Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program (AAWSAP) is the parent program to AATIP[2] and its successor UAPTF.[3] The programs assess aerospace over Four Corners, USA[4] for unidentified hypersonic vehicles (UFOs or UAPs).[1] The Department of Defense (DoD) had not publicly acknowledged the program’s existence until AATIP was revealed by media reports in 2017.[5]

AAWSAP[edit | edit source]

AAWSAP was first revealed as AATIP by the New York Times and the Washington Post,[6] on December 16, 2017.[5]

AAWSAP is a secret investigatory effort that was funded by the Federal government of the United States to study UFOs[7] over Four Corners, USA.[4] AATIP began in 2007, with the funding of $22 million, over five years, until the available appropriations were ended in 2012.[8][9][10]

Much of AAWSAP's budget went to the Nevada-based Bigelow Aerospace,[2] a company belonging to Reid’s longtime friend and UFO hunter, Robert Bigelow—also a protagonist of the documentary Hunt for the Skinwalker about the billionaire entrepreneur’s famed UFO hotbed, Skinwalker Ranch.[6]

UAPTF[edit | edit source]

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) supersedes AATIP under the direction of the Office of Naval Intelligence. The U.S. program will "standardize collection and reporting" for the detection of unexplained hypersonic aerial vehicles. The program was detailed in a June 2020 hearing of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.[11]

UAPTF assumed AATIP's main function for detection and high resolution tracking of UFOs at hypersonic velocities. UNLV researched and provided the means necessary, during AATIP, for the Department of Defense (DoD)[1] to monitor Four Corners, USA.[4]


The program was officially approved on August 4, 2020 by the Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, and announced on August 14, 2020. "The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security."[12]

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AATIP[edit | edit source]

Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP)[13] was overseen by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA),[5] until it was succeeded by UAPTF.[11] It was “largely funded at the request of Harry Reid,” then Senate majority leader, in the amount of $22 million between 2007 and 2012.[6]

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released a list of 38 research titles pursued by the Advanced Aerospace program in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy.[6]

The list is considered by some to be one of the best looks at the Pentagon’s covert UFO operation, a study of “anomalous aerospace threats.” According to Aftergood’s FOIA request, the document marked “For Official Use Only” was sent to Congress on January 2018.[6]

Disclosure[edit | edit source]

The first hints about Advance Aerospace program’s existence is credited to Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who managed the operation for seven years. When Elizondo resigned, he requested that footage of UFO encounters with fighter jets be made public—videos that were subsequently published by the New York Times and the Washington Post. At the time, Harry Reid sought to tighten security around the program’s discoveries.[6]

The agency claims the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program shut down due to a lack of funding, though Elizondo said it continued to investigate UFO sightings. In a 2009 Pentagon briefing summary, the program’s then-director stated that “what was considered science fiction is now science fact.”[6]

AATIP's successor, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), was detailed in a June 2020 hearing of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. After the June 2020 Senate hearing, Senator Marco Rubio requested the release of video footage of unexplained aerial vehicles collected by the United States Navy, including the Pentagon UFO videos. On June 24, 2020, the Intelligence Committee voted to require United States Intelligence Community and the United States Department of Defense to publicly track and analyze data collected on unexplained aerial vehicles.[11]

Marco Rubio stated in July 2020 that he was worried that an adversary country had achieved “some technological leap” that “allows them to conduct this sort of activity,” while also saying that there might be a conventional explanation that was "boring".[11] Rubio's statements are the exact same statements made almost 75 years ago by Robertson Panel in 1953 who sought to discredit unexplained UFOs as boring natural occurrences, while there was an underlying worry that the Soviets had some superior advanced technology.[14]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 DIA archive, FOIA U-18-2148/FAC-2A1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mystery Wire, Robert Bigelow Opens up about AAWSAP, by George Knapp, Jan 25, 2021
  3. Wikipedia, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Utah Business, Why a millionaire real-estate mogul bought Skinwalker Ranch, by Elle Griffin December 15, 2020
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Greenwood, Max (December 16, 2017). "Pentagon acknowledges program to investigate UFO encounters: report". The Hill. Retrieved December 17, 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 The Government’s Secret UFO Program Funded Research on Wormholes and Extra Dimensions by Sarah Emerson, January 17, 2019
  7. Wikipedia, Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program
  8. Cooper, Helene; Blumenthal, Ralph; Kean, Leslie (December 16, 2017). "Glowing Auras and 'Black Money': The Pentagon's Mysterious U.F.O. Program". The New York Times. Retrieved December 16, 2017. 
  9. Bender, Bryan (December 16, 2017). "The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs". Politico. Retrieved December 17, 2017. 
  10. Benson, Eric (March 21, 2018). "Harry Reid on What the Government Knows About UFOs". New York Magazine. Retrieved March 29, 2018. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Wikipedia, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force
  12. Establishment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. (August 14, 2020)
  13. Siese, April (December 16, 2017). "The Pentagon has confirmed its $22M program to investigate UFOs". Quartz. Retrieved December 17, 2017. 
  14. Wikipedia, Robertson Panel
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