Pentagon acknowledges program to investigate UFO encounters

Aerial encounter

"The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program" was led by former military intelligence official Luiz Elizondo, who resigned from the Pentagon on October 4.

Initial funding for the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program came largely at the request of former Democratic Senator Harry Reid, long known for his enthusiasm for space phenomena.

The Pentagon has confirmed it had been running a multi-million dollar secret UFO investigation programme but says it ended in 2012 to fund "other priorities".

Documents that have been recently declassified or acquired reveal that the Defense Department has spent at least $22 million on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which is meant to track and research unidentified flying objects.


Despite funding for the programme ending in 2012, defence officials have continued to research UFOs during the past five years, according to anonymous officials quoted by The Times. The program has countless videos of UFO encounters by military personnel, as well as interview about firsthand accounts, physiological studies of those who've come into contact with odd crafts, and possibly even samples of unusual technology. Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes.

Reid enlisted support of two other lawmakers, Ted Stevens, the late Republican senator from Alaska, and Democrat Daniel K. Inouye, representing Hawaii. The program's funding, Reid believed, should not have not been debated publicly in Congress.

A new report by the New York Times reveals the extent to which the Pentagon has been investigating UFOs. He's gone on to work on privately funded UFO research projects. Following his resignation, he joined the for-profit To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences. It investigated sightings by military pilots of flying objects that "maneuvered so unusually and so fast that they seemed to defy the laws of physics", Politico reported. Elizondo states that the program is still in operation and that he has a successor.

In comments to the New York Times, he said "I'm not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going". "I think it's one of the good things I did in my congressional service" he adds. "I've done something that no one has done before", he told the Times.

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