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News Link • Secret Government Projects

On the Trail of a Secret Pentagon U.F.O. Program

• https://www.nytimes.com, By RALPH BLUMENTHAL

The piece, by the Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper, the author Leslie Kean and myself — a contributor to The Times after a 45-year staff career — has dominated the most emailed and most viewed lists since.

So how does a story on U.F.O.s get into The New York Times? Not easily, and only after a great deal of vetting, I assure you.

The journey began two and a half months ago with a tip to Leslie, who has long reported on U.F.O.s and published a 2010 New York Times best seller, "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record." At a confidential meeting Oct. 4 in a Pentagon City hotel with several present and former intelligence officials and a defense contractor, she met Luis Elizondo, the director of a Pentagon program she had never heard of: the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.

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