Pentagon UFO Program Shows Clandestine Government Investigation
The recent revelation of a clandestine government program funded to study UFO phenomena has come as a surprise to many. As reported in the New York Times and Politico, a black budget operation was created to look into a multitude of reports detailing military and civilian encounters. This Pentagon UFO program ran from 2008 to 2012 at the request of then-Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, in search of a definitive answer to the phenomenon.
The Pentagon’s Black Budget
The U.S. government spends a large portion of its budget on defense. In fact, about half of discretionary spending – amounting to over half a trillion dollars – goes to Defense Department programs, funding operations at the CIA, NSA, Justice Department, and several other agencies. Of that money, over $50 billion is spent on covert operations, undisclosed to the public.
Before this elusive allocation was exposed by Edward Snowden, the majority of this money was being used for surreptitious data collection programs used ostensibly for counter-terrorist measures. Though it’s likely that nothing has changed in that regard, the latest leak to come from this budget details a five-year program, that may or may not be ongoing, which earmarked $22 million for the study.
The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP, was funded at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid between 2007-2012. Reid, along with fellow congressional members, Ted Stevens (R.-AK) and Daniel Inouye (D.-HI) allocated the money for Bigelow Aerospace, a private contractor working with NASA, founded by billionaire hotel magnate Robert Bigelow.
The program involved a small group of government employees at the Defense Department working in conjunction with Bigelow to study first-hand experiences by military servicemen, civilian experiences, and a trove of metal alloys recovered from the UFOs in question.
Based on the testimony of former intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, the program picked up where Project Blue Book left off in the late ‘60s, when it concluded that most UFO phenomena could be written off as having a mundane explanation, despite over 700 sightings that remained officially unexplained.
Revelatory reports surfaced this past weekend in The New York Times and Politico sparking subsequent stories across nearly every mainstream media outlet. The exposé came as the first major announcement from To the Stars Academy, a consortium of former high-level government employees and aerospace engineers working with former rock star, Tom DeLonge, to investigate the UFO phenomenon.
UFO Sightings and the Expected Response
Several videos accompanied the reporting this past weekend, showing spacecraft that elicited shocked responses from highly trained naval commanders. The videos were taken by pilots of F/A-18f Super Hornets who encountered spacecraft seeming to defy the laws of physics. These craft did not show signs of traditional jet propulsion or wings and flew at speeds never before seen.
Another article appeared in the Times the same day, which detailed the experiences of two pilots, Cmdr. David Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight who were flying reconnaissance missions off the coast of San Diego from the U.S.S. Princeton. The Princeton had been tracking these mysterious aircraft for a few weeks, before their encounter that day in 2004.
While on a routine mission, the two were told about a “real-world vector” at 80,000 feet. When they approached the UFO, it dropped out of sight, before they realized it was hovering 50 feet above the ocean, creating some sort of disturbance in the water. When the pilots attempted to reach the object again it shot off. Fravor and Slaight then began their return to a rendezvous point some 60-miles away, before the operations officer on board the Princeton notified them that the UFO was already hovering there.
The object was gone by the time they returned and no one was able to explain what it was. Aside from the video released by the DoD, there is no other record or explanation of what the object was. When the pilots returned to the Princeton, they were teased by their shipmates for having seen UFOs, an unsurprising reaction that is part of a systemic stigmatization when it comes to reporting such experiences.
Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the SETI Institute at UC Berkeley, criticized the program for allowing Bigelow to direct its efforts. He criticized the billionaire for his long-held belief that we have been visited by extraterrestrials.
Shostak, himself, is in charge of a program searching for extraterrestrial intelligence in the universe. He also criticized the program for its use of $22 million in taxpayer money that “didn’t come up with anything.” Despite the video evidence and “reams of paperwork,” according to the report by Politico.
Aside from the fact that $22 million dollars is relatively insignificant in a $52 billion budget of undisclosed money, otherwise going toward weapons and surveillance, it’s strange that Shostak would be so quick to shoot down a project that has the same goals as his. Those $22 million dollars spent over the course of the program would amount to about a penny per year for individual American taxpayers.
Shostak’s sentiment may seem to some as perpetuating the stigma that prevents those who have had UFO experiences or bizarre encounters from talking about them. Bigelow, in the New York Times interview mentions this, stating he believes the U.S. perpetuates a culture of stigmatization in which a juvenile taboo keeps scientists from speaking out for fear of being ostracized.
Though Shostak and other skeptics criticize Bigelow for his eccentric views and lack of a scientific background, Bigelow Aerospace is currently contracted with NASA, having successfully inflated it’s novel BEAM module on the ISS.
Working in conjunction with NASA and Space-X merits some credit for a company that is receiving funding to study UFO phenomena, especially if it could potentially be considered a threat to security. And that was the reason Senator Reid and his compatriots were awarded the money in the first place, though virtually all of the military servicemen who experienced the phenomenon claimed that the UFOs did not appear to pose a threat.
