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On December 16, the New York Times published two stories that read almost like science fiction. For at least five years, the Defense Department housed a $22-million, clandestine program to investigate UFOs. Military pilots had sent in reports of objects they observed that moved in unfamiliar ways; the mission of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, as it was called, was to investigate those claims to see if there was truly something otherworldly behind those sightings.

It’s unclear just how many reports pilots had filed to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, but people who have come forward about the program have made it clear that there would have been a lot more reports filed if it hadn’t been for one thing: stigma. “The sightings were not often reported up the military’s chain of command, [former senator Harry Reid] said, because service members were afraid they would be laughed at or stigmatized,” one Times piece reads.

American culture is steeped in depictions of what would happen if sophisticated aliens visited Earth, from E.T. to Arrival to Independence Day. Some are more hackneyed than others; some are downright terrifying. But outside the clear genres of fiction, most conversations about UFOs happen online, and with varying degrees of vehemence.

Let’s face it — believing in the paranormal has become shorthand for crazy.

It's not a question of "believing in UFOs." You either witness them, or you don't. Belief has nothing to do with it. I have been a lifelong UFO experiencer. I have read hundreds of books and studies since I was a child when my first UFO experiences occurred. I was a former MUFON State Section Director. I have interviewed commercial and military pilots, scientists, police officers, intelligence professionals, politicians, etc., and most if not all of them were absolutely convinced of the anomalous technological reality of what they witnessed. It's all about getting to the physical truth of the matter. Regrettably, there is a powerful institutional firewall against that truth becoming known. Now, with this latest flurry of news reports, the "experts" are crawling out of the woodwork everywhere. It's sickening and infuriating. I am no longer affiliated with any UFO research group. I do my own, privately funded independent research. I don't have to answer to anyone. My investigative work is no longer critiqued and approved by dowdy, menopausal cat ladies. I'm free to explore the unknown. The deeper I dig, the more I find and the less I know. But I will not be deterred. To read more, click here.