LAS VEGAS - A once-secret Pentagon study of UFOs may be finished, but according to published reports, the U.S. government is still collecting information about encounters between unknown aircraft and our military.
So far, the government has not released official reports or findings from the study that was headquartered in southern Nevada, but the man who authorized that study knows a bit about the content.
Former Nevada Senator Harry Reid gave the I-Team and exclusive interview.
One critic of the UFO study said on Cable news Tuesday night that of course, we should study unknowns that are encountered by military pilots, but we shouldn't study those UFOs.
The study conducted here had input from the best and brightest trained pilots and other observers, back up by radar returns, instrumentation and -- sometimes -- physical evidence. One account came from a bomber pilot who later became a U.S. senator.
"I was flying and there was an object next to me. I couldn't get rid of it, I slowed up, it was there. I sped up, it was there. I would dive, it would be there. I called. Nothing on radar," Reid said.
The story told to Harry Reid came from Republican Senator Ted Stevens, whose experience as a World War II bomber pilot was shared during a closed door meeting at the U.S. capitol. Reid says that meeting in 2007 led to funding for a clandestine study of UFOs.
Reid had been approached by an unnamed intelligence official who felt the topic deserved study because of decades of spooky encounters between the U.S. military and unknown aerial objects, like one off the California coast in 2004.
UFOs as big as airliners played cat and mouse with the USS Nimitz carrier group several times over a three week period. An object shaped like a gigantic Tic Tac performed seemingly impossible maneuvers.
Another video recorded by military pilots caught glimpses of what the aviators said was a fleet of unknown aircraft.
"They are outmatched by a technology they've never seen. Clearly this is not an experimental aircraft, but whose is it?" said Chris Mellon, former intelligence official, To The Stars Event.
News of the encounter was first unveiled back in October during the launch of a public benefit corporation called To The Stars Academy, the bigger story was missed, namely that the video had been analyzed in the study initiated by Senator Reid. Results from the study have not been made public. Reid says the program cast a wide net, and included incidents with clear national security implications, such as chilling reports in which UFOs hovered over American nuclear missiles bases, as portrayed in a documentary UFOs and Nukes.
"It's in the documents. Scores and scores of men come out, look up wondering what that is. They wouldn't leave. Communications in the missile defense system was shut down. It didn't happen just once. It happened more than once," Reid said.
He adds, the study investigated reports of USO, unidentified submerged objects, and it incorporated the UFO files collected by other nations which have been more open about the issue.
One aim of the study was to find out the origin of the craft. Intelligence officials ruled out the Russians or Chinese but Reid says our adversaries are likely ahead of us in trying to duplicate a far-superior technology.
Reporter George Knapp: "Are there indications that Russia and China are studying it?
Harry Reid: "The answer is yes."
Las Vegas businessman Robert Bigelow, whose aerospace facility housed the UFO study team, says he signed a strict non-disclosure agreement and cannot discuss the findings. Reid says the study produced voluminous reports but was canceled because of fears within the intelligence community, fear not only that the story would leak out, but fear based on religious beliefs who felt that UFOs might be satanic.
Reporter George Knapp: "Did you hear that, that it's evil?
Harry Reid: "Yes. I think there are a lot of people who don't like it for a number of reasons and religious views. It didn't fit with what they wanted to spend money on."
Persons familiar with the five year study told the I-Team the effort resulted in three dozen thick reports, some of them several hundred pages in length, as well as another three dozen or so technical reports which projected how this kind of exotic technology might usher in a new era of aviation, and what that might mean.
Thursday, Senator Reid talks about whether we need Congressional hearings on UFOs.
North Las Vegas Police say three people are dead and…
Metro Police say a person was killed in a crash near Grand…
A motorcyclist has died after a crash in the east valley Saturday…