Sean Kirkpatrick
© CopyrightSean Kirkpatrick, ex-Director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which the Department of Defense has tasked with studying UFOs
The U.S. Government's Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Office was established with the aim of ensuring transparency for the public.

However, the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) now grapples with an increasing number of accusations related to concealment.

If its purpose was solely to enhance public perception, it appears to have fallen short.

The AARO's second annual report, unveiled in October 2023, was initially leaked to DefenseScoop, and additional insights, along with exclusive comments from its director, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, were shared with CNN.

Of note, DefenseScoop was given the exclusive scoop on Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks assuming direct oversight of the AARO in August 2023.

This week, many defense reporters, including a correspondent from DefenseScoop, were extended an invitation to pose questions to Dr. Kirkpatrick. This invitation followed the introduction of the new "secure" reporting feature on its website, implemented through Google Forms.

Liberation Times inquired with the Department of Defense (DoD) about why DefenseScoop received the AARO's recent report ahead of other publications. Spokesperson Sue Gough provided the following response:
"I have nothing for you on that."
This all seems to indicate a new media strategy being implemented by the DoD following Hicks' newly mandated oversight role, as stipulated by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.

The DoD has now become more assertive with its media strategy, although remains relatively tight-lipped in commenting on the challenges encountered by the U.S. military in their interactions with mysterious objects wielding apparent air superiority.

Commenting to the Daily Mail before the release of the AARO's delayed first report, one anonymous intelligence source stated:
'They're patting themselves on the back that they've resolved over half of them.

'But we don't give a crap about the ones they've resolved. Yeah, there's balloons up there, and balloons are sometimes mistaken for UAP.

'But there are s***loads of classified videos that are pretty profound and pretty clear.

'They don't want to talk about this stuff, because they really, really don't know what the hell they are. That's the truth.'

Comment: It's Project Blue Book all over again.

The strategy, which centres on emphasizing cases that could be resolved, is evident in the AARO's most recent report. A 'case closure report' featured in its appendices references a sighting over the western USA, reported by military personnel, which was evaluated by the AARO as a 'commercial aircraft travelling on well-established air corridors.'

And the UAP Office has also committed to disclosing another successfully resolved case in the upcoming months. Liberation Times has learned that the AARO will soon share information regarding a transmedium UAP incident. Sue Gough informed Liberation Times that a:
"Previously reported transmedium object has been resolved and the case details are being prepared for public release in the near future."
The nature of the case remains unclear, and Liberation Times has requested additional information. The most prominent transmedium incidents on record involve UAP that seemingly enter bodies of water.

One such event occurred in 2019 when the USS Omaha documented such an occurrence, and another instance took place in 2013 in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico - an event filmed by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft.

The AARO's latest report does offer some glimpse into the challenges the U.S. military faces though:
'There are some cases where reported UAP have potentially exhibited one or more concerning performance characteristics such as high-speed travel or unusual manoeuvrability.'
Something the AARO is less enthusiastic about talking about is apparent active jamming from UAP.

There have been many reports relating to UAP active jamming military aircraft - a hostile act if such craft are from adversarial nations.
  • In 1976, an Iranian military pilot reported losing all instruments and communications when approaching a UAP
  • In 2004, U.S. military aircraft approached a tic tac UAP over the Pacific Ocean, the object appeared to be jamming the aircraft's APG-73 radar.
Earlier this year, a United States Air Force (USAF) pilot stationed at Florida's Eglin Air Force Base, reported that his sensor systems suddenly malfunctioned as his aircraft approached a UAP over the Gulf of Mexico, sparked concern.

Representative Matt Gaetz, who met with the pilot stated:
"When he approached, he said that his radar went down. He said that his FLIR (infrared camera) system malfunctioned and that he had to manually take this image from one of the lenses."
In February 2023, USAF pilots engaged a UAP. According to one source, the pilots claimed that the object "interfered with their sensors".

However, such concerns are not included in the AARO report.

Commenting to Liberation Times, Sue Gough, explained:
"So far we have not found any verifiable evidence that any UAP have actively interfered with our sensors."

Comment: They aren't looking very hard.

Regarding the Gulf of Mexico Incident, Gough added:
"The USAF and pilot also reported that this particular test aircraft had fuses blow on those sensor systems three times in the past year."
Notwithstanding this claim, the recurring pattern of behaviour strongly hints at active jamming by UAP.

Reflecting on jamming activities carried out by the Chinese military over the South China Sea in 2018, a pilot operating an EA-18G Growler, which is the US Navy's electronic attack variant of the F-18 carrier-based fighter jet, offered the following comment:
"The mere fact that some of your equipment is not working is already an indication that someone is trying to jam you."
The aircraft involved in the Gulf of Mexico incident was a part of the USAF.

There have been persistent accusations that the USAF has been hesitant to collaborate in UAP investigations.

While the event over the Gulf of Mexico made its way into the latest AARO report, likely due to public scrutiny, there are signs that full cooperation from the USAF may not have been readily forthcoming.

