Do aliens exist? The former head of the Pentagon's covert, $22 million UFO-hunting program seems to think so.
"My personal belief is that there is a very compelling evidence that we may not be alone," the former intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, who ran the secret Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, told CNN in an interview.
The secret UFO-hunting program, which ran from 2007-2012, initially began under then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who helped gather funding for it after talks with a friend and political donor. It was the sighting of strange objects flying in the sky reported by military air personnel and commercial pilots that caused the Department of Defense to investigate.
Elizondo told The New York Times that he resigned from the department in protest of the secrecy surrounding the program.
"These aircraft — we'll call them aircraft — are displaying characteristics that are not currently within the U.S. inventory nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of," he said.
Currently, Elizondo is working for the research group To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, a group founded by the former singer and guitarist from the rock band Blink-182, Tom DeLonge.
The secrecy is interesting because an ex-Navy pilot claims to have seen a tic-tac-shaped flying object after a break in a routine training mission off the California coast in 2004.
David Fravor said he saw the unidentified 40-foot-long wingless object, about the same size as his F/A-18 fighter plane, moving rapidly like nothing he had ever seen before.
"I can tell you, I think it was not from this world," said Fravor in an interview with ABC News.
"I'm not crazy, haven't been drinking," Fravor said. "After 18 years of flying, I've seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close."
In discussing what he saw on his flight training mission, Fravor said that the tic-tac-shaped flying object started to mimic their movements before taking off abruptly.
So, if the department was running a secret UFO-hunting program to investigate these suspicious sightings by our aerial gatekeepers, what's with the obscurity? Are they trying to protect us from the truth or extraterrestrial civilizations?
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Mike Blake