The Defense Department secretly set up a program ten years ago to investigate unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, at the urging of then-Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to new reports. Both The New York Times and the website Politico published stories Saturday revealing the existence of the Pentagon’s now-defunct Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The New York Times said the UFO program began in 2007, while Politico reported in began in 2009.

According to the reports, Reid, a Nevada Democrat, helped steer money under the program to a donor’s aerospace research company. A Pentagon spokesman said the UFO program ended in 2012, though The New York Times said the Defense Department still investigates potential episodes of unidentified flying objects. “The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 timeframe,” READ MORE