This week may go down in UFO lore as the week UFOs went mainstream. Kind of like The Year Punk Broke, but with flying saucers instead of flannel and power chords. OK, maybe it isn’t full government disclosure, yet. But it sure makes a good Christmas stocking stuffer for many ufologists who are looking for confirmation, any confirmation, that aliens do in fact exist.
Certainly, a serious consideration by MSM of the existence of aliens is unprecedented. The media, hitherto, wouldn’t even broach the topic without a cynical and dismissive “little green men from Mars” style put down.
But that’s what happened when, on Sunday, December 16th, the venerable New York Times and Politico both reported that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and military intelligence officials established the shadowy Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program for the purpose of investigating UFOs. The program utilized $22 million of tax payer money and, though a mere drop in the bucket of the annual $600 billion Defense Department budget, represents a serious commitment by our government to answer the UFO question.
According to records obtained by The Times, and interviews with Defense Department officials, the program was started and backed by Harry Reid in 2007, with most of the funding going to NASA’s Robert Bigelow’s aerospace research program. Bigelow himself was the subject of a 60 Minutes feature in May, saying in an interview:
“There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence. And I spent millions and millions and millions — I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject.””
The program, operating from the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, was run by military official Louis Elizondo, and investigated sightings of unidentified aircrafts. According to the Defense Department, the program was shut down in 2012, though Elizondo claims that only the public funding was shut down in 2012. He says that the program still exists and continues to investigate UFO sightings.
Reid, for his part, believes in the importance of this work, telling The Times, “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. I’ve done something that no one has done before.”
Commenting on the revelation, Politico stated:
“The revelation of the program could give a credibility boost to UFO theorists, who have long pointed to public accounts by military pilots and others describing phenomena that defy obvious explanation, and could fuel demands for increased transparency about the scope and findings of the Pentagon effort, which focused some of its inquiries into sci-fi sounding concepts like “wormholes” and “warp drives.””
If this wasn’t enough government disclosure for one day , December 16 (mark that in your calendar) held even more surprises. On that same day, Tom deLong’s To The Stars Academy released three videos of US fighter planes encountering UFOs.
One video captures a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet using the Raytheon AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod. Another video shows a Navy jet present at the 2004 Nimitz incident off the coast of San Diego.
The footage was presented with some sense of dramatic flair on the TTSA website, which states:
“This is only the beginning . . . Presented here is the first official evidence released by the US government that can be rightfully designated as credible, authentic confirmation that unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) are real. The footage and reports herein, demonstrate flight characteristics of advanced technologies unlike anything we currently know, understand, or can duplicate with current technologies.”
So What Does It All Mean?
If you’ve had a long standing interest in the paranormal and/or ufology, then these revelations may mean little to nothing for you. Certainly, you wouldn’t be surprised that the government has a black ops program dumping tons of money into UFO research. You might, in fact, be surprised at how little this program, a mere $22 million, has cost the tax payer. If such a thing as alien technology did exist, then something akin to the majority of the Defense Department budget would be put into such research. We’re still waiting on that reveal.
However, as we’ve stated, the fact that such mainstream media organs as The Times are delving into formerly taboo subject matter does represent a significant shift and bodes well for further disclosure.
On a personal level, I am intrigued by the reports, which provide more clues into my own experiences regarding the UFO phenomenon. This is an exciting time. Certainly, we will be waiting to see what falls out of the sky next.
Follow Andrew Arnett on Twitter @AndrewArnett