“[The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP)] did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena.”

The New York Post is reporting that it received an exclusive admission from a Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson that the Pentagon not only has investigated but still does investigate unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) or unidentified flying objects (UFOs for you traditionalists).

Wait a minute … didn’t we already know this?

“Presented here is the first official evidence released by the US government that can be rightfully designated as credible, authentic confirmation that unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) are real.”

That’s from the well-publicized (and rightly so) announcement in late 2017 revealing both the one-time existence of the top-secret Pentagon program known as AATIP and three videos taken by US military planes in 2004 of unidentified aerial phenomenon. The announcement confirmed that AATIP was defunded in 2012 but The New York Times discovered was still in operation. What this latest exclusive by the New York Post is is apparently the first public admission by the DoD that this is true.

“The Department of Defense is always concerned about maintaining positive identification of all aircraft in our operating environment, as well as identifying any foreign capability that may be a threat to the homeland. The department will continue to investigate, through normal procedures, reports of unidentified aircraft encountered by US military aviators in order to ensure defense of the homeland and protection against strategic surprise by our nation’s adversaries.”

The Post quotes DoD spokesperson Christopher Sherwood in the article, but does not give any further information than the above admissions. For that, it turned to Nick Pope, the well-known former member of the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) who secretly investigated UFO sightings. Pope called The Post revelation a “bombshell” and makes sure he gets a little indirect credit for it.

“This new admission makes it clear that they really did study what the public would call ‘UFOs’. It also shows the British influence, because UAP was the term we used in the Ministry of Defence to get away from the pop culture baggage that came with the term ‘UFO’.”

Pop culture baggage? That’s a different hot debate going on in U.S. UFO/UAP circles. This “exclusive” by The Post should add to the current hot debate about UFO/UAP disclosure. Will it happen? Is there really anything to disclose? Are they aliens, foreign aircraft, our own secret tests or something else? Unfortunately, the Post article ends after quoting investigator John Greenewald Jr. of The Black Vault, who calls it “official evidence — that said, ‘Yes, AATIP did deal with UAP cases, phenomena, videos, photos, whatever.'” The Post says it reached out to former Nevada senator and AATIP approver Harry Reid – who isn’t running for anything and should be open to questions about announcements like this – but received no response.

Greenwald hopes more from the DoD is forthcoming, but he's still excited about The Post's exclusive because:

“… at least we’re one step closer to the truth.”

Now, back to the debate about the “pop culture baggage” of the term "UFO."

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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