It’s unclear whether the Pentagon is continuing to fund the AATIP, but Elizondo says he had a successor and believed it to remain in existence to this day. Whether the recent media hype will encourage the government to look deeper into this phenomenon remains to be seen. Meanwhile, To the Star Academy promises to continue publicizing its findings.
Nazi UFO Technology: Foo Fighters Exposed
It was just before Christmas in 1944. An American Air Force pilot was flying over enemy territory, carefully looking out for a German war plane, when he and his radio operator both saw round glowing objects approaching. The unidentified flying objects (UFOs) got behind the U.S. military plane and began following it. The American pilot tried several maneuvers in an attempt to lose the mysterious objects, but even a steep dive or sharp turns could not lose them. Suddenly, the objects disappeared. Surprisingly, during the entire encounter, neither the American pilot nor the mysterious objects fired any shots.
This is just one example of many similar incidents that occurred over the skies of Germany during the last few months of World War II. Sometimes, the objects showed up on radar screens. Other times, more than one person observed the objects but they did not show up on radar. What were the mysterious objects? Were they UFOs from extraterrestrials? Or were they some sort of Nazi Ufo experiment? No one can be sure, but there are a variety of theories.
The Foo Fighters
Toward the end of the war, U.S. pilots frequently reported nighttime sightings of these UFOs. The objects always traveled at great speeds and were able to make maneuvers to keep up with American planes. The Allies worried that Germany had created a new weapon even though no shots were ever fired.
The objects received the nickname “foo fighters” after a popular cartoon of the time called “Smoky Stover.” In the cartoon, the Smoky character often said, “Where there’s foo there’s fire.” The term caught on and even radar operators used the term “foo fighter” to alert pilots of sightings.
Although most of the encounters occurred over Europe, there were a few similar incidents that occurred over the Indian Ocean. Interestingly, after the war was over, the Allies discovered that the Axis powers had also seen the objects, and feared that the Allies had developed a secret weapon.
Also after the war ended, Rudolf Lusar, a major from the German Army, wrote a book about secret weapons used by Germany during the war. He described two types of golden ball-shaped objects the Allied pilots identified during the war. One version he referred to as the “Feuerball.” The other was the “Kugelblitz.”
According to Lusar, the devices were jet-propelled and guided automatically. Their purpose was to emit electrostatic discharges from Klystron tubes to disrupt the electrical systems of the Air Force bombers’ engines and prevent them from dropping bombs.
Although Lusar’s description seems plausible, researchers disagree about the validity of his account. For instance, not a single Allied plane ever reported complications from an encounter with a foo fighter. So, it seems that if the Germans had developed such a weapon, they would have been able to replace the ineffective klystron tubes with a substance that would have accomplished their goal.
To date, no conclusive explanation for the foo fighters have ever been found. So the question remains, what technology was available to the Germans and how did they use it?
German Development of Technology and Exploration of Antarctica
Maria Orsic and the Vril Society
It’s no secret that the Germans used all their available resources in an attempt to be the greatest nation in the world. One of their great pursuits at the time was space travel. To reach their goal, they used the information provided by psychic Maria Orsic and the Vril Society to assist them. When Orsic channeled the blueprints and instructions for building a circular flying machine, the Vril Society began paying for and assimilating parts from other industrial sources.
Maria Orsic and other Vril Society members met with Hitler, Himmler and others in January 1944 to discuss the circular flying machine project. There was at least one test flight late in the year which did not end as all had hoped for. The machine returned more damaged than expected after its flight to another planet.
Instead of continuing work on the project and channeling helpful information, Orsic disappeared. She was last seen in early 1945. On March 11, 1945, she sent a letter to members of her organization that ended with the statement, “niemand bleibt heir,” or “no man stays here.”
No Vril member, including Maria, was ever seen or heard from again. Did they escape to outer space? Meanwhile, did Germany continue its experimentation with circular spacecraft?
Viktor Schauberger and German UFOs
Viktor Schauberger was an Austrian physicist and inventor who rose to prominence in Nazi Germany. He was widely known for his vortex experiments using water and fish. He then developed turbines that could create anti-gravity propulsion.
In 1939, Hitler summoned Schauberger to Berlin for a meeting. At first, Hitler greeted Schauberger warmly and said he called the meeting to discuss Schauberger’s work. However, the meeting lasted for approximately 11 hours before Schauberger could leave.
In 1943, Schauberger was 58 years old and suffering from war wounds. Even so, he was drafted into the German Waffen-SS and placed under the direct control of Heinrich Himmler. Himmler forced Schauberger to research and develop a new secret weapon and threatened to kill him if he did not cooperate. Schauberger was then housed at Schloss Schoenbrunn so that engineers imprisoned nearby could assist him with his work.
