IRL Apocalypse, News, Space

UFO Whistleblower: Skinwalker Ranch Nearly Unlocked the Secrets of a Retrieved UAP

A scene from Skinwalker Ranch (History Channel)

Don't even think about sharing this article.

UFO whistleblower David Grusch sat down for a nearly three-hour interview with Joe Rogan recently, and during the interview, he opened up about what went on behind-the-scenes with the government when Robert Bigelow owned Skinwalker Ranch. Officials hoped Skinwalker Ranch would help Bigelow get access to a UFO the government had retrieved, but those efforts were ultimately denied, Grusch shared. The story reveals an intriguing look at Skinwalker Ranch and the programs connected to it before Brandon Fugal bought it. 

 Interested in learning more about UFOs? The series “Skinwalker Ranch,” along with other UFO-related coverage, can be viewed on the History Channel via a free trial on FrndlyTV (this is an affiliate link.) 

Reid Confirmed to Grusch That the U.S. Had Indeed Retrieved Alien UFOs

Grusch on Joe Rogan
Grusch on Joe Rogan

As a quick refresher, AAWSAP (Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Applications Program), was a program launched by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2007 to study UAPs. Robert Bigelow, who owned Skinwalker Ranch before current owner Brandon Fugal, persuaded Reid to start the program, CNN reported in 2007. Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) won a contract from AATIP shortly thereafter, and wrote a 494-page report about UFO sightings that has not been released publicly, Wikipedia reported

But Grusch revealed that there was more going on behind-the-scenes at that time than most people realize. He said that he met with Reid, who opened up about some of the frustrations and roadblocks he faced with AAWSAP and Bigelow’s projects. At about 27:00 into the interview, Grusch began speaking about the what Reid revealed about the AAWSAP program’s connection to Skinwalker Ranch and UFO retrievals.

“In spring 2021, I actually flew with a couple colleagues of mine to Las Vegas, and I met with Senator Harry Reid about nine months before he died,” Grusch said. “…I wanted to get his kind of thought leadership on [the UAP topic] because he was a Gang of Eight member … He helped sponsor the AAWSAP program … where they looked at Skinwalker Ranch and some other things. And I wanted to understand… Why did he give … $11 million to DIA in Bigelow Aerospace for this?”

One of the first things Reid did, Grusch recalled, was acknowledge that the U.S. had retrieved UFOs. 

“[Reid] straight up says… ‘Yeah, I knew we had UFO material. I was denied access for decades…'” Grusch said. “I was already talking to these amazing high-level people, but I have Harry Reid literally saying, yes, we have material and you know, he knew it was non-human… He straight up said to me [that] he was going to talk to President Biden about this issue literally.”

Sen. Harry Reid Tried to Get Increased Classification for Bigelow’s Work, Grusch Shared

Grusch continued, around 29:00 into the interview. He said that while AAWSAP did study Skinwalker Ranch and ghosts and other strange phenomenon, that was actually its secondary or even tertiary goal. Reid and Bigelow sought something even bigger, and to get it, they needed an extra layer of classification to their program. 

“There’s a document that came out a couple years ago through FOIA from the Defense Intelligence Agency,” Grusch said. “There was this special access program request that Harry Reid…sent to the Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn and it was asking for one of the most serious SAPs you can ask for. What they call a bigoted waived special access program… And I’m like, why are you asking for the most serious SAP to be created for a program that ostensibly is looking at Skinwalker Ranch… [That] doesn’t make any sense.” 

Here’s a clip from Reid’s letter in 2009: 

Clip from Reid's letter to Lynn (
Clip from Reid’s letter to Lynn (

You can see a full copy of that letter embedded below, which was written to William Lynn III from Reid in June 2009. It’s also available on the’s FOIA website.

HarryReid Letter by Stephanie Dube Dwilson on Scribd

This extra layer of classification was necessary for them to reach their real goal: UFO access, Grusch shared.

AAWSAP & Bigelow Tried to Get Access to One of the Retrieved UFOs, Grusch Revealed

Reid told him they needed a deeper level of classification in order to study a retrieved UFO. 

“Harry Reid said this: we knew that Lockheed Martin had this material for decades,” Grusch said in his Joe Rogan interview. “I tried to get access and I was denied. Specifically with the Lockheed Martin stuff, he was talking about during the AAWSAP program. So Lockheed Martin wanted to divest itself from this material at a specific facility that’s known to me, that I provided to the inspector general.”

This is where the special SAP classification came into play.

“The idea was if they made a … security catchers mitt for this shit, the most serious SAP possible… And it was shit that they recovered from like the 50s and stuff, and it was bits and pieces of hull structure, shit like that…” Grusch shared. “They were gonna tech transfer it and the 21 or 22 million dollars was actually for Bigelow Aerospace to build out facilities in Las Vegas and [get] material analysis equipment… I saw the staff meeting slides, I saw the paperwork, there’s a paperwork trail I’ve seen…”

But, Grusch said at about 34 minutes into the interview, their request was denied. 

