Pentagon confirmed existence of UFO program, incident videos released

MARCH 27 2008 FILE

Pentagon officials revealed that the program existed, but added that it ceased to operate in 2012, the Times reported.

The existence of the program, known as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, was confirmed officially for the first time Saturday by a Pentagon spokesman.

The program was initially funded at the request of then Senator Harry Reid, the chamber's majority leader at the time and a long-time enthusiast of space phenomena, the Times said.

Few officials knew about the programme, which started in 2007 and was reportedly terminated in 2012. His interest in UFOs was piqued by conversations with billionaire entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, whose aerospace company was tapped to conduct much of the research for AATIP's UFO sightings, Reid told the Times.

The firm, which continues to hold federal contracts including with USA space agency NASA, is owned by billionaire Robert Bigelow, whom the Times described as a friend of Reid.

The AATIP lost its funding in 2012 when Department of Defense officials decided there were better ways to spend taxpayers' money.

More news: Boy Gets the Grinch Locked Up - and Saves Christmas

A recent New York Times article revealed that the USA government spent millions of dollars on a covert program exploring the possibility of alien life.

Former Senator Reid in a recent interview said: "I'm not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going". Nevada is home to Area 51 - a top-secret US Air Force base which some UFO conspiracy theorists believe houses a crashed alien spacecraft.

The mystery into whether or not we're alone in the universe has been a constant question for over 6 decades and it looks like the Defense Department wanted some answers.

Newly declassified footage shows two United States fighter jets chasing an unidentified flying object (UFO) off the coast of San Diego in 2004. The program has released documents and videos that describe aircraft that, The Times says, "seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift".

"Despite overwhelming evidence at both the classified and unclassified levels, certain individuals in the [Defense] Department remain staunchly opposed to further research on what could be a tactical threat to our pilots, sailors and soldiers, and perhaps even an existential threat to our national security", Elizondo said in the letter, a copy of which was provided to The Post. "If America doesn't take the lead in answering these questions, others will", Reid wrote. I think it's one of the good things I did in my congressional service.

Apart from Elizondo, the consortium also employs a former CIA contractor named Harold E. Puthoff, as well as another former Defense Department official, Christopher K. Mellon, who was a deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence.

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