Posted December. 18, 2017 07:57,
Updated December. 18, 2017 08:20
The U.S. Department of Defense has acknowledged for the first time that it ran a secret investigation program of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, for five years. The New York Times reported on Saturday that the program, which was supposed to officially end in 2012, remains in existence until recently.
According to the newspaper, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, tasked with investigating UFO episodes, ran from 2007 to 2012 by the Defense Intelligence Agency, an intelligence arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. 22 million dollars of the defense department’s 600 million-dollar budget went to the program annually. “The Pentagon said the program was funded until 2012 in the light of budget spending priorities, but officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes,” told the newspaper.
The shadowy program was carried out by Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze. The funding mostly went to a company run by Robert Bigelow, a billionaire entrepreneur who is currently working with NASA. The program documents show that officials have studied sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift. They have also analyzed videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force has investigated UFOs for quite some time. Since 1947, it has launched a series of studies that investigated more than 12,000 claimed UFO sightings. A study code-named Project Blue Book started in 1952, concluded that most unidentified aerial phenomena involved stars, clouds and conventional aircraft. Still, 701 reports remained unexplained.