aaro report
Before I tear into this report, a few comments about the journals that were provided the report 48 hours before anyone else. @washingtonpost @politico @nytimes I was appalled at the minimal analysis done by each of these prestigious papers. They were obsessed with whether AARO stated evidence of ET had been unearthed and completely ignored that the report failed miserably in answering Congress's question regarding the history of UAP. Instead, it was the journal Defense Scoop that provided some valuable information. They reported that the DOD was developing the capability to help personnel collect real-time UAP data in the field with automated sensor units. I would urge readers to subscribe to their journal. And a welcome thanks to the author of the article @BrandiVincent. It's nice to see a journalist who seeks out important information.

My review of this paper is my own personal view. Nor do I intend my response to reflect negatively on Tim Phillips, the current temporary director of AARO. He has not been in his role for any appreciable time. This review does expose the naivety of those who think that anyone can delve into the UAP/UFO subject for only 18 months and expect to understand its history, the nuances of the information, and the scientific challenges that this subject places on those who study it. The simplistic statement that "we have found no evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence" is made by someone who lacks a thorough understanding of the subject matter and has not clearly thought through the scientific requirements to make such a statement. This will be discussed more fully later.


Let's begin with the many flaws and errors in this report. Some were trivial but were flaws that any check of a paper should have detected. There are many broken links in the references cited; more than I have bothered to count. References #3, #4, and #6 were broken links. Reference #5 and #6 were combined as "56" instead of "5,6". References #8, #10, and #12 are broken links. There are many more. This poor quality of work is just the harbinger of more to come.

Comment: One of the sources is a link to a fandom wiki:

The Kenneth Arnold sighting is one of the most historical cases in the early days of the phenomenon. The AARO paper listed the date of the sighting as June 23, 1947. The correct date is June 24. This may seem trivial but it is considered one of the most important dates in UFO/UAP history. Furthermore, the AARO paper stated that Arnold saw "circular objects." This is incorrect. Arnold never said he saw circular objects and he drew objects with a curved front that tapered into a triangular form in back. Arnold clearly describes the objects in an audio recording still in existence.

One of the most important evaluations of Air Force data on UFOs was done by the Battelle Memorial Institute. It was the first-ever statistical analysis of UAP/UFO reports. That project was called Project STORK. AARO called it Project BEAR. The name Project BEAR was an intentionally false name made by Edward Ruppelt in his book so as not to reveal the true name of the project. Additionally, the date of that project is on the front of the folder in Project Blue Book -- May 5, 1955. The AARO paper stated it was in late 1954.

This next error can only be made by someone with a superficial understanding of the history of UFO/UAP. 1960 had one of the lowest numbers of sightings in many years (https://x.com/rpowell2u/status/1700318332954571051?s=20), yet the AARO paper claims the opposite! AARO states: "AARO's review of Project BLUE BOOK cases shows a spike in reported UAP sightings from 1952-1957 and another spike in 1960. These reporting spikes most likely are attributed to observers unknowingly having witnessed new technological advancements and testing and reporting them as UFOs." AARO's factual error is further compounded by the completely unsupported claim that those reporting spikes are caused by new technological advancements. And this time they didn't even say "maybe"; they said "most likely." No proof of such a wild claim is provided by AARO?

These errors in dates and facts of important historical events are indicative of someone who is quickly putting a report together and has a superficial knowledge of the subject. More alarming, is the amount of historical information that was left out of the AARO report. This will be discussed next.


The AARO paper properly quotes on page 11 the Congressional mandate in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Congress wanted a compilation of the history of UFO/UAP from approximately 1945 and onwards. Yet early in the paper, AARO states that the goal of the report is, "to investigate past USG-sponsored UAP investigation efforts and the claims made by interviewees that the USG and various contractors have recovered and are hiding off-world technology and biological material." That is NOT what Congress requested.

Instead of reviewing the history of UFO/UAP, the AARO paper spends almost half its efforts on arguments as to whether the government has ET technology in its possession and defending AARO against conspiracy theories. I consider this a flagrant disregard of congressional intent in favor of a pet peeve that individuals in AARO have developed related to ET conspiracy theories. AARO has fallen down the rabbit hole and has failed in its responsibility to provide a historical overview of the UFO/UAP subject. Broad swaths of history are ignored in the AARO paper.

It would take a book to cover all of history that has been discarded by this "history paper." I will cover the major areas that have been dropped. For any reader that wants to understand the history of the UFO/UAP subject, they should read "UFOs and Government: A Historial Inquiry."

The paper completely ignored the Foo Fighters of WW2. The modern phenomenon began in 1942 with reports of disk-like objects and glowing orbs that followed alongside U.S. fighters and bombers during the war. The U.S. sent scientists to Germany and Japan in 1945 to investigate these reports. It's important to understand this to realize reports of UFO/UAP did not begin due to extensive U.S. media coverage of the Kenneth Arnold incident in 1947. But no one would know this because the AARO paper ignored key historical parts of UFO history.

The AARO paper does not deal with the government involvement in any of the major historical UFO/UAP cases. This is an egregious failure. Instead, it only covers Roswell because it matches up with AARO's stupor arguing against captured ET craft. All of the following cases are some of the most interesting sighting reports that were investigated by the government and should have been discussed in any historical report:
  • May 11, 1950, McMinnville, Oregon photos;
  • July 2, 1952, Tremonton, Utah film;
  • Summer of 1952 East Coast events and military orders to fire on UFO/UAP;
  • July 17, 1957, USAF RB-47 AWAC-type aircraft is trailed by a UFO for two hours;
  • Nov. 2-3, 1957, Levelland, Texas with 81 pages in Project Blue Book;
  • Oct. 24, 1968, Minot AFB, ND, B52/ICBM/radar;
  • Oct. 18, 1973, Mansfield, OH, Coyne helicopter incident;
All of the above cases were closely investigated by the military yet the AARO report ignores them. Most of those events have government data that has never been released. The incident at Minot AFB included a report by a French physicist that documented extreme accelerations. Did AARO ever read this report or did they choose to ignore it?

