Monday, April 22, 2024

AARO 2023-2024 - a chronology

 Establishment

In a blog article dated 27 July 2022, I reported on the establishment of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO.) Its director was named as Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick. The current article aims to provide an update on the work of AARO since its establishment, drawn from open sources.

12 January 2023

The Department of Defense announced that AARO Director Sean Kirkpatrick was to speak at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board , in Washington DC, on 12 January 2023. The title of his talk was "The Defense Department's UAP Mission & Civil Aviation." In the talk, Kirkpatrick spoke about "What is AARO?" and how the AARO Mission was applicable to the Transportation Research Board. To see his full presentation click here. 

19 January 2023

In a Tweet dated 19 January 2023, reporter Bryan Bender stated that:

"AARO is partnering with Enigma Labs to evaluate their application, data stream and filtering capabilities to determine the utility of its open source data to augment its collection efforts focused on national security areas only. Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough tells me."

19 February 2023

Part of AARO's remit was to hear out the narrative and sighting experiences of individuals who wanted to convey UAP related information to AARO. In a 19 February 2023 article, U.S. researcher Robert Hastings advised that AARO had been in touch with him, regarding his collection of nuclear installation UAP events, and witnesses. As a result, a number of U.S. veterans, with accounts of incidents with UAP near military nuclear weapons facilities, had spoken to AARO.

Also, in February 2023, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Marco Rubio led a group of 16  Senators who signed a letter to Kathleen H. Hicks, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Stacey Dixon, Principle Deputy Director of National Intelligence.

Kathleen H. Hicks > U.S. Department of Defense > Biography

This letter included:

"...we respectfully request your assistance in securing the necessary funding and organizational support for AARO's success and longevity."

 The letter went on to speak of a "...serious funding gap.." It went on to remind the two addressees, that:

 "The FY23 Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) requires that the Director of AARO report directly to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence.."

which had not occurred as at the date of this letter. 

7 March 2023

Avi Loeb | Department of Astronomy (harvard.edu)

A draft, six page paper, coauthored by Dr. Kirkpatrick and the Galileo Project's Avi Loeb, titled "Physical Constraints on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" was made available. Its abstract read:

"We derive physical constraints on interpretations of "highly maneuverable" Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) based on standard physics and known forms of matter and radiation. In particular, we show that the friction of UAP with the surrounding air or water is expected to generate a bright optical fireball, ionization shell and tail - implying radio signatures. The fireball luminosity scales with inferred distance to the 5th power. Radar cross-section scales similarly to meteor head echoes as the square of the effective radius of the sphere surrounding the object, while the radar cross-section of the resulting ionization tail scales linearly with the radius of the ionization cylinder. The lack of all these signatures could imply inaccurate distance measurements (and hence derived velocity) for single site sensors."

19 April 2023

Dr. Kirkpatrick was the sole presenter to the Senate Armed Services sub-committee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. During this presentation his statement included:

"I want to underscore today that only a very small percentage of UAP reports display signatures that could reasonably be described as 'anomalous.' "

On the question of an extraterrestrial origin for some UAP, Kirkpatrick said:

"I should also state clearly for the record that in our research AARO has found no credible evidence thus far or extraterrestrial activity, off-world technology, or objects that defy the known laws of physics. 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 the US Government's leadership of its findings."

A video of the entire hearing is available click here.

May 2023

A vacancy notice for a Deputy Director of AARO recently appeared on an agency website. The direct link to this advert no longer works.

On 31 May 2023, NASA held a public meeting of its Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Independent Study Team. Dr. Kirkpatrick also made a presentation. In it he gave details of "UAP reporting trends" and provided examples of both identified and unknown UAP cases including some with video evidence. In closing he made several recommendations to NASA which included:

- Taking the lead on the evaluation of crowd sourced metadata from mobile phones

- Use of large-scale scientific instruments

- Use of Earth science satellites

- Reviewing archived data.

During the course of that public meeting Kirkpatrick stated that he had recently held a meeting with the "Five Eyes" partners (the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand) re UAP. The discussions included:

- What kind of analyses can they help us with?

- What kind of calibration can they help us with?

- Data sharing.

- What can we help them with?

- Kirkpatrick stated that those other countries would send their information and data to AARO to be integrated into the AARO processes. 

23 June 2023

A press release on the website of Senator Gillibrand advised that she had secured full funding for AARO in the Senate Armed Services Committee markup of the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act.

6 July 2023

The US Aerospace Corporation advised vacant positions in support of AARO. (Link not active.)

20 July 2023

In an article about a face-to-face interview with the U.S. ABC Network's, Devin Dwyer; Kirkpatrick is reported to have said that being caught off guard by intelligent or extraterrestrial technical surprise remained a top concern. Other points he made included:

- AARO had now received around 800 reports

- "We will follow the data"

- The vast majority of cases are readily explainable

- A small number of reports involved anomalies.

30 August 2023

The Defencescoop's Brandi Vincent reported , in an article dated 30 August 2023 that:

"Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks recently moved to personally oversee the Pentagon's UAP investigation formerly known as the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office....Hicks now holds regular meetings with AARO's inaugural director Sean Kirkpatrick who she has also repositioned to report directly to her...AARO is not yet at full operational capability and I look forward to AARO achieving that in fiscal year 2024."

