Is the Pentagon's shadowy secret UFO research program still going on?

Department of Defense admits to running multi-million dollar UFO program

Department of Defense admits to running multi-million dollar UFO program

As it turns out, the Pentagon and the U.S. Military have spent millions of dollars on a program to investigate the UFO phenomenon.

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.

Documents provided by the former officials included letters of support by former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a key backer of the initiative who helped secure funding for the program and sought to ensure a high degree of secrecy.

"I'm not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going", Reid told The Times. "I've done something that no one has done before". But in interviews, he said his ultimate intention was to shed light on a little-known program Elizondo himself ran for seven years: a low-key Defense Department operation to collect and analyze reported UFO sightings. "I've done something that no one has done before". In the video, the Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing.

"If anyone says they have the answers, they're fooling themselves", Reid, who retired from Congress a year ago, said in a tweet Saturday night. "There's a whole fleet of them", one exclaims. He said he was quitting in protest of internal opposition to the program as well as the dwindling attention that was paid to their findings.

"It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change", a Pentagon spokesman, Thomas Crosson, told the New York Times in an email, referring to the Department of Defense.

UFOs have piqued U.S.' military's curiosity for several decades now.

In 1947, the US Air Force launched Project Sign to "collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute within the government all information relating to such sightings, on the premise that UFOs might be real and of national security concern", according to a Central Intelligence Agency analysis. Another project, named Blue Book, helped debunk some of these "sightings" but almost 701 remained unexplained.

Out of the huge chunk of money the United States spends on defence and security, a small amount is dedicated to a program to investigate reports of unidentified flying objects and alien life.

According to the NYT, the bulk of the funding was going to Bigelow Aerospace, a company owned by one of Reid's friends and donors, billionaire entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, who is now working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.

In May, Bigelow told "60 Minutes" that he's "absolutely convinced" that aliens exist and he doesn't care if it makes him sound insane.

The program apparently began in 2007, and many parts of it are still classified. "Stevens knows about it, Inouye knows about it".

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