The Pentagon’s UFO chief will step down next month, after saying that several reported sightings of flying objects over the United States are either the work of foreign nations or aliens, warning that the latter would be the preferred scenario.
Sean Kirkpatrick, head of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), announced last week that he would leave the department after heading it for 18 months. Kirkpatrick deferred his retirement in hopes of finding evidence of extraterrestrials.
Kirkpatrick warned of the presence of UFOs after investigating more than 800 cases during his time as director. He said that, though there has yet to be any hard evidence of aliens, the alternative possibility is far more concerning.
“If we don’t prove it’s aliens, then what we’re finding is evidence of other people doing stuff in our backyard,” he told Politico. “And that’s not good.”
Kirkpatrick added to the outlet that he was satisfied with what he had accomplished in his time with the organization, including working to make the Pentagon’s UFO files more accessible to the public.
The office, which was established in 2022, made headlines due to its investigations into UFO sightings reported by military pilots and played a key role in detecting the Chinese surveillance balloons flying over the U.S.
Kirkpatrick made headlines in June after he slammed whistleblower David Charles Grusch, a former intelligence officer who claimed the U.S. had been secretly recovering alien spaceships for decades.
Kirkpatrick, though open to the idea of aliens among us, testified before Congress that there was “no credible evidence thus far of extraterrestrial activity” or “off-world technology.”
He criticized Grusch’s claims as “extremely unethical and immoral,” noting that the whistleblower refused multiple requests to speak with the AARO.
Kirkpatrick’s leadership was touted by the Department of Defense, who credited him with creating the organization’s first public-facing website to bring more transparency to the AARO’s work.
“His commitment to transparency with the United States Congress and the American public on UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) leaves a legacy the department will carry forward as AARO continues its mission,” the Department of Defense said in a statement. “Our department is stronger and better prepared for future scientific and national security challenges because of Sean’s distinguished service to our country.”
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