Schauberger was not an easy pushover. Despite receiving death threats, he refused to work unless he could personally select the engineers to be on his team. He further demanded that his engineers gain freedom from the concentration camp, were properly clothed in civilian clothes, given adequate food, and were housed in civilian accommodations. He argued that if his workers feared for their lives, it would stifle their creativity and make them unproductive.
Surprisingly, the SS agreed to his demands. He chose approximately 30 engineers and other workers to leave the concentration camp and be housed in civilian housing exactly as he had demanded. When he first assembled his group, he lectured them about how important it was for them to work hard and never try to escape. He told them if any one of them tried to escape, he himself would face execution. They did what Schauberger told them to do and developed two machines. At the end of the war, the Allies confiscated the top secret information, forever concealing this technology from the public.
1930s German Exploration of Antarctica
In the late 1930s, Germany dedicated substantial resources to exploring Antarctica. In 1943, German Grand Admiral Donitz proudly proclaimed, “The German submarine fleet is proud of having built for the Fuhrer, in another part of the world, a Shangri-la land, an impregnable fortress.” During the 1938-39 expedition, the Germans claimed to find ice-free lakes with warm water and surrounding vegetation. The Germans named their new Antarctica colony “Neuschwabanland.”
There were reports that when the Nazis faced defeat, some scientists actually escaped in U-boats filled with mercury to head to their Antarctica fortress. Two of the boats had mechanical difficulties and surrendered in Argentina. One U-boat wrecked in Indonesia and another sank in a Norwegian fjord. Meanwhile, a large number of U-boats were never found. Could they have made it to their Antarctica destination?
Did Germany have more resources than the Allies believed? Where did the mercury come from, and what did the Germans plan to use it for?
Operation Paperclip Confirms Germans Had Brilliant Scientists And Advanced Technology
As the war came to an end, the United States recognized that Germany had technology that might be helpful to the U.S. As a result, General Patton captured German factories in Silesia that housed proprietary technology and weapons. There was substantial evidence that Germany was working on circular aircraft that could work not just in the Earth’s atmosphere, but also outside of it. It seemed obvious that the Germans had the technology and scientists but not the resources (such as oil, electricity and the necessary facilities) to produce such an advanced aircraft. For this reason, the U.S. attempted to extricate scientists from Germany and bring them to America. The program had a codename of Operation Paperclip.
The scientists, who specialized in aerodynamics, rocketry and chemical weapons, were of particular interest. They were silently and secretly relocated within the U.S. without going through the State Department’s strict approval process. Most notably among them was Wernher von Braun.
Before and during the war, von Braun was head of the Germans’ rocket development program. After coming to the U.S. by way of Operation Paperclip, he became a naturalized citizen and eventually became the director of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is considered the father of the American space program.
Even as they were basking in the glory of the win, the Allies had suspicions that something was amiss.
In response to interrogations, some Germans revealed that there was a secret German base in Antarctica. The government decided to send famed Admiral Richard Byrd to investigate a concern that there still may be weapons stashed in the secret hideout.
In the late summer of 1946, Byrd headed to Antarctica with about 4,700 military personnel along with naval support ships. They had at least one aircraft carrier as they embarked on “Task Force 68,” nicknamed Operation Highjump. The expedition had several months to complete its mission, but ended after only about eight weeks due to heavy casualties.
On the way to their destination, Byrd and his crew reported experiencing a “mysterious UFO force” that destroyed several of their airplanes and ships and killed several crew members. Was this perhaps the “first known historical incident involving a battle between U.S. naval forces and an unknown UFO force stationed in Antarctica?”
Byrd continued onward. He found Neuschwabenland, which featured underground caverns flowing with warm water and signs of vegetation. But, he and his men could not stay long nor could they do any major exploration. They were continually bombarded by aircraft and forced to leave. Had they perhaps found a post-war hiding place for Nazis who had actually been able to escape?
On their way home, Byrd and his group stopped briefly in Santiago, Chile, where Byrd was interviewed while still aboard the expedition’s command ship. Byrd warned that although he was not trying to scare anyone, it was clear to him that if there was a new war, the U.S. could face attack via planes flying over one or both of the poles. He noted that with the “fantastic speed with which the world is shrinking” the U.S. would no longer be safe. After that interview, Byrd rarely spoke about his Operation Highjump experience.
In 2006, a Russian intelligence report included the testimony of two U.S. Navy Seamen who had been on Admiral Byrd’s Operation Highjump expedition. Both seaman recounted seeing brightly lit UFOs appear dramatically out of the ocean. They watched them soar into the sky and disappear. The troops fired at the UFOs, but the UFOs never fired back. Some on the expedition concluded that the UFOs had a mission to deter them and send them away, not to harm them.
Were the UFOs encountered by Admiral Byrd protecting Nazis hiding out in Antarctica? Were they exclusively built by German scientists to deter its earthly enemies or did they come from the Vril Society’s mysterious planet? The question still stands today, but there’s always more to learn.
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