With nudging from Harry Reid, Pentagon opened UFO program
The Pentagon opened a secret UFO program mostly at the behest of former Nevada U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
The Defense Department spent $22 million investigating the phenomena between 2007 and 2012 in its Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.
For the last five years Pentagon workers has continued to investigate UFO reports brought to them by military officials while working their primary duties, the newspaper reported.
“I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going,” Reid told the newspaper. “I think it’s one of the good things I did in my congressional service. I’ve done something that no one has done before.”
Reid, who left office in January, said those in the military were afraid to report UFO encounters out of concerns they would be laughed at.
Sens. Ted Stevens of Alaska and Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii both supported Reid on the program.
The Times reported most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace and Las Vegas real estate investor.
The newspaper reported those in the program looked at videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft, “including one released in August of a whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial plane, chased by two Navy F/A18F fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego in 2004.”