Alejandro Rojas, a journalist and radio talk show host known for his work with UFOs spoke to a packed room Friday at the International UFO Museum Research Center about a recently declassified Pentagon program.
The presentation was one of a host of presentations that attracted people to the 23rd annual UFO Festival.
During the hour-long presentation, Rojas, a host for Open Minds Radio and contributing editor for Open Minds magazine, spoke about the revelation that from 2007 to 2011 there was a U.S. Department of Defense program that investigated military sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena.
News of the existence of the program surfaced in late 2017 with the leak of a Pentagon document and in December a story on the front page of The New York Times. Rojas said officials at the Pentagon say the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program ended in 2012 when it ran out of funding.
Rojas said Luis Elizondo, the former head of the program, and former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who was instrumental in gaining congressional approval for funding of the program, says it still exists.
Rojas said he was told high-ranking officials are in charge of the program, but Rojas asked him not to reveal the exact rank of the individuals.
“So it is not just low-level staffers or something, like how all original UFO investigations used to be in the ‘50s. This is very high-level,” he said.
Elizondo released two unclassified aerial videos that show what are purported to be UFOs. The videos were released by Elizondo through To The Stars Academy, a group — started by former Blink 182 lead singer and UFO enthusiast Tom Delonge — that is composed of people from the military, Defense Department and science meant to investigate UFOs and develop technologies based on what they have observed.
The videos are secondary because they are short and people can’t make much of them.
Rojas said what is more important is what they caught on the radar and that some of the personnel that saw them have spoken out to the media.
One of the two videos released was of a 2004 sighting off the coast of San Diego involving the U.S.S. Nimitz carrier group. The group at the time was engaged in military exercises throughout the course of a few days when objects that could not be identified were picked up on the radar moving at a high speed. Marine pilots were wrapping up their exercises when they were asked to fly down and get a closer look at the objects in the water.
Rojas said Commander David Fravor, who has since gone public with what he saw, and another Marine pilot saw a disturbance in the water, and the water was boiling. The object that was above the water was about 40 feet-wide and circular in shape, which Rojas said Fravor and another pilot described as a 40-foot wide Tic Tac. The pilots at the time did not know what to make of it.
Fravor went down to inspect the object further but Rojas said before Fravor could get a better look at it, the object sped off and out of range of the radar.
Another pilot also gave a similar account, Rojas said.
Fravor then contacted one of the radar ships because he did not know exactly where the object went, but later spotted it back at the training area before it sped off again.
Later that evening, something was on Fravor’s radar video for a short period of time but he did not know what it was.
Rojas said that Fravor and other witnesses said the object, which they caught only a brief look at, was equipped with technology that was superior to that of the U.S. Military.
He added that other governments around the world have had similar experiences. Similar objects have been seen by military on the ground or in the air and then when a jet goes down to inspect them, the object flees. When the jet is gone, the object then sometimes returns.
A similar incident took place in 1952 at Washington National Airport and was witnessed by some members of the U.S. Air Force, Rojas said.
“The jets came in, the objects take off. The jets leave and the objects come back,” he said.
UFO sightings have reached a point where they are getting serious coverage by the mainstream media, Rojas said. He cited stories in The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as interviews with Elizondo and Fravor on CNN and shows like CBS’ “60 Minutes” as examples.
“What is great about it is that it has been constant coverage,” he said.
Crime reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.