The Pentagon has lastly uttered the phrases it all the time prevented when discussing the attainable existence of UFOs — “unidentified aerial phenomena” — and admits that it nonetheless investigates studies of them.
In an announcement supplied solely to The Put up, a Division of Protection spokesman mentioned a secret authorities initiative referred to as the Superior Aerospace Risk Identification Program “did pursue analysis and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena.”
And whereas the DOD says it shut down the AATIP in 2012, spokesman Christopher Sherwood acknowledged that the division nonetheless investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft.
“The Division of Protection is all the time involved about sustaining optimistic identification of all plane in our working atmosphere, in addition to figuring out any overseas functionality that could be a risk to the homeland,” Sherwood mentioned.
“The division will proceed to analyze, via regular procedures, studies of unidentified plane encountered by US army aviators with the intention to guarantee protection of the homeland and safety towards strategic shock by our nation’s adversaries.”
Nick Pope, who secretly investigated UFOs for the British authorities through the 1990s, referred to as the DOD’s feedback a “bombshell revelation.”
Pope, a former UK protection official-turned-author, mentioned, “Earlier official statements had been ambiguous and left the door open to the chance that AATIP was merely involved with next-generation aviation threats from plane, missiles and drones — as skeptics claimed.
“This new admission makes it clear that they actually did research what the general public would name ‘UFOs,’ ” he mentioned.
“It additionally exhibits the British affect, as a result of UAP was the time period we used within the Ministry of Defence to get away from the popular culture baggage that got here with the time period ‘UFO.’ ”
John Greenewald Jr. — whose web site The Black Vault archives declassified authorities paperwork on UFO studies, “Bigfoot” sightings and different topics — additionally referred to as the Pentagon’s use of the time period “unidentified aerial phenomena” unprecedented in its frankness.
“I’m shocked they mentioned it that manner, and the reason being, is that they’ve seemingly labored very onerous to not say that,” he mentioned.
“So I believe that’s a fairly highly effective assertion as a result of now now we have precise proof — official proof — that mentioned, ‘Sure, AATIP did take care of UAP instances, phenomena, movies, images, no matter.’”
Greenewald mentioned he hopes that the Pentagon will launch extra details about the AATIP, both by voluntary disclosure or via requests beneath the federal Freedom of Data Act.
“However at the very least we’re one step nearer to the reality,” he mentioned.
The existence of the AATIP was revealed in 2017, together with a 33-second DOD video that exhibits an airborne object being chased by two Navy jets off the coast of San Diego in 2004.
On the time, former Senate Majority Chief Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took credit score for arranging $22 million in annual funding for the AATIP, telling the New York Occasions that it was “one of many good issues I did in my congressional service.”
Reid’s house state of Nevada hosts the top-secret army set up often called “Space 51,” lengthy rumored to be the storehouse for an alien craft that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
Reid, via a spokeswoman, declined to remark.
Further reporting by Bruce Golding
This story initially appeared within the New York Put up.