MYSTERY WIRE — Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is a central figure to the story of UFO investigations.

The Reid dossier

Reid is responsible for funding behind a program to study the UFO phenomenon. Three program names and a timeline spring up around 2007-2008:

  • AAWSAP — Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program
  • AATIP — Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. This program was the successor to AAWSAP.

Reid and congressional colleagues Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye worked with the Defense Intelligence Agency to set up and fund AAWSAP. The New York Times first reported that $22 million was allocated to the AATIP project under the Pentagon.

Bigelow Aerospace created a subsidiary called BAASS — Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies. BAASS was awarded a $10 million contract in 2008 to build infrastructure related to the project.

AAWSAP had a broader mandate than UFOs. It also explored related phenomena involving paranormal events. AAWSAP operated until sometime in 2011, when it was shut down because of concerns that the government shouldn’t be involved. Opponents cited potential embarrassment, and also religious beliefs.

But AATIP continued to operate under the Department of Defense, limiting its work to UFO encounters with the U.S. military. But the program operated quietly until the New York Times blew its cover in 2017.

Reid has continued to advocate for the public release of information about UFOs, but has emphasized the need for science rather than a hunt for “little green men.”


Below are six videos involving Reid and the UFO topic. The videos will play one after the other.

Links to stories

Below are links to the biggest stories in recent years involving Reid and the UFO study:

Reid’s political career

Reid was the most powerful politician in Nevada’s history while serving as Senate Majority Leader from 2007-2015. Before that, Reid rose through state government as a Nevada Assemblyman (1969-71), Lieutenant Governor (1971-75) and Nevada Gaming Commission chairman (1977-81). He then won election to the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-87), and finally ascended to the U.S. Senate (1987-2017).

As majority leader, Reid guided passage of the most important legislation of President Barack Obama’s presidency. His work on public lands led to the creation of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, the Basin and Range National Monument, and the Gold Butte National Monument.

He was born in the tiny town of Searchlight, and he was an amateur boxer as a youth. His boxing coach was a future Nevada governor, Mike O’Callaghan.

In retirement, Reid is battling pancreatic cancer. His most recent interview with George Knapp was in late October, 2019.


See the timeline below for more on Reid’s career and the sequence of events. This timeline will be updated to add past and present events.