Luis Elizondo, the former head of the Pentagon’s secret UFO program, urged the public to “have courage and ask hard questions” of elected officials and “pursue things we don’t understand” regarding unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP).

Surgery prevented Elizondo from attending the International UFO Congress last week at We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center.

He recorded a nearly 40-minute video in which he revealed information about the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program he headed. Bigelow Aerospace was contracted to do the work.

The New York Times broke the story about the secret program within the Department of Defense (DOD) in December 2017.

The newspaper said the men behind the $22 million governmental funding were former Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada; the late Sen. Red Stevens, R-Alaska, and the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.

The Pentagon told the newspaper that funding was canceled in 2012 because of a lack of results. Elizondo said that was false. He and other DOD officials continued the work, he said, by reapportioning money for other programs.

Elizondo now works for To the Stars Academy, an organization comprised of former intelligence officials, scientists and engineers who investigate undetermined aerial objects. The Academy’s founder is musician Tom DeLonge.

Elizondo said he resigned because of the Pentagon’s secrecy, leaving a healthy federal salary, pension and 401K pension and benefits to join the Academy and explore the controversial subject.

He succeeded in getting three videos released. One is a video from an incident of a UFO observed by personnel from the Nimitz aircraft carrier and captured on infrared video from a Super Hornet jet fighter cockpit.

Elizondo said the AATIP program has claimed “what was considered science fiction is now science fact.”

Elizondo said Bigelow’s company modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.

“We truly don’t know what’s behind the wheel,” said Elizondo, preferring not to use the word alien in regard to the incidents. “I think we need to engage those who we put in office to represent us and our interests.”