Sci-Fi Thursday: AATIP

Sci-Fi Thursday

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.

Published by Staci Troilo

A writer fascinated with interpersonal relationships, the importance of family, and the relevance of heritage. Learn more at

43 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Thursday: AATIP

  1. As with most everyone here, I think the universe is too big for us to be the only “intelligent” life forms that exist. And alien conspiracies have been around since forever; have you ever seen/read about some of the old Mayan (Aztec? Inca?) carvings that some swear show things that didn’t exist at the time? Spooky. I’m still waiting for someone to invent a warp drive so the Vulcans can come and introduce themselves. Then again, they’ll probably wait until we mature to the point where we have learned how to live peacefully with each other. Might be awhile….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard about the Mayan/Aztec/Inca UFO theories. In fact, The Gate explores Inca lore a bit (though I take the theories in my own direction). There are also UFOs (presumably) in Renaissance paintings. Okay, don’t get me started; I could go on all day.

      I wouldn’t mind that warp drive. And I really wouldn’t mind a peaceful world. Thanks, Julie.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been a fan of “what if” possibilities. I love speculating about other planets that could sustain life, and UFOs. Do I believe in them? That’s a toss up. But it makes for great conversation, fiction, and compelling research!
    Great post, Staci!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have two UFO stories. One legit, one super embarrassing and totally wrong. But I do believe we aren’t alone. It seems conceited to think we are when we’re so small and the universe is so vast. But even with my “encounters,” I didn’t want to admit to other life out there because it felt like I was voting against God’s power and His gift (our existence) to us. But then the Vatican said alien life does not go against our beliefs, so I’m comfortable thinking something is out there somewhere.

      And the what-ifs for fiction are so much fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I’ve always been a little “out there,” but I do not believe for one minute that we are the only intelligent species in this Universe. In the scope of things, our plant is a tiny little rock compared to other planets. As far as our government covering up the discovery of aliens. Yep! I think they cover up more than they ever reveal. Great topic, Staci!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m surprised how far back government studies into the matter of extraterrestrial life began. That alone suggests truth to the theories. I saw part of a television show not long ago on close encounters airplane pilots have had with UFOs- interesting stuff!
    I don’t mind sharing my universe with other life forms, I’d just prefer if they don’t eat me! lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pilots and astronauts have reports of encounters. It’s all fascinating!

      I’m with you. The universe is a big place. There’s room for everyone. No need to eat a species out of existence. Especially our species!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love a good conspiracy theory. It’s a big engine for incredible fiction. Isn’t it amazing how big the science fiction arena is? We can both dabble there and never step on each others’ toes. Mine is more robot girls and cyberpunk.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sci-fi is awesome for just that reason. No two stories need ever come close. I’m doing aliens; you’re doing robot girls and cyberpunk. My next sci-f (already written but won’t come out until next year) borders on dystopian. And then I’m releasing a time travel trilogy. After that, I think I want to go medical.

      I LOVE this genre!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I just got to the part yesterday in Gates where you mention AATIP and wondered if it was real. I’m betting they operate in secret and we’re definitely not alone. Can you tell I’m an X-Files fan?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So. Many. Theories! (That’s my dramatic Captain Kirk voice.) I believe aliens could be out there, and I believe they could be far more advanced than we are. I don’t know if any are bent on galactic- or universe-domination, but I have to think they’re curious enough to explore.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I think as big as we know the universe is, it’s very hard to actually deny the fact that there are other planets that could have life on them and probably do. I am skeptical about alien abductions and stories like that but I do believe that we are not the only life in the whole universe. Great info!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The size of the universe is daunting. I can’t even fathom the true size of our solar system, let alone the size of our galaxy. And how many galaxies are in the universe? It’s mind-boggling. (Don’t get me started on the multiple universe theories.) It seems in all that, there has to be more life-supporting planets out there. Maybe not humanoid, maybe not even carbon-based life. But the size alone suggests something’s there.

      I’m like you, though, and I am skeptical about abductions and interactions. But it’s fun to imagine for fiction!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I did not know about AATIP. Did you know there is a movement to storm Area 51 sometime in September? The idea is “they can’t stop us all.” These people are determined to prove alien investigations are being conducted there. (Or that the government is holding aliens there.) Crazy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know. Those people are crazy. The government probably can stop them all. I’m not storming anyplace that posts signs saying lethal force will be used to stop me.

      And they’ve planned this for so long, Area 51 has had plenty of time to hide, move, or destroy anything incriminating. The whole thing is ridiculous.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I wondered about AATIP when I read it in your book. Now I know! I believe other planets hold life. Ours does, so why not others? To someone else (or something else), we’re ‘out there’. I cannot beleive Earth and humans are a total one-off in the whole universe. And I’m equally certain that more advanced beings and technology than ours exists. It’s not that much of a stretch (especially with what we now suspect about warping space/time) to think we’ve been visited from other planets. Thanks for a great post, Staci. Reblogged on:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And now you know! 🙂 I think for every government reveal, there are dozens (or hundreds or thousands…) of government programs and studies that we never hear about. (And I have a bunch of conspiracy theories to share about some of those!)

      The size of the universe suggests there must be another system like ours, with a planet the right distance from its sun, with an atmosphere capable of supporting life and water and plants and animals… life. And since we’re not the oldest planet in the universe, it only stands to reason there are civilizations out there who are far more advanced. Why not speculate and write about them?

      Thanks, Harmony!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Aliens are not only out there, they’re here among us. Lady Gaga anyone?
    I love conspiracy theories about aliens (having been a massive X-Files fan when it first came out). There’s something delicious about the thought of shady governments, alien technology, and a mysterious coverup.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Give me shady government agencies and a conspiracy theory, and I’m all in. Aliens are a bonus! This, to me, is why sci-fi is so entertaining.We’re only hampered by our imaginations. And that is delicious! Thanks, Jess.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think its very logical to assume there are other beings besides us. Why wouldn’t they want to see what other planets are doing ? I would enjoy your research, too!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The research has been at least as fun, if not more so, as the writing. I’m with you; it’s only logical to assume there are others out there, and they’re probably curious, too.

      And isn’t it fun to speculate? Thanks, Denise.

      Liked by 1 person

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