UAP

Further Australian Department of Defence emails re UAP

Summary

 “Near Sputnik moment” A while ago, Australian UAP researcher Grant Lavac submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Australian Department of Defence (FOIA DOD 459/22/23.) This uncovered a multi-page DOD briefing paper re UAP, for personnel attending […]

 “Near Sputnik moment”

A while ago, Australian UAP researcher Grant Lavac submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Australian Department of Defence (FOIA DOD 459/22/23.) This uncovered a multi-page DOD briefing paper re UAP, for personnel attending 2022 Senate Estimates committee hearings, in case questions were asked about UAP. In the briefing paper documentation, one individual identified as the “Contact Officer” was Air Cdre Nick Hogan, Director General, Space Strategic Plans. Grant Lavac submitted an FOIA request to the DOD (FOI 046/22/23) for emails to/from Nick Hogan.

Grant’s request was:

“I kindly request a copy of all emails and supporting file attachments, sent to/from, bccd, ccd, Air Commodore Nicholas Hogan, Director General, Space Domain Review, Air Force, for the period 27 October 2021 to 2 August 2022 (inclusive) that contain any of the following keywords, Unidentifed Aerial Phenomena; UAP; UAPs; Unidentified Flying Object; UFO; Unidentified Flying Objects; UFOs; Unathorised Aircraft Movement; UAM; Unauthorised Aircraft Movements; UAMs; Unusual Aerial Sightings; Unidentified Phenomena; Unexplained Aerial Phenomena; Unidentified; Unexplained; unusual air trtaffic. I also kindly request that personal details be limited to the full names of individuals involved in any applicable FOI response.”

Documents released under Defence FOI 046/22/23

Six responsive documents were released, either in full or in part.

1.  27 October 2021


An email from N. Hogan to [redacted] the subject was “Email-ABC News – Report to US Congresss of UAPs.”

“For HAC’s review before going through the QON process. I would add, UAP/UFO sightings occur in civil airspace and Air Services Australia are responsible for civil airspace reporting.”

Comments

1. HAC is short for Head, Airforce Capability. In October 2021 this was Air Vice Marshal Denney. 

2. QON is short for Question on Notice where Parliamentarians submit a formal question in writing to the Department.

3. Earlier this year I submitted an FOIA request to Air Services Australia re UAP sightings. They estimated that the cost of processing my request would be about $500. I did not proceed with the request.

2. 28 October 2021

Email from Hogan to [redacted] Subject: “Email – ABC News: Defence won’t follow Pentagon to launch an investigation into UFO sightings or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.”

“Good morning gentlemen,

Further to SE where CAF fielded a question UAPs/UFOs this article “Defence won’t follow Pentagon to launch an investigation into UFO sightings or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” was in the ABC news this morning. The article title is slightly different to what is implied on the lead in link extract below from ABC News.

Given that Defence has nothing on UAPs/UFOs, we will refer to the information related to the 04 June 21 ABC News article, the above article, work with Navy and Army etc and the subsequent extracts cleared by you 23 Jun or added yesterday:

* UAP/UFO sightings occur in civil airspace and Air Services Australia are responsible for civil airspace reporting

* Army has no method for reporting and Navy uses the Aviation Safety Occurrence (ASOR) reporting methodology. No reported UFO todate

* Is there a similar move to gather information within Australia’s Department of Defence? Defence does not have a protocol that covers recording or reporting of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)/Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings

* Will you be taking an interest in the declassified report when it is eventually made public? No. There is no departmental interest

* Is this topic under active investigation by any arm of the Australian Defence Force? No: Defence does not have a protocol that covers recording or reporting of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP/Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings

* Given many of the sightings of Unidentified Phenomena involve US Naval activity, have any similar sightings been reporteed by Australian Navy personnel? No: Any individual sightings/anomalies are investigated and reported through the standard Aviation Safety Reporting (ASR) process”

Comments

1. SE means Senate Estimates.

2. CAF is short for Chief of Air Force who was Mel Hupfield at that stage. 

3. 29 October 2021


Email from [ ] To [ ] Subject: “Near Sputnik moment.’

