Former U.S. Military officials spoke to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday following a bombshell report published by CBS News’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night about UFOs that the military is encountering.
Both segments come ahead of a report that the Department of Defense is supposed to deliver to Congress next month. Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a recent interview that the findings will shock people because “frankly, there are a lot more sightings than have been made public.”
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: As if Congress doesn’t have enough on its plate, not that it’s doing anything with what is on its plate, they’re now looking into UFOs or at least they’re doing something, right? Next month, Congress is expecting a report, from the Director of National Intelligence, and other agencies, on UFOs or UAPs. Now, that’s the government term for them. It stands for ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.’
Why? Well, a retired U.S. Navy pilot came forward to say he and his crew witnessed an Unidentified Flying Object on the coast of the Atlantic several times. And he’s not the only one. Joining us now, someone who has personally witnessed sightings, retired Navy Chief Master-At-Arms, Sean Cahill, joined by Christopher Mellon, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Thank you both. Appreciate you for joining me.
SEAN CAHILL, U.S. NAVY CHIEF MASTER-AT-ARMS (RET): Good evening, Chris.
CHRISTOPHER MELLON, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR INTELLIGENCE: Pleasure, thank you.
CUOMO: All right, so let’s dispense with the obvious here. Chris? People are going to eye roll and say “Boy was Cuomo light on what to talk about tonight?” Why is this worth discussion?
MELLON: Because we have recurring violations of U.S. airspace by unidentified vehicles. They are very capable, in some cases, more capable than anything in our own inventory. This has been going on for years. The truth is just emerging. We’ve had a massive intelligence failure. And we now have a threat, an unknown threat that we need to figure out.
CUOMO: So Sean, it’s not that you’re worried about something out of a movie coming to get you. It’s about the threat, right here on Earth, and how it’s being motivated, without our knowledge and ability to counter.
CAHILL: That’s correct, Chris. In 2004, I was the Chief Master-at-Arms onboard the USS Princeton. And the technology that we witnessed with the “Tic Tac” was something that we would not have been able to defend our Forces against, at the time.
CUOMO: Help me understand that. As the uninitiated, what does that mean to us?
CAHILL: Well, through that – that means that what we – what we saw on the “Tic Tac,” and what Mr. Luis Elizondo describes as the “Five observables” indicate a technology that outstrips our arsenal by at least 100 years to 1,000 years at the moment.
CUOMO: A 100 years to 1,000 years? So, meaning like what kind of technology was at play that you were able to identify it, but know that you can’t match it?
CAHILL: Well, first of all, the aircraft had zero control surfaces. It had no means of propulsion that we could detect. It moved at hypersonic velocities. And it preceded the pilots to their cap points. So, it seemed to have some knowledge of where the pilots were headed ahead of time. And we don’t possess those abilities to do that, in our arsenal at the moment.
CUOMO: What does that sound like to you, Chris Mellon?
MELLON: Well, we clearly are vulnerable. And this has been going on for too long. Finally, our Congress is learning of this situation. They’re beginning to react. So we’ve got a lot of catch-up here. But it is – it is very concerning. It’s not an imminent crisis or imminent threat. There’s been no hostility. But there’s a lot of activity. And it’s increasingly bold. In some instances, recently, we’ve had these things swarming around war ships off the coast of California, swarming around Strategic Missile Defense bases, in Guam, and other things. So, with all the tensions in the world, and China, and the rest, with the attack on the Saudi oil facilities, by drones, and so forth, it’s something we need to take seriously.
CUOMO: You answered the question, partly there, but let’s fill it out a little bit. This is not new. People play with this. And they play to all kinds of conspiratorial thinking. But a lot of real Military, and policy people say, “Look, there are things out there that we got to keep track of that we can’t.”
But why now? What’s new in terms of the urgency, Chris? And I’ll ask you both about this.
MELLON: Sure, happy to address that. So what happened was a couple of years ago, Lue Elizondo, in the Pentagon, who was managing this activity, with almost no resources, he and I, and a few others, became aware that this was going on, at a very significant scale, on the East Coast, at the time, and our pilots were not getting any support.
The Intel community was not responding. Nobody was helping these guys out. And it wasn’t being reported up the chain. It wasn’t until that got into “The New York Times,” it got to the attention of Congress, that finally our leadership, in both branches of government, became aware this was going on. So, this has only just come to light.
CUOMO: Sean, what do you think is the likely universe of explanation that will come up, at the end of these reports, and addressing of this?
CAHILL: Chris, I think that we’re going to find that this phenomenon represents a very large spectrum of different things. At edges of that spectrum are going to be near-peer technology of our adversaries, here on Earth. At the other end of that spectrum is going to be something that we don’t yet understand, and haven’t identified yet. So, I hesitate to speculate on the source. But I can tell you that I don’t believe that this is within our arsenal of any human technology at the moment.
CUOMO: So, when you say that, it almost guarantees that not just your good looks, but that statement will get this picked up, and sent all over the internet, because there’ll be a legit Military person saying that “Maybe this is from outer space.” Do you want that to be [the message people receive]?
CAHILL: Well, that would be taking my words out of context. What we can say is that we don’t know what this is. And it’s here. It’s going to take all of us to figure this out together.
CUOMO: And Chris, what’s your comment on that? They’ll say, “Look at the resumes of these two guys. They’re both saying that it might be from another world.”
MELLON: There’s no scientific reason or basis to doubt that possibility. That’s a hypothesis that could explain the facts. People need to be open to that. We’re spending billions looking for extra-terrestrial civilizations. We’ve got spacecraft that have already left the solar system. It’s possible somebody found us before we found them.
CUOMO: And the age-old question that I’ve been watching in movies my entire life, “If they are smart enough to come here, and have such advanced technologies, why don’t they talk to us?”
MELLON: Well, if they’re that smart, what would they have to learn from us? When you go to the zoo, do you talk to the animals?
CUOMO: And I got to tell you, Sean, right now we’re not presenting as exactly the best kind of people to be talking. We’re eating ourselves down here right now. I could understand why they’d want to keep in arm’s reach.
MELLON: The main point, Chris, is–
CAHILL: Yes, if there is–
MELLON: –all unanswered questions.
CUOMO: Go ahead, Sean. Go ahead. Last word you.
CAHILL: I was just going to say if they are as smart as we think they are, then I think we’re kind of silly, thinking that we can guess their motives.
CUOMO: Look, and for me, look, there is no “them.” I am a “facts first” kind of guy on this. I am open to everything, because there’s so much I’ve learned in life that I would never have imagined. But I do know this. I worry about the safety of men and women like you, Sean, and Chris, the people who wind up having to cross the policy line to get into practice. I worry that you’re safe. I worry that people aren’t beating us at our own game, and that we have to learn through spending blood and treasure that was unnecessary. So, any exploration, any research, any report, any hearing that helps us understand how to keep our fighting men and women safe is the only way to honor your sacrifice. So, thank you for your commitment. Thank you for having the conversation. Chris, Sean, as you learn things, or that you learn that you don’t like that it’s not being looked at the way it was supposed to, let me know. You’ve got a friend at this platform.