The Indefensible Status Quo
"Based on what they actually made, we would've received an entire year's worth of missiles for free."
As most of my readers likely know by now, there was a historic UFO hearing that took place in the House of Representatives on July 26th, 2023. Former Navy pilots Ryan Graves and Dave Fravor, along with former NRO and NGA official David Grusch, spoke before the House Oversight Committee on their experiences with UFOs during their time inside the US government.
At this point, the hearing has been covered by journalists and other analysts in detail that would be redundant to rehash again here, so my intention in this article is to provide context on a specific point that I personally find significant — and may have implications beyond what may appear at the surface level.
Grusch revealed that there has been significant wrongdoing by certain defense contractors in the name of UFO secrecy. In his interview with Australian journalist Ross Coulthart, he mentioned that he was aware of white-collar crime that had been committed to cover up the reality of UAP, and there were a few clues he left during his testimony that might give us some insight into what he was referring to.
A line of questioning by Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz may have been one of the most important of the day.
Moskowitz fired off question after question as Grusch responded knowledgeably and with full confidence, alleging a rampant abuse of power by agencies and companies fielding contracts through Independent Development and Research (IRAD) projects.
Moskowitz: Mr. Grusch, as a result of your previous government work, have you met with people with direct knowledge — or have direct knowledge yourself — of non-human origin craft?
Grusch: Yes. I personally interviewed those individuals.
Moskowitz: Mr. Grusch, as a result of your previous government work, have you met with people with direct knowledge — or have direct knowledge yourself — about ATS advanced technologies that the US government has based on conventional advanced tech?
Grusch: I was briefed on the preponderance of the Defense Department's both space and aerospace compartmented programs, yeah.
Moskowitz: Do you have knowledge or do you have reason to believe that there are programs in the advanced tech space that are unsanctioned?
Grusch: Yes, I do.
Moskowitz: When you say that they're above congressional oversight, what do you mean?
Grusch: A complicated question. I would call it abuse here….so 10 U.S code section 119 discusses Congressional oversight of SAPs, discusses the [Deputy Secretary of Defense's] ability to waive Congressional reporting. However, the Gang of Eight is at least supposed to be notified if a waived or waived bigoted unacknowledged SAP is created, and that's public law.
Moskowitz: I don't want to cut you off, but how does a program like that get funded?
Grusch: I will give you generalities. I can get very specific in a closed session, but misappropriation of funds.
Moskowitz: Does that mean that there is money in the budget that is said to go to a program, but it doesn't, and it goes to something else?
Grusch: Yes, I have specific knowledge of that.
Moskowitz: Do you think U.S. corporations are over-charging for certain tech they're selling to the US government, and that additional money is going to programs?
Grusch: Correct, through something called IRAD.
Interestingly, the topic of defense contractors overcharging taxpayers for certain technologies has been a scandal that has come to light only in recent months. Contractors are able to name the price of certain spare parts and maintenance due to the lack of specialization regarding specific technologies throughout the industry, and the consolidation of companies over the years as smaller firms were swallowed up.
In a CBS 60 Minutes expose on this very issue back in May 2023, Bill Whitaker interviewed several Pentagon auditors who echoed Grusch's allegations of impropriety in the private defense sector — particularly when it came to intentionally inflating costs.
Assad points to the Patriot weapons system, a pillar of air defenses for the U.S., NATO, Ukraine and Taiwan. In 2015, Assad ordered a review and Army negotiators discovered Lockheed Martin and its subcontractor, Boeing, were grossly overcharging the Pentagon and U.S. allies by hundreds of millions of dollars for the Patriot's PAC-3 missiles.
Shay Assad: And over a seven-year period these companies just keep rakin' it in.
Bill Whitaker: What level of profit are we talking about?
Shay Assad: Well — if the average profitability that was negotiated in a firm fixed price contract was typically between 12% and 15%, so a company could make —
Bill Whitaker: — that's a good profit.
Shay Assad: Sure.
But Shay Assad told us Pentagon analysts found total profits approached 40%.
Shay Assad: Based on what they actually made, we would've received an entire year's worth of missiles for free.
Beyond overcharging the DoD for these technologies, the maintenance and repair costs are also awarded to the companies who are developing them in the first place. Since the proprietary information belongs to the private contractor, the Pentagon can no longer afford to control these programs themselves.
