Ciao, amici. This is the last of the new blog features. Since I’m writing science fiction, I thought it was only right to talk about it.
Today, my inaugural topic is the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). The funny thing is, it’s not science fiction. It’s a US Government fact.
AATIP was founded in 2007 to investigate reports of UFO and alien sightings. It fell under the umbrella of the Defense Intelligence Agency and was funded $22 million in the five years it operated. It officially ended in 2012 and was made public in 2017.
It’s probably of no surprise that conspiracy theorists believe AATIP (or a renamed version of it) still operates in secret. Their argument is the vague wording of the government’s announcement, which stated that funding for AATIP is no longer available. To them, that means the status of the agency is unknown and could therefore be operating in secret. (This is different than the nonprofit organization—To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences—made of interested parties that spun off of AATIP when it ended.)
AATIP was the next generation of alien investigation. The United States began their investigations in 1947 with a United States Air Force study called Project Sign. The second study, Project Grudge, started in 1949. The third was called Project Blue Book and took place in 1952. The purposes of these studies were to analyze sightings, determine their validity, and assess if there were threats to national security. It would probably be more accurate to say that the investigators were encouraged to find logical explanations for the sightings so people would be dissuaded from believing in UFOs (or so they imply in the History Channel’s TV show Project Blue Book). After thousands of investigations, the Condon Report was released in 1968 stating no credible threats were found. The studies were ordered to shut down in December 1969, and all operations were ceased in January 1970.
In 2007, investigations began again (if they’d ever really stopped), this time under AATIP. Before its official closing in 2012, AATIP produced a 490-page report detailing their findings. Some people who have read the report claim the researchers never found anything conclusive. Some of the people involved in AATIP have gone on record saying there’s compelling evidence to suggest we are not alone.
The government has not released the report to the public.
Whether you believe AATIP is still operating or not, whether you believe they found proof or not, it’s an interesting concept. Something I’ve enjoyed dwelling on. So much so, I worked the agency into my Astral Conspiracy series. Clearly, I thought it was fun to think about. What about you? Are aliens out there? Is our government studying them and/or hiding their existence from us? Let’s talk about it.