Earlier this week, video footage of U.S. Navy aircraft tracking an unidentified flying object (UFO) surfaced. This revealed the existence of a multimillion-dollar partially classified Department of Defense (DOD) program. Within the DOD’s $600 billion annual budget, the government allocated $22 million to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). Created by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the program investigated UFO phenomenon. Now, its former leader, Luis Elizondo met with media outlets and explained key details. He highlighted their findings and pushed the importance of further study.
The program began in 2007. Initiated by Reid, the former senator worked with allies from both parties to help create the AATIP. Along with the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Ak. and the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, (D-Hi). Reid constructed the AATIP to study UFO activity. During World War II, Stevens served as an Army air force pilot. His interest in investigating UFO sighting claims from military service members helped spark the program’s creation.
Reid recalled a story Stevens had told him. In it, the late senator described getting tailed by a UFO for miles. Pertaining their conversation, “Ted Stevens said, “I’ve been waiting to do this since I was in the Air Force,” Reid stated.
According to The New York Times, the former majority leader showed a personal interest in the subject. After Reid secured funding, most of it went to a private aerospace company called Bigelow Aerospace. The company is run by billionaire entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, a close friend to Reid. It’s reported that Bigelow currently helps NASA develop new spacecraft for human use.
Like Reid, Bigelow showed a passion for UFO study. During an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” he expressed his viewpoint. On the question of alien life, Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that Earth has been visited by extraterrestrials.
AATIP ran for five years and closed in 2012 due to prioritization and a lack of funding.
Video Footage And The Former Program Lead Speaks
Elizondo, the program’s former leader, went on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Monday. There, he spoke on his belief that alien life had reached Earth. Elizondo cited “compelling evidence” to reinforce his case that “we may not be alone.” When describing the abilities of observed UFOs, he said they gave cause to keep him from eliminating extraterrestrial origin. Elizondo said,
“These aircraft — we’ll call them aircraft — are displaying characteristics that are not currently within the US inventory nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of.”
Continuing, the former lead described finding “a lot” of evidence. He said the unknown craft were “defying the laws of aerodynamics.”
Additionally, the Times report included video footage analyzed by the AATIP. It showed a 2004 encounter between two Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets and an unknown aerial object off the San Diego coast. One of the pilots, Cmndr. David Fravor, described a 40 foot long object lacking any visible signs of mechanization. Furthermore, the commander said the object was stong enough to churn water 50 feet underneath it.
In the video, the pilots bantered in astonished tones at the UFOs capabilities.
Recovered UFO Metal Alloys Of Unknown Composition
Elizondo said that within Bigelow Aerospace’s Las Vegas facilities, the company stored material recovered from UFO phenomena. According to the co-author of the Times’ report, Ralf Blumenthal, these materials have “amazing properties.” The Times’ author stated that DOD scientists failed to identify the composition of the metal alloys. Blumenthal said,
“It’s some sort of compound they do not recognise.”
Featured Image Via Screengrab