31 August 2023

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder at a press briefing on 31 August 2023 announced the launch of the AARO website which had been long promised.  The website sets out details of the AARO Mission and Vision; defines UAP as they see it; and has sections which include UAP reporting trends:

- Reported UAP altitudes

- Typically reported UAP characteristics

- Reported UAP morphology

- Reported UAP hotspots.

Under a heading of "Coming soon" is that:

"AARO will be accepting reports from current or former US government employees, service members, or contractors with direct knowledge of US government programs or activities related to UAP dating back to 1945."

Also "coming soon" will be "Current operational UAP reporting":

- For military personnel with the recent GENADMIN process titled "Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Reporting and Material Disposition"

- For pilots, please report via the FAA.

Several UAP videos both identified, and unknown are available on the website. Following this, there is an "About us" section and "Additional information about AARO." As for reporting sightings from the general public the site states that "...we will advise when a reporting mechanism is available for others to use."

Interestingly, under "AARO Mission Overview" is a 12-slide presentation by AARO. Slide six includes a section headed "UAP object recovery" which states:

"Leads UAP recovery planning and execution, in close collaboration with AARO S & T Group.

Advises commands on the search and safe handling, storage, transport, and transfer of UAP objects and material, for AARO S&T exploitation."


 Slide eight includes "UAP Exploitation":

"Directs exploitation of recovered enigmatic technologies, leveraging cross-sector partnerships and the latest developments in theoretical and applied physics, engineering

Leads structured recording, synthesis and storage of signatures and material analyses for data consistency, across operational, analytic, and research partnerships."

31 October 2023

 1. AARO published its consolidated annual report. 

2. The US DOD issued a news release on 31 October 2023, announcing AARO's secure mechanism for authorized reporting of information about UAP programs, via the aaro.mil website. 

3. On 31 October 2023 AARO director Sean Kirkpatrick held a press briefing about UAP. Here is a transcript of that session.

4. On 31 October, the current Director of AARO, Sean Kirkpatrick held an off-camera media roundtable. Here is a link to the transcript of that session. The session described the new AARO reporting system which allows USG employees to confidentially report their knowledge of USG UAP related activities. 

8 November 2023

On 8 November 2023, the US Department of Defense announced the appointment of a Deputy Director, AARO. The appointee was Timothy A. Phillips. 

3. Also on 8 November 2023, The US Department of Defense announced the upcoming departure of the current AARO Director, Sean Kirkpatrick. 

2 December 2023

Three Case Resolution Reports were uploaded:

Middle East and Mediterranean Sea 2022 and 2023. 

South East Asia 2017.

Western United States. 2021.

8 March 2024

AARO advertised two positions titled Chief Science and Technology Officer. Duties:

Incumbents typical work assignments may include the following:

  • AARO's Chief of Science & Technology (S&T) will provide oversight and direction to the S&T function of AARO. The Chief of S&T serves as the principal subject matter expert for the Director and Deputy Director of AARO.
  • Fosters and cultivates strategic alliances and professional networks with interagency partners, government agencies, national laboratories, and universities/academia, to align and integrate the enterprise's array of S&T capabilities against Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) requirements.
  • Provide direction and guidance to mission managers with regards to UAP efforts and liaises within AARO as well as external partners.
  • Serve as the senior member of the S&T Team and demonstrate a level of managerial experience, including the ability to develop near and long-term strategies, set goals, establish metrics, and oversee projects and initiatives. Serve as a liaison to academia, and private industry to accomplish AARO's mission.
March 2024

The Geospatial Intelligence community's annual conference will be held in London this year on the 12-13 March 2024. Tim Phillips, listed on the DGI 2024 website as AARO's Director is scheduled to speak. 

8 March 2024

On 8 March 2024, Defense Scoop reporter Brandi Vincent reported on her attendance at an off-camera invite only media engagement with Tim Phillips, acting Director of AARO. It was revealed that AARO was developing and deploying a new surveillance system-called Gremlin. The media engagement was basically about the release of AARO's volume 1 of their report on US government engagement with UAP. The unclassified version of the AARO historical report may be read here. 

17 April 2024

It is being reported that AARO will be giving a briefing to some members of the US Congress between 1-3pm EST on 17 April 2024, in a SCIF. 

22 April 2024

The AARO website recently published information related to "Kona Blue" a program proposed for the Department of Homeland Security in 2011, which would have continued and extended the work of AAWSAP. It was never formally established and work on it wound up in December 2011. AARO itself provided details of how it had come to learn about Kona Blue. 

The current version of the website may be accessed here

Update: 1 May 2024

AARO published its case resolution for the 2023 Eglin Air Force Base case. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Keith for that excellent summary. One item that I've never clearly understood is why UAPTF was closed and replaced with AARO. Everything I've heard from people in the know is that UAPTF was more inclusive of all the government intelligence and military branches while AARO is a more closed operation.

    ReplyDelete

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