Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

60 Minutes would like to remind you that UFOs are real

60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker having his mind blown right open.
60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker having his mind blown right open.
Screenshot: 60 Minutes

One of the weirdest things about living in the 21st century is that the American government has confirmed that it’s been seriously investigating UFOs for a long time but nobody (outside of, we imagine, some of the most intense corners of the internet) really seems to care very much. In an effort to once again try to generate interest in the fact that there are weird aircraft pretty regularly flying around up above us, 60 Minutes decided to air a special on what we’re now supposed to call “unidentified aerial phenomena” (or UAPs).

In one of the clips made available online, host Bill Whitaker interviews a man named Luis “Lue” Elizondo, who began running a Pentagon program called Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (or AATIP) in 2010 in order to study “the national security implications of unidentified aerial phenomena documented by U.S. service members.”

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Elizondo doesn’t mince words when asked if he believes that UFOs are real. “I think we’re beyond that already,” he says. “The government has already stated for the record that they’re real. I’m not telling you that. The United States government is telling you that.”

The episode goes on to show publicly released footage, to interview Navy pilots who have witnessed them in person, and to basically just tell viewers that the U.S. government is, like your favorite cousin, very much into UFOs.

Sure, if you want to be a total killjoy, you can focus on Elizondo reminding viewers that UAPs are just “unidentified aerial phenomena,” which doesn’t mean they’re necessarily chrome saucers being piloted by aliens. But we at The A.V. Club, like the UFO-hunting Demi Lovato, stand on the side of truth. We know that any flash in the sky, Pentagon-verified or not, is definitive proof of extraterrestrial life.

If you’d like to join us in becoming paranoid, basement-dwelling Mulders, read the 60 Minutes’ episode transcript here for more.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.