TTSA Talks Featuring Chris Mellon
May 21, 2020
On May 13, 2020, TTSA Adviser & Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Christopher Mellon hosted a one-hour live Q&A on Twitter to answer questions about UAPs and government policy. We’ve highlighted 25 of the most popular questions below.
- Q: Did the pilots observe the object's rotation with their own eyes in the Gimbal video?
A: They clearly observe it rotating, as you can hear them saying “Look, it’s rotating!” in the #GIMBAL video. Unclear to me, though, if they’re just tracking on FLIR or making visual contact. However, Cmdr. Fravor and others have made visual contact at close range w/ good visibility.
- Q: Is it plausible that the #UAP subject has been buried deep within private industry to avoid government oversight and public scrutiny? And if so, what can be done to identify the private entities in possession of the data (or technology)?
A: It is possible that there are aspects of this that are in private sector hands. The best way for senior government officials to identify that would probably be through the DoD SAPOC (Special Access Program Oversight Committee) mechanism. However, could be under DOE or CIA too.
- Q: Based on your knowledge and experience of military encounters with UAPs - has there been occurrences when communication has been established with the UAPs?
A: No, not to my knowledge. There is a case involving a foreign military where such claims were made, but I have no way of validating that.
- Q: Have Congressional committees been open to receiving briefings and how have they reacted to the information? Have you been surprised, pleasantly or otherwise, to how they are responding thus far? Is that the key to getting more data out in the public sector?
A: Yes, there's been briefings/discussions on Capitol Hill. There's still fear of stigma, note the hostility about the issue even after the USG has acknowledged this is real, so they're proceeding behind closed doors for now. Still, they're beginning to look into the issue and seek answers.
- Q: Hi Chris, is there a possibility the SCOUT app could eventually have access to NASIC’s or any other filtered USG’s data feeds for live tracked ‘unknown’s’?
A: If there are unclassified data feeds that might be possible, but it is too soon to say.
- Q: What’s happening with the craft TTSA was going to build. Any progress?
A: Hi, thanks for asking. That remains a very long-term dream and goal. Immense work remains to be done in understanding the propulsion technology aircraft such as the Tic Tac are using.
- Q: Reporter George Knapp has speculated there are other, better funded UAP programs that should come to light. Word is about 4 of them in existence for many decades. Do you feel confident we will learn about more programs in the near future?
A: I’m not sure what programs he is referring to but I see no evidence DoD is about to release info about new, undisclosed, classified programs on this topic. We applaud DoD’s recent openness regarding the videos however we would like to see greater transparency going forward. All of us at TTSA would like to see greater government transparency. Here is some legislation I have proposed to assist Congress and the American people in getting answers: http://dpo.tothestarsacademy.com/blog/draft-congressional-report-language
- Q: How were active Navy pilots able to speak on classified training exercises? Did they have the Navy’s permission to speak on your show?
A: The training exercises were not classified so no issues there. Indeed, the Navy was exemplary in terms of allowing the pilot to speak to us on the record and, to date, the pilots report no negative repercussions. Go Navy!
- Q: How would the team respond to criticism of a small group claiming TTSA is positioning #UAP as a potential threat to create a "defense" narrative around the topic? This seems simply a way to engage those who only respond to something if they think it’s a POTENTIAL threat.
A: We were motivated by the lack of support for pilots concerned about threats to (them) from these aircraft, from mid-air collisions, or possibly worse. At the moment, we see no need for increased defense spending. We simply think the issue needs to be vigorously investigated together with some R&D.
- Q: I’m curious about the disparate levels of confidence your team has in the evidence and materials you or the government possess. Lue has said definitively that the government has recovered crash material. He also says that we “need more evidence.” Tom is wildly confident. If you’re all privy to the same info, why aren’t you on the same page?
A: We naturally have somewhat different views on some topics given our different backgrounds and perspectives. I think that is to be expected. And we aren’t all privy to the same info. For example, Lue and I were privy to different info than Tom as former DoD officials.
- Q: Thanks for getting credible mainstream outlets to cover this (NYT, CNN, WaPo, etc.)! My question is does appearing on disinformation programs like Glenn Beck/ Hannity do more hurt than good?
A: I don’t regard the UAP issue as a partisan topic, and Lue and I do interviews for all manner of press. I have independently written about my concerns and distaste for excessive partisanship and the problems it poses. https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2016/01/28/To-fix-America-fix-Congress/stories/201601280007?cid=search
- Q: Has there been any tangible progress on the international stage? What kind of progress, do you believe, has been achieved by other countries in tracking, investigating, and replicating these phenomena? And, lastly, are you seeing positive momentum?
A: There is growing international interest. In 2018, for example, the Chinese government-funded an international UAP symposium focused on high tech issues. Lue recently returned from a visit to Latin America that will feature prominently in an upcoming episode of #UNIDENTIFIED.
- Q: If @TTSAcademy could only accomplish one goal (in my opinion you've already accomplished a great deal) - What would the most important thing that comes out of all this?
