BAASS and AAWSAP

This post is an addendum to the AAWSAP/AATIP analysis that tried to establish the timeline of the AAWSAP and AATIP projects, as well as Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) involvement in it.

As detailed there, a review of official documents and articles in the media revealed that BAASS was filed as a new company on January 29, 2008 and won the AAWSAP contract in September 2008, after which the program officially began on September 30, 2008 with one base year and possibility for 4 more optional years. It seems the government only paid for one option year, after which Bigelow reportedly funded one more year himself.

At some point (after the first option year) AAWSAP was turned into a downsized limited scope AATIP and Elizondo became the program manager. It's unclear if those happened at the same time. It's also unclear how and if BAASS still collaborated with AATIP.

BAASS timeline according to employment records

As Keith Basterfield discovered earlier, LinkedIn data can give indication when the company was active and what it did. I referred and used his data earlier, and then decided to take a closer look at that primary source myself and performed some other searches to see if I can find some additional details to the timeline.

I was able to find a total of 22 persons who seemed to have been employed by BAASS. A couple of those didn't explicitly mention BAASS but just Bigelow Aerospace, but there were some other details that made it highly likely they were working for BAASS.

These persons include all those in Keith's article and some 10 more. I know all their names, but I'm following Keith's lead and won't make them public here (apart from a few managers that are well known), especially since I know there are researchers trying to contact many of those people and I don't want to scare them off or otherwise hamper those efforts.

Here's a summary of the collected timelines of their employment dates, plus the timeline of the MUFON SIP collaboration for reference as well at the bottom (click to enlarge):

I have divided those to three groups based on their job titles: those in mainly management/support roles, investigators, and researchers/analysts, in that order from top to down with different colors for each group.

Uncertain management timelines

The timelines of the top three managers above are the most uncertain. The topmost one is Colm Kelleher, the Deputy Administrator, who has only stated his years of employment from 2008 to 2012 in LinkedIn and as 2008-2011 in the TTSA pages.

The next one is Douglas Kurth, whose LinkedIn page claims he was a BAASS Program Manager from December 2007 to June 2013. That means his employment would have started before BAASS was even filed as a new company, and he would have continue much longer than anyone else. His job description contains:
  • Program Lead – novel and emerging space technologies targeting operational employment in 2040
  • Directed and managed a team of 40 scientists, engineers, analysts, and researchers
  • Business Development – initiated, developed, and directed critical collaborative contracts
  • Tasked with international marketing of Bigelow Aerospace private space station
  • Technical expert in advanced aerospace concepts and aerodynamics
Would BAASS for example be tasked to market Bigelow's space station? I think he may be describing some other team instead of the paranormal investigators at BAASS. Maybe he was working for both sister companies during that time period to some extent, but marked it inaccurately like that.

According to his LinkedIn page, he was also working as a contract pilot at Cheeks Air Ltd., which he owned, from January 2011 to December 2015. However, that company was also officially filed later than that, in February 2012, and the business license apparently also expired earlier, in February 2015. So there are reasons to suspect those dates are not too accurate.


Similarly the third row manager was apparently employed by the parent company Bigelow Aerospace, but there's good indication of work done for BAASS as well. So again, that timeline may just reflect the overall employment at Bigelow with some work done for BAASS during some period.

That means there doesn't really seem to be any reliable information of anyone having worked for BAASS after the end of September 2011, which would have been the end of option year II, or the Bigelow funded one.

What the timelines reveal

The rest of the timelines seem to paint a pretty consistent picture what happened. After BAASS had secured the AAWSAP contract, they advertised a number of open positions in the company. It seems to have taken them some time to ramp up the staff. The base year of the contract period was already pretty much over after they had managed to employ almost all the people on the above chart. It's certainly interesting how a company with so few resources at the time would have won such a contract.

It's also quite clear that something significant happened in June 2010, as they lost 10 employees, and then three more after a couple of months, close to the end of option year I. After that, few remained, and I couldn't find anyone who would have been hired after that time.

One former BAASS security guard has reportedly revealed pseudonymously in 2012 that BAASS:
had a massive hiring of staff (2009) with 50 to 60 people at their building in Las Vegas at their peak, followed by the layoffs of everyone involved by 2010, when they were told “they had lost their contract”
That seems pretty much consistent with all the available information and the chart above.

BAAS may have learned that the contract was ending somewhere around June, and they didn't even wait for the end of that contract period, which should have been at the end of September, before getting rid of most of their staff. Based on the chart above, it looks like they only had significant amount of staff for around one year, even if the government funding lasted for two.

It also seems clear that Bigelow didn't fund the effort from his own pockets for that following year in anywhere close to the same levels after the government funding ended.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The 1973 Coyne/Mansfield helicopter UFO incident finally explained

AATIP/AAWSAP - A tale of two programs

The 2004 USS Nimitz Tic Tac UFO Incident - Executive report