Since the New York Times published their story this past weekend on $22 million of the Defense Department’s $600 billion annual budget being spent on an Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, the general public, as well as the UFO community are in varying levels of dithering. Did the government just acknowledge the existence of UFOs? Is this for real? And who in the Sam Hill are these people? The answers are, or may be, “Yes, no, possibly, and never heard of any, or some of them, before.”

In case there is anyone who has not heard of, nor read the article, in 2007, largely at the behest of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was Senate majority leader at the time, and who has maintained an interest in space phenomena over the years, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was initiated. Quietly. Secretly.

Most of the money for the program went to an aerospace research company run by billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space. Mr. Bigelow’s company, Bigelow Aerospace, hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program, thus receiving most of the money earmarked for study and analysis. They investigated metal alloys, and other crash site materials provided by the Department of Defense. They also studied people who had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects, and examined them for physiological changes. In addition, researchers included conversations they had with military service members who reported sightings of strange aircraft.

The conclusion drawn over five years of research and investigation was the phenomena they had studied did not seem to originate from any country. And there is no question but that their results impact all of humanity and life on Planet Earth.

At this point in time, the program has supposedly ended, albeit there was an indication in the Times article the Navy and CIA had been, and possibly still are involved in its continued existence and efforts. Regardless who the players are, or how the financial pie is being divvied up; reports of UFOs have been common knowledge since the 1940s, and this particular story lends credence to the Government’s finally admitting knowledge of and active interest in dealing with the phenomena.

If one is new to ufology, or been involved over the years, this recent release of information and acknowledgement is significant, and worthy of follow up. It more likely than not is a backdoor form of disclosure; a means by which the public can be eased into a reality that will take them, at a bit slower than warp speed, from the pages of their Flash Gordon comic books to visitors and possibly new immigrants from that galaxy far, far away. It is time. And we Earthlings need to be prepared.