Newly declassified documents from the Pentagon reveal the Department of Defense funded projects that investigated UFOs, wormholes, alternate dimensions and a host of other subjects that are often the topics of conspiracy theorists.
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released 38 research titles on Jan. 18, following a Freedom of Information Act request from Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy. The research was funded by the Department of Defense under its Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP).
Some of the more interesting projects include Invisibility Cloaking; Traversable Wormholes, Stargates, and Negative Energy; Warp Drive, Dark Energy, and the Manipulation of Extra Dimensions; and An Introduction to the Statistical Drake Equation.
"The DOD and the DIA have previously sought to spin AATIP as being a program looking at 'foreign advanced aerospace weapon threats', but the attachment to the DIA's letter to Congress is difficult to reconcile with this, given that the 'products produced' under the AATIP contract are listed as including reference papers on topics which seem more concerned with space travel," Nick Pope, a former employee at the British Government's Ministry of Defence, said in comments obtained by Fox News.
Pope continued: "The smoking gun is the paper about the Drake Equation, which is used to estimate the number of civilizations in the universe. This supports the suggestion that AATIP was indeed a UFO program, as has been claimed, and not an aviation program looking at aircraft, drones and missiles."
The Drake Equation is a seven-term equation that attempts to look at the different variables that would be relevant for intelligent lifeforms. This includes factors such as formed stars and their planets, the average number of planets that can potentially support life. Other factors include a fraction of those planets that can develop life and a fraction of these civilizations that have become intelligent.
Some of the projects give details such as who was working on them – Dr. Eric Davis of EarthTech International participated in the wormhole project, for instance – but others are left with scant details.
The project entitled "Metallic Glasses" says Dr. Todd Hufnagel from Johns Hopkins University worked on the research, but it could mean anything.
“I think anyone who looks at these titles will scratch their heads and wonder what on earth the Defense Intelligence Agency was thinking,” Aftergood said in an interview with MotherBoard. “These are the kinds of topics you pursue when you have more money than you know what to do with.”
The existence of AATIP was initially described by The New York Times and Politico in 2017. It was subsequently reported on by Fox News and a number of other news outlets, due in large part to its investigation into the existence of UFOs at the urging of former Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Following the Times report, Reid tweeted "the truth is out there" (a nod to the show, "The X-Files), adding that if "anyone says they have the answers, they’re fooling themselves."
Both the Times and Politico said Reid’s interest in UFOs was the result of friend and donor Bob Bigelow, who owns Bigelow Aerospace and has said before he is “absolutely convinced” aliens exist and UFOs have visited Earth.
The New York Times said AATIP had a $22 million annual budget and “most of the money” went to Bigelow’s research company, which hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program.
A Pentagon spokesman said the UFO program ended in 2012, though The New York Times said the Defense Department still investigates potential episodes of unidentified flying objects.
Fox News' Alex Pappas contributed to this report. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia