Former US Intelligence Officer David Grusch has blown the lid off of UFO secrecy by claiming the American government has captured multiple non-human craft and has them in their possession now.
We are joined by one of the veteran journalists who broke this story in The Debrief last week. Ralph Blumenthal worked for the New York Times for 45 years and shares why Grusch is a credible witness. You can find the original story here at The Debrief: https://thedebrief.org/intelligence-officials-say-u-s-has-retrieved-non-human-craft/
Thanks Mr. Blumenthal!
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JIM HAROLD: UFO whistleblower David Grusch claims the U.S. is in possession of multiple non-human craft. That’s the subject of today’s Paranormal Podcast.
This is the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.
JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Paranormal Podcast. I am Jim Harold. This week we’re going to do something a little bit different. As many of you know, about a week ago the news broke about UFO whistleblower David Grusch, who said that the U.S. is in possession of multiple non-human craft. I had the opportunity last week to interview Ralph Blumenthal, who was one of the journalists, along with Leslie Kean, who broke that story. I published that on my YouTube channel and it’s gotten a few thousand views so far, but I wanted to bring that to a wider audience here at the podcast. So we’re rebroadcasting that interview.
Mr. Blumenthal knows this story better than anybody because he was one of the original authors of the story that broke on The Debrief about a week ago, and I really valued his knowledge and his insight too, and I think it’s a fascinating discussion. I hope you enjoy it. And stay tuned for after the interview, and I’ll give my thoughts on this whole situation. Here it is: my discussion with Ralph Blumenthal.
It’s been an amazing 72 hours, and it’s mainly because of this man and Leslie Kean. The Debrief had put out an article on Monday morning saying that a former U.S. intelligence officer, and supported by other people in the intelligence community, claimed that the U.S. government not only has one, but multiple craft of non-human origin. It’s an amazing story, and we have one of the authors of the story here today: Ralph Blumenthal, who for decades worked for the New York Times. His reputation is beyond compare, and we’re so glad to have him today. Ralph, thank you for taking time.
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: Thank you, Jim, for having me.
JIM HAROLD: So David Grusch. What is his main claim?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: Well, he was a very high-level intelligence officer out of the Air Force, and he has come forward to us – and previously had gone to Congress and the Pentagon – with information that he was privy to as a high-level intelligence agent, asserting that the U.S. has recovered a craft, intact and partially intact, of non-human origin. He also, he says, suffered retaliation as a result of coming forward – illegally, actually, because there’s a whistleblower statute that protects people with information like this against retaliation.
And it’s all on the record. He’s not an anonymous source; he’s a known source. His comments were approved at the Pentagon for release to us. So we think this is quite a breakthrough.
JIM HAROLD: Some people might say, “Well, what is different in this case?” A lot of people make a lot of claims – and you kind of touched on some of it there, but what is the difference in this case?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: First of all, his position. He has impeccable intelligence credentials. He worked with the UAP, the UFO jargon taskforce at the Pentagon, and he’s doing this on the record. He claims he has talked to many people in the government. As a matter of fact, his information is so confidential that some of it couldn’t be shared with congressional staff. So this is not an unnamed source. This is a highly decorated officer. By the way, he served in Afghanistan, and we have a picture in the article of him in uniform in Afghanistan. Beyond reproach, as another officer named in the piece says of him. So I think the level of confirmation, the on-the-record sources and the detail of the information I think is what sets this case apart.
JIM HAROLD: Now, as I understand it, he’s not actually seen any of these supposed non-human craft, but he has reports and has discussed with other members of the intelligence community who have direct contact and direct experience with these. Is that correct?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: That’s correct. He doesn’t claim to have handled any of this material himself, as far as we know, what he told us in the unclassified part of his testimony. But he testified to Congress for many hours and produced a transcript of hundreds of pages which is classified. So we don’t know what he told Congress on the classified level. He never claimed to us that he handled any of these craft, but he certainly seems to be very well-informed from his contacts in the UAP taskforce and other work he did that suggests he knows what he’s talking about.
