After years of denials, the Pentagon dropped a bombshell Wednesday by admitting it investigates reports of “unidentified aerial phenomena” — in short, UFOs.

Department of Defense spokesman Christopher Sherwood says although the U.S. government shut down the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program in 2012, it still takes the notion of alien visitors very seriously.

“The Department of Defense is always concerned about maintaining positive identification of all aircraft in our operating environment, as well as identifying any foreign capability that may be a threat to the homeland,” Sherwood says.

“The department will continue to investigate reports of unidentified aircraft encountered by U.S. military aviators in order to ensure defense of the homeland.”

Sherwood’s comments have sent a shock wave over the UFO community. British UFO investigator Nick Pope calls his statement a “bombshell revelation,” while alien life analyst John Greenewald Jr. says “we’re one step closer to the truth.”

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