The ONI Report That Tried To Become An AATIP Report
A recent interview with Paco Chierici caused me to think more seriously about the document or report on which he says he based his 2015 article “There I was: The X-Files Edition”. Chierici’s excellent article first broke the story of the Nimitiz UAP encounter by Cmdr. David Fravor, but it was not until three years later in a June 2018 interview that Chierici stated he had been provided an “exhaustive classified government document” to use in writing his article and then had to give it back. Months later, in a November 2019 interview, he was again asked about the article and said, “…through circuitous means I got my hands on this ONI investigation” at which point he breaks and with a quizzical nod adds, “…which I think now has been revealed as an AATIP investigation”. That was news to me because I had never heard of anything being revealed as an ‘AATIP investigation’, especially that!
Since then Chierici almost always first says that it was an ONI investigation, but then follows that with the suggestion he now thinks it was possibly an ‘AATIP’ report. Any number of reasons make it hard to imagine an obviously highly intelligent person like Chierici not being absolutely sure who had created a classified government document if one was being put into his hands. But in any case, his own words make clear that when he first got the document he considered it an ONI report.
In a December 2019 interview with Jim Breslo Chierici states in no uncertain terms that Fravor told him in 2015 it was ONI who had “just left” (9:27). Paco repeatedly says that what he saw in 2015 was an ONI report and that it was classified and has never been released (10:40). However, he then goes on to say his article was based on the “full ONI…or maybe AATIP” report that has never come out and that “the whole thing” was maybe “25-30 pages” (10:55). He follows this by saying the “cover sheet came out” and “somebody sent it to me”, then pulls out a document he refers to as the Executive Summary (11:04). This certainly gives the impression that what he is holding up and showing to Jim Breslo is what he saw back in 2015. But is the ‘Executive Summary’ he shows during his interviews the same document supposedly ‘leaked’ to George Knapp? Those questions aside, the fact remains that the Executive Summary publicly released is only 13 pages.
On being questioned by Breslo, Chierici says “as far as I understand this was an AATIP report” because it was FOIA exempt and an ONI report would not have been (a good point). But Breslo then asks for clarification and points to what Paco is holding and asks “So in other words this may have been a different investigation than…?”, to which Paco cuts in and says “No, it’s the same…just that they said they were ONI.” Paco is understandably doing his best to make sense of it all and says he doesn’t really know what the truth is, but that it is his guess that it was AATIP who talked to Fravor in 2015.
It was shocking then to hear, in a recent interview on The Basement Office (June 10, 2020), Chierici say something very odd that he credits to David Fravor, saying, “Dave told me that he believes that it was AATIP in the guise of ONI!” You can interpret that whatever way you choose, but things don’t end there.
Paco Chierici’s article would have been just as good no matter who produced the report he drew from in 2015. Even so, today he is showing pages of the “Executive Summary” that do appear to match what Knapp released (I’m sure many of us have freeze-framed the video to compare what we can of the formatting and borders). But in late 2019 Chierici told a respected Nimitz researcher that what he saw in 2015 was “at least 20 pages and far more granular than the ES!” That statement alone implies he had already seen the publicly released Executive Summary and knew that what he saw in 2015 had far more to it. All the above would seem to be reason enough to believe there is a fuller and more “granular” report still to be seen.
Even if everything to this point was considered circumstantial, there is a final point that makes it virtually undeniable that the document Chierici used in writing his 2015 article was not the Executive Summary released by George Knapp.
In that article, Chierici describes how Douglas Kurth was airborne before David Fravor and was the first pilot directed to the location of the ‘unknown’. Chierici’s article does match what Fravor has since described in his interviews, including that Kurth was directed to the area first but then was called off. Chierici also made the small but potentially significant point that Kurth had even seen Fravor’s “Fasteagle two-ship” approaching, also establishing that Kurth was still in the vicinity as Fravor’s flight was closing on the area of the UAP.
The problem is…the Executive Summary does not contain any of that information!