JIM HAROLD: Many skeptics out there – I saw Dr. Michael Shermer, the head skeptic very much these days, said something to the effect of “there’s no there there.” That’s not a direct quote, but that’s the gist of it – that if you have the evidence, bring me a craft, bring me a piece of physical evidence. What would you say to people who say, “This is just some other guy saying some other thing”?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: This whole subject has been surrounded with the most intense classification and secrecy. There’s no doubt about that. It’s not so simple, “bring me a craft.” The government has buried this information – we know this, Leslie Kean and I, from long reporting – has buried this in many super secret programs, special access programs that are protected. They’re stove piped in the sense that there’s no one person in charge of all these programs. They’re hidden away in various nooks and crannies of the government and in private contractor programs in some cases. The government has given this work out to private defense contractors so that possibly it’s not amenable to Freedom of Information requests. It’s outside the government.
So this subject has been surrounded with the tightest secrecy over the years, and it’s not surprising that people are not walking in with pieces of a craft. But when you have highly credible witnesses like David Grusch coming forward on the record, testifying to Congress – and by the way, he’s represented by a former Inspector General of the intelligence community and other people, like Jonathan Grey of NASIC, who we quote, and Karl Nell and another army colonel who worked on the UAP taskforce. Everything seems to line up in his testimony.
I think the skeptics can say anything they want; the subject is very difficult. But little by little, I think we’re prying out the truth.
JIM HAROLD: Why did he decide to come forward at this great personal risk?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: Well, he says it was information that the American public deserved to know. He waited until he left the government on April 7th, so he was cleared. And as I said before, he did get clearance to discuss these things with us. He told the government Office of Pre-publication Review exactly what he intended to say, and they did not object. If they had found him saying something that would be in violation of security constraints, classified, they would have said so. But we take him at his word that he thought this is information that the American public deserved to know.
By the way, you’re not giving away any national security secrets if you tell people that we are in possession of craft of non-human origin. That doesn’t reveal any technology secrets. And by the way, other adversarial nations – Russians and Chinese and others, presumably, are doing the same kind of research we’re doing. So it’s not big news to them that we are doing research in this field. Presumably they have recovered some of the same material that we have and are doing the same kind of research. So it’s being kept secret not from our adversaries, but from the American people, and people around the world, all humanity, deserves to know this very important information.
JIM HAROLD: Some may say, “Well, this person’s background is in intelligence, so what’s to say that he’s not currently involved with some kind of disinformation or psyops project and that’s what this is all about?” What are your thoughts to folks who say that?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: You can come up with so many different fanciful scenarios. After 45 years of reporting for the New York Times, I can say I do not believe in conspiracy theories that everyone you talk to is part of a gigantic conspiracy, they’ve all agreed together to say certain things. It doesn’t work that way. We were not hand-fed this information. We dug it out from
I know how the story emerged, through Leslie’s contacts with Dave Grusch and others in the intelligence field. Just like we broke the big story in the New York Times in 2017 about AATIP, the secret UFO investigative arm in the Pentagon with Lou Elizondo. We broke that story. That wasn’t hand-fed to us. We heard about a meeting, we followed up, we got people to talk to us – again, on the record. So I think you can posit any possible number of conspiratorial theories, but we go with facts, and that’s what we’re presenting to readers here: just a very factual account of a high-level intelligence guy who says some pretty remarkable things.
JIM HAROLD: We’ll be back with Ralph Blumenthal right after this.
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JIM HAROLD: In terms of the claim itself, this would change the whole ballgame. This would change everything if it turns out to be that legitimately the government is in possession of craft of non-human origin. And this goes back many, many, many decades. That means we’ve been lied to by many, many administrations. So the question is, where do we go from here? When I saw it, first of all I thought, this is from Leslie Kean, this is from Ralph Blumenthal, and I even posted on Twitter – I said, “Ralph Blumenthal was with the New York Times for 45 years. Do you think he would report this if he didn’t know this was buttoned down?”
