I have been going back through all of the available material I have on file, looking to answer what looks like simple enough questions. Those questions are, when did the program, that we have come to know as AATIP/AAWSAP, start, and what was its initial name?
During a January 2018 radio interview between journalist Giuliano Marinkovic and Luis Elizondo, Elizondo stated that the program commenced in 2007.
George Knapp, during a "Coast to Coast" radio interview with Hal Puthoff on 28 January 2018, stated that the start date was 2007, and Puthoff did not correct him on that date.
In a separate "Coast to Coast" radio interview on 28 February 2018, between Knapp and Elizondo, Elizondo said that his initial discussions about joining the program occurred sometime in 2008. There was no mention of a program start date.
During the 2018 MUFON Symposium talk by Elizondo, he mentioned that the start date was 2007. Indeed, one of his presentation slides showed:
"2007- Program originally created as a bipartisan effort (Stevens (R); Inoyoway (D-Hawaii) and Reid (D-Nevada) to better understand UAPs encountered by US Military and determine if they represented a national security threat
2007 - Congressional language establishing the "Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications program" aka AAWSAP
2007 - DIA solicits contract and BAASS is awarded the contract [KB - this 2007 date is clearly incorrect as the DIA solicitation is dated 18 Aug 2008.]
2008 - AAWSAP is formerly changed to AATIP by former program manager to focus more narrowly on the 5 observables and research of advanced physics application."
Part fact/part speculation
Does this time frame, i.e. a start date of 2007 fit in with other things we know?
February to June 2007
Fact: There was a discussion of the 2004 Nimitz encounter on the Above Top Secret website, in February 2007; where username "thefinaltheory" posted about what appears to be the November 2004 Nimitz encounter, and that this user eventually posted a video which appears to be the FLIR video released by TTSAS; and an "event log."
Fact: During his 8 June 2018 speech at the SSE/IRVA conference, when speaking about the AATIP, Hal Puthoff, stated that the program began in June 2007.
Speculation: Someone in officialdom took notice, post February 2007.
Post June 2007 - Prior January 2008
Fact: Discussions occurred between Senator Reid, someone from a US intelligence agency and Bob Bigelow. [Source: Reid's interview with the New York Magazine on 21 March 2018.]
Speculation: Senator Reid stated that he held discussions with Bob Bigelow about the topic after representations from a scientist in a US intelligence agency (without naming the DIA or any other agency) which is suggestive of this being Dr James T Lacatski who became the program manager of the AASWAP as set out in the 18 August 2008 DIA solicitation.
Speculation: Bob Bigelow and others, commenced investigating the 2004 Nimitz incident and after discussions between Bigelow and Reid, Bigelow decided to start up BAASS to have an organization ready to go with whatever came next.
Fact: Bigelow employed Douglas Kurth, a marine pilot who was one of the participants in the November 2004 Nimitz encounter. [Source: Kurth's page on LinkedIn states he started with Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) in December 2007.]
Fact: Bob Bigelow registered a company named Bigelow Aerospace Advance Space Studies LLC in Nevada. [Source: Nevada state records.]
Speculation: This was in preparation for any potential funding which might become available.
Fact: DIA solicitation HHM402-R-08-0211 dated 18 August 2008 calls for bids for the AAWSAP contract. [Source: click here.]
Fact: After the closing dates for bids of 5 September 2008, BAASS is awarded the contact. [Source: George Knapp on 4 May 2018, posted a partial shot of a document which appears to show that the successful tenderer was BAASS.)
Fact: BAASS advertises vacant positions which line up well with details in the DIA AAWSAP solicitation.[Source: click here.]