A former Pentagon official in charge of a secret program to fight back against UFO attacks has insisted [that] planet Earth has been visited by aliens.
Luis Elizondo, who headed the $22 million (£16.5 million) Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, believes “we may not be alone” after having read numerous reports of UFOs.
“My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone,” he told CNN.
Mr Elizondo resigned from the US Department of Defence in October to protest against the excessive secrecy and opposition to the program he was in charge of.
News of the department’s existence appeared over the weekend with leaked records showing that it was tasked with investigating reports of clashes with alien spacecrafts.
Mr Elizondo says he believes the aircraft he has come into contact with are not from this planet.
“These aircraft – we’ll call them aircraft ? are displaying characteristics that are not currently within the US inventory nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of,” he said.
“Things that don’t have any obvious flight services, any obvious forms of propulsion, and manoeuvring in ways that include extreme manoeuvrability beyond, I would submit, the healthy G-forces of a human or anything biological.”
Ryan Alexander from the Taxpayers for Common Sense organisation told CNN it was a waste of money: “It’s definitely crazy to spend $22 million to research UFOs,” Alexander said.
“Pilots are always going to see things that they can’t identify, and we should probably look into them. But to identify them as UFOs, to target UFOs to research ? that is not the priority we have as a national security matter right now.”
Among the list of sightings detailed in leaked reports from the “off-the-books” programme, was testimony from two US Navy Super Horner fighter pilots who spotted a UFO whilst on a training mission.
Commanders David Fravor and Jim Slaight were directed to investigate objects that appeared suddenly at an altitude of 80,000ft over the Pacific Ocean, then plunged towards the sea.
At 20,000ft, they stopped and hovered before disappearing out of radar range or shooting up again. The pilots couldn’t see much more, but Commander Fravor said he noticed something hovering near the surface of the sea and churning up the water. The sighting was one of scores of UFO encounters recorded by the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program for analysis.
The secretive government department was located on the fifth floor of the C Ring of the Pentagon. According to the New York Times it is still operating, despite having its funding stopped in 2012. ? (First published in CNN)