So my question is, much like the 2017 reporting, I saw that as like an irritant, like a pearl comes out of an oyster. Do you see this story in a similar way, that it might be the “irritant” to get the ball rolling?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: I hope it’ll bring forth some more information. This has been a process. Leslie and I were talking about this just the other day, that the first story in 2017, which was, again, a paradigm changer, so we’ve been told, reported that contrary to the Pentagon’s statements over the years that it had dropped the UFO issue in 1969 with the end of Project Blue Book, there was “nothing to see here, folks, just walk away,” they did continue to investigate secretly. And in 2007, a new unit was set up by Harry Reid with $22 million of secret funding to do this investigation, to set up what became AATIP. It had a different name in the beginning.
That was a bombshell, that the government had a secret office to investigate UFOs, or UAP. So now we’re beyond that. And we did write a story in the New York Times suggesting that the government was in possession of craft. It was a very carefully worded story; it was very difficult to report. But now it’s been a progression. We’ve gone beyond that. We have a very high-level intelligence guy saying on the record that we have these craft.
And now the question is to get Congress to act on it. Dave Grusch said to Congress, actually, “You guys have been lied to all these years. The government has illegally withheld information from you that you’re entitled to have.” So now let’s see what Congress does. Are they going to demand more information? There’s still a stigma to this material, unfortunately, that the government put in place with decades of lies and misinformation. So Congress has to get over the stigma. Courageous representatives and senators have to come forward, demand answers, and what can be shared with the American people legitimately that is not a national security secret should be.
JIM HAROLD: I’ve long posited it over the last couple of years that there’s – and this is totally from an outsider, not having any sources or anything, just looking as a news consumer, looking from the outside – it appears to me that there’s an internal war in the government about UFOs and providing the public more information.
I’ll give you my number one example. A year or two ago when that big UFO report came out that everybody was waiting for, it was released on the afternoon of a Friday. Now, as a longtime newsman, why do you release a story on Friday afternoon?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: To kill it. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Yeah.
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, you’re absolutely right, Jim. There are differences of opinion in the government about how forthcoming the Pentagon should be on this issue. There are still people in high positions who think this whole subject is demonic and doesn’t deserve to be investigated, there’s something evil about this subject. Other people say it’s a scientific issue; we need to know for our own security and protection. I mean, here are these things flying around; nobody knows where they come from. No one is saying. We haven’t gotten to that point where anyone is speculating on the record what the purpose of these craft are, why they’re here, who sends them, are they intelligent. None of those questions really are being addressed because everyone’s so focused, properly so, on do they really exist?
And now the Pentagon agrees, yeah, they exist, they’re real. So now what do we do? But there are still people in high-up positions who are resisting this, and the government is not speaking with one voice. So it’s difficult. But I think it’s up to Congress to demand answers.
JIM HAROLD: Now, I want to be very careful how I phrase this because I want to give all the respect in the world to The Debrief; I would not be doing this interview now if it wasn’t for Micah Hanks over at The Debrief, so I give them all the kudos in the world for releasing this story and subjecting their servers to overheating. [laughs] But some might say, “Why didn’t we read about this in the New York Times? Why didn’t we read about this in the Washington Post? You’ve got these great reporters with this high respectability and great credibility; why didn’t we hear about that in those places?”
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: Well, we took the story first to the New York Times, where we’ve taken other stories, Leslie and I. We published a number of them in the New York Times, a big one in 2017. We came to them early on with the story because it was potentially quite groundbreaking and important, so we went to them as soon as we had pulled together enough of it to talk about. At that point, they passed on it. We’ve taken them other stories over the years, some of which they’ve greenlighted, some of which they didn’t. So it’s not unusual for a big publication to accept some stories and others to pass on.
