Department of Defense admits to running multi-million dollar UFO programNew York Daily News
December 16, 2017
The United States Department of Defense for the first time ever acknowledged the existence of a shadowy program specifically aimed at investigating UFO sightings.
The advanced Aerospace Threat Identifications program was started a decade ago at the urging of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a dedicated space lover and majority leader of the Senate at the time, the New York Times reported. It was funded through the department's $600 billion budget and operated under an annual budget of $22 million.
Experts spent years investigating reports of unidentified flying objects under the program, which was run by military intelligence official Luis Elizondo deep within the Pentagon's maze.
The bulk of the budget was directed to Reid's friend Robert Bigelow, a billionaire with enthusiasm for extraterrestrial life.
"There has been and is an existing ET presence, and I've spent millions and million, I've probably spent more than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject," Bigelow said in an interview with 60 minutes.
During an appearance on CBS last may Bigelow said that he was "absolutely convinced" that UFOs have visited earth and that aliens exist.
Pentagon officials told the Times the program was shuttered in 2012, when its funding was diverted to other department needs.
"It was determined that were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was best interest of the DoD to make this change," spokesman Thomas Cross said.
Still, Elizondo said he continued to work toward the program's aims in conjunction with the Navy and CIA until he resigned in October, citing secrecy and lack of cooperation as the primary reasons for his departure.
"Why aren't we spending more time on this issue?" he pondered in his resignation letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Despite Elizondo's departure and lack of budget, the program continues to operate, he said. Before his resignation Elizondo named a successor to continue the government's UFO investigations.