If we find out one day that aliens really do exist, there’s a good chance we’ll have Luis Elizondo to thank. Elizondo works as the director of government programs with To The Stars Academy (TTSA), an aerospace and science company founded in 2017 by a physicist for the Department of Defense, a former CIA operations officer, and Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge.
TTSA specializes in research around unidentified aerial phenomena — military-speak for any unexplained presence in the atmosphere. Before joining TTSA, Elizondo headed the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program at the Pentagon, an initiative secured and promoted in 2009 by Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada for the study of “anomalous” aircraft.
Soon after joining TTSA, Elizondo helped facilitate the release of three videos taken by Navy pilots of unidentified objects. Those videos quickly caught the public’s attention, thanks in part to credulous write-ups in the New York Times. Just last month, the Defense Department officially released the videos and finally acknowledged the presence of these unidentified aerial phenomena.
GEN: What was your reaction to the Pentagon’s acknowledgment of unidentified aerial phenomena in the video?
Luis Elizondo: I was encouraged by the Pentagon’s forthcomingness and honesty. This is something I have been engaged with for the last two and a half years after I left the Pentagon because I think this topic requires a conversation not just inside the government, but outside as well. I remain optimistic the Pentagon will continue this trend of transparency. Acknowledging there’s an issue is always the first step in remedying it.
Do you think the Pentagon’s release of the footage gives TTSA more legitimacy in the public eye?
It’s helped the legitimacy of our mission, which is transparency and discussion about a topic fraught with stigma and taboo. Let’s not forget in the last year alone the Navy has admitted the videos are real and they are unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), not just “unidentified…