And we were talking to the Washington Post; they were very interested in the story. Events just sort of outpaced us. Dave’s Grusch, the intelligence operative who had this information, his name was leaked somehow. He came under increasing pressure; he got threats. He already was complaining of retaliation. We just couldn’t wait. Things were happening too fast.
The Washington Post was going through its processes. We respect that. We have a good relationship with them, but we felt we needed to move forward very quickly, and The Debrief, where Leslie and I had both published in the past, a highly respected website with a lot of expertise in defense and intelligence matters, did a lot of fact checking of our article on their own. It was a very high-level and respectable place to publish this piece. So that’s why it ended up there. But we were talking to the Washington Post throughout; just events sort of caught up with us.
JIM HAROLD: I give them all the credit in the world for getting the story out there and reacting, and I don’t think that they should be penalized for that by any means, from anybody. I think it’s great. So what happens now? What are the next steps? Obviously you wouldn’t and you shouldn’t tell us what’s coming next, but is there more coming from Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal on this particular line, in this particular story? Should we look for follow-ups?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: Well, watch this space, as they say. Leslie and I have been working in this field for many years, and we continue to report; when we have enough that we can document on the record, we’ll report it. We’re certainly continuing. I think in this particular case, it’s up to Congress now to follow up. We’ll have to see how the retaliation complaint by Dave Grusch unfolds. He’s complaining of improper illegal retaliation against him. That’s moving forward.
So we’ll see. There’s a lot of balls in the air now, but I think a lot of it is up to Congress. They have to start demanding answers and put out some information beyond the reports that have already come out from the UAP taskforce – which were pretty bland and not particularly forthcoming, as many commentators have suggested. They were pretty, I don’t know, one-sided, simple, not very sophisticated. So I think Congress needs to demand more because, as Grusch said, they’re the ones who were lied to and who had information improperly withheld from them. And since they’re the guardians of the purse – I mean, this is money that the American people, taxpayers, are giving the government to do this research – people demand to know what’s being done with it and what the government is finding out.
Our original story in the New York Times in 2017, we put out three videos of encounters between Navy pilots and UFOs or UAP. That’s just a small sample of what the government has collected with our taxpayer money. So there’s a tremendous amount of information out there that the government has collected that arguably can be shared within national security constraints with the American people.
And other countries have this information too, by the way. America is not the only one. This is a global phenomenon. Many governments have this. I think we, the American government, has been the lead in sort of tamping down disclosures of this material, but there have been some significant disclosures by other countries – the European community, Latin America, Asia. So a lot of this has to come together, and humanity really demands an answer.
JIM HAROLD: We’ll be back with Ralph Blumenthal right after this.
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JIM HAROLD: The AARO came out with a statement, and here’s part of it: “To date, AARO has not discovered any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently.” And what I would say – that sounds like it was written by a lawyer. What do you say to that statement?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: Maybe AI wrote that. [laughs] These statements are very carefully worded, and when Sean Kirkpatrick testified to Congress not long ago, he also said he wasn’t aware of certain things, and when others testified at the last big congressional hearing in May 2022, I believe, about UAP, they were very carefully worded.
So I think you have to take these denials really with some skepticism because first of all, the government has a long history of not being straight with the American people on this issue for a lot of reasons. They didn’t want to admit what they didn’t know, they were afraid of panicking the population. I mean, all kinds of things. Anyway, it’s a matter of record that the government has not been forthcoming with the American people on this issue for decades, going back to Roswell and before. So I don’t put a lot of faith in that statement. I think, as you say, it sounds like it was written by lawyers.
JIM HAROLD: Is it fair to say, then, that you, Ralph Blumenthal, believe that the American government is in possession of multiple craft of non-human origin?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: That’s what David Grusch, with great credentials, has told us. We reported it. That’s all we can do as reporters. We take information, we vet it to the best of our ability, we check it out, we compare it to previous information, we get other people to weigh in on the reputations of the people we talk to, and we put it out. That’s all a reporter can do. I think we’ve been very responsible and careful. As I said, there’s nothing people have to take on faith here. Everyone is named. There’s no unnamed sources. The documentation is there. We put in parts of David Grusch’s military record, his performance evaluations, which are all very high. Other people vouching for him, who are named.
