The mystery of a top-secret UFO program has deepened after government officials claimed there was confusion about its purpose — while experts accused them of backtracking.
The Pentagon last week confirmed the existence of a $22 million program called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP) which investigated sightings of UFOs between 2007 to 2012, The Sun reported.
The revelation excited UFO fans around the world as it was the first time the US government had admitted investigating UFOs since 1969.
The organisation’s work was outed by Luis Elizondo when he told The New York Times he ran the shadowy Department of Defence program from 2007 to 2012 and continued to look into the issue until he resigned in October this year.
Two bombshell videos of unexplained UFO sightings by US military personnel — investigated by the AATIP — were also published.
However, when contacted by Sun Online, the spy organisation Defence Intelligence Agency claimed there had been some misunderstandings.
A spokesman said: “There is some confusion about this program and claims about its purpose in press reporting ... the Defence Intelligence Agency has not released any information, files or videos.”
But Department of Defence officials disputed this, saying they did not know what “confusion” the Defence Intelligence Agency was referring to, and stating they had been “clear” about the program’s aims.
A Department of Defense spokesman said: “The AATIP’s mandate, when it existed, was to assess far-term foreign advanced aerospace threats to the United States.”
It is claimed the program ended in 2012, however Mr Elizondo said that he had continued to work with officials from the Navy and the CIA on the program until he resigned from office in October.
UFO experts have claimed that this disagreement could be the government trying to back-pedal because it isn’t “ready or willing” to disclose the information.
Ufologist Alejandro Rojas from Open Minds TV, which is dedicated to extraterrestrial life, said: “It does seem to me like they might be backtracking.
“They haven’t clarified exactly what the confusion is, but I’m not surprised that they are scrambling over this now.
“According to The Washington Post, Luis Elizondo essentially got the videos under somewhat false pretences.
“He claimed he wanted to use the videos for training pilots. He didn’t say he wanted to use the videos to demonstrate that UFOs are real, which is what’s happening.
“I think that’s why the clips are so short and — especially with the second one. There is so little information attached to it.
“I think perhaps they thought just in case somebody gets a hold of this and tries to turn it into a big UFO thing, we just won’t give them much information.
“It puts them in a spot because perhaps they’re not ready or even willing to come out and talk about this.
“And they didn’t intend these videos to be used for this purpose.
“It wouldn’t be the first time the government has tried to spin things in a different direction on this topic.
“But we’ve got Elizondo who led the program going on the record to talk about it — so it’s clear that they were investigating UFOs.”
Sun Online has now lodged a Freedom of Information request with the Defense Intelligence Agency for any other UFO files or videos related to AATIP.
This story originally appeared in The Sun.