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Report: DoD Spent $22 Million On Shadowy Program To Investigate UFOs
From 2008 through 2011, the Pentagon secretly spent $22 million on a little-known program to research and investigate the threats posed by unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
This is the first time the Pentagon has acknowledged the existence of the program.
The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was created as part of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2007 at the request of then Nevada Sen. Harry Reid. Although government funding for the program was gutted in 2012, the program continued operating under the leadership of Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official.
Elizondo resigned from the position in October due to his frustration over the Pentagon's lack of funding and attention to his efforts, the report said.
In his resignation letter to Secretary of Defense 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.
In the beginning years of the the program, the Pentagon gave most of the appropriated $22 million to an aerospace company owned by Robert Bigelow, a billionaire businessman who is "absolutely convinced" that aliens exist.
Bigelow is reportedly a close friend of Reid's and originally got the senator interested in UFOs and aliens. He gave money to both of Reid's senate reelection campaigns in 2004 and 2010.
This is not the first time the US government has investigated UFOs and other mysterious aerospace phenomena. In 1947, the US Air Force launched Project Sign to "collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute within the government all information relating to such sightings, on the premise that UFOs might be real and of national security concern," according to a CIA analysis.
The study was followed by Projects Grudge and Blue Book, both of which had similar objectives of collecting UFO data and analyzing potential security threats.
The subject of UFOs has been hotly contested since the famous Roswell incident of 1947, in which a flying disc-shaped object crashed at a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico. The US military said it was a standard weather balloon, but UFO enthusiasts allege the government covered up what really happened.
Those who question the government's version of the Roswell incident and admit a belief in aliens are often branded by critics as conspiracy theorists, but aerospace researchers like Bigelow and his supporters like Reid argue that there are legitimate justifications for spending government money and resources on investigating the unexplained phenomena.
"Internationally, we are the most backward country in the world on this issue. Our scientists are scared of being ostracized, and our media is scared of the stigma," Bigelow told the Times. "[Other countries] are proactive and willing to discuss this topic, rather than being held back by a juvenile taboo."
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'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.