LAS VEGAS (MYSTERY WIRE) — Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, the primary sponsor of a once-secret Pentagon study of UFOs, says he knows why the program was killed. The funding was pulled because the investigation went way beyond flying saucers.

In 2007, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and two congressional colleagues authorized $22 million in black budget funds to finance a hush-hush study of UFOs and more.

The investigation was housed within the Defense Intelligence Agency or DIA, and the program manager was a veteran intelligence analyst and rocket scientist Dr. James Lacatski.

Dr. James Lacataksi (

The name was AAWSAP, the Advanced Weapons System Application Program, and while its title gave no hint about the main target of the study, namely unknown craft in the skies, the investigation went way beyond flying saucers, looking into peripheral events that could be considered paranormal, as well as one of the weirdest places in the world, Skinwalker Ranch. In a new interview, Reid says that wide scope led to trouble.

George Knapp: The AAWSAP program ran into trouble, in part because there was pushback once the word got out in the Pentagon. Is the weirdness factor one reason why the money was in effect stolen and the program killed?

Sen. Harry Reid: It’s the main reason that program didn’t continue.

Knapp: “Just too much for them to handle or politically unsavory? 

Reid: Remember, what government’s about. If it hasn’t been done before, we’re not going to do it now.

Reid believes the program was right to follow the evidence wherever it led, even into strange subjects.

Can a wide focus study like AWWSAP ever happen again? See the exclusive interview with Harry Reid below.