A: Great question! If the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life is established, it will prompt the biggest transformation in humanity’s outlook since Copernicus. If instead we find Russia/China has leapfrogged the US technologically, the stakes are still enormous-- Sputnik x1000.
- Q: Can you address how the understanding/realization of the UAP being a real phenomenon has changed you and other members of TTSA at a personal level?
A: Wow, interesting question. I’m proud of what we have achieved in a short period of time but also keenly aware that the ramifications are immense and potentially very concerning. The more concrete the issue becomes the more weighty it becomes.
- Q: How do you guys straddle the confidentiality issues that are inherent with Disclosure of these matters? What's it like to work with people that know things but can't breach their confidentiality?
A: People in the IC live with that all the time. Even among people with TS clearances there are all manner of restricted compartments. I once had to live with a report that terrorists had smuggled a nuke into DC and I couldn’t warn friends and neighbors to get out of town! That was difficult, this is not.
- Q: In May 2016, Leslie Kean asked: "Are you certain there is no government cover-up?" You answered, "It’s impossible to prove the negative, so all I can say is that I never saw any evidence of official interest in UAPs." - So, when did you start trying to help Lue & AATIP get information to Mattis?
A: No, I am not sure. Uncle Sam has a big basement and rummaging around there can turn up all manner of things. However, I think the central problem at the moment is the lack of government interest and effort to get to the bottom of the issue.
- Q: If the 3 videos released thus far were unclassified (and it’s arguable whether they ever were) it begs the question: why? It seems out of character to release footage like this unless the content is unremarkable or part of a planned disclosure campaign.
A: DoD has thoroughly reviewed the videos and publicly stated: “After a thorough review, the dept. has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena.”
- Q: Could you clear up the problem with the “GO FAST” video, about the actual height and speed of the object? Why does trigonometry show the opposite of what your analysis show? This would answer a lot of questions.
A: I think the speed is modest but also not the issue. How does something without wings or exhaust stay aloft at any speed and fly straight and true? If it were lighter than air, it would be buffeted by the wind rather than flying such a perfectly straight path. However, the UAP case does not depend on this or any other video. We know from the Nimitz aviators and Princeton crew that a 50ft long white object achieved hypersonic speed from a near hover in seconds after being observed descending from extreme altitudes and hovering.
- Q: If Kevin Day assisted commander David Fravor towards the Tic Tac #UAP via the SPY radar on USS Princeton then Who on radar assisted Chad Underwood during the filming of the Tic Tac?
A: I do not have the name I’m afraid. I would point out that we know from Fravor, his weapons system officer, his wingman, Day, E2 Hawkeye, and others that the TicTac performed maneuvers no known aircraft can come remotely close to performing. SCU Forensic Analysis of Nimitz Case PDF
- Q: Please have a look at these videos (ignoring the condescending tone) and comment on why TTSA thinks these mundane explanations (bird, plane and gimbal) are not enough. (video 1 / video 2) (Ideas taken from Mick West, it seems.)
A: The issue is no longer TTSA’s analysis but that of DoD. DoD pilots & analysts have rejected these explanations for a variety of reasons: Gimbal, the aircraft would be visible, not just the heat of the exhaust; a jet could not move in that manner and retain lift; same with FLIR.
In terms of Go Fast, it does not behave like a lighter than air object.
See: SCU Forensic Analysis of Nimitz Case PDF
- Q: What can US citizens who want to help with this issue do? Is writing letters really going to help?
A: Won't hurt.
- Q: Elated you’re doing this for those interested in @TTSAcademy. Have you yourself ever had any “anomalous” experiences?
A: No, I have not but I am humbled by the experiences US military personnel have shared with me. There is no substitute for hearing these experiences first hand.
- Q: Have you been in contact with the crew of the E2 Hawkeye that was in the air during Fravor's intercept of the tic tac? Will their NDA's prevent us from ever hearing from them? Will we ever see the entire uncut ATFLIR footage of the tic tac?
A: The E2 Hawkeye crew was interviewed and there were no NDAs that were an issue for any of the Navy personnel involved in the Nimitz incidents.
- Q: Other than "these objects are real" do we know anything about the phenomenon at this stage... like what it is, who it is, where it's from, etc.?
A: Our government hasn’t bothered even to pull data from existing sensor systems much less engage in a vigorous investigation. Here’s a memo in which I expand on this issue at an unclassified level to help members of Congress and their staff better understand the opportunity: https://dpo.tothestarsacademy.com/blog/potential-sources-of-information-regarding-unidentified-aerial-phenomenon
- Q: Hello, my question is: do the vast majority of people in the intelligence community believe that the UAP’s could in fact be extraterrestrial?
A: Absolutely not! We’re still at the stage of getting the community to take the issue seriously. Once people do engage however this hypothesis inevitably arises.
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TTSA Talks Podcast #4: The 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act Request for a UAP Task Force