(Natural News) For decades, Americans have been fascinated with UFOs — “unidentified flying objects” — as millions have speculated that our own planet has regularly been visited by beings from another world.
In recent months, the U.S. Navy even released some shocking footage captured in 2015 by a flight of F/A-18s off the coast of California, capturing video of something that traveled so much faster than anything seen so far on Earth (see image above).
Then, the Navy Times reported that a Pentagon program that followed up on, and studied, UFO sightings called the “Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program” (AATIP) was shuttered 2012 after “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,” according to a DoD statement.
“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,” the statement continued.
But, as reported exclusively by the New York Post, Pentagon examinations of UFOs — otherwise known as “unidentified aerial phenomena” — have been ongoing, despite shutting down the official UFO-monitoring program.
In a statement provided to the paper, the Defense Department acknowledged that AATIP has indeed remained shut down, but that the Pentagon continues to investigate claims of alien spacecraft sightings.
“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,” said spokesman Christopher Sherwood.
“The department will continue to investigate, through normal procedures, reports of unidentified aircraft encountered by U.S. military aviators in order to ensure defense of the homeland and protection against strategic surprise by our nation’s adversaries,” Sherwood added.
That is a “bombshell revelation,” according to Nick Pope, a researcher who secretly investigated UFO sightings for the British government during the 1990s, the Post said.
“I’m shocked they said it that way”
“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,” Pope said.
But the “new admission makes clear that they really did study what the public would call ‘UFOs,’” he added. “It also shows the British influence, because UAP was the term we used in the Ministry of Defense to get away from the pop culture baggage that came with the term ‘UFO.’”
In addition, John Greenwald Jr., who archives declassified government documents on a variety of subjects including UFOs and “Bigfoot” on his website, The Black Vault, also said DoD’s use of the phrase “unidentified aerial phenomenon” is extremely frank. (Related: Secret report reveals U.S. aircraft carrier STALKED by UFO traveling at ballistic missile speed that would HOVER above ship.)
“I’m shocked they said it in that way, and the reason is, is they’ve seemingly worked very hard not to say that,” Greenwald told the Post.
He added: “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.”
The New York Times included footage from two U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighters from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz of an oblong, fast-moving and rotating object off the California coast in 2004 in a 2017 story about AATIP. Initially, the program was funded largely on the request of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who always had an interest in space phenomena.
And though the Times also reported that AATIP was shut down in 2012, the paper added that “for the past five years [supporters] say officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.”
The Post report appears to have reconfirmed that.