The past six years have been a roller coaster for the extraterrestrial-minded in America. In 2017, the New York Times revealed that former senator Harry Reid had previously snuck away $22 million in Defense funding to investigate unidentified foreign objects. Since then, some Navy pilots have come forward to report frequent UFO sightings, while the Pentagon has revamped its investigation process in an effort to take the matter more seriously. The increased scrutiny hasn’t led to any breakthroughs; it turns out many of the objects the pilots sighted were just balloons.

But a new report from Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal — part of the team that broke the Times story in 2017 — gives hope to the alien optimists.
On the science website the Debrief, the pair describe the story of a Defense intelligence whistleblower, David Charles Grusch, who has alleged that the Intelligence Community is hiding classified evidence of “intact and partially intact craft of non-human origin.” In a later interview with NewsNation, Grusch even claimed that the government has evidence of alien life in crashed spacecraft from another planet. “Well, naturally, when you recover something that’s either landed or crashed, smetimes you encounter dead pilots,” he said. “And believe it or not, as fantastical as that sounds, it’s true.”

Grusch claims in a complaint that the Pentagon, other nations, and defense contractors have recovered fragments “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.” Grusch goes on to state that the “material includes intact and partially intact vehicles.”


While a previous UFO expert in the government might have been discredited, Grusch has bona fides that are worth taking seriously. Grusch is a 36-year-old combat veteran of Afghanistan who was a member of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, the program run by the Office of Naval Intelligence to investigate UFO sightings. From 2019 to 2021, he served on the task force as the representative of the National Reconnaissance Office, considered one of the big five of the U.S. intelligence agencies. His colleagues think highly of him, too. Karl Nell, a retired Army colonel who was also on the UFO task force, told the Debrief that Grusch was “beyond reproach.” Nell even backed up one of Grusch’s claims in the complaint: that there is an ongoing competition with other countries to “identify [UFO] crashes/landings and retrieve the material for exploitation/reverse engineering.”

“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,” Nell told the Debrief. “As is the indisputable realization that at least some of these technologies of unknown origin derive from non-human intelligence.” Another intelligence official investigating UFOs, Jonathan Grey, concurred. “The non-human intelligence phenomenon is real. We are not alone,” he said. “This is a global phenomenon, and yet a global solution continues to elude us.”

An unclassified version of the complaint shared with the Debrief states that the evidence of extraterrestrial tech was illegally withheld from congressional oversight by the Intelligence Community in order to “purposely and intentionally thwart legitimate Congressional oversight of the UAP Program.” When Grusch raised the concern, he was subject to months of retaliation. (He requested that the details of that retaliation be withheld “to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation,” per the report.) An intelligence investigation has been launched in response to his whistleblower complaint. While the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence did not comment, the Pentagon cleared the information in the report in April. (The Debrief has also provided a look into its fact checking and reporting process for the story.)