The government officially stated that The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, started by then-Senator Harry Reid in 2007, closed up shop five years ago so that its budget could go to better use elsewhere.
However, officials who worked on the program told the Times that the program was still going to this very day, but with a devastatingly slashed budget. Former department head Luis Elizondo told reporters that he had worked on the program until this past October, when he resigned to pursue UFO research in the private sector. However, he said a successor had been named and the program was still conducting research.
Government officials dispute this claim. Spokespeople have given statements to Reuters and CNN, insisting that the Defense Department does not research UFOs.
"The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 timeframe," Tom Crosson told CNN on behalf of the Pentagon. "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."
Former Democratic Senator Harry Reid, of Nevada, had been open about his belief in UFO and extra-terrestrial phenomena for years. He helped launch the program in 2007 to research sightings and interactions with UFOs by service members in the U.S. Air Force. Since he's out of office, he hasn't commented on the assertion that the program is still operating, but he has offered his perspective on the issue of UFOs.
After the article was published, Senator Reid tweeted a link to it, along with another post offering his two cents on the subject.
The truth is out there. 🛸
Seriously. https://t.co/ytafycaZqe— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 16, 2017
If anyone says they have the answers, they’re fooling themselves.
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.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 16, 2017