Read More: Independent.ie
Earth may well have been visited by UFOs, the former head of a secret US government programme has revealed. Luis Elizondo said the existence of supremely advanced unidentified aircraft, using technology that did not belong to any nation, had been "proved beyond reasonable doubt". Until two months ago, from his office on the fifth floor of the Pentagon, Mr Elizondo, a career intelligence officer, ran the innocuously named Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Programme (AATIP), which was funded with $22m (€18m) in "black ops money" from Congress. The existence of the real-life X-Files department, which began in 2007, was revealed last week and confirmed by the Pentagon. In an interview, Mr Elizondo said much of what he could discuss was still classified. That included whether his team had examined UFO sightings in other countries. "I'm not at liberty to discuss that," he said. "But we took a very comprehensive approach. Nothing was too small to investigate." He added: "In my opinion, if this was a court of law, we have reached the point of 'beyond reasonable doubt'. I hate to use the term UFO but that's what were looking at. "I think it's pretty clear this is not us, and it's not anyone else, so one has to ask the question where they're from." The exact number of UFO sightings investigated, and witnesses interviewed, is also classified but Mr Elizondo said there had been "lots". Geographical "hotspots" emerged during the investigations, sometimes near nuclear facilities and power plants. Common factors between the movements of separate unidentified objects had also been identified by the Pentagon team. "It was enough where we began to see trends and similarities in incidents," he said. "There were very distinct observeables. Extreme manoeuvrability, hypersonic velocity without a sonic boom, speeds of 7-8,000mph, no flight surfaces on the objects. A lot of this is backed with radar signal data, gun camera footage from aircraft, multiple witnesses. "There was never any display of hostility but the way they manoeuvred, in ways no one else in the world had, you have to be conscious something could happen."