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After years of silence, Pentagon finally opens up about UFO research

Americans are hopeful that this will lead to a full disclosure of our governmental secrets regarding the phenomenon.

The truth is out there…and the Pentagon may finally be ready to admit it.

For decades, the US government has appeared to be roiled in a controversy of galactic proportions.  Beginning all the way back in World War II, American military forces have been dealing with an unsettling reality regarding strange craft zipping around earth’s skies.

It was nearly the end of World War II. But for the airmen of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron, it felt more like the beginning of War of the Worlds.

Lt. Fred Ringwald was the first to see it. He was riding as observer in a night fighter piloted by Lt. Ed Schlueter, with Lt. Donald J. Meiers on radar. It was a late November evening in 1944, partly cloudy with a quarter moon. They were roaming the Rhine Valley just north of Strasbourg on the French-German border when Ringwald said, “I wonder what those lights are, over there in the hills,” according to an American Legion Magazine story on the sightings from 1945.

There were eight to 10 of them in a row, glowing fiery orange. Then Schlueter saw them off his right wing. They checked with Allied ground radar, but they registered nothing. Thinking that the lights might be some kind of German air weapon, Schlueter turn the plane to fight…only to have the lights vanish.

Then there was, of course, the Roswell incident in which a rancher in New Mexico reported a strange, downed aircraft deep in the desert.  The ensuing pandemonium would see the US military issue a number of contradictory statements on the incident, further fueling the fear that we may be playing host to visitors from another world entirely.

This alleged coverup has been fodder for television and movie writers for decades since, culminating in a very real belief that our government has been less-than forthcoming with information regarding the phenomenon.

Now, one-fifth of the way through the 21st century, the Pentagon is finally speaking up.

The Pentagon has finally uttered the words it always avoided when discussing the possible existence of UFOs — “unidentified aerial phenomena” — and admits that it still investigates reports of them.

In a statement provided exclusively to The Post, a Department of Defense spokesman said a secret government initiative called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program “did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena.”

And while the DOD says it shut down the AATIP in 2012, spokesman Christopher Sherwood acknowledged that the department still investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft.

The verbiage of the admission was predictably a bit bland.

“The Department of Defense is always concerned about maintaining positive identification of all aircraft in our operating environment, as well as identifying any foreign capability that may be a threat to the homeland,” Sherwood said.

Does this mean a wholesale disclosure of our government’s knowledge of possible extraterrestrials?

Not likely, but the Pentagon’s statement will only further the curiosity that Americans have on the subject.

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