In December of 2017, the New York Times revealed that the United States Defense Department had been secretly funding investigations into reports made by military personnel of unidentified flying objects, or unidentified aerial phenomena as they’re sometimes called. Although funding had been cut in 2012, the investigations continued under the supervision of Luis Elizondo, who resigned from his role in protest a few months prior to the publishing of a groundbreaking report, citing the Pentagon’s resistance to adequately addressing what he perceived to be legitimate threats to national security.

In the months that followed, a flurry of unusual stories emerged that were tied to the program, dubbed the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP. That rapid flow of newly revealed information established a number of interesting parallels between the subjects of interest to the Defense Department and topics commonly relegated to conspiracy-oriented sub-Reddits and online forums, further muddying the waters between what AATIP was really doing and what believers and skeptics have asserted the program was up to.

In fact, there’s even a great deal of debate as to what the program was actually called, with some contending that it was really the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program (AAWSAP), and others contending that the AAWSAP was a part of, or evolved into, AATIP. That discussion, however, can’t progress without addressing the billionaire elephant in the room, Robert Bigelow. His company was contracted through AATIP to conduct a number of investigations pertaining to the seemingly paranormal. He was also the owner of what many UFO researchers tend to call “Skinwalker Ranch” during this time, potentially lending credence to some of the unusual stories to emerge from that remote stretch of Utah territory.

But billionaire believers, Pentagon lines of accounting, and even Native American legends aren’t the end of where this story gets strange—they’re just the beginning. Soon after it became public that Elizondo had departed his role as the Pentagon’s reigning UFO investigator, it was announced that he’d signed on with an unusual outfit called To the Stars Academy: a group dedicated to revealing what they call “exotic science and technologies” that, they would contend, ties their work directly to the UFO phenomena.