According to the New York Times who broke the original story, the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program was launched in 2007 after Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada spoke to his longtime friend, Robert Bigelow, the billionaire founder of an aerospace company. Bigelow has spoken about his belief in UFOs visiting the United States as well as the existence of aliens. Among the anomalies the program studied, the paper said, were video and audio recordings of aerial encounters by military pilots and unknown objects, as well as interviews with people who said they had experienced physical encounters with such objects.
The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 time frame, said Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson in an interview to CNN. 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.
Pentagon officials say the program ended in 2012, but the official who led it said that only the government funding had ended then.
In one instance, the program looked at video footage of a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet surrounded by a glowing object of unknown origin traveling at a high rate of speed in a location that officials declined to identify, the paper said. The Pentagon says the program has since been shuttered. However, certain aspects of the program still exist with officials from the program continuing to investigate encounters brought to them by service members, while these officials still carry out their other duties within the Defense Department.
David Fravor, at his home in Windham, N.H., is a former Navy pilot who says he was “pretty weirded out” by an unexplained episode over the Pacific. His story has captured the attention of a Pentagon program investigating U.F.O.s.
“We are not alone” going Main Stream? – Interesting Interview with Navy Pilot who witnessed “Tic Tack” UFO on Fox - There is obvious excitement among the Ufology Community about the recent revelations of a DOD UFO study program along with footage of a “Tic Tac” UFO filmed by a Navy Fighter Pilot in 2004. We are seeing a major increase in interest from the media and among the general population:
The former director of the program worked with officials from the Navy and CIA from his office in the Pentagon until this past October, when he resigned in protest. He said a replacement had been named, but he declined to identify them.
Luis Elizondo, who led the Pentagon effort to investigate U.F.O.s until October resigned to protest what he characterized as excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the program.
Luis Elizondo, a former military intelligence official who ran the Pentagon's secret UFO unit, says it is his personal view given all the evidence he's seen that we may not be alone:
Reid, in an interview to the New York Times says, was also supported in his efforts to fund the program by the late Sens. Ted Stevens of Alaska, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, and John Glenn of Ohio, the first American to orbit the Earth, who told Reid the federal government should take a serious look at UFOs. And working to keep a program that he was sure would draw scrutiny from others, Reid said he, Stevens and Inouye made sure there was never any public debate about the program on the Senate floor during budget debates.
This was so-called black money, Reid told the Times regarding the Defense Department budget for classified programs.
Working with Mr. Bigelow’s Las Vegas-based company, the program produced documents that describe 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.
Senator Harry Reid gives an exclusive interview to George Knapp on the recent disclosure being rolled out in mainstream media:
Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada also twitted about it:
If anyone says they have the answers, they’re fooling themselves.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 16, 2017
We don’t know the answers but we have plenty of evidence to support asking the questions. This is about science and national security. If America doesn’t take the lead in answering these questions, others will.
The truth is out there. 🛸— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 16, 2017
Robert Bigelow received most of the money allocated for the Pentagon program On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.
The unclassified but secretive Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was funded $22 million from 2008 to 2011, with the vast majority of the funding going to Bigelow Airspace. That’s a company conveniently owned by one of Reid’s friends and donors, Robert Bigelow, though the program was also approved by since-deceased (COINCIDENCE?) Senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye. That $22 million enabled contractors to build a low-key Nevada warehouse for what they claimed was unidentified artifacts obtained from UFOs, as well as compile witness accounts:
Is the MSM Starting to Believe in UFO's & Aliens? Fox News "The Five" on the Secret DOD UFO Program
See also The pentagon UFO study audio-video media archive compiled by Giuliano Marinkovic.