The US Government carried out a secret programme called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) to “pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena”, Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood confirmed. The AATIP was revealed to the public in 2017, but the US Department of Defense said they shut down the £17.36 million (US$22 million) programme in 2012. However, Mr Sherwood said the US Government still continues to investigate reported UFOs and extraterrestrial sightings. He told the New York Post: “The Department of Defense is always concerned about maintaining positive identification of all aircraft in our operating environment, as well as identifying any foreign capability that may be a threat to the homeland.
“The department will continue to investigate, through normal procedures, reports of unidentified aircraft encountered by US military aviators in order to ensure defense of the homeland and protection against strategic surprise by our nation’s adversaries.”
Nick Pope, a former British defence official and media commentator told the Post that the Pentagon’s comments are a “bombshell revelation” revealing how the government takes unidentified aircraft sightings seriously.
He said: “Previous official statements were ambiguous and left the door open to the possibility that AATIP was simply concerned with next-generation aviation threats from aircraft, missiles and drones — as skeptics claimed.
“This new admission makes it clear that they really did study what the public would call ‘UFOs’.
“It also shows the British influence, because UAP was the term we used in the Ministry of Defence to get away from the pop culture baggage that came with the term ‘UFO.’”
John Greenewald Jr, who runs a website featuring classified Government documents on UFO reports, told the Post: “I’m shocked they said it that way, and the reason is, is they’ve seemingly worked very hard not to say that.
“So I think that’s a pretty powerful statement because now we have actual evidence — official evidence — that said, ‘Yes, AATIP did deal with UAP cases, phenomena, videos, photos, whatever.’”
He added: “But at least we’re one step closer to the truth.”
The US Government has show increasing interest in studying UFO and mysterious aircraft sightings.
In 2017, former Pentagon official Luis Elizondo revealed the AATIP – a £17.36 million (US$22 million) government operation to investigating extra-terrestrial sightings.
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