As wonderful as it is to imagine a world in which these things are possible, the government should not spend millions to fuel speculation.

Documents acquired by Vice through a public records request have revealed details of a secret government program that investigated highly speculative and often outlandish theories and technologies, including the development of invisibility cloaks and the feasibility of building a tunnel through the moon using nuclear explosions.

Note: - official sites the feds spent $22 million researching invisibility cloaks, UFOs, and a tunnel through the moon.

These documents (which are available here) reveal information about research conducted by the Advanced Aerospace Weapons System Application Program (AAWSAP), a program that often overlaps with the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). Both were funded by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), a division of the Department of Defense (DOD). AAWSAP and AATIP research has focused on the potential long-term use of technologies in military and defense contexts. While AATIP "was the name of the general program."

AAWSAP "was the name of the contract that the DIA awarded for the production of technical reports," according to a DIA spokesperson.

AATIP made waves in 2020 for its study of UFO-related phenomena. (It officially disbanded in 2012, but various reports indicate that it survived in one form or another.) Although the existence of AAWSAP and AATIP has been known for years, recently released details of their investigation turn out to be as far-fetched as UFO fodder of yore. "None of these technologies appear to have come anywhere near a reality, as far as we know," Vice says. On the contrary, the aspects of this program that are now emerging are reports, assessments and memos that reveal truly bizarre research conducted with government money, out of public view.

A paper, titled "Invisibility Cloaking: Theory and Experiments," explores "cloaking, transparency, and cloaking" and "honestly discusses the technological challenges of making a practical invisibility cloak," according to a memo. of the DIA. Selected illustrations in the invisibility-related concept report include H.G. Wells' novel The Invisible Man, Jellyfish, and the Invisible Woman, a character from the Fantastic Four comic book series. “It is not yet entirely clear whether invisibility in the visible range of the spectrum will become a reality,” the document concludes.

Another report deals with negative mass propulsion and the possibility of exploiting negative mass wells for space travel. "The center of the moon happens to be a potential pit," reads the article's abstract. "Tunneling through the moon, provided there is a good store of negative mass, could revolutionize interstellar spaceflight." There is a long discussion of the processes "required to break up rocks to tunnel from the center of the its surface", suggesting "nuclear explosions".

The Defense Supplementary Appropriations Act of 2008 provided $10 million for AATIP and the Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 allocated $12 million, or $22 million over five years. It's unclear how much of that money went to UFO research and how much went to invisibility cloaks, as how the money was used has been kept secret.

One of the key figures who advocated for this secrecy was former Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who was behind the creation of the investigative program. Reid pushed for high levels of classification, writing that "further study of these issues will likely lead to technological advances which, in the immediate term, will require extraordinary protection." In a 2009 letter to then-Under Secretary of Defense William Lynn, Reid argued that the insights and innovations resulting from the survey "would enable the United States to maintain its pre-eminence as a world leader ".

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As questions about research priorities grow, so do concerns about financial transparency. According to Vice, "AATIP and AAWSAP weren't doing much of this research in-house." Rather, they were based on contract research conducted by Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Studies. Robert Bigelow, the owner of this company, was a friend of Reid; Vice reports that Bigelow "lobbied for the creation of the AATIP program" and that his organization was the only bid for the AAWSAP contract. Bigelow has also funded.