In the more than two years since the New York Times broke their bombshell story about a secret Pentagon program investigating UFOs (or UAPs, if you insist), many questions have been raised by those investigating the topic. Unfortunately, the Pentagon has had very little to say, and even when they do offer to answer some questions, those answers frequently have a rather short shelf life. In the past, we’ve explored why there is still so much secrecy surrounding the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) and how the Pentagon can’t seem to keep their stories straight. This is particularly true when it comes to their statements about Luis Elizondo, executive of To The Stars Academy and the former Defense Department official who ran AATIP for several years. (The Pentagon keeps insisting he never did, though Elizondo has his own theories as to why they’re doing this.)

Now, at long last, at least some of those mysteries have been solved. Yesterday another bombshell in this saga dropped at Popular Mechanics. Investigative journalist Lt. Tim McMillan (ret) has been digging into the truth behind the conflicting information we’ve been getting for months and now he’s published a lengthy and incredibly well researched and documented article that peeks behind the curtains and shines some light on the subject. (If you’ve never watched my interview with McMillan, you might want to. He’s a fascinating person in his own right and well versed in the lore of ufology.)

This article provides most of the history of AATIP, some of which we already knew, but with some shocking new information that Tim uncovered through scores of interviews and by obtaining many documents from both the government and the now-defunct Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS). BAASS, as you may recall, received the lion’s share of the government funding when the AATIP program was created at the request of former Senator Harry Reid. The first thing McMillan clears up beyond a shadow of a doubt is that not only was AATIP real, but it was also absolutely a program focused on UFOs. (You may recall that after initially admitting it was a UAP program, the Pentagon turned around and said it wasn’t.)

So how is the Pentagon keeping everything secret and thwarting efforts by journalists using FOIA requests to get more information on AATIP? McMillan quotes sources who actually worked on the project, describing the situation as “a dizzying shell game that’s entirely consistent with how black budget intelligence programs are run.” The trick being used involves the fact that the documents many of us have been seeking were all shopped out to BAASS and other private operations, so they aren’t technically “government documents” and not subject to FOIA requests. (Emphasis added)

According to several former AATIP contractors, the “product” being produced for the DIA was technical reports on exotic and potential “game-changing” aerospace technologies, and the manner of determining what areas these radical airborne breakthroughs might emerge was through the research of UFOs.

In exchange, not only would the DIA get the agreed-upon technical reports, but it would also gain access to the extensive research BAASS was gathering on UFOs. While the DIA had access to the volumes of UFO data, the materials were actually commercial property of BAASS, as a subsidiary of Bigelow Aerospace…

The DIA may have had extensive access to the UFO materials, but because all of the data technically belonged to BAASS, under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, disclosing or releasing proprietary materials provided to the government in confidence is a federal crime. Essentially, the DIA’s UFO program was set up to circumvent FOIA requests and avoid having to discuss UFOs publicly.

Let that sink in for a moment. This was a massive program that almost no one knew anything about and it was explicitly crafted in a way that would allow them to keep all of the information from the public. And it worked.

McMillan then goes on to confirm another key part of the story. The Pentagon has claimed from the beginning that the AATIP program ended in 2012. But that’s not true at all and he’s got the documents to prove it. AATIP was still in operation (though restructured) when Elizondo left the government in 2017 and it’s nearly a 100% certainty that it’s still in operation today

One other item I wanted to cover is a revelation that might at least give us a hint as to what all of those strange craft silently zooming around our skies actually are. People who aren’t big on the idea of extraterrestrial life have repeatedly speculated that they might be some deep, secret project of our own. But during a closed session with the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of our generals reportedly said that wasn’t the case.

Popular Mechanics has since learned in October 2019, staffers with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Armed Service Committee were briefed on current UAP issues. According to people with knowledge of these briefings, some former BAASS contractors and current AATIP leadership were in attendance.

Insiders also say this past year, during a closed-door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Brigadier General Richard Stapp, Director of the DoD Special Access Program Central Office, testified the mysterious objects being encountered by the military were not related to secret U.S. technology. The Pentagon did not respond to requests by Popular Mechanics to confirm Stapp’s testimony before the Intelligence Committee.

So if we didn’t build those things, who did? The Russians? The Chinese? It seems implausible that either of them has zoomed that far past us in the limits of theoretical physics. It’s left up to the reader to interpret what that means.

So now, with all that we’ve learned from McMillan’s research, we’re really no closer to knowing what additional information the government has about UFOs nor getting them to spill the beans. But at least we know how they’ve managed to keep their secrets get away with lying to us so often. Plausible deniability, folks. I’ve only touched on a few of the biggest highlights in the Popular Mechanics article, so I’d strongly advise you to follow the traditional blogging maxim and read the whole thing.

In closing, I’ll just toss in one more recent story for your consideration and debate. It was recently announced that the number of UFO sighting reported in New York City in 2019 was three times higher than the previous year. Are there really more strange craft in our skies now? Or are people just paying more attention?