The New York Times is reporting that the Pentagon recently created a highly classified project to examine claimed UFO sightings. The project, called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, came into existence in 2007 at the urging of former Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who in turn was reacting to conversations with a friend, a billionaire aerospace company founder, who believed in UFOs and alien visits.
The secret program, which was funded with “black” money and was never discussed during debate on the floor of the Senate, also was supported by other senators, including Ohio Senator John Glenn. The AATIP studied video and audio footage of “close encounters,” including an incident where a Navy jet was surrounded by a glowing object of unknown origin traveling at a high rate of speed, and interviewed people involved in the encounters. The program was shuttered in 2012, and a Pentagon spokesperson explained: “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.” According to the Times, however, the Pentagon is still involved to a certain extent in investigating new close encounters.
Is it worth checking out credible reports of close encounters with UFOs? Sure, why not? I’m not sure I believe there are aliens among us — if they are, why haven’t they stepped forward and shared the advanced technology that allowed them to get here in the first place? — but there is certainly enough room for doubt to justify investigating such incidents. UFO report investigation is at least as worthy of funding as many of the boondoggles the federal government is involved with.
But here’s the disturbing thing — the thing that might cause Fox Mulder on the X-Files beat to nod knowingly. The program was funded with “black” money and kept totally secret from the American public. Why were the Senators involved unwilling to allow the people to know what was going on at the time? Did they really think the American public wasn’t ready to hear about a UFO investigation unit, and what it concluded from its investigations? It smacks of appalling paternalism, at least — and Mulder and Scully might detect a whiff of deep-state conspiracy, too. It also makes you wonder: how many other super-secret programs are out there, being funded with “black” money at the direction of our elected representatives, that we don’t know about?