Despite on multiple occasions avoiding the abbreviation “UFO” and what exactly it stands for, the Pentagon has now resorted to using it, outlining in its recent statement, exclusively provided to the New York Post, that one of its initiatives “did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena.”
Whereas the Department of Defence informed that it had ditched the so-called AATIP, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, back in 2012, the DoD spokesman admitted that the department is still looking into reported sightings of mysterious alien aircraft.
“The Department of Defence 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”, Sherwood stressed, adding that the DoD will continue its investigation into US military aviators’ reports of unidentified aircraft that they encounter for defence purposes, “to ensure protection against strategic surprise by our nation’s adversaries”.
Several experts in the field have already referred to the DoD’s revelation as “bombshell” and unprecedented in its frankness, with one of them being Nick Pope, who secretly investigated UFOs for the British government during the 1990s. Pope, who authors articles on similar subjects, noted that the previous official statements were ambiguous and “left the door open to the possibility that AATIP was simply concerned with next-generation aviation threats from aircraft, missiles and drones”. He went on to comment that the new admission makes it clear that they really did study what the public would refer to as “UFOs.” On top of this, the use of the term “UAP” signals that there is British influence in the whole matter, since UAP was the term we used in the Ministry of Defence to get away from the pop culture baggage that came with ‘UFO’”, Pope added.
Author and publicist John Greenewald Jr’s stance echoed that of Pope:
“I’m shocked they said it that way, and the reason is, is they’ve seemingly worked very hard not to say that”, he said, dubbing the statement “powerful” as it indicated what the DoD had in actual fact been dealing with.
Netizens were meanwhile not really impressed with the spokesman’s announcement, acknowledging, though, that it was “nice” to make it:
It’s not like we didn’t know; and it’s not like @g_knapp didn’t already provide Defense Intelligence Agency documents explaining and proving this in high-detail… but it’s nice for the Pentagon to have a spokesperson “officially” say it to the mainstream news media.— JEREMY CORBELL (@JeremyCorbell) 22 мая 2019 г.
One even commented that AATIP wasn’t really extraordinary, because it dealt with the testimony from “numerous individuals working in the project:”
Yes. #AATIP studied #UAP as stated by numerous individuals working in the project such as the director and actual senator who created it. You didn’t need to have limited cranial capacity to work that one out. #UFO #AAWSAP #NotAviation #Aerospace https://t.co/uecKyPiU4B— THE UNIDENTIFIED (@Th_Unidentified) 22 мая 2019 г.
The existence of AATIP came to light in 2017, along with a 33-second DoD video that features an airborne object being hounded by two Navy jets off the coast of San Diego in 2004.
The programme was not classified, but was known to be a secret investigatory effort funded by the United States government to study unidentified flying objects. Although the official $22 million AATIP programme has ended, a related group of interested professionals have extended the effort, founding a non-profit organisation called "To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science".