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Former Pentagon UFO Investigator Says There's Evidence 'We May Not Be Alone'

2017 was a wild year by anyone's standards. You may think you're a little desensitized to the year-long barrage of unsettling news by now, but right at the finish, things somehow got even weirder: We're now talking about aliens and evidence that some sort of extraterrestrial life has reached Earth

Luis Elizondo, who ran a secret Pentagon operation devoted to studying UFOs, talked openly about the recently revealed program in a Monday night interview on CNN. When asked point-blank whether or not he believed that aliens visited Earth while he was in charge, he had this to say:

"I can't speak on behalf of the government obviously -- I'm not in the US government anymore -- my personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone, whatever that means."

The program was called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program and was publicly acknowledged for the first time a few days ago in an extensive report by The New York Times. It operated for five years on a budget of up to $22 million within the US Defense Department from 2007 to 2012. Much of what the secret investigators studied were audio and video recordings of encounters between military pilots and unknown objects, so this wasn't about searching the cosmos for water on distant planets; the program was devoted to finding evidence of aliens already visiting our own blue marble.

"I will tell you unequivocally that through the observations, scientific methodologies that were applied to look at this phenomena, that these aircraft -- we'll call them aircraft -- are displaying characteristics that are not within the US inventory, nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of," Elizondo told CNN.

Elizondo resigned from the Department of Defense in October 2017, frustrated that the government was not spending more time and effort searching for signs of alien life. He recently joined a private startup to continue studying unknown objects, as the DOD has moved onto "higher priority issues." When you watch the video of him talking, he sounds way less crazy than you'd think.

So maybe there's still hope for Sasquatch or, better yet, Lizard Man?

h/tNewsweek

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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist who would Benedict Arnold for the aliens in a second. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.