The Pelican is like Alliance of Europe, it is just a preliminary study of a concept. Pelican is a ground effect plane, meaning that as you 'fly' close to the ground the effect on the plan is more wing area, hence you can make the plane bigger. Ground effect has long been a naval thing, that is, to carry cargo, troops or fuel, etc. It is not likely to go into production anytime soon, but it is a much faster alternative to a ship whie the cargo may be too big for an An-225.
Doing so could also be the equivalent of a rope-a-dope, to get your competition thinking you are concentrating on something else til you come out with the real deal. I think Airbus was caught off guard when Boeing SC
evolved into 787.
Not that all big company ideas are not genuinely pursued, just if the winds change, you gotta go with the flow. As conformed as that may be, it's business. Every company has a division divided into subdivisions to work on projects for various ideas or potential markets. Though it may involve as little as a few engineers, their projects represent the company as a whole. Anything that Phantom Works comes up with will still be a Boeing plane regardless of priority of it being built, if ever. Like you stated in your thread starter post: The New Boeing Pelican.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.