Existence of UFOs 'proven beyond reasonable doubt', says former chief of real-life 'X-Files' department at the PentagonDecember 25, 2017
The former head of a Pentagon program to understand the mysteries of UFOs has said that such objects visiting Earth had been 'proved beyond reasonable doubt'.
Speaking to The Telegraph, former Intelligence Officer Luis Elizondo said that unidentified flying objects of advanced capabilities have been seen 'lots' over the years.
Elizondo, who presided over the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program until two months ago, told The Independent: 'I think it's pretty clear this is not us, and it's not anyone else, so one has to ask the question where they're from.'
The program, inaugurated in 2007 and funded with $22million of government funds, was revealed to the public earlier this month.
Elizondo further said that UFOs have often been found near nuclear and power plants.
He said he resigned from his government job because he believes the government needs to provide more funding and support.
The Defense Department finally acknowledged the existence of its long-secret UFO investigation program earlier this month, when officials shifted attention and funding to other priorities.
Its initial funding came largely at the request of former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat long known for his enthusiasm for space phenomena, the newspaper said.
The program was created by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), with the support of the late Senators Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Republican Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
Their fears were that the unexplained phenomena could be advanced weaponry or technology from foreign states such as Russia or China which could threaten the US.
'Was this China or Russia trying to do something or has some propulsion system we are not familiar with?' a former staffer told Politico.
While Elizondo, who ran the initiative, stressed he wanted to take the 'voodoo' out of a 'voodoo science,' the program investigated some issues that sound like they're straight out of a science fiction movie.
They included 'wormholes' and 'warp drives' as well as interviewing pilots and military personnel who reported experiences with UFOs.
Elizondo said that many of the Navy pilots described aircraft moving and acting in a way that seemed to be beyond human beings' current capabilities.
'We had never seen anything like it,' he said.
The former staffer said that Reid believed there could be a valid national security issue and so agreed to fund the program.
But after a few years, and very little to show for it, Reid decided it wasn't worth continuing.
'After a while the consensus was we really couldn't find anything of substance,' he recalled. 'They produced reams of paperwork. After all of that there was really nothing there that we could find. It all pretty much dissolved from that reason alone - and the interest level was losing steam. We only did it a couple years.'
'There was really nothing there that we could justify using taxpayer money,' he added. 'We let it die a slow death. It was well spent money in the beginning.'
According to the the Pentagon, the program 'ended in the 2012 timeframe.'
Yet according to its backers, the program remains in existence and officials continue to investigate UFO episodes brought to their attention by service members, the newspaper said.
The Pentagon openly acknowledged the fate of the program in response to a Reuters query.
'The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 timeframe,' Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Ochoa said in an email.
'It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change,' she said.
But the Pentagon was less clear about whether the UFO program continues to hover somewhere in the vast universe of the U.S. defense establishment.
'The DoD takes seriously all threats and potential threats to our people, our assets, and our mission and takes action whenever credible information is developed,' Ochoa said.
What is less in doubt is former senator Reid's enthusiasm for UFOs and his likely role in launching the Pentagon initiative to identify advanced aviation threats.
'If you've talked to Harry Reid for 60 seconds then it's the least surprising thing ever that he loves UFOs and got an earmark to study them,' former Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said in a message on Twitter.
Or as Reid himself said in a tweet that linked to the Times' story: 'The truth is out there. Seriously.'
Elizondo has since joined former Blink 182 vocalist Tom DeLonge's company To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences - described as a 'public benefit corporation' that has 'mobilized a team of the most experienced, connected and passionately curious minds from the U.S. intelligence community, including the CIA, Department of Defense, who have been operating under the shadows of top-secrecy for decades.'
Speaking to CNN, he said: 'My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.
'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.
'Things that don't have any obvious flight services, any obvious forms of propulsion, and maneuvering in ways that include extreme maneuverability beyond, I would submit, the healthy G-forces of a human or anything biological.'
Among the sightings were reports from pilots of two U.S. Navy Super Hornet fighters who spotted a UFO on a training mission.
They were 100 miles from San Diego in the Pacific when a call on their radios asked if they were carrying weapons.
The unusual request, that day in 2004, came from a naval cruiser, the Princeton, that had spent two weeks tracking unidentified aircraft.
Commanders David Fravor and Jim Slaight had only dummy missiles, but were directed to investigate objects that appeared suddenly at an altitude of 80,000ft, then plunged towards the sea.
At 20,000ft, they stopped and hovered before disappearing out of radar range or shooting up again.
The pilots could see nothing at first and then Commander Fravor looked down to the sea.
The water in one place was being churned by something just below the surface.
Hovering erratically 50ft above that spot was some sort of flying craft, around 40ft long, oval-shaped and whitish.
As the pilot descended towards it, it rose to meet him, but suddenly peeled away at an immense speed that he admits left him feeling 'pretty weirded out'.
The craft 'had no plumes, wings or rotors' but, seemingly travelling at a mile a second, easily outran America's fastest military jets.
Fravor's comrades made fun of him when he described the encounter, but others in the U.S. military, we now know, took him seriously.
For the episode was one of scores of unexplained encounters between military personnel and UFOs that were investigated by a top-secret, multi-million-dollar program run by the Pentagon.