Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program

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Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP) refers to investigations conducted by the United States government into various unidentified flying objects, which ran from 2007 to 2012. In December 2017, the program was made public in articles published by Politico and The New York Times, along with video footage of a Navy encounter with a high-speed unidentified flying object.


In 2007, U.S. Senator Harry Reid initiated the AATIP along with support from the late Senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye. The program ran until 2012 with a budget of $22 million.


Media Disclosure

On December 16th, 2017, The New York Times[1] and Politco[2] published articles about the program, noting many of the unexplained phenomena investigated. The New York Times article including a video of a Navy FA-18 Super Hornet combat jet encountering an object traveling at incredibly high speeds, while Navy pilots can be heard discussing the flying object in the background audio (shown below).

Online Reaction

That day, Harry Reid tweeted a link to the New York Times article along with the message “The truth is out there. 🛸Seriously” (shown below). Within 72 hours, the tweet gained over 2,900 likes and 1,700 retweets.[5]

Also on December 16th, the To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science YouTube channel reuploaded the Navy video of the glowing UFO (shown below). Within 72 hours, the video gained over 1.13 million views and 580 comments.

Meanwhile, Redditor cloudform submitted the New York Times video to /r/videos,[6] where it gathered upwards of 7,300 points (93% upvoted) and 1,900 comments within the next three days. On December 18th, Redditor psy_raven submitted a post about the Times article to /r/conspiracy,[3] claiming that the Pentagon was admitting to spending money on UFO research “because they need to come up with an explanation for trillions of missing dollars.” On December 19th, Redditor _____D34DP00L_____ submitted a post to /r/OutOfTheLoop asking about the project.

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