When Project Blue Book, the infamous U.S. government program to study the possible threat of alien life, was shuttered in 1969, it signaled to most Americans that this danger was all but ludicrous. But in December 2017, The New York Times broke the story that the U.S. government had been secretly continuing the program.
According to unclassified documents, the government quietly spent nearly $22 million over about four years on a project dubbed the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP). Stuff They Don't Want You To Know wanted to find out more and invited ufologist Jeremy Corbell in with them to chat on the podcast How the Government Secretly Tracked UFOs — and also talk about what AATIP did and didn't find.
The AATIP began in 2007 and studied UFO phenomena, mainly because of the 2004 Tic Tac Incident. That's when several U.S. Air Force pilots witnessed unidentified flying objects off the coast of California — and documented them on video. These objects were unknown to the pilots, and behaved strangely, as if physics didn't apply — they were flying fast and rotating in unpredictable movements.
It seems that since then, the Pentagon has taken on investigating whether these objects can be identified and, if not, where they came from, and if they're a threat. However, when The New York Times story broke, the official word was that the program ended in 2012. But Luis Elizondo told CNN it's still ongoing — and he would know. Elizondo was the military intelligence official running the program from the Pentagon until he quit in October 2016 in protest that the government wasn't taking the threat of aliens seriously enough.
The project, which received $22 million in funding, wouldn't have even gotten that much if it weren't for retired Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada. He and fellow retired senators Ted Stevens, a Republican from Alaska, and Daniel K. Inouye, a Democrat from Hawaii, got the program started. Most of the funding went to billionaire business owner Robert Bigelow's company, Bigelow Aerospace, which stored objects and alloys, and solicited research. Bigelow is a well-known believer in aliens. He told "60 Minutes" that he's "absolutely convinced" that not only are aliens real, they're also already living among us.
Bigelow's so convinced, he purchased property in Utah and transformed it into a compound dedicated to studying aliens. And it's not just any ranch — it's Skinwalker Ranch, an infamous place known for bizarre sightings that include everything from tall, slender humanoid forms and mutilated cattle to strange lights in the sky.
This story has everything. But it raises even more questions than it answers. Many UFO enthusiasts think this news is proof of life on other planets; why else would the U.S. government keep studying it? So what do Ben and Matt think? And what about ufologist Jeremy Corbell — what's his take? Do they think we're alone? You'll have to listen to the podcast to find out.