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Everything you need to know about the UAP whistleblower who says the US has recovered alien spacecraft

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According to a former high-level member of the American intelligence apparatus, the United States government has been secretly recovering debris and even entire intact spacecraft of “non-human origin” for decades. These efforts, shrouded within the Pentagon’s most secretive Special Access Programs, have long sought to achieve a technological advantage over America’s adversaries and have secret crash retrieval programs of their own, David Grusch, the former official claims.

It all sounds like the script for yet another X-Files reunion run or one of the stories passed around UFO subreddits and Twitter communities marred in conflicting claims and discredited witnesses. But this time… it’s different. 

This time, the whistleblower has a name, legitimate and confirmable credentials, other high-level officials vouching for him, and even a paper trail. In fact, this story is quickly shaping up to be the most credible — and incredible — UFO/UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) cover-up claim ever to reach the public. These details were revealed in a feature piece by The Debrief as well as in subsequent interviews with NewsNation.

But the one thing Air Force-veteran-turned-government-UAP analyst David Charles Grusch doesn’t have is… proof. 

Let’s dive into the incredible claims of David Grusch, the evidence and official corroboration of his story, and what we can expect to come next. 

Related: Pentagon to be investigated for its handling of UAP reports

The UAP Whistleblower: David Grusch

Photo Credit: David Grusch

David Grusch, now 36, served in the U.S. Air Force before transitioning into the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and then the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

During his time with the NRO, Grusch reportedly served as a Senior Intelligence Capabilities Integration Officer with a GS-15 pay grade — or the civilian equivalent of a field-grade officer in the neighborhood of colonel.

According to Grusch, he was the agency’s “Senior Technical Advisor for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena analysis/Trans-Medium Issues,” as well as the agency’s representative to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force from 2019-2021 which the organization tasked with investigating reports of what we once called UFOs, but now call UAPs, for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

Grusch then transitioned back to the NGA while staying within the realm of unidentified aircraft, serving as the agency’s “co-lead” for UAP analysis, while also filling the role of that agency’s representative to the same task force.

Related: The narrative around UAPs may be intentionally complicated

Grusch alleges the US has been recovering alien craft for decades

Debris recovered from the famous 1947 Roswell Incident (Wikimedia Commons)

According to Grusch, the United States military has been recovering debris and even intact craft of “non-human” origin for decades, all while keeping these recoveries a secret not just from the American people, but from Congress itself. This has been accomplished, he claims, by concealing the recovery efforts within “multiple agencies nesting UAP activities in conventional secret access programs without appropriate reporting to various oversight authorities.

Grusch says that these efforts are so clandestine that they’ve even been withheld from the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force assigned to investigate such sightings. 

Perhaps crazier still, he says the U.S. isn’t alone in these efforts, and that there’s been a secretive arms race going on for decades as countries attempt to recover and exploit these exotic technologies.

Special Access Programs are where America hides its most secretive defense efforts, with access to any information about them limited only to officials with both clearance and a distinct need to know. In other words, it doesn’t matter how high your clearance is, these efforts are hidden from you unless you’re a part of them. Sometimes, Special Access Programs can be so secretive that they’re largely kept off paper, and exist only as the work being done and verbal briefs shared among those who have been “read in.”

According to Grusch, the DoD’s spookiest of spooks aren’t doing the job by themselves. American allies and even high-profile defense contractors have also played roles in both recovering these “non-human” crafts and keeping their existence hidden from both the public and lawmakers alike.

Grusch describes these recovered objects as “of exotic origin (non-human intelligence, whether extraterrestrial or unknown origin) based on the vehicle morphologies and material science testing and the possession of unique atomic arrangements and radiological signatures.”

Related: Japan follows US Navy lead, establishes UFO reporting procedures

Grusch does not claim to have witnessed the recovered spacecraft himself

Screen capture from US Navy UAP footage

But according to Grusch, he’s never been a part of any of these recoveries, nor has he seen them himself. Due to his role within the defense and intelligence apparatus, he’s been briefed on and read into multiple such programs, he claims, and has interacted directly with those responsible for them. 

“Individuals on these UAP programs approached me in my official capacity and disclosed their concerns regarding a multitude of wrongdoings, such as illegal contracting against the Federal Acquisition Regulations and other criminality and the suppression of information across a qualified industrial base and academia,” he said.