Consists of the words “And UAPs..” and the rest of the page is redacted entirely. 

Comment

The subject of the email is “Near Sputnik moment” but there is no available context for why these words were used.

4. 28 January 2022

Not an email but a page headed SPACE, then an area redacted, then:

* UAPs/UFOs are increasingly being discussed in the media, how much of a threat do they pose to national security?

* UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL PHENOMENA

* UAPs/UFOs are increasingly being discussed in the media, how much of a threat do they pose to national security?

* If Defence member sees a UAP while flying/training etc how do they report that?

* When did the formal reporting of UAP stop, why?

* Do you see the need to create a task force like the United States to track and investigate these potential UAP threats?

* Are UAP a risk to our RAAF pilots or civilian aircraft?

* Are UAP super advanced weapons from other nations?

* Should we be doing more to take this seriously?

* Does Australia collaborate or share information on UAP with other nations, like our allies?

Comment:

The above dot points appear to be a self posed set of questions about UAP that the DOD consider might be asked at future Senate Estimates committee hearings.

5. 10 February 2022


Email from  Hogan to [ ]

“One amendment highlighted.”

Email from  staff officer to Hogan

“Hi Sir, Please find SB on UAP as discussed.”

6. Undated.

“CAF Pre-briefing Questions – session 3.1

Space and domain & policy [ ] 

* UAPs/UFOs are increasingly being discussed in the media, how much of a threat do they pose to national security?

General comment

The FOIA request date range was between 27 October 2021 and 2 August 20222. The DOD response contains nothing dated later than 10 February 2022, which appears to indicate that Hogan was only involved in making UAP comments regarding the Senate Estimates committee and for no other reason. 

Grant Lavac and DOD FOIA 044/22/23 – Denney

Grant submitted another FOIA request:

“I kindly request a copy of all emails and corresponding file attachments, sent to/from bccd/ccd R J Denney, AM, Air Vice-Marshal Head of Air Force Capability for the period 27 October 2021 to 26 July 2022 (inclusive), that contain any of the following any of the following keywords: Unexplained Aerial Phenomena, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, UAP, Unidentified Flying Object, UFO, Unidentified Flying Objects, UFOs, Unauthorised Aircraft Movement, UAM, Unauthorised Aircraft Movements, UAMs, Unusual Aerial Sightings, Unidentified Phenomena. I also kindly request that personal details be limited to the full names of individuals involved in any applicable FOI response.”

The DOD response identified 14 responsive documents consisting of 15 pages which were released fully or partially. Rather than elucidate all of these in full, I will summarise them below:

1. In June 2022, Grant Lavac communicated with the Office of the Minister for Defence, and R J Denney replied on behalf of the Minister. Some of the 044/22/23 FOIA papers show the internal paperwork trail for the Ministerial response. 

2. Likewise, other documents are internal working papers for the Departmental reply to Senator Whish-Wilson who asked UAP related questions at the 27 October 2021 Senate Estimates Committee hearing.

3. Document 5 is an internal spreadsheet labelled “Forcast: June 2022 to August 2022” which is heavily redacted. However it has one area labelled “Information release.” This shows two entries, (1) 30 May: Individual – Unauthorised Aircraft Movements and (2) 14 June: Activist-Keywords UFO (RAAF.) This appears to relate to FOIA requests made by myself (UAM) and Grant (UFO.)

4. An email, dated 15 February 2022 subject Pre brief  Senate Estimates. From [ ]  To [ ]

“Sir, FYSA, CH9 program Under investigation doing a program on UAP 2100 Wednesday night.”

Comment

Someone in the DOD was keeping an eye on media items regarding UAP. 

Overall

These two sets of documents provide additional information regarding internal DOD processes around the topic of UAP. 

Source

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