The Executive Summary presented to the public does not have actual names visible, and George Knapp has refused to even clarify whether the section that sounds like Douglas Kurth’s experience is in fact describing Kurth. However, because it indicates the person was a Lt. Col. in the USMC and was the Commanding Officer of VMFA-232 (the only Marine fighter squadron on the Nimitz at the time) and Lt. Col. Douglas Kurth was the Commanding Officer of VMFA-232, it is almost indisputable that this section does refer to Kurth. But the Executive Summary states only that Kurth launched in the morning at 10:30L and after spotting a disturbance in the water was back onboard the Nimitz by 12:00L. The Executive Summary does not say Kurth went out again in the afternoon and it says nothing suggesting he was anywhere near Fravor’s encounter. So where did Paco get the information that Kurth was flying in the afternoon, flew over the disturbance in the water before Fravor, saw Fravor’s ‘Fasteagle’ aircraft approaching, and was still close enough to see the disturbance in the water when it vanished—all information that is not in the Executive Summary released by George Knapp?
Reliable information I have verifies that Kurth was flying above Fravor during Fravor’s encounter, and they even talked about it back on the Nimitz while they were still in their flight gear. So Kurth was airborne during the same carrier deck cycle as Fravor and was present during Fravor’s encounter, just as described in both in Chierici’s article and in Fravor’s interviews. But Paco Chierici could not have gotten that information from the Executive Summary—at least not the version released by George Knapp.
When Kurth was later hired by BAASS, he has said that one of the things he did was to investigate and prepare a report on the Nimitz events. Even Fravor reported in an interview on fighterpilotpodcast.com that around 2008-9 he had been contacted by ‘Cheeks’ Kurth inquiring about investigating the incident. But if the Executive Summary was at best a summary of the report Kurth had done then presumably the story would accurately reflect Kurth’s own stated involvement. But it does not! The portion that seems to describe Kurth’s involvement also reads like it was written by someone other than Kurth, all making it unlikely that the Executive Summary derived from a report prepared by Kurth himself.
The point remains however that the Executive Summary does not even hint at Kurth having been in the air during the same ‘deck cycle’ as Fravor’s flight.
Two other points raise questions about what documentation Chierici might have seen. First, in the same recent “Basement Office” interview, Chierici is discussing how the Nimitz incidents were fairly quiet after 2004 and then says “…until 2009, and that’s when the ONI, or AATIP, did this comprehensive investigation.” It certainly adds to the question of why an investigation would be done in 2009 and then another would be done six years later! Even if Paco Chierici can be excused for some degree of confusion over dates, when George Knapp initially released the Executive Summary with his May 2018 I-Team Exclusive report (on 8newsnow.com), he gave the same year! Just above the link to the “Tic Tac UFO Executive Report” Knapp wrote…
This makes it unavoidable that there was a major investigation of some kind in 2009, but if Fravor and Chierici are also to be believed then there was another investigation–of some kind—being done in 2015. None of that, however, changes the fact that specific details Chierici presented in his 2015 article were never present in the Executive Summary (i.e. Knapp’s “Tic Tac UFO Executive Report”).
The Executive Summary publicly released cannot be the document (at least not the only document) Paco Chierici had access to in 2015 and on which he based his article because he reported details that are accurate but are not mentioned in the Executive Summary! Also, because it seems highly unlikely that the Executive Summary is any report Kurth produced (since it does not reflect his own real involvement), the facts point to the existence of another report far more ‘comprehensive’ and ‘granular’.
Either the version of the Executive Summary leaked to George Knapp is an intentionally altered version for public release—with mistakes that are becoming obvious. Or, in 2015 Paco Chierici was shown exactly what he says he was shown, a report he credited to ONI containing accurate and complete details—but now, for unknown reasons, disinformation is being spread to reframe it as an AATIP report.
The term “being mushroomed” certainly comes to mind.
As an end note, it may be karma or just serendipity that in the last two days a report on the Intelligence Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2021 included comments from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence supporting the efforts of an “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force” at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Within 180 days of the enactment of the bill they want a report from the DNI—another report I am sure we would all like to see.