The Pentagon is now acknowledging the extent of the UFO and UAP problem in its restricted airspace and is making more information public than ever before. According to a report by CBS News, the United States Senate's intelligence committee has ordered the director of intelligence and the secretary of defense to give a full report on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) by next month. On Sunday, a Pentagon official gave a preview of that report on 60 Minutes.
Anchor Bill Whitaker interviewed Luis Elizonda, the former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). When asked if UFOs are "real," he practically skipped past the question, saying: "Bill, I think we're beyond that already. The government has already stated for the record that they're real. I'm not telling you that. The United States government is telling you that."
Elizondo spent two decades running military intelligence operations before he was assigned to AATIP, which is a secretive program even within the Pentagon. He said: "The mission of AATIP was quite simple. It was to collect and analyze information involving anomalous aerial vehicles, what I guess in the vernacular you call them UFOs. We call them UAPs."
Elizondo did not just confirm the existence of UAP but confirmed some of the most shocking mysteries still surrounding it. He confirmed urban legends about "technology that can do 6-to-700 g-forces, that can fly at 13,000 miles an hour, that can evade radar and that can fly through air and water and possibly space. And oh, by the way, has no obvious signs of propulsion, no wings, no control surfaces and yet still can defy the natural effects of Earth's gravity. That's precisely what we're seeing."
Elizondo verified the legitimacy of some of the recently released or leaked videos of UFO sightings from the U.S. military, and said that within AATIP they were examined by all manner of scientists and engineers. He said referenced one infamous case of a fast-moving object of the Atlantic coast in 2015, documented by the Navy. He said that not all UFO sightings are real, but said that outright skepticism of the whole phenomena is no longer a reasonable position.
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"In some cases, there are simple explanations for what people are witnessing," he said. "But there are some that, that are not. We're not just simply jumping to a conclusion that's saying, 'Oh, that's a UAP out there.' We're going through our due diligence. Is it some sort of new type of cruise missile technology that China has developed? Is it some sort of high-altitude balloon that's conducting reconnaissance? Ultimately when you have exhausted all those what-ifs and you're still left with the fact that this is in our airspace and it's real, that's when it becomes compelling, and that's when it becomes problematic."
The 60 Minutes story is extensive, and includes another interview with Lieutenant Ryan Graves, who said that pilots on the Atlantic Coast see UFOs "every day for at least a couple years." He explained how the object's existence has been verified by multiple sightings and detection methods, as well as the shocking ways they defy the laws of physics. Whitaker interviewed other pilots and officials as well, all sharing their own eerie stories.
If there is an earthly explanation for UFOs and UAPs, no one in any government has stepped forward to offer it, nor have they felt confident enough to venture a guess. The report ordered by the senate is due next month, but there's no indication that it will shed much more light on the questions. You can stream Sunday's full episode of 60 minutes on Paramount+ here, with a free trial available to new users.