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Former Sen. Harry Reid: I was told Lockheed Martin had UFO crash fragments

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Then-U.S. Sen. Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV, delivers remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

A government contractor may have fragments recovered from the U.S. crash site of a UFO, former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid revealed this week.

The claims were published as part of a lengthy report in The New Yorker Friday, titled, "How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously." In the piece, Reid is quoted as saying he believes Lockheed Martin, the American aerospace firm, is in possession of such materials — but that he could not say for certain because he never got approval from the Pentagon to inspect the crash fragments himself, despite years of effort.

"I was told for decades that Lockheed had some of these retrieved materials," he told the magazine. "And I tried to get, as I recall, a classified approval by the Pentagon to have me go look at the stuff. They would not approve that. I don't know what all the numbers were, what kind of classification it was, but they would not give that to me."

Reid was originally reported as making similar comments in a 2017 New York Times story on the Pentagon's covert UFO program — though the newspaper was later forced to append a correction to the article softening the then-senator's statement.

Salon published its own in-depth look into the claims made by various actors in the blockbuster Times report, which The New Yorker credits as legitimizing the national conversation surrounding UFOs.

Reid has been a longtime advocate for research into unidentified aerial phenomena, spearheading an effort which ran from 2007 to 2012 called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. Pentagon watchers believe the program may still exist today, albeit in an informal manner.

Military contractors made up the bulk of the program's $20 million budget, in particular a firm called Bigelow Aerospace, run by billionaire and longtime Reid associate Robert Bigelow. One of The New Yorker's primary sources (and author of the 2017 New York Times story), the investigative journalist Leslie Kean, also sits on the board of a Bigelow-founded venture called the "Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies" — a connection the magazine failed to disclose.

As Salon's Keith Spencer noted at the time, military contractors like Bigelow profit handsomely from perpetuating the worldview that the earth — and beyond — is a cold and dangerous place.

The New Yorker story comes in advance of a widely anticipated report from the federal government's "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force" — an effort which was announced last summer as part of the COVID-19 relief bill signed by then-President Donald Trump.

The group's findings are expected to be released sometime in June.

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