Editor’s note: This story was originally published on 8NewsNow.com on Feb. 27, 2019.

MYSTERY WIRE — Former Nevada Senator Harry Reid is continuing to make the case for renewed studies into the UFO mystery. 

Back in 2007, Reid and a few senate colleagues sponsored a secret Pentagon program that investigated mystery aircraft and related phenomena.

The program was based in southern Nevada, but that effort ended six years ago, and very little from the study has been made public. Now, the senator not only hopes the X-Files get released but thinks there should be a renewed effort to get to the bottom of things.

“I’ll bet you anything that China is spending money to check this out I’ll bet you anything that KGB Putin is spending some money checking this out,” said former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

He dropped hard-edged hints that he knows potential adversaries Russia and China have carried out their own military studies to figure out how UFOs work and how to build their own.

The so-called Gimbal UFO recorded by military pilots in 2015 is one of dozens of similar objects encountered off the coasts of Florida and Virginia in the last three years, according to Pentagon sources.

The Tic Tac UFO which buzzed the USS Nimitz carrier group in 2004 was not only seen by pilots and cameras but also by several high tech sensor systems, as documented in a 13-page report written for the Pentagon, a document that went into the data base of AAWSAP, that’s the original acronym for the study Reid sponsored. The senator said these craft are not ours.

Reporter George Knapp: “What’s their interest in us? Why are they buzzing around?”

Former Sen. Harry Reid: “Well, let’s turn that around. Why are we interested in them? Same answer to your question, because we don’t know.”

Reporter George Knapp: “The Tic Tac. People have tried to explain it away, it’s almost an insult to our best pilots and sensors. It was real and we don’t understand it?”

Former Sen. Harry Reid: “This has been going on a long time. These sightings are said to have been set off by a rocket in California or something. People do not want, who are in positions of responsibility, whether it’s the Pentagon or whatever it might be, they don’t want to have to try and explain something that many times is not explainable.”

Reid says he has not personally read all of the reports and papers produced by the AAWSAP ( Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program) study but he saw a lot of it. He assigned two senior staff members to look at pretty much all of it.

The Pentagon has only confirmed the existence of 38 unclassified scientific papers produced by the study — five of those have been made public, so far. But what else is in the files?

Reid previously confirmed that the study investigated reports of UFO activity over American nuclear missile bases. He also says part of the focus was on a mysterious ranch in northeastern Utah, a property once owned by businessman Robert Bigelow.

The I-Team has learned Bigelow’s UFO study employed more than 50 people at one point. One of the known 38 papers looked into the harmful health consequences for persons who have had close encounters.

The paper has not been made public but the chief scientist in the program spoke about it last year in Las Vegas.

“We as part of this program looked at some cases that were really good from Brazil. In 1977, 78, it was like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a thousand pages of documents all done by the Brazilian Air Force investigative team, 500 photographs, 15 hours of motion film, a lot of medical injuries when people encountered these craft at close range,” said Dr. Hal Puthoff, BAASS physicist.

Senator Reid wanted to transition the study into a special access program, he says, because that was the only way to gain access to information and materials produced by other classified projects that have studied the same question.

“Other programs that have been done and information they have, including different pieces of evidence.” he said.

Reporter George Knapp: “Do you know what those pieces are?”

Former Sen. Harry Reid: “No, I’ve just heard rumors and I’m not going to get into rumors but that’s why I wanted special access to go there, and if I couldn’t go there, to have my staff go look at it.”

The question remains, go look at what?