Sean Kirkpatrick, the Pentagon’s UFO chief and director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) at the U.S. Department of Defense, addressed various issues regarding UFOs and related claims in what might have been his last public event before leaving his post. He responded to NewsNation’s Joe Khalil regarding claims made by former Air Force intelligence officer David Grusch about a secret UFO retrieval unit. Kirkpatrick stated that he couldn’t comment on Grusch’s claims to others without Grusch’s permission due to legal protections. He mentioned that almost 40 other people had provided rich information to AARO, which they were cross-referencing and researching.
Grusch testified before Congress that the Pentagon possesses crashed UFOs and runs a covert program to study and reverse-engineer these crafts. However, AARO officially stated that it was “not aware of any such programs”. Despite Grusch’s forwardness, AARO has not definitively refuted his claims, but neither has Kirkpatrick verified any of them. Kirkpatrick noted that in response to Grusch’s claims, 40 additional individuals had provided UFO-related information to AARO. He also mentioned that AARO plans to publish the first part of a two-part report discussing much of this information.
During his 18-month tenure as the head of AARO, Kirkpatrick established a system for collecting data and addressed hundreds of reported UFO sightings. He dealt with whistleblower claims suggesting that the government was covering up a program to reverse-engineer alien crafts and handled incidents like the Chinese spy balloon episode. Kirkpatrick’s work aimed to “institutionalize the solution for getting at the heart of these anomalies,” particularly given the Pentagon’s interest in the significant increase in unidentified crafts reported by military pilots.
Kirkpatrick explained his decision to leave the job, stating that he initially committed to a year and decided to stay on to finish certain tasks, including Volume One of a historical review. This review encompasses interviews and lays out what has been proven as true or false. Volume Two is expected to be delivered next year and will cover new developments.
Regarding the future of AARO after his departure, Kirkpatrick mentioned that the office would not undergo major changes but would continue to build on the foundation he laid out. He also stated that the controversies, including whistleblower testimonies and the Chinese spy balloon incident, did not influence his decision to leave. Instead, these were expected challenges in his role.
In terms of accomplishments, Kirkpatrick highlighted the establishment of various operational areas in AARO, including analytic, operational, science and technology, and strategic messaging or communications information sharing areas. He also addressed the likelihood of alien life, noting that while it’s statistically probable that life exists in the universe, the chances of intelligent life finding Earth and repeatedly crashing in the United States are not very high.
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