By Joe Murgia – @ufojoe11 on Twitter
Anthony Lappe, showrunner and executive producer for “Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Invstigation,” was a recent guest on “Open Minds UFO Radio” with Alejandro Rojas. Lappe was also the guest on Open Minds and Podcast UFO back in May and you can read my notes and a partial transcript of those interviews, here.
Listen to the entire interview with Lappe:
The following are my notes and once again, a partial transcript. I edited lightly for clarity.
Lappe: “It’s exciting times.”
Lappe said the response to the show has been “really incredible.” The whole conversation has radically changed overnight. Mainstream media is catching on. The Washington Post ran an opinion piece saying we gotta talk about UFOs. Very gratifying to see that we’ve kind of cracked open the conversation. That’s all we really wanted to do in some degree.
Rojas: Other reality shows don’t make the news. “Unidentified” does.
In Lappe’s opinion, (although he can’t prove it) the events of the USS Roosevelt and their encounters with UFOs (and the show’s subsequent interviews with pilots, Lt. Ryan Graves and Lt. Danny Accoin) helped start a chain of events. That included the New York Times writing their article and helped get Congress interested in meeting with Navy witnesses so they could share their stories. Lappe also believes it was the impetus to get the Navy to change their policy on how serviceman and servicewomen report their UFO encounters and lead the way for President Trump to be briefed on these recent events.
The discussion moved to the article on Navy pilots and UFOs that was published in Task & Purpose. According to their “About Us” page…
Task & Purpose is a military and veteran-focused digital media company enjoyed by millions of readers each month. Founded in 2014 by Zach Iscol, Brian Jones, and Lauren Katzenberg, Task & Purpose provides authentic reporting and perspectives on the stories that matter to military members, veterans, and the broader American public.
As Rojas noted when referencing the article, the Air Force all but ruled out that these UFOs are Russian or Chinese. Excerpt from Task & Purpose:
“While there is a proliferation of UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] technology across the globe, we are not concerned that China or Russia have developed a long-range capability about which we are not aware,” said Air Force spokesman Maj. Bryan Lewis.
Any drone that could fly from Russia or China to the United States’ East Coast would have to be at least as large as an MQ-9 Reaper and the data link used to fly the aircraft would be detectable, said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. James Poss, who served as the service’s former assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
“I’d be very surprised if these were Russian or Chinese aircraft operating from Russia or China,” Poss told Task & Purpose.
Lappe: “That Air Force statement, which actually hasn’t gotten a lot of attention outside of, I think, a lot of the UFO circles and the military circles. That statement by that Air Force (Major) General was major. That is a really interesting piece of the puzzle because now you have the Navy saying it is not us. They’re using the term UAP, which as Nick Pope has explained, that was a term that was developed when he was at the Ministry of Defense in the UK, to sort of reframe and talk about UFOs in a different way. But has become the parlance in the intelligence and military community to refer to this phenomena – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. So the fact that the Navy is using that term publicly and essentially are saying that these are not are own…the Navy is saying, we’re not experiencing unknown craft of our own making, obviously. And then you have the Air Force general coming out and saying that they don’t believe that the Chinese or the Russians have the capability. I mean it really, by process of elimination, you end up in a very interesting place.”
Rojas brought up the belief by many in the UFO community that there’s some hidden hand at the top of government, behind the scenes, that is controlling the release of this information.
Lappe: “I have no evidence that there is someone pulling the strings behind Chris Mellon in terms of what he’s doing…That’s the thing that I really learned doing this process. And I think it’s hard for a lot of people to understand. There’s no such thing as the U.S. government. There are so many different agencies and there’s so many different people with different levels of knowledge about what’s going on here. The members of Congress, who are now taking interest in this – and unfortunately, I can’t share the names – that’s all been told to me off the record. The members of Congress who are now paying attention to this, you know, these guys were pretty out of the loop, it seems, on what was going on. I think a lot of people don’t really realize what AATIP was – at least as far as I can tell – was a very siloed, compartmentalized program. Not that many people were aware of what was going on.
“And a lot of these (UFO) reports, and I think because of the politics of the chain of command, they don’t spread. A lot of people talk about, well there were 5000 people on the USS Nimitz and there was probably the same amount on the Theodore Roosevelt. But those reports of those pilots…those are [a] very small cadre of dudes in these squadrons. I spoke to five other pilots in Lt. Graves’ squadron who wouldn’t go on camera. We were in contact with the guy who was the Weapon Systems Operator, who’s voice you hear in the two Theodore Roosevelt videos. He was going to come on camera and then kind of backed out. I spoke to several other guys in that squadron, all of whom confirmed the basic scope of that story. I spoke to a guy who was a much higher ranking officer on the Roosevelt – who was not aware of the sightings that were going on over 2014 and 2015. – who was a former pilot. But he told us a story, off the record, of an incident he had in an earlier work-up – which is another term for an exercise – where he saw a craft that he couldn’t explain.
“It’s a larger metaphor for when you look at what’s going on inside the Pentagon is…this information is not widely known. I haven’t told anybody about this yet…if you notice at the end of every episode now, we have an email: firstname.lastname@example.org, where we have put out the word for military personnel to contact us. We have gotten scores and scores of emails from people all telling us their name and rank and where they were deployed. Many of whom are talking about similar incidents that you see in this series. Including several people who are backing up the story of some of the guys that you’ve seen and who were on ships, even sending us pictures with them with a couple of the guys who you see in our show. Saying ‘Hey, I know that guy. I know that story. He’s telling you the truth.’ I feel like we’ve kind of crossed the rubicon on this story in a lot of ways and we’re opening up the floodgates and we’re sifting through this as we go. And if other military people are listening to this, we are absolutely reading every single one of those emails and were going to be following up with people for the stories that we feel are interesting.”
Lappe on Luis Elizondo and Chris Mellon:
“These guys are not whistle blowers. People are trying to kind of put them into that frame. These guys still have security clearances and they’re still working very closely with people both in the military executive and the intelligence community. They have very close connections and I’ve seen that personally. I’ve been in meetings with them with different members of these different branches of government. And they’re open about that. I think people are trying…people are getting a little bit…maybe we didn’t make that clear enough on the show. That these guys are not to trying to say that they’re not there. And that’s what’s such a tricky part about this story telling is. There’s a lot of information that they can’t tell me and they can’t say on camera about what they’ve learned. And that’s why we’re going out in the show to get these first hand accounts from the pilots themselves. Because these guys (Elizondo and Mellon ~Joe) are still bound by their security clearances.
Lappe spoke about Episode 3 of “Unidentified” and how he was nervous about spending the money (showrunners have to worry about budget) to rent a boat (it’s expensive) because they didn’t know what they would find on their trip to Mexico and Guadalupe Island. To read my extensive summary with notes and a partial transcript from Episode 3, click here.
He expounded on the sightings that have been reported in that area and added a few interesting details that were covered briefly in the show:
“Now if you look, and this went a little bit quick in the show, but we plotted them all on the map and also by date. They were seeing them before 2004 and they were seeing them, the most recent one was last year in 2018. So it’s an ongoing thing. Whatever these are. Whether you wanna argue that there’s some kind of Navy drone swarm that [they] just constantly have flying around there. There is interesting/mysterious stuff going on there.”
One again, to hear the entire interview along with an excellent interview Alejandro Rojas did with Nick Pope, check it out:
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