Several weeks ago Tucker Carlson aired a segment about UFOs that caught my attention. A few friends asked me to help identify documents referenced in the clip. It was easy to understand why people were curious: Carlson claimed that the documents prove that "the advanced tic tac UFO has been tracked by American military and intel services for at least seventy years." To add to the mystery, Carlson credited Luis Elizondo "and his organization Skyfort" with obtaining the documents. No one seemed to know what Skyfort is.
The short clip raised several factual questions, which we'll resolve here. Namely:
- What are these documents exactly?
- Do they prove that the "advanced tic tac UFO" has been tracked for decades?
- What is Skyfort?
The provenance of the documents turns out to be straightforward. Shortly after the segment aired, I was able to find more legible versions of them and trace their history in UFOlogy:
In sum, the documents are related to Project Twinkle, an effort in the late 1940s to study the "green fireball" phenomena. The documents and further background on Project Twinkle have been archived by John Greenewald on his site The Black Vault. They are not newly obtained documents. There is no apparent connection to "tic tac UFOs," so they do not prove much of anything. Evidently Carlson was meant to show other documents.
The more interesting question turns out to be the backstory of Skyfort itself. After looking at the documents, I started looking into the background of the company:
A quick check of corporate records established that Skyfort was formed on April 15th, 2021 in Wyoming.
Wyoming is a popular place to establish shell companies because it permits anonymous ownership of LLCs. In fact, the agent listed on the corporate records advertises services in setting up these kinds of entities:
Several Twitter users noticed that the company already had a Twitter account in place here: https://twitter.com/SkyfortStrat. That quickly led to their website.
At first glance, the website didn't seem to contain much:
However, a simple check of the source code showed that the site was actually full of content – it was just hidden. I made a few adjustments in my browser to unhide the material and found a great deal of useful information. First, the stated ownership of the company:
Here we can see Sean Cahill, Jesse Springer and Jake Mann listed prominently as managers and Lue Elizondo as the sole member of an advisory board. Next, an outline of what the company plans to do:
A brief "About Us" section lays out a few more details:
Though the descriptions on the site are brief, they offer a great deal of insight. First, the company sees itself as having a very broad remit, spanning research and development to government services. It simultaneously focuses on advocacy, mentioning the objective of elevating the UAP/UFO topic as a "top 10 political issue."
Understandably, many began to ask if this company might represent a kind of TTSA 2.0 – a company designed to commercialize aspects of the UFO topic while also focusing on advocacy. Indeed, Skyfort advertises itself as a "think tank" and an "incubator." The term incubator is used broadly by technology investors who often scout and cultivate promising startup companies.
That said, clearly the website was still in development and the company was only months old. The information I found was buried in source code – public information, but not exactly a full declaration of the company's plans or identity.
The website posed a host of new questions. Why register the company anonymously only to disclose the identity of its owners on the site? How firmly established was Skyfort, exactly? Did it have government contracts in hand and an investment fund? Did Elizondo really own the company, as Carlson had implied? If so, why was he listed as the sole member of an advisory board, rather than as a manager? If Elizondo owned the company, wouldn't that raise a bevy of conflict of interest problems? Why was the company announced alongside non-sequitur documents and in such an offhanded way on cable news? We'll answer all of this below.
What is Skyfort exactly?
I spoke to one of the owners of Skyfort, Jake Mann, to learn more about the company. After we spoke, I sent questions to the larger team to review and respond in writing in order to give them an opportunity to answer jointly.
We first addressed the issue of Elizondo's potential stake in the company – in fact, Elizondo is not an owner of the company. Because Wyoming does not make ownership information public, I asked for and received documentation from them that confirms that the owners are the three men listed on the website: Sean Cahill, Jesse Springer and Jake Mann. Skyfort claims that Elizondo does not receive any money in connection with the company. Further, no one does because no one is currently being paid. None of the owners work on the project in a full time capacity or draw an income from it.
I asked why they chose to incorporate anonymously in Wyoming, and they told me "we chose Wyoming because it is a place where we could see ourselves physically operating out of in the future and because of its obvious pro-business environment. One of the members is currently looking at property in the area." Notably, Elizondo currently resides in Wyoming and several members of Skyfort have been involved in previous projects that filmed in the area.
