8 min readMay 2, 2023

UFO Hearings: Will the AARO Fly True?

Dr. Kirkpatrick at the Senate UAP Hearing. Credit: US Congress.

On the 19th April, 2023, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, current head of the Pentagon’s UFO office, AARO (All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office), sat down to answer questions from US Senators of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

Many UFO/UAP researchers, experiencers, advocates, and activists were left with mixed feelings after the hearing. Those hoping for evidence of a non-human presence on earth were disappointed this time around, yet it’s clear that AARO is only just beginning its investigations, and they have not ruled out any hypothesis. Possible explanations currently 'on the table' range from the mundane, such as balloons, to the extraordinary; extra-terrestrial, or non-human technology.

Here are a few of the highs and lows from the hearing.


  • AARO has so far recruited over 36 analysts and is working with multiple agencies across the USG.
  • Analysts are split into two teams, intelligence and scientific, and are expected to reach consensus before a case can be considered "resolved".
  • Case load is currently at 650+ military encounters.
  • Reported UAP shapes include: spheres, discs, triangles, cylinders and lights. This is 100% consistent with civilian research over the past 75+ years.
  • UFO hotspots locations revealed in slides.
  • Two new videos were released to illustrate methodology: one was resolved as a distant aircraft, the other remains in their "active unresolved" archive.
  • AARO are hoping to create a public portal allowing interested civilians to review data.
  • AARO have now interviewed 24 military witnesses, some of whom are known to have worked on classified 'legacy' UFO programs.


  • Despite new legislation AARO is still reporting to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Intelligence and Security (OUSD I&S). They should be reporting directly to the Secretary of Defence, Lloyd J. Austin.
  • Dr. Kirkpatrick does not currently have the authority to access certain types of intelligence and security information. (Title 50)
  • AARO is waiting for clearance from OSUD(I&S) to create a public portal for declassifying and sharing data.
  • Dr. Kirkpatrick submitted a proposal in December (2022) for whistle-blower access to contact and share information with AARO and Congress. Despite new legislation offering protection, which was signed into law in December, he has yet to receive a response.

It is notable that OSUD(I&S) was former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), Lue Elizondo’s previous employer and it is well known that they had created obstacles in the past. In fact, it was the very reason that prompted Elizondo to resign his position in 2017 and begin the process that brought us to where we are today.

Video evidence:

With over 650 military UFO encounters in it’s database, we can be certain that AARO has a large number of video and other sensor data in its possession. According to those who have received classified briefings on the topic, some of this evidence is extremely compelling. During the hearing, Dr. Kirkpatrick played two newly declassified videos. First was a resolved case, depicting a distant aircraft somewhere in South Asia.

Unfortunately, raw files are not available and much of the data has been redacted, making it very difficult for civilian researchers to assess the footage.

Watch the resolved video here:

Slide with background on resolved video. Credit: AARO.

The second declassified video was captured by an MQ-9 Reaper drone and shows an apparent spherical object over the Middle East, possibly Iraq, it remains unexplained to date.

Watch the unresolved video here:

Slide with background on unresolved video. Credit: AARO.

The slides:

Along with the two videos, Dr. Kirkpatrick also released three slides, one in particular included a lot of statistical data covering the 650 cases in their files.

UAP Reporting Trends: 1996 - 2023. Credit: AARO.

UAP Reporting Trends 1996-2023 is an overview of AARO’s 650-strong case load. Highlights include observed UAP shapes, (Which were redacted last year); 52% of reports were spherical. Other shapes included discs, cylinders, triangles, and lights. The central section seems to focus on the spherical objects. Size 1–4 meters, colour; white, metallic, or translucent. Altitude; between 10 and 30 thousand feet. Velocity; stationary to mach 2, (1534 mph). In regards to propulsion, no thermal exhaust was observed, although radar, radio, and infrared emissions have been detected.

The slide also includes information about UAP hotspots, with a focus on the East and West Coasts of the US, the Middle East, and South Asia, among others. This may represent a reporting bias though, as these are all areas where the US has it highest concentration of airborne military and surveillance assets.

All of this sounds highly unusual, metallic spheres hovering silently, without exhaust to generate lift, or moving at many times windspeed? Yet these are identical to the kinds of reports investigated by civilian researchers all around the world. Close encounters with discs, triangles and glowing spheres, which produce a ‘zone of silence’, and instantly accelerate away, or perform “impossible” maneuvers, leaving witnesses stunned, traumatised or in rarer cases, injured.