“Basically, the CIA said fuck you to DIA and Lockheed and it was totally killed,” Grusch said. “So Harry Reid’s request to get the material transferred to the AAWSAP program was totally killed because of bureaucracy and kind of fiefdom stuff. So they used that money and then they wrote those defense intelligence reference documents.”

The denial came in November 2009 via a memo from James R. Clapper, Jr.

Part of Clapper's rejection letter (
Part of Clapper’s rejection letter (

You can read the full memo that denies Reid’s request in the embedded document below, which is also on’s FOIA website

Full Rejection Letter to Reid and Other Details by Stephanie Dube Dwilson on Scribd

The letter notes that AAWSAPS’s primary purpose “is to investigate revolutionary advances in future aerospace technologies with emphasis on research of unconventional and revolutionary technologies. The sole bid for the contract was from Bigelow Aerospace Advance Space Studies located in Las Vegas, NV.”

According to Wikipedia, at that time Clapper was Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, overseeing the DIA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the NSA, and the National Reconnaissance Office. 

The letter goes on to note that in October 2009, DIA completed its “technical review” of the program and advised that there was no reason to give it SAP protection. The memo also gives a timeline for when the events occurred, including a note from August 2008 that “DIA learned of counter-intelligence concerns with Bigelow Aerospace, the parent company of Bigelow Aerospace Advance Space Studies. These concerns do not appear to be directly related to Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application Program (AAWSAP).” Bigelow was later awarded the AAWSAP contract in September 2008. 

Then in July 2009, after Reid had reqested SAP classification for the program, the DIA was given 26 papers based on 12 research areas related to AAWSAP and Bigelow’s work. These research areas included topics like:

  • Pulse-Power-Based Weaponry
  • Space-Time Modification for Spaceflight Applications
  • Theory and Experiments of Invisibility Cloaking
  • Wormholes in Space Time
  • Gravity Wave Communication
  • Antigravity for Aersospace Application
  • Warp Drives

…and more. (A future article on this website will look into these programs in more detail.) 

Despite all this, restricted SAP classification was ultimately denied. 

They Hoped Studying Skinwalker Ranch Phenomenon Would Open the Door for UFO Access, But It Didn’t Work, Grusch Said

Grusch said they continued studying strange phenomenon at Skinwalker Ranch, but it didn’t help them gain greater access to UFO materials. 

“And then they did look at Skinwalker Ranch because they thought that studying kind of the more woo-woo phenomenon aspects of this [would open doors for them,]” Grusch shared. “And I’ve never been to the ranch, so I’ve never experienced the ranch for myself, but … we both know a bunch of people that have been to the ranch and have seen some trippy stuff… They thought that they would be able to gain currency with the … CIA to unlock the key for the Lockheed Martin stuff.”

Unfortunately, it didn’t work. 

“But basically, they studied the ranch to gain favor to be like, hey, look at all this stuff we’re figuring out, this paranormal stuff that’s somehow connected to the phenomenon on the ranch,” Grusch said. “But ultimately, they never gained favor with the government customer. And then the program kind of died a slow death because of a lot of politics in the Pentagon.”

He added, later in the interview, that even Lockheed Martin was frustrated with the level of secrecy. 

“Lockheed Martin was complaining basically like, look, like the secrecy’s ridiculous,” Grusch told Rogan. “We can’t even bring the right engineers… When you separate the metallurgists from the propulsion experts, from the biological experts, and they’re not allowed to communicate with each other, and they’re not allowed to bring in other experts…”

He said one engineer told him: “We can’t even cross talk across the cubicles for God’s sake.”

This secrecy slowed down progress on studying UFO materials. 

“I’ve seen this kind of compartmentation … in other programs and it is debilitating for progress,” Grusch noted. “And honestly, as a former fiduciary of the taxpayer dollars, it’s not the best modus operendus to do it that way… It just became very dysfunctional… A bulk of this program was done during the Cold War and we were afraid of Russian spies, Soviet moles, and so we made it ultra-locked down, but to the detriment of national security. And that was one of the crazy things that … I wanted to whistle blow on, because I’m like, this is so stupid. We should be making more progress on this.”

Would things have been different if Bigelow had been granted access to UFO materials in Lockheed Martin’s possession, based on Grusch’s statements? There’s no way to know. Brandon Fugal, the current owner of Skinwalker Ranch, has previously shared that Bigelow hasn’t disclosed to him the results of his previous Skinwalker Ranch experiments, leading the current team to start from a blank slate. 

Want to chat about UFOs? Join our Discord UFO channel hereYou can also follow us by email here, on Facebook, or Twitter. Need to catch up on “Skinwalker Ranch” or the “Beyond Skinwalker Ranch”? Both can be watched on the History Channel via a free trial on FrndlyTV.

    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

    Don't even think about sharing this article.

    Previous ArticleNext Article

    Leave a Reply