In 1975 there were multiple incursions by unknown craft near U.S. air bases with nuclear weapons. These included Loring AFB, Wurtsmith AFB, Malmstrom AFB, Minot AFB, and Falconbridge AFB in Canada. Nothing was mentioned by AARO. I could go on with well-documented incidents from the 1980s and 1990s that AARO either ignored or knows nothing about.

Before leaving the topic of AARO's failure to document history, I must mention important reports from the 21st century. The famous November 14, 2004 incident involving the USS Nimitz carrier strike group is perhaps the best-documented case on record that demonstrates extreme acceleration. Yet AARO has failed to ever attempt to explain that event. The same is true of the events off the East Coast of the U.S. during 2014-2015 and the incident with the USS Roosevelt strike group. Radar data was available from ships as well as aircraft yet these events are ignored by AARO. To date, we are unaware of a single piece of radar data produced by AARO.


There are statements made in the AARO paper that border on non-sensical. Twice, the paper discusses the Manhattan Project (pages 11 and 40). They must have a fetish with the subject. They actually say the following, "Any misunderstanding stemming from the intense secrecy surrounding this and similar programs could have been misconstrued for other efforts." They go on to say that the Manhattan Project and other national labs "probably contributed to the spike in reported UAP." Not only is that unproven assertion a nonsensical leap in thought that is lacking in critical thinking but those labs existed several years before UAP reports began in the continental U.S.

Other statements made in the AARO paper are unsubstantiated guesses. For example, they state, "AARO assesses that some portion of sightings since the 1940s have represented misidentification of never-before-seen experimental and operational space, rocket, and air systems, including stealth technologies and the proliferation of drone platforms."

This a meaningless claim. I could also say some portion is due to insects; some portion might be hoaxes; and some portion is the planet Venus. Unless they're prepared to quantify with evidence such a statement then it has zero value and tells us nothing that any 8th-grade student couldn't surmise.

If I was teaching a course on logic and critical thinking, I could not think of a better example to show a failure in reasoning than this paragraph towards the end of the AARO paper. Perhaps this failure in thought processing is due to AARO's fixation on defending themselves regarding claims of captured ET technology. Here is what they say and pay close attention to the transition in logic from the first sentence to the second:
"There is a conviction among some Americans that the USG has conducted a deception operation to conceal the fact that it has recovered extraterrestrial spacecraft and alien beings as well as systematically exploited and reverse-engineered extraterrestrial technology. This perception probably has been fueled by key UFO investigators' public comments. For example, J. Allen Hynek of Project BLUE BOOK, said that the USAF expected him to perform the role of debunker; and Capt Ruppelt, the first chief of BLUE BOOK, later wrote that he was expected to explain away every report and that the USAF sought to produce press stories in alignment with the USAF's position."
Somehow, the author of this AARO paper believes that Ruppelt's and Hynek's admissions that they were debunkers for the Air Force have caused Americans to believe the USG is hiding the truth about the reverse engineering of ET spacecraft from them. I hope that the person who wrote such a statement had just drunk a few too many glasses of wine. Otherwise, I am just speechless.


At first, I thought that knavish might be too harsh a term to describe some of the commentary within the AARO paper. But the more that I read the paper, the more that it is clear that this is not a paper about the history of UFO/UAP but a paper trying to do whatever is needed to strike back at the conspiracy crowd. And with the way AARO has operated, I must say that I have some sympathy for anyone who suspects foul play.

There is a tendency in the AARO paper to pull the data that supports the AARO position and leave out the data that might argue against it. One example is the Robertson Panel. The AARO paper notes the conclusion of the panel but does not mention that the Robertson Panel met for only two days and only looked at a handful of the Air Force's several hundred unexplained cases and that one of the members didn't even show until the last day. The same was true with the Condon report. AARO noted its conclusion that "further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified." But AARO failed to mention that the lead administrator of the project, Robert Low, was fired due to a memo he wrote that indicated the trick would be to concentrate on the psychology of the witnesses rather than the UFOs so that the scientific community would get the message. He was fired not for that unscientific thought but because he was caught saying it. Two other scientists on the Condon project were fired for leaking his memo to the press. Furthermore, the Air Force had indicated to Condon the type of conclusion that they were looking for before the project had even started. All of this information was left out in the AARO paper. One could likely conclude that was intentional.

There are few scientists more adamant that there should be a scientific study of UFO/UAP than Dr. Peter Sturrock of Stanford University. Yet the AARO paper never mentions that and instead gives the reader a misguided view of the subject by stating that the Sturrock Panel in 1998 found no convincing evidence for an extraterrestrial origin of the phenomenon.

I will end this review with where we began. The AARO statement that "we have found no evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence." AARO fails in the basic scientific requirement to make such a claim. One must first define the type of evidence that is required to make a claim of extraterrestrial intelligence before it can be stated whether or not such a signal is present. This is a definition that the world of science needs to determine, not AARO. Would multiple sensors identifying an object stopping and starting with acceleration of >100 g forces be a definition of non-human intelligence? Does it require direct communication with non-human intelligence to meet the evidentiary claims? Until we define the "evidence required" we cannot make claims as to whether that evidence exists.

AARO should stick to its mission statement, leave science to scientists, meet its requirements as laid out by Congress, and stop its bickering with the claims of whether or not recovered ET craft exist. That is the job of Congress.