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(Originally published April/May 2024)


UFO in Hangar [enhanced with Photos, cro


A top-level engineer who formerly managed major technical programs for the US Defense intelligence Agency (DIA) has recently related that the US government has retrieved and studied “a craft of unknown origin”. He describes the vehicle and considers its purpose.


His revelations appear to be corroborated by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to the DIA by this author that sought UFO debris analysis reports believed to have been conducted by an aerospace company under contract to the DIA.

The engineering manager was subsequently “squeezed out” of his role when religious fundamentalists working within the Department of Defense became uncomfortable with his work on UFOs, viewing it as “demonic.”


J Lacatski [cropped, enhanced with Photo
Dr. James T. Lacatski, D.Eng.

Dr. James Lacatski was the DIA’s Program Manager, Contracting Officer, and Security Coordinator for a $22 million US government UFO research study, the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application Program (AAWSAP) whose operation was not publicized at the time. This program inspired the later Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). The programs ran from 2007-2012. They had a mission of UFO sightings compilation and analysis, review of the technical aspects of UFO travel, threat potential assessment, and examination of UFOs and human effects.


Lacatski, a noted rocket scientist, was with the US Defense Department for decades, He holds a BS, MS and D.Eng in Nuclear Engineering with a world-recognized expertise in fusion plasmas and directed energy systems. Lacatski was very close to the late Senator Harry Reid, who helped secure the funding for the in-depth UFO (or UAP, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) study that Lacatski led. Lacatski was also very close to Robert Bigelow, the CEO of private-sector defense and aerospace contractor Bigelow Aerospace, to whom Lacatski assigned several contracts for the study.

The DIA is our nation’s premier military intelligence organization. It does not 

belong to a single military element or within the traditional chain of command, instead answering to the Secretary of Defense directly through the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence of the Department of Defense (DoD).


Retired from government service, Lacatski has now quietly come forward to produce an independently published book entitled “Inside the US Government Covert UFO Program: Initial Revelations”.

Within the book (and repeated on the book’s back cover), Lacatski makes the astounding admission that he is personally aware of an alien craft recovered by the government. He describes it thusly:


“The United States is in possession of a craft of unknown origin and has successfully gained access to its interior.”


He continues, “This craft had a streamlined configuration suitable for aerodynamic flight but no intakes, exhaust, wings, or control surfaces. In fact, it appeared to have no engine, fuel tanks, or fuel.”


He confirms that there is much that remains unknown about it:


“What is the purpose of this craft? Was it a life-support craft used only for atmospheric reentry or what? If it was a spacecraft, then how did it operate?"


He mentions that he has met with government officials in the Capitol Building about this, including an unnamed “US Senator” and “an agency Undersecretary.”

Lacatski Book.png

Lacatski goes no further in his statement on the recovered craft but does indicate that this book is part of a planned series. It is hoped that he will then offer more details and that he will appear before the AARO (All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office) or before members of Congress engaged in UFO investigation to offer his sworn testimony. Concerns for national security must no doubt be balanced against Lacatski’s obligation to truth and to history. The bulk of Lacatski’s book relates to space travel theory and observed UFO flight characteristics, making sparse but unambiguous statements relating to an actual UFO possessed by the government stand out.


He implies in his book that the UFO/UAP deep technical work was sometimes conducted under the guise of advanced aerospace research and development activities. Some of the DIA study group documents that Lacatski reviewed and approved were then selectively released as “DIRDs” or “Defense Intelligence Reference Documents”. Used by AAWSAP/AATIP, they related to such exotic topics as antigravity, traversable wormholes, manipulation of extra dimensions, materials of construction, as well as other topics. These DIRDs were released for others to explore potential commercial and scientific applications, with their actual impetus from UAP study, a fact obscured in their release. The program produced a raft of theoretical papers attempting to explain highly advanced future technologies related to UAPs.


The observation by Lacatski that the recovered craft has no engine or obvious means of propulsion is interesting. People at the Roswell UFO crash site in New Mexico in 1947 also reported that they saw no motors, engines or any moving parts. Sgt. Bill Ennis, a veteran who was stationed at Roswell Army Air Field that year, told researcher Tom Carey (author of the bestseller Witness to Roswell) in 2008, “it was a spaceship… and after all these years, I still don’t know how that ship flew. There was no engine!” Carey believes that the “materials of construction” of the craft itself provided for its propulsion, navigation and control.


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Corroboration for Lacatski’s claims may have been unwittingly released by the DIA itself in a stunning FOIA reply to a request that this author made to them seeking UFO debris analysis results conducted by an aerospace government contractor. That is because Lacatski’s name is literally all over the documents received.

In 2017 a FOIA request was made to the DIA asking for the physical descriptions, properties and composition of UFO/UAP material held by the government and its contractor, Bigelow Aerospace (Lacatski dedicates his book to Bigelow.) The request was made based on a well-known series of articles appearing in The New York Times that year mentioning the AAWAP/AATIP, and that there were reports that Bigelow Aerospace held recovered UAP debris in “specialized facilities” in Nevada. The request was unambiguous in its meaning. It refers to UFO/UAP material and "physical debris recovered by personnel of the Department of Defense as residue, flotsam, shot-off material, crashed UAPs or unidentified flying objects." The FOIA request can be seen in full here.


In their reply, received over three and a half years after the request was made, the DIA amazingly agreed that it has documents responsive to my request on recovered UFO debris and its analysis, the program under which it was administered, AATIP (the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program), and that their defense contractor (Bigelow Aerospace in Las Vegas, Nevada) has stored the material. They also provide some reports related to the possible applications of the studied material. Their reply consisted of 154 pages of technical data on “metamaterials”.


