On December 21, Congress approved a COVID relief bill. It was a monster 5,593-page piece of legislation, which lawmakers only had a few hours to peruse before voting. The most talked about part of the bill was the meager $600 sum for those unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. But the bill also included funding for vaccine distribution and COVID testing, supplemented unemployment and the Paycheck Protection Program and extended the federal eviction moratorium.
And, buried, deep within it’s pages– a 180-day deadline for UFO (or Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon, a term used to try to avoid the stigma of the little green men term “UFO”) disclosure. It’s not uncommon for members of Congress to roll out the pork barrel in a big bill like this to get government funding for local projects that benefit their constituents (or lobbyists), but who had slipped in the demand for UFO disclosure? And what might we expect to see? Fortunately, I knew just the guy to talk to– author, podcast host and UFO journalist Ryan Sprague.
“I never thought I’d see the day this would happen, let alone in a COVID-19 relief bill. It’s been crazy,” Ryan told me. I recently spoke to Ryan for an upcoming episode of his podcast Somewhere in the Skies (he wrote a book of the same name– both are highly recommended if you’re interested in UFOs) to talk about my book American Madness, and I used the opportunity to ask some questions of my own.
Among his other projects, Ryan writes for a fairly new site called The Debrief. It isn’t specifically a UFO site, though that is one of the subjects they cover. The Debrief “covers everything from disruptive technology to emerging science, defense, aerospace, and even UFOs so that’s kind of where I came in, I’m kind of their UFO guy on the beat, covering everything to do with that,” Ryan explains. The Debrief are the ones who first broke the COVID bill/UFO disclosure story, and their reporting was quickly picked up by other media outlets.
“The story actually traces back to the 2017 New York Times article that went viral with finding out the Pentagon had a secret UFO program and that they were investigating UFOs, primarily military witness accounts,” Ryan says. “That’s when we got those three videos, gun camera footage of these UFOs that our pilots in the skies were seeing. It was a whirlwind from there– we found out that these were official Department of Defense videos that were leaked to the public by Christopher Mellon, who is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and also a former staff director for the Senate Intelligence Committee.”
Mellon began working with the former head of that secret UFO program (officially named the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program), Luis Elizondo, to study the phenomenon. They briefed members of Congress on their findings, including Senators Marco Rubio, Mark Warner, and (then Senator) Kamala Harris.
“They said we have to do something about UFOs- you guys have to take this seriously,” Ryan says. “Along with this bill being passed it was announced maybe six months ago that the Pentagon was creating a UFO task force– that’s where this bill comes in. Whatever this task force finds, they have 180 days to give a declassified release to the public.”
Ryan was also helpful in clarifying a story where media outlets have tried to connect stories A and B, which are unrelated– headlines have proclaimed that the CIA is releasing it’s UFO files, suggesting this is part of the recent disclosure clause, however, this is old news– most of these documents have been available for a decade. A key source of being able to read these files is John Greenewald’s site The Black Vault, where Greenewald has worked tirelessly to obtain files via the Freedom of Information Act.
What results can we expect to see when this 180-day deadline arrives? Will it be something truly revelatory, or just more highly redacted dead ends?
Ryan says he’s trying to be an optimist when it comes to the UFO disclosure, “but I’m also a realist and I think this is going to be kind of a let down for the really pro-UFO people, cause honestly in my opinion I don’t think the government knows much on what they’re dealing with, I think they’re just as much in the dark as a lot of citizens. They might know a little more, but I think they are just as mystified as we are as to what pilots are seeing and what people are reporting.”
Ryan also says he got discouraging words when he recently tried talking about the deadline to a Pentagon spokesperson.
“I asked, ‘what are we going to get from this thing? Anything?’ And the answer I got was ‘it’s all going to be classified.’ So I’m not holding out much hope that we’re going to get much out of it in terms of smoking gun information like what crashed in Roswell or are there 20 alien races living among us on earth,” Ryan laughs. But he adds “we might get some interesting cases of drones or more cases of military pilots who saw something they couldn’t explain. Who knows we have a whole new administration in the white house who are a lot more open to this topic, so maybe we’ll get more than we ever got, but I’m remaining hesitant and skeptical until it actually happens.”
Tea’s Weird Week episode 03: Hear my full interview with Ryan Sprague about the UFO disclosure story. Then Me and Heidi share weird news: “My Way” killings, monkey labor problems, a proposed Bigfoot hunting season, hubby’s dream numbers win big, our robot overlord Sophia, a scream hotline, and special guest Mandy Cappleman sings a song from 1652 that’s a total gas.
Plus trivia, a QAnon vs Flat Earthers poll, and we close out with the track “Algorithm Nation 1814” by Guerilla Ghost featuring the master MC of weirdness Kool Keith.
Listen right here: https://teasweirdweek.podbean.com/e/teas-weird-week-episode-03-countdown-to-ufo-disclosure/
Buy my books:
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness: bookshop.org/books/american-madness-the-story-of-the-phantom-patriot-and-how-conspiracy-theories-hijacked-american-consciousness/9781627310963
Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (e-book): https://www.amazon.com/Teas-Weird-Week-2020-Review-ebook/dp/B08SGL97YJ/ref=sr_1_1
Quarantine continues! What have I been doing with all this spare time? I’m enjoying catching up on some reading. I’m working on some writing projects. I’m continuing to write in my quarantine journal every day. I’m watching shit tons of sci-fi movies and shows. I’m getting pissed off watching the news. I’m getting excited about my new book American Madness. I’m occasionally trying to be helpful around the house. I’m having good days and bad days.
