Buckle up, X-Files fans, this one's for you. For decades, many Americans have been convinced that the government is hiding evidence of aliens. These conspiracy theorists swear that their respective states experience an inordinate amount of alien abductions, UFO crashes, and crop circles that definitely aren't manmade. Turns out, though, that there may be some credence to those claims.
That's right, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) has admitted to its own existence. Up until this point, the research program was not widely known. News articles from 2017 and interviews with former program directors and Pentagon staff are giving the public inside details. Those pilots who claimed to see UFOs may have been sane after all. So go ahead and put on your tinfoil hats, gang, because it looks like the aliens are approaching.
Conspiracy theorists are feeling pretty smug right now. The Pentagon confirmed the existence of a government-funded program that investigates unidentified flying objects. Though officials referred to UFOs as anomalous aerospace threats (perhaps in an effort to make them seem innocuous), it's agreed that $22 million dollars were dedicated to the project. Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid spearheaded the expensive venture, and he's apparently had a "longtime interest in space phenomena."
A 2017 New York Times article released all of this info, combining details from interviews with Reid and billionaire researcher Robert Bigelow.
Scientists and astrophysicists are quick to point out that inexplicable things aren't always unearthly. It's hard to keep that in mind, though, when watching the 2004 military footage of what appears to be an alien spacecraft.
The video, captured during a routine training session near San Diego, CA, is fairly short, but it seems to prove the existence of an aircraft that wasn't made by human hands.
The pilots, Commander David Fravor and Lieutenant Commander Jim Slaight, witnessed the long white ship but could never fly fast enough to catch the elusive machine. Fravor said, "It accelerated like nothing I've ever seen... I [was] pretty weirded out."
The Department of Defense maintained a huge annual budget of $600 billion, of which $22 million was allocated to the AATIP from 2008 through 2011 - an incredibly small amount to track in such a large overall sum. That's what officials intended.
In fact, the extraterrestrial-scouting program was financed with black money - funding that the Pentagon put aside for classified programs. Specifically, the funds were used for "management of the program, research and assessments of the threat posed by the objects."
After urgings from Harry Reid, the Department of Defense funded the AATIP. The organization then made Reid's friend, aerospace researcher Robert Bigelow, the main recipient of government funds that would allow for optimal alien research. Bigelow was no newcomer to extraterrestrial exploration, though. He's a "contractor, designer, developer, financier, buyer and manager" at Bigelow Aerospace.
The multi-talented man also partnered with NASA on many projects, including an abandoned habitat technology that would've helped people live in outer space. Additionally, Bigelow advocated for a "sustainable commercial space economy."
Some believed that AATIP's main researcher was decidedly eccentric, though. Bigelow gave almost $4 million to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to promote classes about life after death. Bigelow Aerospace also created the Fly Your Stuff program that allowed people to fly their stuff to space for a nominal fee. Bigelow claimed to be "absolutely convinced" that aliens exist and that UFOs have touched down upon the Earth.