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Report Details Secret Pentagon Program To Study UFOs

The Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington on March 27, 2008.

Credit: Associated Press

Above: The Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington on March 27, 2008.

Report Details Secret Pentagon Program To Study UFOs

GUEST:

Leslie Kean, contributor, The New York Times

Transcript

A Navy pilot about 100 miles off the coast of San Diego found it difficult to believe what he was seeing. Commander David Fravor was dispatched in 2004 to check a mysterious aircraft that seemed to be hovering on radar. He eventually saw a whitish oval about 40 feet long that zoomed away when he got close.

“I have no idea what I saw,” Fravor said, according to the New York Times. “It had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s.”

Fravor’s sighting is just one of many investigated by a secret Pentagon program to study unidentified flying objects, the Times reported Saturday. The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program started in 2007 and received $22 million over the next five years to interview military service members who reported UFO sightings and perform other analysis. Though funding was cut off in 2012, Pentagon officials continue to investigate these incidents, according to the Times.

“A 2009 Pentagon briefing summary of the program prepared by its director at the time asserted that ‘what was considered science fiction is now science fact,’ and that the United States was incapable of defending itself against some of the technologies discovered,” reporters wrote.

New York Times contributor Leslie Kean joins KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday with more on the shadowy program.

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