Is the Government Concealing UFO Craft and Dead Extraterrestrials?
BU’s Joshua Semeter on a former Pentagon employee’s eye-popping claims
It’s enough to make a conspiracy theorist’s head explode: an alleged deep-state cover-up of retrieved extraterrestrial craft—and corpses of their pilots. The allegation comes not from an outside crank, but a respected former intelligence officer who had occasion to work with the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), charged with identifying unidentified objects near military assets. And some of the usual media suspects (the Washington Post, Politico) passed on the initial story, which found a home instead on the science and defense site The Debrief.
Yet Vox and a New York Times podcast have since covered the claims of whistleblower David Grusch, who admits he hasn’t seen the supposedly in-hand detritus of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), the official rechristening of UFOs. Nor does he have any firsthand evidence of them; he says he is repeating what other, as-yet-unnamed, people told him. Still, he was willing to give about 11 hours of classified testimony to congressional investigators.
“Nobody at the level of a David Grusch, who has been to Congress, has ever talked about” the often-alleged ET cover-up by the feds, Leslie Kean, one of the Debrief cowriters, told Times podcaster Ezra Klein. Grusch’s defenders believe that his holding back more details is to be expected, Vox reports, as such information “would be classified, so it would be illegal to release specifics. They also argue that he handed over the classified details he knew to the inspector general and Congress, and point out it would be a crime to lie to either.” Skeptics like Klein question why the Pentagon would greenlight such an invaluable revelation—as it did with Grusch—if it were true. Klein also doubts the government’s competence at maintaining such a long-standing and vast cover-up.
Most UAP sightings have been found to be explicable by factors that are down-to-earth, as it were. But a tiny percentage remains unexplained. Is the truth really out there? BU Today asked Joshua Semeter (ENG’92,’97), a College of Engineering professor of electrical and computer engineering. He directs BU’s Center for Space Physics and is a member of a NASA team that is to report later this year on what we know, and don’t, about the evidence for UAPs.
with Joshua Semeter
BU Today: Do you know, or know of, David Grusch? What’s your take, provisional or otherwise, on the legitimacy of his claims, and his motives for going public?
Semeter: I do not know David Grusch, but I am well aware of the story. It would be inappropriate for me to speculate on his motives. But one can state objectively that his claims are two steps removed from being Earth-shattering: not only has he not shared any verifiable evidence—photographs, artifacts, or any other manner of data—but he also has not personally seen or touched any of the objects he references. In the long history of claims of extraterrestrial visitors, it is this level of specificity that always seems to be missing. As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” We are still awaiting the evidence.
One can state objectively that his claims are two steps removed from being Earth-shattering.
BU Today: What investigation is being made of his claims, either by your study team or any other relevant government entity?
Our study panel is charged with bringing scientific rigor to bear on UAP claims. We are working in collaboration with the Defense Department’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, which is focused on safety and national security aspects of UAP. David Grusch must be treated as a credible witness, as with the military aviators who have also come forward with eyewitness accounts of anomalous objects. But without data or material evidence, we are at an impasse on evaluating these claims.
BU Today: Does your team have a target release date for your findings, and what more remains to be done in your study between now and then?
Our panel will be issuing a report later this year. It was not our charge to analyze historical or current UAP data. Rather, our role is to create a roadmap for how NASA assets and expertise can contribute to determining the origin and nature of UAP. If extraordinary evidence does emerge in the coming weeks, that would admittedly affect our report.