I also picked up a new hobby. Every Sunday morning/early afternoon, I spend an hour or three drinking coffee and hanging out in the CIA’s Virtual Reading Room, reading declassified documents. In 2017, the famous clandestine organization uploaded about 13 million documents to their online reading room. I’ve wanted to take a look at these ever since, but didn’t have the time. Well, now I do– but I’m carefully limiting this to 2-3 hours a week on Sunday. This is to prevent me from falling down a stark raving mad rabbit hole. I’m prone to do that sometimes, so this is a preventive measure so I keep working on other projects. But still, if I read 10-20 documents every Sunday, that’s 500-1,000 files a year. Not close to 13 million, but I’m searching for some specific things. I’m calling this Project COUCHSURF.
What I’m looking for– files related to UFOs, conspiracy classics, programs related to mind control like MK/Ultra, weird ideas like their remote viewing program (more on that in a minute), and their many failed attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro (for more on that, I recommend the documentary 638 Ways to Kill Castro).
What will I find? Who knows, that’s the exciting part! I’ll be posting here in future columns, probably as a short blurb at the end of the column, or, if I’m onto something good, future columns might be based on Project COUCHSURF research. We’ll see.
The first files I dug into were ones related to Project STARGATE (sadly not related to finding portals to other worlds like in the movie/ TV shows). The program included other projects over the years (GRILL FLAME, GONDOLA WISH, CENTER LANE, STAR STREAK) but was consolidated into STARGATE. I’ve been interested in this since reading an entertaining account of the program in Jon Ronson’s book The Men Who Stare at Goats.
One of the main focuses of the program was to test the possible effectiveness of “remote viewers,” which are people that claim the ability to see things at a far away distance. They have a sort of out-of-body experience with psychic flashes that give them a vision of past, present, and future events unfolding across the globe. You can see why the military would love to have this ability– the program was used to try to peek on potential terrorists, espionage agents, and drug smugglers. There is, however, no indication that any part of the program was successful.
Here’s a few files I found that were of interest. I linked to the files on the report dates, so you can check them out if you want.
Project 8122: Sept.3-8, 1981 remote viewers described a “jeep like vehicle” that arrived at a bunker somewhere in Stuttgart and stole explosives. The vehicle had a tag on it with the number “862 or 863” The file reads: “source reported possible future use of explosives in ‘some kind of raid on airbase,;” scheduled “for the period 1-5 May 1982.”
The report goes on to give vague details on where the suspects work and live, and the remote viewers determined that the stolen explosives were hidden in the basement of one of the suspect’s house, which had a red tile roof and “was marked 718 or 719,” with this sketch included in the report:
A report on a Project SUN STREAK remote viewing session with Remote Viewer 095 from June 26, 1989 describes how they were trying to zero in on a drug boat with a cargo of contraband in waterproof containers in the hold. Viewer 095 was able to see the boat’s journey from Tobago to the Dominican Republic and looking to the future could see that “the final destination of the vessel is a long (N-S orientated) island due east of Lake Okeechobee. A weaker feel was a location on the coast of Florida directly south of Tallahassee.”
In another SUN STREAK session we find that Remote Viewer 032 visualized a UFO on September 13, 1989. One thing I love are seeing handwritten notes and parts deemed important circled or underlined:
Viewer 032 turns out to be quite a character, I’d love to find out who it was and interview them. Just over a week after the UFO remote viewing, we get another report from Viewer 032 on September 22, 1989. This one reads like a sexy spy adventure.
I was able to access this woman almost directly. She was in a place on the coastline. It was a village that had small shops and residences lining streets that were narrow. I was drawn to the many canopies that covered each of the openings of the dwellings. The woman had been here many times.
This village is somewhere along the Mediterranean coastline. I watched the sun rise to my left as I faced the sea. For this reason I sense that the village is on the northern shore.
There was a man– who was very handsome. This man is much younger than the woman. Look for a man with dark skin, hair and eyes. He combs his hair straight back and it is groomed close to his head.
The man works for someone and listens to the woman routinely. I think that this woman is married but frequents this place under the guise of work and meets this man. She has been many other places with him also all over Europe. There have also been other men before this one. I don’t know what she tells him but it is with reluctance that she does. She feels bad most of the time– other times she doesn’t even realize [rest of sentence obscured by CIA approval stamp.]
It’s hard to put out an APB on a “man with dark skin, hair and eyes” who works for “someone” located “somewhere along the Mediterranean coastline,” which shows the problem with the whole program. Even if the remote viewer’s skills were legit, would any of their information be useful?
In addition to notes on the remote viewing sessions, there are several reports that SRI International (a scientific research institute in Menlo Park, CA) was paid to research on remote viewing. “An Effort to Improve Remote Viewing Quality Using Hypnosis,” October 1989 was a 17-page report where they describe an experiment where remote viewers were hypnotized and then asked to describe pictures cut from magazines hidden in envelopes (“in summary, hypnosis does not appear to be an effective way to enhance remote viewing quality.”) Other reports by SRI include “A Remote Action Experiment with a Piezoelectric Transducer,” December 1987 and “A Remote Action Investigation with Marine Animals,” also from December 1987.
I look forward to bringing you more reports from Project COUCHSURF in the future!American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness by Tea Krulos from Feral House on Vimeo.
My upcoming book American Madness features a journey through conspiracy culture. It’s out August 25, 2020 from Feral House. To pre-order: CLICK HERE
It’s on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52486773-american-madness
“Tea Krulos has forged a fascinating collection of work by immersing himself in various sub-cultures that exist on the fringes of society.” —Cult of Weird