Did the US Navy have a Close Encounter with aliens?

Cenk Uygur certainly seems to think so, and so do I:

Of course, the US also has an anti-alien defence protocol in place, apparently:

“My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone,” Luis Elizondo told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday night.

Elizondo, who ran the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program during its tenure from 2007 to 2012, said he no longer works for the U.S. government. The Department of Defense says it shut down the initiative in 2012, but the Times reported that some backers say the program is still operating.

“I will tell you unequivocally that through the observation ― scientific methodologies that were applied to look at this phenomenon ― that these aircraft … are displaying characteristics that are not currently within the U.S. inventory nor in any foreign inventories that we are aware of,” he added.

Here are some further details on that program:

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the hush-hush program, tasked with investigating sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, ran from 2007 to 2012 with $22 million in annual funding secretly tucked away in U.S. Defense Department budgets worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Its initial funding came largely at the request of former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat long known for his enthusiasm for space phenomena, the newspaper said.

Yet according to its backers, the program remains in existence and officials continue to investigate UFO episodes brought to their attention by service members, the newspaper said.

The Pentagon openly acknowledged the fate of the program in response to a Reuters query.

“The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 timeframe,” Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Ochoa said in an email.

“It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change,” she said.

I’m not saying it was aliens…but it was aliens! said the official spokesperson, cagily.

I’m eerily reminded of those scenes in John Carpenter’s movie, Starman, in which the US military first shoots down an alien spacecraft, perceiving it as a threat…and then hunts down the alien who came aboard that craft. The paranoia is palpable, and apparently, all too real.

One thing is for sure: When the US military finally engages with one of our alien visitors, it won’t look like this:

…because this kind of engagement is entirely above their heads, and way too peaceful for their paranoid asses, too.

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