MYSTERY WIRE — The former head of a secret Pentagon study of UFOs says this week’s close encounter between an American Airline’s passenger plane and an unknown object in the skies over New Mexico is a prime example of why the U.S. government needs to take the UFO mystery more seriously.

Luis Elizondo
Lue Elizondo has been speaking with George Knapp for several years about his involvement in a once secret Pentagon program to study UFOs.

Lue Elizondo spent ten years working for AATIP, the Advanced Aerospace Threat identification Program, a once secret Pentagon investigation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), previously known as UFOs.

The existence of AATIP was made public by the New York Times in December 2017. Since then, Elizondo and another former intelligence official Chris Mellon, have briefed congressional staff and elected members of Congress on serious issues related to unknown craft that routinely appear in American airspace.

Government investigators have concluded that these unknowns, wherever they’re from, represent potential threat to national security and a definite threat to aviation safety. 

The American Airlines incident occurred in the skies over northern New Mexico on Sunday, Feb. 21. The pilots reported seeing a fast-moving oblong object pass over their plane at a high rate of speed while flying at 36,000 feet.  The object was not detected by ground-based radar.

Pilots compared it to a “cruise missile.”  Both the FAA and FBI have reportedly focused on the incident and the airline pilots have been debriefed. At this point, the object has not been identified. Military officials say they had no craft or missiles operating in that airspace at the time. 

“The fact is,  this incident once again demonstrates that we simply don’t know what’s in our skies,” Elizondo told Mystery Wire earlier today.  ?Whether the object was a genuine UAP or something more conventional,  this was serious air safety issue for an airliner carrying so many passengers.”

“It is further proof that U.S. airspace domain remains vulnerable,”  Elizondo added. He and colleague Chris Mellon are hopeful that Congress will authorize a permanent, ongoing UAP program or agency to both monitor and investigate unknown objects that appear in U.S. airspace and to share such information with both military and civilian aviation authorities.