Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid defended the $22 million he earmarked to study UFOs when he was in office, saying the nation must keep up with similar programs by rival nations.
“We know that China is doing it,” Reid said of UFO studies. “We know that Russia, which is led by someone within the KGB, is doing it, too, so we better take a look at it, too.”
Appearing Tuesday on "Nevada Newsmakers," the Nevada Democrat told host Sam Shad that he secured the $22 million to begin the secret Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) in 2007, and the program was funded and supervised by the Pentagon until 2012.
The New York Post has reported the Pentagon’s investigation into sightings of alien spacecraft continues to this day.
“We got a volume of research that was done, $22 million worth of research,” Reid said. “It showed that not two people, four people or six people or 20 people but hundreds of hundreds of people have seen these things, sometimes all at the same time,” he said.
“It is no longer just speculation that people see these unidentified flying objects,” said Reid, who called UFO research a matter of national security.
He noted that UFOs have been sighted near military installations in South Dakota and elsewhere and that some of the most credible reports have come from military pilots.
“I don’t know what all these things are, but I do believe that we should take a look at them,” he said.
Reid’s behind-the-scenes work to fund UFO research and the AATIP was revealed in December 2017, when the New York Times and Politico published stories about it.
Reid said he was happy to talk about the program, “as long as we are not talking about little green men. If you want to talk about science, I’m all in.”
Reid said former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who died in 2010, helped push to fund the research.
Reid said he approached him with the idea and “just like that, Ted Stevens said, ‘I’ve wanted to look into this since I was in the Army Air Corps.’ He said, ‘I was flying an airplane and there was a vehicle that was right with me and I could not get rid of it. I would go up, down, sideways, whatever. Then I went down to the ground and asked ‘what was that up there?’ And they said they saw nothing.”