• A former U.S. intelligence official claims that the U.S. government has secretly recovered UFOs.
  • Dave Grusch was active in the U.S. investigation into Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) until as recently as 2022.
  • Grusch’s claims are the latest in decades of claims that the U.S. is sitting on recovered flying saucers.

A veteran of the intelligence community’s UFO investigation claims Washington is in possession of recovered vehicles of “exotic,” non-human origin. David Grusch, a career intelligence professional, alleges that the U.S. and its allies have recovered and concealed craft for military advantage. Grusch’s claims are just some of many, going back decades, alleging the U.S. government knows far more about UFO phenomena than it lets on.

“Asymmetric National Defense Advantages”

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Has alien technology slipped into U.S. weapon systems, including the B-2 stealth bomber and America’s missile submarines?
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Grusch is a 14-year career intelligence official, first serving with the U.S. Air Force, then the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and finally the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Most recently, The Debrief reports, he “served as the reconnaissance office’s representative to the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force from 2019–2021. From late 2021 to July 2022, he was the NGA’s co-lead for UAP analysis and its representative to the task force.”

According to Grusch, the U.S. government has “recovered and exploited” non-human vehicles with the intent of reverse-engineering the technology “to garner asymmetric national defense advantages.” He also alleges recovery of “partial fragments through and up to intact vehicles have been made for decades through the present day by the government, its allies, and defense contractors.” The vehicles are considered “exotic,” or of non-human origin, due to their shape and the unique nature of their materials, which includes unusual atomic arrangements and radiation levels.

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Of particular note, Grusch alleges that the U.S. has been in a long-term competition “with near-peer adversaries” to recover these mysterious craft and exploit their secrets. The category of “near-peer” adversaries is generally agreed to consist of Russia and China, countries with large military forces, but which fall short of the technological prowess of the United States. Neither country has ever revealed an official interest in UFOs, let alone recovering vehicles.

Hiding in Plain Sight

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A landed flying saucer from the film “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”
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The U.S. effort to recover and reverse-engineer craft, Grusch alleges, involves “multiple agencies nesting UAP activities in conventional secret access programs without appropriate reporting to various oversight authorities.” The nesting of these activities within multiple programs, instead of a single all-knowing UAP program, compartmentalizes information. Under this structure, work on recovery and analysis can proceed, but few individuals know the true scope of the program.

Grusch says the effort involves both special-access programs (SAPs) and controlled-access programs (CAPs). SAPs are the domain of the U.S. government in general, particularly the Department of Defense; CAPs are specific to the intelligence community. Both cases involve classified work that takes place on a strictly need-to-know basis. This suggests that recovery efforts are widespread within the U.S. government and include multiple agencies, including both the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.

Grusch also says that he knows of specific individuals, both those currently in government and retired, who are involved in vehicle recovery efforts. Grusch claimed at least some of these officials were interviewed with the interviews turned over to Congress. He also claims that the efforts were shielded from Congress’ purview, an act he believes was illegal.

A History of Crashed Saucers

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Jesse Marcel, head intelligence officer, who initially investigated and recovered some of the debris from the Roswell UFO site, 1947.
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UFO investigators have long alleged the U.S. government is involved in an ongoing cover-up of UFO phenomena, extending even to so-called crashed flying saucers or UFOs. The first alleged incident was in 1947, when eyewitnesses claimed a UFO crashed near Roswell, New Mexico. Debris from the crashed vehicle was reportedly recovered and spirited away by the U.S. Army Air Force under a veil of secrecy. In 1994, the Air Force stated that the incident had actually involved top-secret balloons intended to collect evidence of a Soviet nuclear weapons test.

In 1948, according to UFO lore, the U.S. military recovered a UFO near Aztec, New Mexico. Twelve non-human beings were recovered from the vehicle, which was reportedly taken to Hangar No. 18 in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. In 1994, former Senator Barry Goldwater confirmed a story that he had been denied access by Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay to “a room” at Wright Patterson where “you put all the secret stuff”—at the time clearly alluding to UFOs. LeMay “cussed out” Goldwater, a former Maj. Gen. in the Air Force Reserve, and told him never to ask about it ever again.

As the Cold War ended, the issue of crashed UFOs emerged again, and starting in 1989, former Los Alamos National Lab employee Bob Lazar alleged he had worked at a site called S4, near Area 51 in the Nevada desert, on reverse-engineering captured alien craft. In 1993, an engineer by the name of Bill Uhouse claimed to have been partnered with an alien named Jarod to create a flight simulator for human-piloted UFOs using alien technology.

The Takeaway

There exists a long history of captured or crashed UFO claims, and such stories have become a staple in the vast market of conspiracy theories. In no case, however, has solid evidence been produced, nor have actual individuals serving in government who have actively worked on “recovery” operations been identified. Grusch’s allegations claim both exist. We’ve heard it before, but will anything come of it this time?

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Kyle Mizokami

Kyle Mizokami is a writer on defense and security issues and has been at Popular Mechanics since 2015. If it involves explosions or projectiles, he's generally in favor of it. Kyle’s articles have appeared at The Daily Beast, U.S. Naval Institute News, The Diplomat, Foreign Policy, Combat Aircraft Monthly, VICE News, and others. He lives in San Francisco.