This lengthy piece from Popular Mechanics doesn’t argue that UFO’s are real, merely that the U.S. government studied the phenomenon of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) far more closely–and secretly–than it cares to publicly admit, and several U.S. senators spearheaded funding for the UAP research, both public and private.
These revelations comes from an avalanche of long-secret records, obtained by researchers using FOIA and interviews conducted by Tim McMillan, a retired police officer.
The evidence collected here overwhelmingly suggests the government was indeed studying UFOs and not, as the Pentagon has said, “investigating foreign advanced aerospace weapons system applications with future technology projections over the next 40 years, and to create a center of expertise on advanced aerospace technologies.”
Last year, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists obtained via FOIA request and published a January 2018 letter that the DIA Congressional Relations Division sent to members of Congress. In the letter, the DIA provided “a list of all products produced under the AATIP contract for the DIA to publish.” The referenced list includes 38 technical papers, called Defense Intelligence Reference Documents (DIRDs), which cover a range of advanced, exotic, and theoretical aerospace topics.
AATIP stands for Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. AATIP was vehicle for UAP research. It was the U.S. government’s answer to the Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), a privately funded research program, founded by Nevada aerospace engineer Robert Bigelow in 2008. Senator Harry Reid liked the idea and arranged for similar U.S. government research.
Roughly six months after BAASS opened up shop, with the support of late senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye, Reid set up funding for AATIP and the AAWSAP contract in the Supplemental Appropriations Bill of July 2008. “It would be black money, we wouldn’t have a big debate on the Senate floor over it,” Reid told New York. “The purpose of it was to study aerial phenomena. The money was given, a directive was given to the Pentagon, to put this out to bid, which they did.”
So Senators Stevens, Inouye and Reid (senior Republican, Democrat and Democrat respectively) wanted to know more about UAP. You could say UFO’s–excuse me UAP–are a fringe phenomenon with mainstream support.
McMillan asks a pertinent question:
With the wealth of data collected by BAASS, and almost assuredly more information being gathered by AATIP, it raises the question: Is the UAP issue being closely guarded because we don’t believe it’s real, or because we’re afraid we can’t understand it? Mick West, the author of Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect, suggests the public availability and confirmation of rigorous empirical studies by AATIP could change the entire UFO dynamic. “It would be fantastic if there was some good evidence of something new to science. So far there isn’t,” he tells Popular Mechanics.