Woolsey spoke with The Black Vault's John Greenwald Jr. on April 2 to promote his new book, "Operation Dragon: Inside the Kremlin’s Secret War on America." The book was co-authored by former Romanian spy Ion Mihai Pacepa.
The ex-CIA chief bared that he had heard of many sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). But back then, the idea that these UFOs were alien spacecraft was quite "far-out" to him.
"But there was one case in which a friend of mine was able to have his aircraft stop at 40,000 feet or so and not continue operating as a normal aircraft," he shared, noting that the friend was someone he respected. "What was going on? I don't know."
Woolsey acknowledged that UFOs might simply be man-made aircraft capable of extraordinary feats. But he also raised the possibility that UFOs "may be a complex set of what is going on in the world of cyber and so forth."
He added: "I am not as skeptical as I was a few years ago, to put it mildly. Something is going on that is surprising to a series of intelligent, experienced pilots and we'll just have to see what it is."
When asked to define his mindset, Woolsey said that he had become open to new things and willing to examine them. He also hoped that humans would be friendly to aliens if they exist. (Related: UPDATED: Why "first contact" with extraterrestrial beings may WIPE OUT humanity (VIDEO).)
Greenwald, an author and the founder of The Black Vault, a website dedicated to exposing government secrets, mentioned in the interview that other former intel chiefs were also open to the possibility of alien life.
Last December, former CIA Director John Brennan opined that it was "arrogant" to believe that humans were alone in the universe. Brennan, who ran the CIA from 2013 to 2017, said during an episode of the podcast Conversations with Tyler that "some of the phenomena we're going to be seeing continues to be unexplained." He added that these phenomena might, in fact, represent extraterrestrial activity.
Brennan also described last year's trio of declassified UFO videos as "eyebrow-raising." The Department of Defense made the videos public in April last year to confirm that the footage, which had previously been leaked, were real. The videos featured unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) – the Pentagon's official term for UFOs – which have yet to be explained to this day. (Related: Pentagon UFO videos just "tip of the iceberg," says former U.S. government agent.)
Later in December, former President Donald Trump approved the COVID-19 relief and government funding bill. This bill included an order demanding the Pentagon and other intel agencies to make a report on what they know about UAPs. The report should be released on June 1, six months after the bill was signed into law. It would be declassified but would also contain a classified supplement.
John Ratcliffe, former Director of Intelligence under Trump, also shared what he knew about UAPs in an interview with Fox News last month. He disclosed that some UAPs engaged in actions that were difficult to explain, including breaking the sonic barrier without a sonic boom.
Ratcliffe noted that analysts typically look for a mundane explanation, such as a weather disturbance or an advanced piece of technology. But some sightings simply eluded of any of these explanations, Ratcliffe said.
In January this year, Greenwald published a trove of federal records about UAPs on The Black Vault. He was able to obtain the files after hounding the CIA with Freedom of Information Act requests over the years. Last year, the agency gave Greenwald access to more than 2,700 pages of UFO-related documents.
The CIA claimed that the documents comprised its full collection of UFO files, but Greenwald said that there was no way to confirm that. Ratcliffe also disclosed in the interview that there were a lot more sightings than have been made public. But the ex-intel chief added that the upcoming UFO report might detail some of these unexplained phenomena.
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