Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Applications Program

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NYT misreporting on the program.
The woo is out there
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Aliens did it...
...and ran away
The true(r) story of the program, replete with poltergeists, monster owls, and a half-dinosaur/half-beaver creature.

The Advanced Aerospace Weapon Systems Applications Program (AAWSAP) also known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) was a 2007–2012 U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) program setup on the request of Senator Harry Reid, which authorized his old friend and campaign donor Robert Bigelow (1944–) to spaff $22 million of taxpayers' money chasing UFOs, ghosts, and werewolves at Skinwalker Ranch in Utah.[1][2][3] The existence of the program was publicly disclosed in a dubious December 2017 New York Times story co-written by long-term UFO propagandist Leslie Kean,[1] which suppressed the more sensational aspects of the story and falsely promoted the movement's newest grifter Luis Elizondo to its head.[3] Although funding for the program was cut in 2012, it may have limped on in some unofficial form until the founding of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) in 2020.

Skinwalkers at the Pentagon[edit]

DIA scientist James Lacatski became fascinated with the alleged supernatural goings-on at Skinwalker Ranch after reading Colm Kelleher and George Knapp's 2005 collection of tall tales Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah, and within minutes of arriving on a 2007 visit to the ranch, organized by its then owner Robert Bigelow, saw a floating yellow tubular bell in the kitchen, which shifted from a pretzel-shape into a Möbius strip. This apparently convinced him of the need for a government-funded investigation.[4][2]

Bigelow put Lacatski in touch with his old friend Senator Harry Reid, who in turn brought in senators Ted Stevens and Daniel K. Inouye, who controlled the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and together they drafted a congressional appropriation for a "black money" project with the euphemistic aim of researching and predicting future aerospace technology trends. The contract went to the sole bidder Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) founded by none other than Robert Bigelow. The euphemistic phrasing of the remit and the confidential nature of the agreement with BAASS has allowed various Pentagon spokesmen to on-and-off deny the program was intended to investigate UFOs, but Reid repeatedly acknowledged it was.[5][2]

Run jointly by Kelleher for BAASS and Lacatski in secret at The Pentagon, the program used its initial $10 million to commission reports from such eminent ufology luminaries as Eric Davis, Hal Puthoff, Jay Stratton, and Jacques Vallée. While back at the ranch, Lacatski, Kelleher, and Knapp were having the encounters with poltergeists, monster owls, and a half-dinosaur/half-beaver creature they report in their 2021 book Skinwalkers at the Pentagon: An Insider's Account of the Secret Government UFO Program. By as early as the end of 2009, concerns were being expressed at the Pentagon about the limited value of the reports and the potential public backlash if it should be revealed how government money was being spent. And while Reid was able to secure another $12 million in funding to carry the program over to the end of its five-year term, his request to have it (under the new name AATIP) classified as a special access program (SAP) was denied.[6][2]

Luis goes it alone[edit]

It is speculated that sometime between funding drying up in around 2010 and the official end of the AAWSAP in 2012, Luis Elizondo, who is believed to have acted as the coordinator for BAASS's access to SAPs, unofficially added oversight of the renamed AATIP to his existing intelligence responsibilities and thus artificially extended its operational life until he quit in 2017 to join To The Stars.[6][2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program by Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean (December 16, 2017) New York Times (arhived from March 21, 2024)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 ‘Crazy’ UFO-believing Pentagon bosses missed spy craft for years by Todd Farley and Steven Greenstreet (March 21, 2023) New York Post
  3. 3.0 3.1 Post’s bombshell report about alien life on Earth being false confirmed after US gov spent millions funding search: Pentagon by Chris Nesi (March 8, 2024) New York Post
  4. How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (April 30, 2021) The New Yorker (archived from February 27, 2024)
  5. Harry Reid on What the Government Knows About UFOs by Eric Benson (March 21, 2018) Intelligencer
  6. 6.0 6.1 Inside the Pentagon's Secret UFO Program by Tim McMillan (February 14, 2020) Popular Mechanics