2023: A Year of Energy Breakthroughs, Space Discoveries, and Whistleblower Allegations


Welcome to the final installment of The Intelligence Brief of 2023… in this year-end roundup edition, we’ll be looking at several of the most-read stories of the year brought to you by The Debrief. Looking back on the last twelve months, stories we’ll be featuring include 1) how a new form of consumer energy technology could one day replace solar panels, 2) one of the most remarkable things NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted on the Moon this year, and 3) how the world learned about an alleged secret program that has illegally withheld information about “craft of non-human origin” from the U.S. Congress.

Quote of the Week  

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” 

— William E. Vaughan

Latest News: In recent coverage from The Debrief, we’ve taken a look at the key discoveries made in 2023 by the James Webb Space Telescope that are expanding our view of the cosmos, as well as the top five of some of our favorite stories, scientific movements, and technological developments from 2023. You’ll find links to all our recent stories and other items at the end of this newsletter. 

Podcasts: In podcasts from The Debrief, this week on The Debrief Weekly ReportSteph and MJ finish up 2023 with their final news roundup of the year, while over on The Micah Hanks Program, I’m joined by J.P. Hague, a dual national and qualified lawyer who joins me to discuss 2023’s UAP legislation. You can get all The Debrief’s podcasts by heading over to our Podcasts Page.

Video News: In the latest installment of Rebelliously Curious, Chrissy Newton is joined by Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D., as they delve into the world of genetic engineering, and the fascinating intersection of science, ethics, and the future of life. Also check out the latest episode of Ask Dr. Chanceand all the other great content from The Debrief on our official YouTube Channel.

With housekeeping now taken care of, it’s time to take a look back at 2023, and revisit some of our biggest stories from the year.

Forget Solar Panels, Here Come Rain Panels

Readers of The Debrief love a good story about practical breakthroughs in energy. On July 25th, The Debrief’s head science writer Christopher Plain treated us to a potential vision of the future, and one where a new kind of energy-harvesting technology could provide electricity even on rainy days.

solar panels

“In a potentially game-changing breakthrough in energy harvesting, researchers have found a way to capture, store and utilize the electrical power generated by falling raindrops, which may lead to the development of rooftop, power-generating rain panels,” Plain wrote.

“Previous attempts to generate power from failing rain have run into specific technical hurdles that often seemed impossible to surpass, but the researchers behind this new method say they have found a solution that may finally make such rain panels as popular, if not more so, than solar panels.” You can read Christopher’s entire article here.

Look What NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Just Spotted on the Moon

In September, I shared with our readers a look at something mysterious that NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) managed to locate and photograph on the surface of the Moon: the landing site of a spacecraft recently sent to the lunar surface by India’s space program.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
(Credit: NASA/Goddard/ASU)

“Chandrayaan-3 is the third mission in the Chandrayaan program, a set of moon missions launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO),” the September 6, 2023 article read. “From its position in orbit, the LRO successfully spotted and photographed the Indian spacecraft’s landing site, which can be seen in the center of the image below as a dark spot surrounded by a lighter ‘halo’ of white.”

You can read all about how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter obtained the images by reading the full article here. And now last, but certainly not least, is the story that not only proved to be The Debrief’s biggest story of the year, but also one of the biggest stories of 2023, and perhaps also what may prove to be the catalyst for one of history’s biggest revelations.

Intelligence Officials Say U.S. Has Retrieved Craft of Non-Human Origin

On June 5, 2023, The Debrief published a story detailing a complaint filed with the Intelligence Community Inspector General, which alleged that information has been illegally withheld from Congress about past acquisitions by the U.S. of exotic technologies believed to be of non-human origin.

Written by journalists Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal, the co-authors of a series of articles that have appeared in The New York Times since late 2017 dealing with the subject of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), the article published by The Debrief in June was the first to bring public attention to David Grusch, a former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) employee who claimed to have knowledge of efforts to conceal information about these exotic technologies the U.S. possesses.

David Grusch
David Charles Grusch

Following the publication of the story in The Debrief, Grusch’s story received additional attention after an interview with the whistleblower, conducted by Australian journalist Ross Coulthart, aired on NewsNation. What ensued over the next several weeks was nothing short of remarkable, including Congressional hearings, and widespread media coverage of the story that, as 2023 draws to a close, remains one of the hottest topics in the ongoing debate involving what the Pentagon now calls unidentified anomalous phenomena.

On behalf of everyone at The Debrief, it has been our honor and privilege to bring stories like these, and many more, to our readers over the last several months. If 2023 has been any indication of things to come, 2024 is already looking to be another landmark year… and we sincerely look forward to continuing to bring you the very best in science, technology, defense, and other items of interest for the rebelliously curious out there.

That concludes this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief. You can read past editions of The Intelligence Brief at our website, or if you found this installment online, don’t forget to subscribe and get future email editions from us here. Also, if you have a tip or other information you’d like to send along directly to me, you can email me at micah [@] thedebrief [dot] org, or Tweet at me @MicahHanks.

Here are the top stories we’re covering right now…