By Joe Murgia
After listening to numerous interviews and lectures where award-winning, investigative reporter, George Knapp, has detailed the history between himself, former Senator Harry Reid and UFOs, I’ve decided that Reid strikes me as a UFO aficionado. And in a big time stroke of luck, I stumbled upon an interview with the former Senate majority leader last month here in Vegas and had the opportunity to ask him a few of my own questions on the subject. I didn’t know if he’d be open to speaking about it with me, a stranger with a blog, but I certainly was going to give it a shot.
Knapp has said that he first discussed the subject of UFOs with Senator Reid way back in 1989, in a limo, on the way to McCarran Airport here in Las Vegas. The Bob Lazar phenomenon was just about to be unleashed upon the world and Knapp shared what he knew. Reid was interested in the story and the subject matter and has remained that way ever since. That interest and curiosity led to him – among other things – sitting in on NIDS (National Institute for Discovery Science) board meetings, helping to procure UFO documents for Knapp and discussing the subject with astronaut and Senator, John Glenn.
But the thing Reid will most be remembered for is spearheading the creation of the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Application Program, which expanded beyond the study of nuts and bolts flying saucers and looked at everything paranormal. That included, most importantly, an investigation into the infamous and mysterious Skinwalker Ranch in Utah.
(For more on how that all came about and much, much more, check out the transcript of George Knapp’s recent lecture at UFO MegaCon in Laughlin, Nevada. It’s basically everything you always wanted to know about AAWSAP, AATIP, Reid and UFOs but were afraid to ask. It’s a must read.)
On March 11th, I received an email from a company that was looking for a cameraman to shoot a short “testimonial interview” here in Vegas in a few days. I get those kind of offers all the time and I accepted. But I had no idea who I was going to be shooting. Several emails later, I was told it would be a former politician. No big deal. I’ve shot plenty of interviews with politicians. A few emails after that, I was given specifics. The former politician I was going to be shooting with was Senator Harry Reid. What? Are you kidding me? I couldn’t contain myself. I immediately thought about what I was going to ask him! And I also immediately started getting butterflies in my stomach. Nerves. Stay calm. Stay calm.
Vegas has a ton of camera operators and videographers. Considering my obsession with UFOs, what are the odds that I would be the one chosen to work with Reid, one of the biggest and most respected names in the UFO world today? This was a major synchronicity in my book.
It wasn’t guaranteed that I would be able to ask him any questions about UFOs because that’s not what I was hired for. But I prepared some questions anyway. Just in case. On the day of the shoot, I met my friend (who was running sound) at Reid’s office and we brought all of our equipment in. His executive assistant led us to the man who helped change the landscape of Ufology and who I feel might go down in history as one of the most important politicians in the world.
I was nervous but had to stay calm and complete the shoot, which was over in fifteen minutes. And as my heart raced, I asked Reid if I could talk to him about UFOs. He agreed. What follows is the transcript of that interview. If I had to do it over again, I’d ask lots more questions. My nerves got the best of me. I’m disappointed in my lack of follow-ups but overall, I’m happy that was able to get anything. And Reid didn’t disappoint. It was clear to me that this was a subject he enjoyed talking about. And we’re lucky to have him on our side.
Harry Reid Interview – March 15th, 2019
Joe Murgia: What kind of progress have you had with talking to folks in Congress about hearings on UFOs?
Senator Harry Reid: What’s happened so far is people are interested in the subject and I’ve been able to meet with certain staff. But we’ve not found any Senators that are really interested in the subject. And that’s too bad.
I’ve found in this matter, as important as it is, that people are afraid to step out for fear of people criticizing them for talking about extraterrestrial things…observations. And I think that’s wrong. I was, from the very beginning, interested in this subject for some time and for a lot of reasons. I was always out front in my feelings. And I always felt that we should approach this on a scientific basis.
A year or so ago I was called by a New York Magazine reporter. They said they wanted to do a story on what my work had been with flying saucers. Look, I’m happy to do the interview. But if you’re looking for me to talk to you about little green men and all kinds of things like that? I won’t do it. If you want to talk about the science, I’ll do it. And we had a really good interview and a good story in New York Magazine.
So that’s how I feel about it. I feel people should not be afraid of the subject. I don’t have any of the answers that would probably make a lot of difference. I have some answers. And we have flying saucers. It’s not a question of ten people have seen them. A hundred. A thousand. Thousands and thousands and thousands of people have seen them. And I mean observations of unidentified flying objects that have been there. Also we have hundreds of people watching them at one time. So I think its something we should look at it and try and figure out what’s going on. Whether we figure it out right now or not, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to find out.
I’ve said before and I believe this: KGB is heavily involved in Russia. The former head of the KGB is president of Russia. I guarantee you they’re looking at some of this stuff. I bet China is. I bet other countries are. America should not be any different. We should be looking at this intensely.
Murgia: Can the American people do anything as far as force our government’s hand on Congressional hearings? Maybe petitions? Would that matter?
Reid: I think that they should…any time there’s a town hall meeting or any type of public event that you could talk to your member of Congress, you should ask them about it. You’ll find most of them won’t answer directly. But that’s what they should do.
Murgia: You think maybe some of the newer members of Congress, the younger people coming in may be more open to it? The ones who are pushing for a New Green Deal? Maybe there’s a connection with new energy or propulsion related to the unidentified craft?
Reid: I don’t think it has anything to do with age. I think it has everything to do with interest. I found some of the most interesting people are people who have spent a lot of their life trying to figure out what’s going on. So I don’t think it’s necessarily something that just young people are interested in.
Murgia: How does getting the AAWSAP program started with Inouye and Stevens rank versus your other political accomplishments? For me, it’s huge.
Reid: Somebody else will have to judge that. I’ve done quite a bit of stuff.
Murgia: How do you feel about it?
Reid: Oh, I’m glad I did it.
Murgia: Any opinion on Bob Lazar?
Reid: I’ve watched his films and all that. I think there’s probably an element of truth to it. I don’t accept all of what he says. I think there’s something to it. I can’t say he’s a fool, you know. I’ve watched him. Seems like a nice guy and he believes what he’s saying. Kind of like…I watched a film recently on the great folk singer Pete Seeger. And they accused him of being a Communist. So he went before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and testified. They said, “Are you a Communist?” He said, “I believe what I believe and I’ll continue to believe in what I believe. I’m not gonna tell you any more.” He never ever told them whether he was or wasn’t. They black listed him, of course.
Murgia: How hard was it for you to keep the funding for AAWSAP? Was everybody coming at you from all angles to try to cancel the funding?
Reid: No, because they didn’t know it was there. It was all hidden money. Nobody knew it was there except Inouye and Stevens. So-called black money.
Murgia: There are rumors that there are other UFO programs. You think they would be located in Special Access Programs, where the public has no access to them?
Reid: They would have to be.
Murgia: Thank you.
Reid: You bet. Good luck with your blog.
Murgia: Thank you.