The Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), also known as its UFO office, has been unable to validate claims regarding any existing or past U.S. programs that may have possessed or reverse-engineered materials originating from non-human intelligences or of unknown origin.
Susan Gough, a spokesperson for the Department of Defense (DoD), informed Liberation Times that the AARO, to date, has found no credible evidence to support the existence of programs that allegedly handle or have handled extraterrestrial materials. When pressed to broaden the definition of “extraterrestrial” to encompass non-human intelligences or materials of unknown origin — as posited by whistleblower David Grusch — Gough refrained from extending the department’s official stance.
Despite this refusal to elaborate, it’s important to note that this is not an implicit acknowledgment of the existence of programs dealing with materials from non-human sources or of unknown origins. The choice to utilize the term “extra-terrestrial” could be for myriad reasons, given it refers to anything originating outside the Earth or its atmosphere.
Gough’s hesitance to embrace Grusch’s phrasing shouldn’t be dismissed lightly. It highlights the careful navigation of language within the DoD, particularly when dealing with such allegations.
Interestingly, Gough confirmed that the AARO has actively engaged with the supposed Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP)-related programs highlighted by those who have stepped forward. This engagement is part of a congressionally mandated historical review, thus increasing the likelihood of AARO team members coming across exotic materials.
Furthermore, Gough asserted that the AARO has encountered no obstruction in its investigative endeavours, and it has accessed all US government programs without hindrance. However, due to the lack of Title 50 authorities under the leadership of Director Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, the AARO doesn’t have default access to classified information concerning covert operations and intelligence actions conducted by agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or National Security Agency.
Despite this limitation, Gough maintained that AARO’s mission hasn’t been compromised. AARO is legally able to receive all UAP-related information, regardless of its classification level or origin, and can continue to do so through authorized disclosures, unhindered by the lack of supplemental statutory authorities.
As the public face of the U.S. government concerning UAP matters, Susan Gough plays a pivotal role in fielding media interactions. She coordinates DoD responses for her portfolio area, which includes UAP, AARO, and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security, alongside other issues and offices.
Despite AARO’s continued reporting to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security (OUSDI&S), several whistleblowers reportedly distrust the AARO. This mistrust may stem from its close ties with the OUSDI&S, which has faced criticism for alleged persecution of whistleblowers.
Notably, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 stipulates that the AARO should directly report to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks, and the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence on all matters related to its operations and security. However, no evidence suggests that this directive has been enacted yet, indicating the AARO still answers to the OUSDI&S on these matters.
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