A former Pentagon official who publicly revealed reports about UFOs filed a complaint with the agency’s inspector general alleging that a coordinated campaign was established to discredit him for speaking out.
Politico reported Thursday that Lue Elizondo, a career counterintelligence specialist who was assigned to work for a Pentagon program that looked into reports of “unmanned aerial phenomena” in 2008, filed a complaint on May 3 and has met with investigators several times, according to his legal team.
Elizondo, in documents reviewed by Politico, accused a top official of threatening to tell people he was “crazy.”
Additionally, his lawyer told Politico that Elizondo claims certain individuals in the Defense Department lied about him publicly and attacked him.
Attorney Daniel Sheehan said some Defense Department personnel were “using the color of authority of their offices to disparage him and discredit him and were interfering in his ability to seek and obtain gainful employment out in the world,” the outlet reported.
In a statement to The Hill, Elizondo said good people at the Pentagon are seeing institutions “sullied by a small group of individuals who continue to cover up the facts about UAP.”
He said these “few individuals” are not representative of the Pentagon he knows, or the “American spirit we have fought and bled to uphold.”
“They use coordinated disinformation campaigns designed to squash this subject and discredit my colleagues and myself. I believe in our democracy, our people, and our Constitution. The use of disinformation against America and her citizens by public affairs officers is a dereliction of duty and grossly un-American,” Elizondo said.
“Threats continue to be levied against me and others involved in UAP-related efforts, but we will not stand down,” he added.
When reached by The Hill, Sheehan said it is unclear what the scope and jurisdiction of the inspector general investigation will be.
The Defense Department declined to comment, and the Defense Department inspector general’s office said it had no comment.
Sheehan is a public interest lawyer and activist who has represented other entities against the federal government, including The New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case and one of the Watergate burglars.
He also has a history involving interest in UFOs. He has spoken publicly in the past about alien visitations, and was a counsel for the Disclosure Project, which called for more government transparency on UFOs, Politico noted.
He said the aim of Elizondo’s inspector general complaint is to urge the Pentagon to clear up the obscurity regarding what he knows about UFOs, according to Politico.
A day after Elizondo filed his complaint, the inspector general revealed an investigation to look into Pentagon "actions" around how it handles sightings of UFOs, which will be overseen by the assistant inspector general for evaluations on space, intelligence, engineering and oversight.
Elizondo’s complaint comes weeks before an anticipated unclassified report to Congress focused on UFOs and the government’s strategy for probing such encounters.
Updated at 5:45 p.m.