And while Grusch’s story isn’t in itself particularly unique, it’s what he claims happened next that ultimately led to his decision to become a whistleblower.

As Grusch tells it, he went to Congress to reveal what he calls a decades-long “publicly unknown Cold War for recovered and exploited physical material – a competition with near-peer adversaries over the years to identify UAP crashes/landings and retrieve the material for exploitation/reverse engineering to garner asymmetric national defense advantages.

As a result of this disclosure to Congress, Grusch claims to have been the target of a concerted harassment and retaliation campaign executed by DoD insiders intent on keeping these recoveries a secret.

Eventually, this harassment led Grusch to file a “Complaint of Reprisal” with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community in May of 2022.

“When you have multiple agencies nesting UAP activities in conventional [Special Access Programs/Controlled Access Programs], both as recipients of exploitation-related insights and for operational reasons, without appropriate reporting to various oversight authorities, you have a problem,” Grusch said.

And that’s where this story goes from being just another UFO conspiracy tale to what may be the most credible claim and accompanying paper trail ever to surface regarding government UAP coverups.

Because Grusch didn’t walk into this process alone — instead, he’s being represented by Charles McCullough III. McCullough is a senior partner in the DC-based Compass Rose Legal Group… and was also the original Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IGIP), confirmed for the role by the Senate itself in 2011.

And if landing a very credible attorney to represent Grusch in this process tied directly to his UAP disclosures isn’t enough to raise your eyebrow, you should know that in July of 2022, the current IGIP allegedly determined his complaint to be both “credible and urgent.

Related: VZ-9 Avrocar: The Air Force’s flying saucer (came from Canada)

Can we confirm Grusch was involved in UAP programs?

Confirming all of Grusch’s claims about his background is difficult, but a number of high-level officials have vouched for him, and the paper trail dragging behind his story does seem to substantiate at least a portion of it.

Of course, his claims were also vetted by Debrief co-founder Christopher Plain, as well as the story’s authors, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean.

These journalists are the same folks who penned the explosive 2017 New York Times expose that first revealed the Pentagon’s until-then secret efforts to investigate UAP reports from within the U.S. military.

You can also find mention of Grusch in a few different DoD publications from over the years, including a story about large-scale war games being held in South Korea in 2011 that lists him as “1st Lt. David Grusch, an UFG intelligence duty officer who volunteered to participate” in the exercise.

Grusch is also listed in a copy of the Schriever Sentinel — a local DoD publication out of Schriever Air Force Base (now Space Force Base) — in Colorado from 2012. Grusch’s name is among a list of 1st lieutenants being congratulated for their selection for promotion to captain.

The Debrief claims to have confirmation of not just Grusch’s background, but his claims as well, though most of it comes from sources who’ve asked to remain anonymous or who spoke under a pseudonym, like one intelligence officer who went by the alias Jonathan Grey.

However, not all of those who vouch for Grusch are behind the veil. Some, like recently retired Army Colonel Karl Nell, have gone on record about the whistleblower’s credibility. Nell’s decades-spanning career in military intelligence can be confirmed in a number of places, including a published 2012 report penned by Nell for the U.S. Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute.

Knell says that he not only worked with Grusch in an intelligence capacity but that his character is “beyond reproach.”

“His assertion concerning the existence of a terrestrial arms race occurring sub-rosa over the past eighty years focused on reverse engineering technologies of unknown origin is fundamentally correct, as is the indisputable realization that at least some of these technologies of unknown origin derive from non-human intelligence,” Karl Nell said.

Related: Can this Navy patent explain away many UAP sightings?

But don’t get too excited yet

David James Henry via Wikimedia Commons

While these allegations are sure to draw a great deal of media and even lawmaker attention, thus far, all we have are claims made by credentialed sources. That may be worth taking note of, but it falls well short of proving anything. 

Grusch reportedly has a long-form interview set to air on NewsNation this Sunday, and further in-depth reports from major news outlets that were given advanced notice of this story are expected to emerge with more tantalizing details in the days to come. 

But, it’s important to note, that it’s unlikely any of these subsequent reports will offer any kind of smoking gun. The only thing that can do that, it seems, would be a concerted internal investigation conducted by the Federal government with full DoD cooperation. Whether or not that will be the result of this whistleblower case or all of the ensuing media attention… is yet to be determined. 

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Alex Hollings

Alex Hollings is a writer, dad, and Marine veteran.