"Somebody else's problem":

Several people on social media were concerned at Dr. Kirkpatrick’s comment that it was his job to ".. turn UAP into SEP, or somebody else’s problem." Implying that he simply wanted the issue to go away. In fact, this is exactly the task set for him by Congress; to investigate reports and hand off resolved case files to the relevant authorities. For example, if a case of foreign spying is identified, it would no longer be of interest to AARO, who’s focus is Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, across all domains, including air, sea and space.

No evidence of Extraterrestrial activity:

Early in his presentation, Dr. Kirkpatrick made the following statement:

"AARO has found no credible evidence thus far of extra terrestrial activity, offworld technology, or objects that defy the known laws of physics."

While this may seem definitive at first glance, it should be noted that such standards of evidence are somewhat subjective and currently not clearly defined. According to Dr. Kirkpatrick AARO plans to define key signatures for each hypothesis, which then can be tested and peer reviewed. If, at some point, non-human technological signatures are defined, detected, and confirmed, AARO promise the following:

"In the event sufficient scientific data were ever obtained, that a UAP encountered can only be explained by extraterrestrial origin. We are committed to working with our interagency partners at NASA, to appropriately inform US government’s leadership of its findings."

In 2017, Luis Elizondo revealed a set of five UAP signatures or observables detected by AATIP, as follows:

  1. Instantaneous acceleration.
  2. Hypersonic velocities without signatures. (No sonic boom.)
  3. Low observability.
  4. Trans-medium travel. (Move between air, sea and space.)
  5. Positive lift. (No signs of wings, propellers, or exhaust.)

At this point, It is worth considering that if an advanced non-human intelligence were harvesting material and manufacturing technology locally here on the planet, then recovered materials may not contain any obvious extraterrestrial signatures. The same might be true if an advanced culture evolved here in pre history and secreted itself in our seas or underground. (The Crypto-terrestrial hypothesis).

Yet, in either case, we should expect to see signs of highly advanced technology, perhaps as described by UFO witnesses over the past seven decades. Or, in the ‘five obserables’ discovered by AARO predecessor AATIP.


All of this leads us to what many have termed the 'elephant in the room’, AARO confirmed that they have interviewed “two dozen” military witnesses to date, some of whom are known to have worked on highly classified 'legacy' UFO programs involving recovered craft, bodies and technological exploitation efforts.

Film maker, James Fox, revealed in a recent interview that he has spoken with individuals, on camera, who have provided explicit details including project code names and locations to Congress, offering the possibility to validate long standing rumours of UFO crash retrievals dating back to the 1940s

More hearings on the horizon:

There are strong rumours that more UFO/UAP hearings are being planned, perhaps as early as June. It is possible, but not certain, that individuals with knowledge of highly secret UFO programs may be called to testify. All of this seems to indicate that humanity may soon have to face an uncomfortable reality, we may not be alone on this planet and elements of the US military industrial complex might be in possession of hard evidence, in the form of recovered vehicles and non-human cadavers.

Only time will tell if Dr. Kirkpatrick will ‘let loose’ the AARO and 'hit the bullseye’, or miss badly and 'shoot himself in the foot’. Either way, we live in interesting times and according to some, all of this may 'come to a head' in months rather than years.

Fasten your seatbelts folks, this 'ride' is only just beginning!


As I finished writing the above, a major development occurred in the form of an official letter to the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin (SECDEF) and Director National Intelligence, Avril Haines (DNI). In the letter, two US Senators, Marco Rubio and Mark Warner, address many, if not all, of the concerns listed above.

  • SECDEF and DNI should receive reports directly from AARO.
  • They should also appoint a deputy from the Intelligence community, presumably granting title 50 authority to AARO.
  • Congress require more details about military witness interviews.
  • Provide clearance for a secure web portal for whistle-blower reporting.
  • Surprisingly, they also criticized DoD for it’s lack of public transparency, including the complete absence of any activity on the @DoD-AARO Twitter account. Which has only one post since its creation last year.

Read the full letter below: (Credit goes to Dan Zetterstrom @thezignal for the release.)

Letter to SECDEF and DNI from Senators Warner and Rubio. Credit: Dan Zetterstrom.
Letter to SECDEF and DNI from Senators Warner and Rubio. Credit: Dan Zetterstrom.

References and further information:

Hearing stream:

Hearing transript:

Title 50 authority:

Debrief article:

Five observables:

Daily Mail article on whistleblowers:

Need to Know with Ross Coulthard and Bryce Zabel:

Weaponized with Jeremy Corbel and George Knapp:

James Fox, whistleblower testimony:


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