Metamaterial, a coined and relatively recent word, is believed to be any material engineered to have a property that is not found in naturally occurring materials. Some of these materials appear to be made from assemblies of multiple elements fashioned from composite materials such as metals and plastics. These composite media can be engineered to exhibit, for instance, unique electromagnetic properties. Made up from subwavelength building blocks (most often based on metals), these metamaterials can, as an example, allow for extreme control over light energy and optical fields, enabling such effects such as negative refraction to be realized.


The materials discussed in the documents within the FOIA reply on UFO debris refer to those with exotic properties that:


  • exhibit “shape recovery” such as those found at the Roswell, NM crash in 1947


  • that can change the speed of light


  • that can create invisibility


  • that can compress electromagnetic energy.


The first batch of FOIA reply documents can be viewed here.  The second batch can be viewed in these documents.


Incredibly, it was Dr. James Lacatski who signed off on the technical documents received in response to my FOIA request for UFO debris analysis. The DIA had redacted his name, but it is now known that he was the reviewer/approver of the study reports, the very reports the DIA sent to this author in response to a request for UFO debris analysis documents.


Here we can see Dr. Lacatski's name and other information redacted from the original technical documents:

Lacatski 2.webp


Later releases showed his name included, as shown here:

Lacatski 2 [unredacted], straightened, enhanced with Photos.png


And in Lacatski’s book, he refers briefly to “Technical Studies Part 6” of the overall UAP study that he was engaged in, which relates specifically to “Materials” presumably of the type addressed in the documents that I received in response to my FOIA request.


The confirmation for Lacatski’s claims of the US having a craft of unknown origin in its possession is strengthened by the FOIA received by this author from the DIA.




Lacatski endured efforts by religious zealots to inflict professional ruin on him because the data he was gathering was a threat to their belief system. It appears that a particular element of the far-religious right has somehow placed themselves in key government military and intelligence agencies that enabled them to do this. And that element did not like his findings–and tried to destroy his career–because they find UFOs and their occupants to be demonic in nature. In a November 1st, 2018 internet post, former AATIP UFO Program Manager Luis Elizondo writes, referring to his predecessor Lacatski:

“Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) has even been associated with demons and anti-Judeo-Christian beliefs. I experienced this first-hand during my time working at the US Government's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification 


Program (AATIP), where certain senior government officials thought our collection of facts on UAP was dangerous to their philosophical beliefs. In fact, my AATIP predecessor's career was ruined because of misplaced fear by an elite few. Rather than accept the data as provided by a top-rank rocket scientist, they decided the data was a threat to their belief system and instead, destroyed his career because of it."


A couple years before he passed, the late Senator Harry Reid, referring to Lacatski, said to a Las Vegas TV news reporter:


“I received communication from a man who worked for one of the defense agencies, a PhD. He said ‘I know everything about rockets but I don’t know what these things are.’ His Pentagon UFO program was ended for reasons including that there were other officials who had religious objections.”


Nick Pope, a former UFO investigator for the UK Ministry of Defence, told Metro (UK) newspaper reporter Jasper Hamill recently that he encountered the same sort of attitude when working in the UK, and that he himself heard about the religious fanatics in the US versus flying saucers with AATIP: '“I was aware that Pentagon pushback on UFO research was in part due to the religious belief of some of those involved", he said. "It was an odd irony that UFO investigations were being hampered because some people’s belief in God meant that they either didn’t believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life or that they regarded UFOs and extraterrestrials as demonic. The fact that some people regard UFOs as demonic seems to have its roots in the biblical description of Satan as being ‘the prince of the power of the air.’ Luis Elizondo says that he came up against religious pushback from senior staff when he ran the Pentagon’s UFO program, as did his predecessor, and I saw some evidence of this at the (UK) MoD too.”' This suggests that this “aliens-are-demons“ mindset is global and exists among powerful elements in other nations than just America.




Lacatski has not done a good job of getting his story out there. That is clear. It is as though he wants the information that we are not alone to be known, but he does not want to be the one to make a widely publicized announcement about it. He operated the DIA’s UFO program covertly for many years, and that is the way he prefers it. He is an engineer who works best quietly and does not seem to enjoy the public eye. He has made a couple of podcast appearances, including in a “Weaponized” podcast which included researcher Jeremy Corbell. Reporter Billy Cox noted that on the podcast Lacatski appeared uneasy and at one point seemed to be having a seizure. When Corbell asks Lacatski to expand on his statement that the US possesses a craft of unknown origin, Cox notes of Lacatski that it looks as if Lacatski cannot talk about it further, “like he’s having a seizure, clenching his eyes shut, drawing his hands toward his face in a prayer mode. Lacatski recovers and never explains what stoked that jarring interior moment. Ultimately he dodges the question altogether.” It is as though Lacatski is saying, “Yes, we recovered a UFO. No, we do not know how it works. Don’t ask me about the UFO retrieval, but instead let’s theorize on how it flies, given that the craft has no engine or fuel source.”




Given the treatment and pushback that Lacatski received from ‘delving too deeply’ into things seen as demonic, he has decided to work privately and outside of government to continue his analysis of the phenomenon.


That said, the government is well aware of his claims. Last April, Lacatski (as required by law for officials writing about their time of service) submitted a draft copy of his book to the Department of Defense for pre-publication review. They cleared it for public release. However, they did not (and likely will not) endorse the book. Lacatski made sure to include the following statement on the first page: “The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.”


The factual accuracy of Lacatski’s extraordinary claims will not be attested to by those leading government agencies, but rather by engineers and scientists, brave like Lacatski, who are also willing to disclose what they know to be true as it relates to the reality of visiting extraterrestrials.

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