The Department of Defense (DoD) operated a secret UFO program at the Pentagon for five years. Although this program is reportedly no longer funded, it’s allegedly still in operation.
On Saturday, December 15, The New York Times published a story titled, “Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program.” This story explains that the secret Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program began in 2007 and received its funding largely at the request of then Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
The Pentagon’s UFO program apparently worked with, and relied heavily on, private space pioneer Robert Bigelow‘s Advanced Space Studies division (BAASS) of Bigelow Aerospace. At one time, BAASS was one of the organizations to which the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) directed pilots wishing to report UFOs. Bigelow operated a research organization from 1995 to 2004 called the National Institute for Discovery Science–a group that investigated various paranormal phenomena, including UFOs. Because of Bigelow’s personal interest in UFOs, and having invested millions of dollars into researching the subject, it’s not surprising to learn that the Pentagon utilized BAASS for its own UFO program. But Harry Reid’s longtime friendship with fellow Nevadan Robert Bigelow probably helped too.
The New York Times explains that, through its partnership with BAASS, the Pentagon’s UFO program “produced documents that describe sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift.” The program also studied videos from military aircraft showing engagements with UFOs.
Despite its historical UFO projects, the US government has maintained the position that it hasn’t studied UFOs since closing Project Blue Book in 1969. UFO researchers have always suspected that the government continues its study of anomalous aerial phenomena. And now, that suspicion has been verified. The New York Times reports, “In response to questions from The Times, Pentagon officials this month acknowledged the existence of the program, which began as part of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Officials insisted that the effort had ended after five years, in 2012.”
Although the recent New York Times story provides much more information, the DoD’s UFO program was revealed by military intelligence official Luis Elizondo on October 11, 2017 during the launch event for To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science–a new science, aerospace, and entertainment company founded by musician and serial entrepreneur Tom DeLonge. At this event, Elizondo, who served as senior intelligence officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, announced that he had headed up “a sensitive aerospace threat identification program focusing on unidentified aerial technologies.” His statement that an official UFO program currently exists was surprising enough. But he added that, through his time working on the project, he “learned that the phenomena is indeed real.”
Despite the Pentagon’s assertion that its UFO program ended in 2012, Elizondo says that’s not really the case. He claims that government funding is all that ended in 2012. The program is still operating, according to Elizondo.
Of great interest is The Times’ comment that, for this UFO program, Bigelow Aerospace “modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.”
Harry Reid told The New York Times that he was proud of the UFO program he helped start. “I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going,” he said. He continued, “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.” He also commented that he doesn’t know from where UFOs originate, and cautioned, “If anyone says they have the answers now, they’re fooling themselves. We do not know.” But he added, “We have to start someplace.”
Luis Elizondo left his government position to join other former high-level government/military officials and scientists at To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTS/AAS). This organization just launched its Community of Interest–an online platform designed to “enable interdisciplinary collaboration on reporting and analysis of anomalies among the public at large, academia, industry partners, government and every level of law enforcement.” TTS/AAS describes the mission of this Community of Interest:
Our vision is to collect, triage, and partition signature data, utilizing forensic and scientific methodology, into a central database that can be used to shed light on anomalies, trends, and patterns. We believe these data, when analyzed rigorously, could lead to a better understanding of our reality, including some of the most fascinating and mysterious phenomena in the universe. In turn, our vision is to involve the public with the discovery of revolutionary breakthroughs in science and technology.
The acknowledgement of a recent, and perhaps ongoing, government UFO program is pretty big news. Since the publication of the NYT story on December 15, major media outlets around the world have published stories about this revelation. Here is just a small sampling of those stories:
The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs – Politico
Pentagon’s UFO program revealed – New York Post
The Pentagon was investigating UFOs — and maybe it still is – Boston Globe
Pentagon admits to running secret UFO investigation – Irish Times
US fighter pilots track UFO in video from Pentagon’s secret vault – New Zealand Herald
Reports: Pentagon Spent Millions on UFO Research – New York Magazine
Do You Want to Believe? Government UFO Search Never Stopped – Live Science
That Time the U.S. Navy Had a Close Encounter With a UFO – Popular Mechanics
Is the United States still looking for UFOs? – Washington Post
Former official on UFOs: We might not be alone – Erin Burnett Out Front/CNN
Ex-Pentagon UFO hunter rattles with talk of secret gov research – Washington Times
Pentagon’s Former UFO Hunter: ‘We May Not Be Alone’ – Huffington Post
A Timeline of Tom DeLonge’s Connection With UFOs – Billboard
That Secret Government Program to Track UFOs? It’s Not the First – Air & Space Magazine
Keep looking for UFOs – CNN
“We may not be alone”? (w/ Luis Elizondo) – Glen Beck
What Does $22 Million Buy in UFO Research? – Syracuse New Times
What the New York Times UFO Report Actually Reveals – New York Magazine
The aliens are coming, and no one cares – Washington Post
Jason McClellan is an author, podcaster, TV personality, veteran UFO researcher & journalist, bourbon enthusiast, ska and punk devotee, vegan, and animal lover. You might have seen him on NatGeo, Syfy, History, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Discovery+, the CW, or at conferences and conventions talking about UFOs.