A supposedly now-defunct secretive US government program that was deemed a national security priority, stealthily tracked UFOs for five years, and last month the Navy introduced new guidelines for reporting sightings.
A Navy fighter pilot still can’t describe something he spotted while airborne in 2004 while on a training mission West of San Diego. It was a clear day with excellent visibility. He was ordered to check out something in the water. The pilot saw an object in the water with another object hovering over it, with waves breaking over the hovering object.
“It’s randomly moving, North, South, East, West. Just random. Just stopping, going the other direction, like you could do with a helicopter but just a little bit more abrupt. It looks like a 40-foot long Tic-Tac, with no wings,” the pilot reported over the radio.
The pilot, along with his four-man team, continued to track the object for several minutes until it simply disappeared.
“The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification” Program or AATI, was revealed in special reports by the New York Times and Politico, and later CNN last year. It was headed by Luis Elizondo, who served as the director of the Pentagon’s UFO research program.
“I think this is a national security imperative,” Elizondo said. “We have clear things… That we do not understand how they work, operating in areas that we can’t control.”
The program ran for over five years at a cost of at least $22 million. The money came through secretive so-called “black money” funding that is often allocated in highly classified programs that the government doesn’t want becoming public knowledge.
Senator Harry Reid was responsible for pushing the funding through, without bringing the matter to the Senate floor, to establish the program. Reid said he was proud of the program and insists its groundbreaking studies speak for themselves.
The program was reportedly shut down in 2012. A federal official said the primary reason for discontinuing the program was simply that the government had other higher priority issues that merited funding.
In April 2019, the U.S. Navy established new guidelines for how its pilots go about reporting unidentified flying objects. The reason for the change in procedures is to help better facilitate the ability for Navy investigators to look into each report.
Part of this reason for the newest procedures is directly related to the closure of the Pentagon’s AATI program, which was where Navy pilots reported UFOs previously. Navy pilots continue to spot suspicious flying objects that cannot be identified and need a way to report these incidents.
One of the most well-known UFO incidents involving Navy pilots that occurred recently happened in 2017 and was widely reported among news agencies.
Authorities say that the occurrences of UFOs are not limited to only the possibility that these could be airborne vehicles coming from another planet or dimension, but more importantly, that they could be aircraft coming from other nations and may represent unknown advances in aviation.
The Navy says that, for all of these reasons, it is imperative they codify its procedure method for advanced aviation threat reporting.
One can only ponder whether the government is already aware of the existence of unidentified flying objects and when authorities might finally disclose such information.