For instance, within the latest AARO report, a UAP heat map reveals an absence of UAP reports in Western Europe, with the exception of activity detected off the coast of Italy.

This is noteworthy considering the substantial USAF presence in the region, with operations based at multiple facilities.

The DoD commented to Liberation Times:
"USAF is fully cooperating with AARO."
Nonetheless, independently confirming this is challenging.

It's a complex task to discern which agencies and military branches are actively collaborating with the AARO. Despite a request to provide a breakdown of the number of reports from the Army, Navy, Space Force, and Air Force, the Pentagon declined, citing:
"For operations security reasons, we cannot share the number of reports from each branch of service."
The latest AARO report has introduced increased complexity by incorporating sightings of commercial aircraft. While acknowledging the inclusion of commercial aircraft sightings as a positive step, it's problematic to intermingle such cases with military sightings.

Commercial aircraft crews may lack the necessary training or sensor equipment and intelligence support for investigations undertaken by the AARO. Despite promises of enhanced transparency, the DoD seems to have blurred lines and has been unwilling to provide additional information to substantiate claims of full USAF cooperation.

Up to this point, the DoD has shouldered much of the responsibility concerning UAP matters. However, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has remained notably silent and has avoided addressing inquiries.

As per the NDAA, AARO is mandated to report directly to Kathleen Hicks and Stacey Dixon (Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence) on all operational and security issues. Up until recently, ODNI had evaded questions confirming Dixon's assumption of the role. That has now been confirmed, with the ODNI telling Liberation Times:
"To reiterate/confirm, ODNI is complying with the NDAA legislation regarding the dual reporting structure. As such, the PDDNI has assumed the role you referenced."
Unlike Hicks, Dixon has yet to make any public statements regarding UAP or the AARO office she now supervises.

Sources have told Liberation Times that Dixon's predecessor, Stephanie O'Sullivan, possesses knowledge of a UAP crash retrieval and reverse engineering program.

According to sources, and as reported in Public, O'Sullivan denied any awareness of UAP programs to Vice Chair of the Senate's Intelligence Committee, Marco Rubio.

Sources have also indicated the presence of an active cover-up within the intelligence community, involving individuals moving between various agencies and private entities allegedly linked to UAP programs.

If individuals with roles in overseeing and supporting the AARO are indeed connected to such alleged programs and are impeding the efforts, it raises significant questions.

By law, the Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, must, in coordination with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, appoint the Deputy Director of the AARO. However, this appointment has not yet been made. Liberation Times has reached out to ODNI for an update and is currently awaiting a response.

At a recent media roundtable, Dr. Kirkpatrick was asked AARO has access to U.S. government orbital imaging and early warning satellite products.

In response, Dr. Kirkpatrick said: stated:
"I have access to all the overhead imagery I need. I have not seen any of them that have collected UAP. We have collected lots of UAP that turned out to be balloons and those look nice."
He also said:
"We have access to anything we need."

Comment: This is probably true: they have access to anything and everything they need to produce a sloppy whitewash.

Liberation Times asked the DoD whether the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) had provided the AARO with satellite imagery to assist investigations.

Susan Gough responded by stating:
"AARO partners with many agencies and organizations both inside and outside the U.S. government, including NGA. I refer you to NGA for any further questions regarding their support to AARO."
However, the NGA cannot confirm directly whether it provides these services specifically to the AARO.
"NGA provides geospatial intelligence, including imagery, to organizations across the defense and intelligence enterprise."
Liberation Times issued a challenge to the NGA, seeking confirmation regarding any services provided specifically to the AARO. As of now, no response has been received.

Furthermore, Dr. Kirkpatrick's assertion that he has not seen UAP through overhead imagery seems to conflict with former Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe.

In 2021, Ratcliffe told Fox News that UAP had been picked up by multiple sensors, including satellite platforms:
"There are sightings all over the world and when we talk sightings the other thing I will tell you is it is not just a pilot or just a satellite or some intelligence collection - usually we have multiple sensors that are picking up these things."
In the interview, Ratcliffe also explained:
"We're talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots that have been picked up by satellite imagery that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain. [That includes] movements that are hard to replicate because we don't have the technology, [and] that are travelling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom."

If the AARO is not receiving information from the NGA, it could potentially mean that Dr. Kirkpatrick has not requested such information, such as overhead imagery. If correct, it would raise major questions regarding the AARO's investigation efforts.

Amid uncertainties surrounding the future of Dr. Kirkpatrick, there is some optimism. Liberation Times has learned that new candidates are being considered as potential replacements, as reported by Matthew Phelan of the Daily Mail.

One defense source with insight into the current situation told Liberation Times:
"Hopefully people in Congress are now realizing that what is needed most in AARO is real leadership who will not have any preconceived notions before entering the job. Someone who is not a member of the military-industrial complex and someone who is not a political appointee.

"What is needed is someone with a fair and unbiased scientific and academic background that will not chalk all these incidents as simply air trash and balloons.

"Someone who will listen to the accounts of our trained military service members and bring to bare every capability in our inventory and not simply state."