Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants Congress to hold hearings on UFOs, and he claims the late Sen. John McCain was interested in the unidentified flying objects, too.
Earlier this year, Reid, D-Nev., told Las Vegas radio station KNPR that he is unsure of what extraterrestrial life looks like or how likely the existence of UFOs really is, but he thinks there needs to be more research done.
“I personally don’t know if there exists little green men other places. I kind of doubt that, but I do believe that the information we have indicates we should do a lot more study,” Reid said in a January interview. “We have hundreds and hundreds of people that have seen the same thing — something in the sky; it moves a certain way.”
Reid, who retired from the Senate in 2017, has long pushed for investigations into the supposedly extraterrestrial spacecrafts. He participated in the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a once-secret Pentagon investigation into UFOs, until 2012. He told KNPR that the program looked into unusual sightings reported by military service members and pilots.
“What we found in the past is that these pilots, when they see something strange like this, they’re prone not to report it for fear that the bosses will think something’s wrong with them, and they don’t get the promotion,” Reid told KNPR. “So, many, many times they don’t say a word to anybody about these strange things.”
Reid said McCain, R-Ariz., had always been interested in the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program and its research into UFO sightings, and told Nevada’s KLAS-TV that that was why McCain requested information for the Senate Armed Services Committee.
McCain, who died on Aug. 25, was Armed Services chairman.
“Sure, John knew what I was doing,” Reid told Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV in January. “He didn’t hide the fact that he was interested also.”
McCain and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the ranking Democratic member on Armed Services, jointly reached out to the Defense Intelligence Agency about the program’s research.
In a Jan. 9, 2018, response, the agency told McCain and Reed that “the purpose of AATIP was to investigate foreign advanced aerospace weapon threats.” UFOs were not mentioned in the letter.
Reid told the New York Times in its 2017 investigation into the program that he was inspired by his friend Robert Bigelow, a longtime UFO enthusiast.
Reid also hails from the state known for Area 51, the U.S. Air Force facility that has long been surrounded by myths of extraterrestrial beings and spacecraft.
“Oh sure, I’ve been to Area 51. I know Area 51. I don’t know if I should say many times, but lots and lots of times. I know Area 51 quite well, I know what they’ve done there,” Reid told KNPR, the Nevada radio station. “I don’t know in recent years, of course, but I know what went on there.”
McCain wouldn’t have been the first senator from Arizona who was intrigued by the possibility of flying saucers.
Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., McCain’s five-term predecessor, also served as Senate Armed Services chairman.
Goldwater, who died in 1998, said that Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay rebuffed his efforts to gain entry to a space at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio where he believed the government stored “sacred stuff” related to UFOs.