The director of the Pentagon’s unidentified aerial phenomena research office on Wednesday refuted the possibility that any UAP the office has investigated came from extraterrestrial origins.
In the second congressional hearing on UAPs in 50 years, Sean Kirkpatrick, the director of the Pentagon’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, spoke before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities about his office’s investigations of UAPs.
Kirkpatrick made clear to lawmakers that none of the 650-plus incidents under investigation since the AARO’s July 2022 inception were of an alien nature.
“AARO has found no credible evidence thus far of extraterrestrial activity, off-world technology or objects that defy the known laws of physics,” Kirkpatrick told lawmakers.
“In the event sufficient scientific data [emerges] 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 [the] government’s leadership of its findings,” he added.
Kirkpatrick faced questions about extraterrestrial life and UAPs after a research paper he co-authored with Abraham Loeb, chairman of Harvard University’s astronomy department, hypothesized that extraterrestrial motherships and smaller probes may be visiting planets in our solar system.
The paper, titled “Physical Constraints on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” suggested that extraterrestrial motherships and smaller probes might already be in the solar system. The pair’s theory offered the object ‘Oumuamua as a possible mothership-like entity.
Loeb gained notoriety when he proposed ‘Oumuamu had traversed our solar system as an extrasolar visitor in October 2017. At that time, the PanSTARRS telescope in Hawaii detected an object moving at an orbit and speed that caused some scientists to suggest that other forces besides the sun’s gravitational pull were influencing its movement.
“With proper design, these tiny probes would reach the Earth or other solar system planets for exploration, as the parent craft passes by within a fraction of the Earth-Sun separation — just like ‘Oumuamua did,” the authors wrote.
On Wednesday, Kirkpatrick noted the AARO is planning to develop a website where members of the public can document experiences with UAPs.
Kirkpatrick also challenged critics who believe UAPs are of extraterrestrial origin to support claims with scientific evidence, rather than feed into conspiracies.
“I encourage those who hold alternative theories or views to submit your research to credible peer reviewed scientific journals,” Kirkpatrick said. “AARO is working very hard to do the same. That is how science works, not by blog or social media.”
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.