Beyond that, what can we do? We put out the information, we check it, we show where it came from, we put names to it, and then let the American people decide and ask questions. Congress can ask questions.
JIM HAROLD: I know you are a busy man and have a lot of other people to talk to, and we thank you so much for your time. The quick question, the last question, is: any final thoughts on this chapter of this reporting and anything you’d just like folks to know?
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: It’s a very difficult field to report on because a lot of it is classified, and the trick is to get people to trust you enough to share what they can with you without breaking any laws. No one wants to go to jail, and we don’t ask people to give us classified information. But we rely on and encourage people with newsworthy information to come forward and trust us.
It’s not an easy process, but we’ll continue the reporting. I think it’s an important issue. When you think of the important questions out there, this ranks right up there with what happens when we die, how did the universe begin, is there a God, are we alone – these are all important philosophical questions that we as a species are pursuing, and I’m proud to play a little part in getting out information that we can. And I think these are elemental questions that deserve answers to the extent to which they don’t transgress national security.
I’m proud to be part of this process, and we’ll continue to dig, Leslie and I, to see where the story goes.
JIM HAROLD: Well, first of all I salute you on your work, and I think it’s great. I look forward to what’s coming and I thank you for taking some time out of your very, very busy schedule to be with us today.
RALPH BLUMENTHAL: Jim, it’s a pleasure to be with you. Thank you.
JIM HAROLD: We appreciate Mr. Blumenthal’s time and his insight on this story. Also thanks to The Debrief and specifically to Micah Hanks, who helped make this interview possible.
Now I’m going to do something extremely rare for me: a commentary. Like many of you, I read the Debrief article and saw the full News Nation interview released this past Sunday night where whistleblower David Grusch claimed the U.S. government is in possession of multiple non-human craft. Now, I’ve been asked, “Do you believe Mr. Grusch?” Honestly, I’m not 100% convinced that he’s telling the truth. But if I had to bet, I’d say he might just be telling the truth.
Despite the calls of some phantom future windfall for Grusch, it seems to me that Grusch would actually have more to lose than to gain by falsely raising the flag on non-human intelligences and craft. Remember, he testified under oath where the penalties are harsh if you’re caught lying. To paraphrase journalist Ross Coultheart, I think his claim should be vetted and investigated seriously by Congress and the appropriate authorities. If the U.S. has non-human craft, then I think that information should be shared with the public within the boundaries of national security considerations.
At best, for too long, the American public has been misled about the existence of government programs to investigate UFOs (or UAPs, if you prefer). For years, the government denied that they were looking into this when in fact they very much were. At worst, it’s a massive cover-up that has seen generations of experiencers, citizens, and researchers go to their graves without closure on this fundamental question: whether government knew the truth all along.
Now, I believe the U.S. government is hiding something in regard to UFOs and that those efforts continue to this day. AARO and others knowingly or unknowingly, under the guise of supposed transparency, are just continuing the “we’re looking into it” ruse. My surmise is that it’s more of the same – Project Blue Book 2.0. Vain serious study is a whitewash of the truth. “Give this to the UFO freaks. Pat them on the head and they’ll go away.” Needless to say, I am still very pessimistic about disclosure. I hope I’m wrong.
But I say, let’s give Mr. Grusch’s assertions a fair hearing. As a veteran and someone who’s served this country, he certainly deserves that. If he’s telling the truth, he should be celebrated. If he lied under oath, he should be convicted and appropriately punished. Let the chips fall where they may, whether it proves us, who think that there is a “there there,” correct, or bolsters the debunkers who believe this is just much more woo.
What matters is the truth. This is not a football game. U.S. government, please, give it to us straight once and for all. Thank you for listening.
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