to the national security. I told the Admiral that this illegal, rogue group had ARV technology that can do circles around his B2 stealth bombers. He thought a minute and said, "Well, as far as I am concerned, if you can get people who know about this matter to talk on the record, you have my permission to go to the media with this! This group is illegal!" So when people ask who supported disclosure among others, I tell them the head of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff!"

So, Dr. Greer mentions in 2006 the same basic story as is found in alleged Davis-Wilson interview notes. It seems there could be a connection between Greer and the notes, despite R. Dolan's definitive assurance that there is no connection. It would be nice to know why Dolan made such a comment.