The Pentagon said that it had a secret program that lasted for five years that investigated unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, according to multiple reports published Saturday.
The program, which only a few officials knew about, ran from 2007 to 2012, according to reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and received $22 million in annual funding from the U.S. Department of Defense budget. It investigated sightings by military pilots of flying objects that "maneuvered so unusually and so fast that they seemed to defy the laws of physics," Politico reported.
The Times' included a Youtube video that suggests the footage was taken from a Navy fighter jet and shows an "unidentified aerial phenomenon."
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The Pentagon acknowledged the existence of the program.
"The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 timeframe," Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Ochoa said in an email to Reuters. "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."
According to the reports, officials claim the program is still in existence in some form today and sightings are still being investigated. But the Pentagon did not confirm or deny that.
"The DoD takes seriously all threats and potential threats to our people, our assets, and our mission and takes action whenever credible information is developed," Ochoa told Reuters.
Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, who represented Nevada from 1987 to 2017, was a strong supporter of getting funding for the program, as he had a fascination for face phenomena, according to the Times.
On Twitter Saturday, Reid linked to the Times' story, writing, "The truth is out there. Seriously."