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December 19, 2017

Agnett Bonwitt, Managing Editor

Friend or UFOe

Warning – do not adjust your Tin Foil Hat!  In an uncharacteristic show of candor, the U.S. Department of Defense fessed up to the existence of a five-year, multimillion-dollar program dedicated to investigating “unidentified aerial phenomena” (i.e, UFOs) spotted by pilots and military personnel, according to reports published nearly simultaneously by the New York Times and Politico last week. Dubbed the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), the unclassified but highly hush-hush operation that officially “ended” in 2012 was the brainchild of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and late Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ted Stevens (R-AK), who along with Reid were concerned, not that we were being visited by beings from another world, but rather that other nations were developing high-tech super toys that could pose a security threat to the U.S.

Billionaire commercial space entrepreneur and UFO enthusiast Bob Bigelow.

That said, a significant influence on Reid who pushed for the now mothballed program was pal and fellow Nevadian Bob Bigelow, who owns space technology and government contractor Bigelow Aerospace. Bigelow, whose firm ultimately received some of the research contracts from the effort, is well known for his outspoken views in which he believes extraterrestrial visitors have frequently travelled to Earth.

While the AATIP program was fiscally shut down in 2012, it recently garnered attention because of the resignation this past October of the career intelligence officer who directed the initiative. According to Politico, in his resignation letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis, Luis Elizondo complained that the AATIP effort was not being taken seriously by the Pentagon.

Former AATIP head Luis Elizondo.

“We tried to work within the system,” Elizondo told Politico recently. “We were trying to take the voodoo out of voodoo science.”

Elizondo described scores of sightings by Navy pilots and others of strange aircraft with capacities way beyond what is currently regarded to be aerodynamically possible. According to Elizondo, these super-craft were often spotted near nuclear facilities, ships at sea, or power plants. “We had never seen anything like it.”

But, in Elizondo’s view, no one in authority seem particularly alarmed.”If a Russian ‘Bear’ bomber comes in near California, it is all over the news,” he said. “These are coming in the skies over our facilities. Nothing but crickets.”

Elizondo, who is now involved in the for-profit company called To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences that claims “there is sufficient credible evidence of UAP [unidentified aerial phenomenon] that proves exotic technologies exist that could revolutionize the human experience,” released previously-classified 2004 footage recorded from the cockpit of a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet in which the pilots can be heard marveling at a wingless object as it seemed to violate the laws of physics.

“I can tell you, I think it was not from this world,” one of the pilots, retired Cmdr. David Fravor, told ABC News this week. “I’m not crazy, haven’t been drinking. It was — after 18 years of flying, I’ve seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close.” “I have never seen anything in my life, in my history of flying that has the performance [and] acceleration,” added Fravor, who witnessed seeing the 40-foot-long wingless “white Tic Tac” that flew at incredible speeds in an erratic pattern.

“No aircraft that we know of can fly at those speeds, maneuver like that and looks like that,” ABC News contributor and former Marine Col. Stephen Ganyard commented.

Fravor offers no rational explanation for what he and his co-pilot saw that day. “I don’t know if it was alien life, but I will say that in an infinite universe, with multiple galaxies that we know of, that if we’re the only planet with life, it’s a pretty lonely universe.”

Not surprisingly, the military brass decided not to investigate the incident. As our dear friend and colleague Kate Woods would say – “Utterly putrid!”

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