"Always Telling the Truth Means Never Having to Remember Anything"
By Dennis Balthaser
The Pentagon has an annual budget of some $600 billion dollars, and recently it was discovered that $22 million of that budget was spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which translates to investigating Unidentified Flying Objects. This came as no surprise to me, since I have believed the Military and Government have been interested in the study of UFOs since the 1947 Roswell Incident, and perhaps even earlier. The New York Times, according to Defense Department officials’ interviews with program participants, and records obtained, indicate that this has been going on for years, while the Defense Department never revealed its existence.
The program was run by Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official housed on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, well within the buildings perplexity. When asked about the program being ended, Mr. Elizondo said, “the only thing that had ended was the government funding in 2012.” After the funds for the program stopped, he worked with the Navy and the CIA. He continued to work from his Pentagon office until this past October, when he resigned to protest the excessive secrecy and internal opposition. He was replaced after resigning, but would not give the name of his successor, so apparently the program continues funded or not. In his resignation letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Mr. Elizondo asked, “Why aren’t we spending more time and effort on this issue.” He didn’t indicate if he received a response from Mattis.
In a later interview, Mr Elizondo said he and his government colleagues had determined that the phenomena they had studied did not seem to originate from any country, and should not be kept secret from the people.
Robert Bigelow (left) and Senator Harry Reid (right)
According to the Defense Department, the program was supposedly shut down in 2012 because the funding ended, but some of those involved say the program still exists, and they continue to investigate incidents they receive from service members. The program began in 2007, largely funded at the request of the then U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, who had a long time interest in the space phenomena. Most of the money went to his long time friend Robert Bigelow, who runs a company called aerospace research, and currently works with NASA to produce craft for humans to use in space. Bigelow had remarked on CBS (60 minutes) in May that he is “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that UFOs have visited earth.
Harry Reid referred to the program as, “so-called black money,” and “as one of the good things he did in his congressional service.” Ted Stevens (R) from Alaska, and Daniel Inouye (D) from Hawaii both supported the program and have since passed away. To keep it from the public neither of these three wanted a public debate on the Senate floor about the funding for the program.
One of the most interesting things discovered was the fact that the program studied videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft. This included one released in August of an object the size of a commercial airplane, chased by two Navy F-18s, from the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego in 2004. During that encounter on video tape the Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. One of the pilots said, “there’s a whole fleet of them.”
Sightings by military pilots were not often reported up the military chain of command because service members were afraid they would be laughed at or stigmatized. I’ve heard the same comments from commercial airline pilots that have seen things they can’t explain but do not normally report it for the same reasons. Many private citizens are also among those groups that do not report things out of fear or ridicule.
It’s obvious that the government and/or military have been looking into these unexplained sightings and reports about UFOs for many years. In fact, there have been several studies done over the years, some going back as far back as 1947, with Project Grudge, Project Sign, the Condon Report, and the best known Project Blue Book. Blue Book was begun in 1952 and investigated more than 12,000 claimed sightings before that study was ended in 1969. Blue Books conclusion was that most (not all but most) sightings were stars, clouds, conventional aircraft or spy planes, leaving 701 reports as unexplained. Secretary of the Air Force at that time Robert C. Seamans Jr., in a memorandum to end Blue Book stated, “it no longer can be justified either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science,” so those 701 cases remain unexplained.
On the subject of UFOs, Mr Bigelow claims, “Internationally, we are the most backward country in the world on this issue.” China and Russia are much more open and work on this with huge organizations within their countries. Belgium, France, England and South American countries like Chile are more open too.
Mr. Reid decided that the program had made such extraordinary discoveries that he argued for heightened security to protect it, and requested that the program he originated be designated a “restricted special access program” limited to a few officials. At a 2009 Pentagon briefing summary of the program it was stated that the United States was incapable of defending itself against some of the technologies that had been discovered under the program. Mr. Reid’s request for this special designation was denied, but is there, perhaps, such a group in existence we are not aware of?
As a long time researcher on the subject of UFOs, I’m pleased to see people like Mr. Elizondo having the fortitude to come forward and share information that many of us have suspected for years. Regardless of what some in the government and military have stated in the past, they really are seriously interested in what UFOs are, where they are from, and what their motive is for visiting our planet. They obviously can’t do anything to curtail them from invading our skies, so they feel it’s best to withhold information from the public to avoid panic. Panic would no longer be a problem, in that people today are more educated. A high percentage of those believing UFOs are real believe that the phenomenon is being covered up. The problem will actually occur when certain people in the government and military finally admit they have been lying to us for the past 70 years.
Dennis G. Balthaser
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