A number of publications now report that the federal government appropriated over $22 million of my money, spread out over five years, to study UFO’s.(1) I have no problem with ordinary citizens that believe that aliens from outer space are infiltrating our skies, and I have no problem with independent organizations that use private funds to conduct research into proving it. I don’t even have a problem with a private organization seeking government grants for such research in an open and transparent manner. When a sitting U.S. Senator devotes my money to something like this, in such a covert manner, the first thing we citizens should do is question that Senator’s motives.
The motive, we skeptics opine, is that the former head of the Senate, Democrat Harry Reid, initiated The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program as a creative way to send a chunk of our money to his friend, government contractor, and a major Harry Reid campaign contributor, Robert Bigelow and Bigelow’s company Bigelow Aerospace.
The reports from these publications state that the program’s leader, Luis Elizondo, resigned declaring that the program “was not taken seriously enough.”(2) If Elizondo was being honest, as opposed to attempting to avoid the scrutiny he might face for participating in this sham, we skeptics ask, on what basis should we take such a program seriously? If, as Elizondo infers, we should be on guard against a worst case scenario from flying saucers, such as an attack on the homeland, our response should be, “Based on what?” If you, Luis Elizondo believe we should study UFO’s in a preemptive manner that’s fine, do it on your own dime, collect a number of like-minded investors, or apply for a grant in an open and honest manner, so voters can hold those that acquiesce to such a request accountable. (Editor’s note: Various reports report that Mr. Elizondo is now participating in just such a quest that doesn’t appear to have government funding attached to it.) To suggest that the government should be required to use my money, however, to prepare a defense against a threat that most taxpayers don’t believes exists, without facing open scrutiny, suggests to me that some of the players involved knew this was an elaborate sham to cheat taxpayers. If they weren’t co-conspirators, on the other hand, they enjoyed the fruits of it.
If this worst-case scenario were to occur, I’m guessing that 99% of the population would be empathetic to those government officials that declared, “We didn’t prepare for this disaster, because, well, how does one prepare for such a thing?”
Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye, and Alaska Republican Ted Stevens were two Senators that secretly joined Reid in his bid to send this money to Bigelow, but these three Senators did not inform any other Senators of their actions. For those readers that make note of the fact that a Republican that joined in on a Reid’s scheme to funnel money to one of his major contributors, they should also note that Citizen’s Against Government Waste often targeted the former Senator, Ted Stevens, for his creative ability to spend taxpayer’s money to the benefit of his Alaskan citizens.
“I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program) going,” Mr. Reid said in an interview in Nevada. “I think it’s one of the good things I did in my congressional service. I’ve done something that no one has done before.”
The first response that pops into mind when reading this quote is, if it was one of the good things he did while in the Senate, where are the results? When publications report on this particular program, they include various videos, though they do not note if these videos were part of the program’s findings. Even if they were, however, the videos feature the typical, oblique videos of flying objects that have been around, on various sites, for decades, and there are some oblique testimonials from those that were there, but these findings do not provide more definitive information than what we had before the program. If there is such information, it has an all too convenient Top Secret label on it. Other than the points, we should probably give Harry Reid credit for finding a creative way to reward a financial contributor to his campaigns, I can’t think of any good this idea did for the country.
As for the “I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry” comment, Harry Reid has a history that suggests he was not easily embarrassed or shamed throughout his career. He stated that most of the people that are not him smell. (3) He has also all but admitted that he lied when he stated, from the floor of the Senate albeit, that 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn’t pay any taxes over the past decade. When pressed to account for this lie, Reid responded with a smirk, “Romney didn’t win, did he?” The Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza characterized the lie, the refusal to apologize, and the subsequent glee Reid displayed in the CNN interview as “both remarkable and remarkably depressing”(4). More recently, Harry Reid added, “If I had to do it over again, I’d do it again.” (5)
The point in establishing Reid’s less than stellar record of honesty, and lack of any shame, is that when he says that the $22 Million that was devoted to the program was black money that means that only he and the other two Senators above knew about it, and he was not willing to endure any “open and honest” scrutiny for his action. When Reid says that he is not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry for what he did, his record suggests that maintaining integrity was never a driving force for him. The point is, also, that while Reid did nothing illegal in his pursuit of funneling this money to a contributor, his actions did not live up to the 2006 promise Democrats made of being “the honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history”.
As has been proven over the last half century, various members of the American public have been willing to invest millions of dollars of their own money, and a large percentage of their lives, to explore a truth about big foot, the Loch Ness Monster, and UFO’s. Why would a venture, such as this one, need government funding? The answer, it didn’t. As Reid himself stated his act of rewarding a campaign contributor was unprecedented, in that no politician in government ever did it before. Is this because no previous politician had the stones to face scrutiny from the public for such a move? If that’s the case, Reid didn’t allow his program to face scrutiny. My personal belief is that no politician has attempted funnel the taxpayer’s hard-earned money to a major campaign contributor in such a way, because no politician has been as shameless as former Democrat Senator Harry Reid was before. If there has been, and I’m not aware of it, they weren’t so proud of it that they didn’t mind it becoming a part of their historical legacy.
- Cooper, Helene; Blumenthal, Ralph; Kean, Leslie (December 16, 2017). “Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program”. The New York Times. Retrieved December 16, 2017.