Defense officials told the Times that the program, which investigated reports of UFOs, ended in 2012.
It was the brainchild of former Nevada Democrat Senator Harry Reid, who pushed for its creation in 2007.
"I'm not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going", Mr Reid told the New York Times. "I've done something that no one has done before". Even though the Department of Defense made a decision to defund the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program in 2012, its backers say the program remains in existence, the Times reported.
But Mr. Elizondo said the only thing that had ended was the effort's government funding, which dried up in 2012. It had been run in near-secrecy by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon's C Ring, deep within the building's maze.
One of the reasons the Pentagon funded the program, according to a Congressional staffer who spoke with the outlet, was that officials believed the aircraft might actually be ultra high-tech products of China or Russian Federation that warranted further examination.
Newly declassified footage shows two USA fighter jets chasing an unidentified flying object (UFO) off the coast of San Diego in 2004.
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In his resignation letter to Secretary of Defence James Mattis, according to The Times, Elizondo said the government should start taking "the many accounts from the Navy and other services of unusual aerial systems interfering with military weapon platforms and displaying beyond-next-generation capabilities" seriously.
Of course, while Tom DeLonge has always been involved in furthering the existence of UFOs, aliens, and intergalactic life, in recent years he's managed to really step up his research.
"I left to find an environment where investigating these phenomena is priority number one", he said. Bigelow has spoken about his belief in UFOs visiting the United States as well as the existence of aliens.
Reid referred to the proposed budget for AATIP as "black money", a special type of budget maintained by the Pentagon for classified programs, and one that was not debated publicly by Senate members, according to the Times.
Harry Reid left the Senate almost a year ago but a shadowy Pentagon program tracking UFOs that he helped start is apparently still alive. and searching.
The US Defense Department has acknowledged authorizing millions of dollars in secretive funding to investigate UFO sightings. He said the program had multiple enemies at senior levels of the department, from officials who were either skeptical or ideologically opposed to AATIP's mission. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing.