I find the truth.' Luis Elizondo Unidentified S2 interview
Since Unidentified first hit our screens, footage released by Tom DeLonge of alleged encounters between UFOs and US Navy pilot has been officially confirmed. Furthermore, in April, the Pentagon released three videos of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) captured by the Navy. 2020 has already proven to be a fairly tumultuous year, which may explain why news the US government has released footage that captures a supposed UAP, has flown under the radar somewhat.
Sky HISTORY spoke to Luis Elizondo, former head of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program - the US government's own UFO programme - who joins DeLonge in Unidentified to talk about this footage and what we can expect in season two of the show.
Sky HISTORY: Did you feel vindicated when the Pentagon acknowledged the footage was real?
Luis Elizondo: I didn't do this, so I could be vindicated. I took an oath decades ago to defend my country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And my oath is to the American people and the American people deserve the truth. I'm not doing this, other than to have a conversation with the American people.
After season one, do you think more people were encouraged to come forward?
People have told me that if they hadn't had watched season one, they probably wouldn't have spoken to me because there's a lot of stigma and taboo associated with this topic.
The show makes the conversation easier to have. It helps seeing other military people with the same level of security clearances and the same level of responsibility, admitting 'Yeah you know what, as crazy as it sounds, I had my own encounter and by the way, there were witnesses, and by the way, there's camera footage and this radar data...'
That's one of my own personal greatest accomplishments, that we've been able to destigmatize this topic, to the point where you have officials in the legislative branch and officials in the executive branch - very senior people - watching the show. And they shared with me they've had their personal experiences with these UAP and UFOs, but they never wanted to have the conversation in public because obviously these are elected officials, they don't want to seem crazy.
What's the most exciting discovery you made in season two?
It's like trying to pick your favourite child. But I think for me it was when I had a chance to go back down to South America.
Back in my old life, I was a special agent. I was assigned to Latin America mostly for counterinsurgency and counter-guerrilla pipe operations. Going back down there and speaking to some of these individuals who are four-star generals at the Secretaries of Defence, folks who have a lot of responsibility (and a lot to lose) and they're looking at you in front of a camera, looking at you right in the eyes and saying, 'Yes, these things are real. Yes, we have an official UFO programme in our government apparatus, specifically trying to figure out what the things are. And yes, we need the US government’s involvement in helping us with this.' That's extremely compelling.
In season one, there were some remarkable first-hand testimonies of UFO encounters. What are the most memorable from season two?
Luis Elizondo: We've talked to private pilots, pretty much around the world and there's a couple of pretty hair-raising incidents which I would consider serious flight safety issues. These UAPs are in some cases coming within feet not metres of commercial aircraft with 200 people on board. And meanwhile, you've got these pilots up in the cockpit, kind of freaking out because there's something there, and it's getting closer and closer to their aircraft, with passengers in the back of the aircraft sipping cocktails that are blissfully unaware.
What's the endpoint in this investigation? What's your final goal?
Luis Elizondo: I think that question is really one you need to answer. It doesn't matter what I think the endpoint is because for me my job as an investigator very simply is to collect the truth and speak the truth. My job is to present that information to a jury. And in this case, you're the jury. The audience is a jury. So, my job is to keep going as long as you tell me to keep going. As an investigator, that's what I do: I find the truth.
Unidentified S2 is now available to watch on History Play.