Today’s Top Space Headline –“What We’ve Learned from 60 Years of U.S.-Funded UFO Probes”


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1947 Roswell (Project Mogul),1948-1952 Projects Sign and Grudge, 1952-1969 Project Blue Book, 1960 Project Ozma, 1970s and ‘80s CIA Investigations of Paranormal and Psychic Phenomena, 1976-1993 SETI/HRMS, 1990s to now and beyond NASA’s Astrobiology Institute.

As you can see from the listing above, the newly revealed Pentagon program is certainly not the first federally funded project to hunt for signs of advanced intelligence in the galaxy, says National Geographic in their comprehensive report by Nadia Drake triggered by the secret U.S. government program that studied unexplained aerial phenomena—more colloquially referred to as UFOs—that came as a surprise to many when stories describing it appeared almost simultaneously in the New York Times and Politico.


The Pentagon’s project, called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, was reportedly established in 2007 to investigate unexplained aerial phenomena that appeared to be using novel propulsive, hovering, or otherwise advanced technologies. A 490-page report detailing the program’s findings supposedly exists, though it has not yet been released.

Some may think that the very existence of this project supports the idea that aliens are visiting us, says National Geo, but that’s not a logical conclusion. The undeniable truth is that observations of a puzzling nature certainly merit investigation, as long as it’s done scientifically. And this project is not even close to the first U.S. government-funded search for evidence of advanced intelligence—so far, to little effect.



Projects that began more than five decades ago and still continue to this day, writes Drake,  include efforts to evaluate bizarre sightings and exotic objects, scan the skies for signs of intelligent transmissions, and develop instruments capable of sniffing out signs of life on faraway worlds.

Here are some of our previous and ongoing attempts to find out if, in fact, aliens are out there and whether we have been visited, starting with the heyday of such activities around the middle of the last century.

1947: Roswell (Project Mogul)

Easily the granddaddy of all UFO conspiracies, the Roswell incident is described by many as the catastrophic crash of an alien spaceship in the New Mexico desert, after which the U.S. government supposedly retrieved the spacecraft (and several aliens). In 1994, the Air Force released a report identifying the debris as belonging to “a once top-secret balloon operation, Project MOGUL, designed to monitor the atmosphere for evidence of Soviet nuclear tests.”

1948-1952: Projects Sign and Grudge

First Sign and then Grudge, these Air Force-funded projects were examinations of flying saucers and other reported unexplained phenomena, inspired both by the Cold War and a 1947 observation of nine “disk-shaped objects” over Washington state. According to the CIA, “GRUDGE officials found no evidence in UFO sightings of advanced foreign weapons design or development, and they concluded that UFOs did not threaten U.S. security. They recommended that the project be reduced in scope because the very existence of Air Force official interest encouraged people to believe in UFOs and contributed to a ’war hysteria’ atmosphere.”

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[Image credit: With thanks, The Monoliths by Darink]


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