Former Senate leader urges funding UFO research: ‘The truth is out there’

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidLobbying World Mitch McConnell is not invincible Seven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary MORE (D-Nev.) on Saturday renewed his call for the United States to fund UFO research, reasoning that the country must pursue studies of space phenomena in the interest of national security and science.

"If anyone says they have the answers, they’re fooling themselves. We don’t know the answers but we have plenty of evidence to support asking the questions. This is about science and national security. If America doesn’t take the lead in answering these questions, others will," Reid wrote in a subsequent tweet.

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Reid on Twitter linked to a Saturday New York Times report about the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a covert Pentagon project which investigated unidentified flying objects.

The newspaper reported that, despite the decision of the Department of Defense to defund the project in 2012, its backers say "the program remains in existence." 

Reid, who has had a long-held interest in space phenomena, spearheaded the start of the research program in 2007 when he served as Senate majority leader.

The program reportedly received about $22 million in defense funding, and part of the program is still considered classified.

Reid, who retired from Congress earlier this year, said he is proud that he started the program while serving in public office.

“I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going,” Reid told the Times.

“I think it’s one of the good things I did in my congressional service. I’ve done something that no one has done before,” he added.