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The Pentagon Acknowledges its UFO Program

December 18, 2017 Jason McClellan

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

Somewhere in Las Vegas, there’s a warehouse containing debris from UFOs – Mashable

A bizarre effort to find UFOs involved Harry Reid and the lead singer of Blink-182 – Vox

Uh, So the Pentagon Spent $22 Million on a Mysterious UFO Analysis Program – Gizmodo

Pentagon admits running secret multi-million dollar UFO investigation for five years – Mirror

Pentagon admits to running secret UFO investigation – Irish Times

REVEALED: Mysterious Pentagon footage from secret US investigation into alien encounters – Express

Pentagon admits running secret UFO investigation for five years – The Guardian

The Pentagon Has Spent Millions on a Secret UFO Program – Esquire

Former head of UFO program at The Pentagon now works for Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge – NME

US government admits funding secret UFO programme – Aljazeera

Tom DeLonge’s UFO Research Project Seems Increasingly Legit – Vice

US fighter pilots track UFO in video from Pentagon’s secret vault – New Zealand Herald

Feds reportedly spent $22M on mysterious UFO program – CNET

Former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge hints Pentagon UFO disclosure is only the beginning: ‘There’s a lot more s–t coming’ – New York Daily News

Ex-Navy fighter pilot in spotlight for in-air UFO encounter claims – Boston Herald

Reports: Pentagon Spent Millions on UFO Research – New York Magazine

Two Navy airmen say they spotted UFO that ‘accelerated like nothing’ they’d seen before – Metro

Pentagon admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories … – Toronto Sun

Tom DeLonge’s Insane-Seeming Alien Research Organization Cited in NY Times UFO Report – Spin

Pentagon Admits To Funding Top-Secret UFO Investigation Unit – Nylon

New videos shed light on Pentagon’s secretive UFO program – CBS News

Do You Want to Believe? Government UFO Search Never Stopped – Live Science

Luis Elizondo, Former Director of the Pentagon’s Aerospace ID Program, Says Some UFOs Still ‘Defy Explanation’ – Daily Beast

Navy pilot recalls encounter with UFO: ‘I think it was not from this world’ – ABC News


Our nation’s secretive search for signs of intelligent life in space – MSNBC

Alien Hunter Reveals the Most Disturbing Part of the Pentagon’s UFO Program – Inverse

Tom DeLonge hires former Pentagon UFO researcher – Page Six

That Time the U.S. Navy Had a Close Encounter With a UFO – Popular Mechanics

All About the Pentagon’s Secret UFO Program – People

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

The Pentagon’s secret UFO program – KLAS

I-Team Exclusive: Sen. Reid discusses UFO study – KLAS

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

‘Something was there:’ Chicago expert on O’Hare UFO, government program – Daily Herald

UFO study focused on U.S. military encounters – KLAS

The press gets frisky with Pentagon UFOs, expert calls for ‘rational discussion’ – Washington Times

Keep looking for UFOs – CNN

“We may not be alone”? (w/ Luis Elizondo) – Glen Beck

X-Files creator reacts to those bombshell UFO reports – EW

The Truth About Those ‘Alien Alloys’ in The NY Times UFO Story – LiveScience

A Former Military Strategist Explains Why the Government Is Cagey on UFO Matters – Esquire

What Does $22 Million Buy in UFO Research? – Syracuse New Times

Pentagon UFO study catches attention of Congress – KLAS

What was the Pentagon’s secret UFO program looking for? – CBS News

Pentagon X-Files chief says UFOs DO exist and aliens may have visited earth from outer space – The Sun


What the New York Times UFO Report Actually Reveals – New York Magazine

Mystery over top-secret UFO programme deepens as US government is accused of backtracking on staggering footage released – The Sun

That New York Times UFO Story Was Too Good to Be True – Paste

Retired fighter jet pilot backs up former Pentagon official who claims existence of UFOs ‘proved beyond reasonable doubt’ – Mirror

The aliens are coming, and no one cares – Washington Post

Top space boffin says UFO which chased US jets may be ‘HYPERSONIC drone’ – or ALIENS – Daily Star

Jason McClellan

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.