Brief # 50 – Technology

It’s Time to Start Taking UFOs Seriously

By Scout Burchill

June 17, 2021


Policy Summary 

By the end of this month a long-anticipated report will be released by the U.S. Intelligence community on UFOs. A once fringe, conspiracy-laden topic, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAPs as they are called by the Pentagon, have infiltrated the Washington establishment as of late and captured the fascination of the wider public. In preparation for the unclassified report due out later this month, members of the House Intelligence Committee received a classified briefing last week. 

The report is not expected to make many firm conclusions on the existence of alien technology or life forms; however it will be a major victory for UFO enthusiasts and advocates of government accountability and transparency. Already some pretty shocking details have emerged. The classic weather balloon theory has been debunked in a number of cases and the validity of numerous videos capturing inexplicable UFOs has been confirmed. The general impression is that UFOs are definitely real and that the Pentagon simply cannot explain many of these phenomena. 

As a topic that has been flying under the radar for a number of years, US Renew News cannot independently confirm the existence of alien technology or extraterrestrial beings, but it can relate to you the incredible story of how UFOs began to be taken seriously by the Washington establishment and explain why this story really matters.


For decades UFOs were widely perceived to be the obsession of conspiracy-rattled individuals and eccentric loonies. Culturally, fascination with UFOs peaked at times of deep distrust in our institutions and the military-industrial complex. Most of the information leaked to the public about UFOs came from military veterans, particularly from the Air Force and Navy, who reported seeing strange objects themselves while on duty. However, formal admissions and comments never quite made it to the mainstream without a sarcastic smirk and a wink, despite a well documented history of government cover ups and secrecy. 

The modern history of UFO disclosures is entirely different thanks to former Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and his deep fascination with UFOs. The origins of the report due later this month trace their origins back to 2007 when Reid became Senate Majority Leader in Congress. Reid was determined to get answers from the Pentagon, and so he reached out to Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye and Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska, who himself had a long-standing personal interest in UFOs after reportedly spotting one as a pilot in World War 2. Together, they placed a secret $22 million appropriation in the nearly $600 billion 2008 Defense Department budget called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which compelled the Pentagon to study UFO related phenomena. Reid received considerable push back from the intelligence community, but used his position as the most powerful Senator in congress to demand an investigation.

In 2010, a man by the name of Lue Elizondo was promoted to head the AATIP. At the time, Elizondo had absolutely no opinions about UFOs or the existence of alien lifeforms. Under his direction, the program began studying national security implications of UFO encounters. Whatever Elizondo learned as head of the AATIP changed his opinion about UFOs in a dramatic way. His requests to brief the Secretary of Defense on what he found in the Pentagon files were routinely rejected, leading him to believe his program was being suppressed. Growing increasingly frustrated, he decided to resign from his position, but not before briefing journalist Leslie Keene on the nature and existence of the AATIP. This meeting led to the first articles published in the New York Times and Politico back in December of 2017 about the Pentagon’s mysterious UFO program. As an interesting aside, Elizondo left the AATIP to work with Blink 182 frontman and fellow UFO enthusiast Tom DeLonge at a business DeLonge co-founded that aims to explore the outer edges of science and technology. 

Since 2017, persistent bottom-up pressure from the public, congress and activists have forced the Pentagon to begrudgingly acknowledge the existence of things it probably never wanted to see the light of day. Those 2017 articles, coupled with the growing curiosity of the public and lawmakers, forced Washington to take UFOs seriously and hold the Pentagon to account. Late last year, former president Donald Trump authorized a $2.3 trillion appropriations package that included a provision requiring the secretary of defense and director of national intelligence to draft the unclassified report on UFOs expected later this month. Just a few weeks ago 60 Minutes devoted an entire segment to UFOs, interviewing Lue Elizondo as well as a number of former military pilots who encountered unidentifiable phenomena. In other words, UFOs have gone mainstream and the social stigma associated with them is slowly fading.

While some skeptics claim that this UFO frenzy is merely an elaborate ploy for the Defense Department to secure more funding, particularly for the newly established Space Force, the evidence just does not bear this out. Russian interference, Chinese aggression and threats of terrorism would be far easier topics to fundraise and lobby on and would require a lot less manufacturing of consent. Furthermore, the Biden Administration has already proposed a massive $754 billion Defense budget for 2022. 

Instead, the modern history of UFO disclosure, which began in earnest back in 2007 with Harry Reid, is actually a much more hopeful story of public accountability. This is an important point to remember, even as the report will most certainly lack the juicy details so many people desire. Who knows, perhaps we could use a little bit of help from beyond to restore some public trust in our institutions and inspire a healthy dose of humility. After all, there are plenty of things that we simply do not know and cannot explain. Isn’t that simultaneously awesome and terrifying?

Engagement Resources 

Paradigm Research Group: The only Registered Lobbyist in Washington Dedicated to UFO Disclosure


The Definitive New Yorker Piece

2017 Reporting

NYT Reporting on Upcoming UFO Report

Acknowledgments to Saagar Enjeti’s coverage at Breaking Points and The Hill Rising

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