Next, we clarified what Skyfort is intended to achieve. Asked about what problem Skyfort is designed to solve, they wrote:
Information flow and availability. Some call this a search for truth, some call it a process of hopeful discovery. We’re working tirelessly to facilitate dataflow, empower UAP activism and lead the charge in setting a de-stigmatized baseline for material and philosophical studies of UAP that keeps UAP front-and-center in our collective human discussion.
Often the best way to understand a company is to understand its customers and its partnerships. Asked about customers, Skyfort says that they consider Elizondo himself to be their first customer – more about this later. In terms of partnerships, none are in place as of yet, but they explained that they are exploring potential relationships with "scientific thought leaders, universities, national laboratories, media and government agencies who are prepared to lead the charge for transparency and scientific exploration."
The draft website references government services, so I also inquired about potential government contracts. This is of special concern any time advocacy is mixed with for-profit endeavors. While the company currently has no government contracts, they explained that "we intend to pursue any contract — public or private — that supports transparency of the subject matter we’re working on, and we want to advocate that UAP study gets the attention it deserves."
Regarding defense contract specifically, they stated, "if an opportunity arose that did not diminish our capability to reach our main goals of continuing momentum and establishing permanency to UAP studies in the open, we’re certainly willing to listen."
Given the many different possible activities outlined by the website, I asked Skyfort what one or two key outcomes would constitute success for them. They told me:
Most of the time, if someone’s asking about being a “successful company”, they’re thinking about money. We’re not. Success for us means that minds around the world are inspired to study UAP sincerely and rigorously. We envision a future where UAP transparency is an important political, scientific, and academic issue, which the media endeavors to shine a light on. We hope to engage the right groups at the right times to reach this future. To us, that is success.
On the subject of money, Skyfort explained that it is currently representing its clients for free. Asked how Skyfort would generate revenue, they candidly explained "we're still figuring that out." They explained that they would seek to utilize their individual backgrounds to find a business model that "advances the transparency effort." On the subject of investments, they told me they have no plans to solicit investments from the public.
Given the emphasis on advocacy and a lack of emphasis on money, I asked if it would be fair to characterize the company as a passion project. They agreed, writing, "some of us have been working around the clock for free for three years plus and turning down paid appearances. Very much a passion."
In terms of the specifics of their work, I returned to the question of Elizondo as their first (and non-paying) customer. They told me:
Lue uses Skyfort’s services. We have helped him with the influx of media inquiries he receives, and strategized with him on how best to get a message of UAP transparency activism out to as many people as possible because it, too, is something the three co-founders are passionate about. He is also on the Skyfort advisory board and is helping us understand how to best engage the public on the UAP issue in the long-term, because this is an issue that requires more “Lues” to speak about this, and requires an infrastructure of engagement over the long-term that does not fall into the same traps other UAP transparency causes have run into before
By creating more "Lues" Mann clarified that the intent is to help communicators who take up the UAP issue to be taken seriously. Mann is well known in UFO circles for a popular YouTube channel titled "It's [redacted]." The channel features mini-documentaries that examine UFO stories, usually centered around documents. Those documents are often very much like those featured on Carlson's program, addressing often forgotten aspects of UFO history. Speaking of Carlson, Skyfort explained that the mention of their company was not planned, and a mix-up with producers led to the wrong documents being shown.
It should be remarked upon that it is unusual to simultaneously be a non-paying client and a formal advisor. Though Elizondo is not an owner of the company, it is clear that he is its raison d'être and benefits significantly from free services. Those services appear to come at a personal cost to the Skyfort founders – they explained that some of them have "paused some day job commitments" in order to focus on the effort. I asked Elizondo to comment for this piece, but he has not responded at the time of writing.
In sum, much of the apparent mystery surrounding Skyfort appears inadvertent. The anonymous registration appears to be an artifact of starting the business in Wyoming, where the company expects to potentially operate in the future and where its primary advisor and customer resides. The owners explained that the company is still organizing itself, which is why details about its operations are fairly minimal.
The key question for Skyfort will likely be its relationship with Elizondo himself. As currently constituted, the company is nearly purpose built to assist him. The key question for both Elizondo and the young company seems to be this: can one be both a good faith advocate and a businessperson? The UAPTF report also looms, as uncertainty abounds over its content and popular reception. Whether Skyfort will be a company that seeks to take advantage of momentum or one that potentially rebuts a dismissive conclusion remains to be seen.