The head of the Pentagon’s office that reviews Reported Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP — commonly known as UFOs, unidentified flying objects) told the US Congress this week that his office is now reviewing more than 650 incidents, but so far none have anything shown was evidence of extraterrestrial activity or defied the known laws of physics.
dr Sean M. Kirkpatrick, the director of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), testified before the US Senate Armed Forces Committee on April 19, 2023, providing an update on his investigations into UAPs reported by military personnel.
Screenshot of the congressional hearing with Dr. Sean M. Kirkpatrick, Director of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO)
Two new videos were released at the Congressional Open Hearing to highlight how the recently formed AARO can explain some incidents but not others.
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“I want to emphasize today that only a very small percentage of UAP reports have signatures that could reasonably be labeled ‘anomalous,'” Kirkpatrick told the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. “The majority of the unidentified objects reported to AARO have commonplace characteristics of balloons, unmanned aerial systems, clutter, natural phenomena, or other easily explainable sources.”
Video available on the Pentagon’s website shows an incident in the Middle East on July 12, 2022, in which a spherical object flew over what appeared to be a military base and was captured on aerial footage by an MQ-9 drone. This object is still under investigation and remains unidentified.
The other video showed a view of an incident that the Pentagon says took place on January 15, 2023 over South Asia. In this case, an MQ-9 drone captured infrared video showing another MQ-9 while another object flew through the field of view. In this case, after analysis and review of additional footage and information, it was determined that the object was an airliner.
Screenshot of an anomalous cylindrical object flying past a military drone. It was determined to be an airliner at a distance.
“If you squint, it looks like an airplane because it actually turns out to be an airplane,” he said.
Kirkpatrick said the 650 UAP incidents reported by military personnel were an increase from the 510 reported by the US Secret Service in its previous UAP report released in January this year.
Kirkpatrick noted that most military UAP reports follow similar trend lines, with most occurring between 15,000 and 25,000 feet, which is controlled airspace for military aircraft. For the unsolved sightings, AARO experts believe the likely explanation is that the sightings rely on technology created by US adversaries, not aliens.
What’s needed, Kirkpatrick said, stems from a lack of available data that could help investigators conduct more thorough reviews.
“Without sufficient data, we are unable to draw reasonable conclusions that meet the high scientific standards we have set for the solution, and I will not close a case whose conclusions we cannot defend,” he said.
Fifty-two percent of the reports involve objects described as “round or spherical.” Most round objects range in size from one to four meters and are described as “white, silver, or translucent metallic” with apparent velocities ranging from stationary to twice the speed of sound.
Kirkpatrick emphasized that his team has not yet found any extraterrestrial explanations for the sightings.
“I should also make it clear that in our research to date, AARO has found no credible evidence of extraterrestrial activity, extraterrestrial technology, or objects that defy the known laws of physics,” he said. “In the event that sufficient scientific data is ever obtained that an encountered UAP can only be explained by extraterrestrial origin, we commit to working with our interagency partners at NASA to provide U.S. government leadership with appropriate updates on their findings.” inform.”
While UFO enthusiasts were skeptical of Kirkpatrick’s statement, saying that he and AARO are downplaying truly anomalous phenomena, a group of scientists studying UAP said they welcome this first public release of some factual data on reported UAP, such as their shapes and heights.
“The hearing described a rigorous approach to collecting and resolving military UAP reports,” the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies (SCU) said in a press release. “It also included the first public release by the US government of a series of factual data on UAP shapes, elevations and hotspots, radar, radio and thermal IR characteristics reported between 1996 and 2023. Fortunately, the listed attributes from these classified military reports match typical features gleaned from large non-classified databases of UAP witness accounts.”
The SCU describes itself as a “data-driven organization of scientists, engineers, academics and research professionals dedicated to conducting and supporting open scientific research on UAP”.
“The technical experts of the SCU see that Dr. Kirkpatrick and his team are taking the right steps in three key areas of the endeavor,” the press release continues: “Meticulous UAP case triage methods, skillful use of intelligence and science teams, and technical details of the case study as presented in the video analysis during the public hearing. This approach is critical to resolving UAP reports into the categories of insufficient data, prosaic phenomena, potential enemy ships, and the truly unknown.”
But Kirkpatrick hasn’t downplayed the importance of the public to also report unexplained sightings, as it allows AARO and scientists to analyze the UAP incidents as well.
“That’s how science works, not through blogs or social media,” he said.
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