The Pentagon executive charged with explaining unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) offered an unexpected and troubling observation. Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), has publicly commented that national security issues are in play. On the occasion of Kirkpatrick’s announced departure from his position, he let it be known there are disturbing unresolved cases of UAP sightings. For those who believe the subject of unexplained aerial phenomena has not received the attention of the US Federal Government, it seems the Pentagon is taking the issue seriously.
Pentagon’s Chief UAP Analyst to Retire
Congress is now in the thick of the topic, and legislators like Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) are intensely involved in getting greater insight into UAP incidents. A Department of Defense (DOD) press release announced Dr. Kirkpatrick’s retirement from government service, explaining,
“During his tenure, Dr. Kirkpatrick stood up the office and its operations, investigated more than 800 unidentified anomalous phenomena cases, led an extensive search for U.S. Government and contractor programs associated with UAP, and established the department’s first public-facing website, to bring greater transparency to the department’s work. His commitment to transparency with the United States Congress and the American public on UAP leaves a legacy the department will carry forward as AARO continues its mission.”
The last sentence of the DOD announcement is the most important. The work of AARO is not a personality-driven program but one tied to the DOD as an institution. That underscores some level of confidence there will be continuity of effort and that the work Kirkpatrick accomplished will not grow fallow.
In the past, there has been a chilling effect on accurate, timely reporting because of a stigma associated with claims of having seen unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, as they are popularly known. Military pilots, commercial airline pilots, and ground observers have often been offered tin-foil hats for making their sightings public. The AARO program seeks to put a stop to such bureaucratic behavior. A comment made by Kirkpatrick in an exclusive interview with Politico puts the UAP discussion in a national security context that should be cause for concern. The departing AARO director believes, “‘the best thing that could come out of this job is to prove that there are aliens. If we don’t prove it’s aliens, what we’re finding is evidence of other people doing stuff in our backyard, and that’s not good,’ a much bigger problem.”
Kirkpatrick believes he and his AARO team have made progress in developing a systematized approach to transparency, with some practical results. The Hill reported:
“The House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security previously heard testimony from witnesses who have asked the government to be more transparent about how it handles UAP. Since then, Kirkpatrick announced that AARO had created a new reporting mechanism for troops and federal employees to report sightings of UAP and US-related programs.”
During a recent DOD press roundtable, Kirkpatrick encouraged people who believe the government is covering up or not being forthcoming with UAP information to visit the AARO website to submit a report. Those filing reports are assured of no reprisals since the reporting webpage states, “Individuals who make authorized disclosures to AARO are explicitly protected from reprisal under law, per the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2023.”
New UAP Reporting Process in Place
Furthermore, Kirkpatrick specifically called out military, government civilian, or contractor employees “who believe that they have firsthand knowledge of a U.S. government UAP program or activity to please come forward using this new secure reporting mechanism. We want to hear from you. As I’ve said, the information you submit in the form will be protected,” Kirkpatrick explained during the round table discussion. The new institutionalized DOD policies should help to cause people with information to be more comfortable coming forward. The caveat that reports should be “firsthand” precludes hearsay information that cannot be corroborated. “Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, AARO director, updated the number of sightings in the organization’s database to more than 800 cases, growing by 50 to 100 new reports each month. He said the numbers of really ‘anomalous’ incidents are on the order of 2% to 5%,” Liberty Nation reported.
Additionally, the AARO is helping the military to be more technically practical when providing information on observations made with radar or low-light-level video and infrared sensors. For example, “(W)e’re running a campaign and have been for the last year or so on here’s what a weather balloon looks like in an F-35 when you fly it at Mach 1 in all of the sensors,” Kirkpatrick said during the round table presentation. The outgoing AARO director also explained that his office was analyzing “data gaps” where sensors are not in place or are not tuned to identify UAP but other objects like balloons, missiles, or aircraft.
Looking back to where the Pentagon and other relevant agencies were just a few years ago, Dr. Kirkpatrick and his team have come a long way in making UAP relevant to the American public’s curiosity. Also, the work done by the AARO makes reporting UAP incidents a matter of national security. In the past, agencies dealing with UFOs first and UAPs more recently have treated sightings with a dismissive skepticism. The current AARO gives UAP the national security importance it deserves.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.