Over the weekend, the New York Times revealed that the Pentagon’s studies on UFOs are real. Or, at least, they were official up until 2012, when the department says they shuttered their UFO research. But with rumblings that the UFO team never really went away, a former Pentagon official now says that there’s enough evidence to suggest that flying saucers are real, AND that they have visited us before.

The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program quietly operated at the Pentagon with a meager $22 million dollar budget until it lost its official funding in 2012. Sources told the Times, however, that the program went on without the funding, and mostly in secret — talk about a real-life X-Files. Now, with sources coming forward with information on the program, former military official Luis Elizondo says the program has uncovered enough evidence to support the existence of alien life, but he resigned because the Department of Defense refuses to release any information on the matter to the public.

Although he was adamant that he does not work for the government anymore and cannot speak on behalf of the government, in an interview with CNN on Monday, Elizondo told Erin Burnett, “My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.”

Some of the evidence Elizondo feels proves the existence of extraterrestrials includes video captured by two pilots of an unidentified object flying in a very jumpy way, unlike anything anyone has seen before (you can watch the video in the Times story and make up your own mind over what might be captured on the grainy film).

Not everyone’s imagination has been sparked by these sci-fi government revelations. Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense told CNN that he was dismayed to learn that the government ever spent millions of dollars investigating UFOS.

“It’s definitely crazy to spend $22 million to research UFOs,” Alexander told Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. “Pilots are always going to see things that they can’t identify, and we should probably look into them. But to identify them as UFOs, to target UFOs to research — that is not the priority we have as a national security matter right now.”

As for Elizondo, his passion for the unknown has landed him in a new position. Politico reported that he really left his position at the Pentagon in order to head up To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, the investigative foundation created by Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge in order to investigate extraterrestrial life and help the musician fund movies that explore the “truth” about UFOs on earth.

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(Photo by Andy Dunaway/USAF via Getty Images +Fox Television)