According to former Air Force General Chris Bogdan, this is precisely what happened with Lockheed Martin and the F-35. Bogdan described the scenario to Whitaker in detail.
General Bogdan says we've only begun to feel the full impact. In 2012, he was tapped to take the reins of the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program – it was seven years behind schedule and $90 billion over the original estimate. But Bogdan told us the biggest costs are yet to come for support and maintenance, which could end up costing taxpayers $1.3 trillion.
Chris Bogdan: We won't be able to buy as many F-35s as we thought. Because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to buy air— more airplanes when you can't afford the ones you have.
The Pentagon had ceded control of the program to Lockheed Martin. The contractor is delivering the aircraft the Pentagon paid to design and build, but under the contract, Lockheed and its suppliers retained control of design and repair data – the proprietary information needed to fix and upgrade the plane.
Bill Whitaker: So you spend billions and billions of dollars to get this plane built. And it doesn't actually belong to the Department of Defense?
Chris Bogdan: The weapon system belongs to the department. But the data underlying the design of the airplane does not.
Bill Whitaker: We can't maintain and sustain the planes without Lockheed's--
Chris Bogdan: Correct. And that's because— that's because we didn't— we didn't up front either buy or negotiate getting the— the technical data we needed so that when a part breaks, the DOD can fix it themselves.
The fact that Lockheed Martin has the ability to overcharge the Pentagon — and therefore taxpayers — to the point that the government can no longer control the program is nothing short of outrageous. The lack of leverage over these negotiations by those who are supposed to represent the American people seems like a concern for Congress and draws clear parallels to the UFO coverup that has been going on for decades.
When you add on top of that the Pentagon's revolving door of military service members into and out of public service and the private sector, sweetheart deals and kickbacks could easily be camouflaged through the seemingly legitimate awarding of contracts.
If this kind of brazen, Pentagon-sanctioned corruption is happening out in the open with publicly acknowledged projects such as the F-35, it is unsettling to imagine what kind of insidious behavior might be taking place in the classified world — particularly in programs intentionally restricted from Congressional oversight.
IRAD programs are different from regular contracts in that they allow contractors to charge the US government for research and development they conduct solely on their own, as long the efforts that incur those costs are of potential interest to the DoD.
Contractors essentially conduct this research with all of their own proprietary technology and then invoice American taxpayers. So if, as Grusch alleges, these companies are overcharging for these independent efforts, how might they relate to the reverse engineering of UFOs?
During his testimony, Grusch left another breadcrumb to this effect in an answer he gave to Rep. Anna Paulina Luna. Luna asked Grusch to elaborate on previous comments he had made in his interview on NewsNation with Ross Coulthart.
Luna: You mentioned white-collar crimes potentially taking place in regard to a coverup. Can you please elaborate?
Grusch: I have concerns, based on interviews I conducted under my official duties, of potential violations of the Federal Acquisitions Regulations. The FAR.
As it turns out, these FAR violations may be exactly what Grusch had been talking about in his reference to IRAD — and a very specific definition that is likely applicable to the reverse engineering of UFOs.
FAR 31.205-18 details the costs allowable to charge the government for independent research and development bids and proposals. This section separates the definitions of research into two separate categories — basic and applied.
Basic research is defined as research directed toward increasing knowledge in science. Applied research is the application of that knowledge toward development that would be of interest to the DoD. It is worth examining the definition of applied research in full.
Applied research means that effort which (1) normally follows basic research, but may not be severable from the related basic research, (2) attempts to determine and exploit the potential of scientific discoveries or improvements in technology, materials, processes, methods, devices, or techniques, and (3) attempts to advance the state of the art. Applied research does not include efforts whose principal aim is the design, development, or test of specific items or services to be considered for sale; these efforts are within the definition of the term "development," defined in this subsection.
The reverse engineering of advanced non-human technology would likely meet the criteria of applied research. Exploiting crashed UFO materials — state-of-the-art technology, by any definition — would be considered under this interpretation, and potentially used as a justification to seek reimbursement from the government.
I'm not going pretend to be anything close to an expert in Federal Acquisition law, but this is likely what Grusch was referring to in terms of IRAD and its connection to the UFO coverup, and specifically his basis for the allegation of white-collar crime.
There is a lot more to pick apart from this hearing, and I will be doing so in subsequent articles.