According to a, the $22 million Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program began in 2007 and was funded primarily at the request of former Sen.
The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Programme, as it was known, was formed based on an idea of former Democratic senator Harry Reid, at the time majority leader in the Senate.
GETTYElizondo revealed the Pentagon had recorded evidence of aircraft'defying the laws of aerodynamics
The Times noted that the defence department had never before acknowledged the existence of the programme, but officials now say it was shut down in 2012. The program has countless videos of UFO encounters by military personnel, as well as interview about firsthand accounts, physiological studies of those who've come into contact with odd crafts, and possibly even samples of unusual technology.
The program was headed up by Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence officer, who resigned earlier this year. Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes.
Reid enlisted support of two other lawmakers, Ted Stevens, the late Republican senator from Alaska, and Democrat Daniel K. Inouye, representing Hawaii.More news: Lions break out Rockettes celebration vs. Bears
In 1947, the Air Force investigated more than 12,000 claimed sightings.
From 2008 to 2011, Bigelow Aerospace landed almost $22 million for Congress for the purposes of its extensive research and evaluating threats coming from the objects, according to the contracts cited by the paper. The program publicly released a video apparently showing an encounter between a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet and an unknown object.
Elizondo was clearly a fan of AATIP too, and hasn't given up on UFO research.More news: Man with knife shot by police at Amsterdam airport
Readers took to Twitter to express how they felt about the program.
Mr. Elizondo who ran the programme until 2012 said that the effort continued and that he had a successor, whom he declined to name. Reid said, "I'm not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going. I've done something that no one has done before". "I've done something that no one has done before", Reid said.
However, a former staffer working with Reid told Politico that the program failed to find "anything of substance", but bore "reams of paperwork" instead.More news: PBS Suspends Tavis Smiley Amid Sexual Misconduct Probe