sean kirkpatrick
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) cannot explain why the former Director of its Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) office's prior involvement with UAP was not disclosed to the media and public at the time of his appointment or during his tenure.

Recently, the DoD confirmed to Liberation Times that in 2018, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, the former Director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), attended a meeting on the Hill about Skinwalker Ranch — famed for its ties to UAP.

A DoD spokesperson told Liberation Times:
'Dr. Kirkpatrick had no involvement with Skinwalker Ranch. He attended one meeting on it on the Hill in 2018, which he has publicly acknowledged.'
Liberation Times asked the DoD why Dr. Kirkpatrick's attendance was never previously made public and whether he had disclosed this fact before his appointment to the AARO.

In response, a DoD spokesperson stated:
'We cannot comment on the interviews that occur during the hiring process, including what was or was not discussed during them.

'We do not comment on internal discussions and deliberations between a director and his staff nor between a director and senior officials above him.'
This situation is problematic for the DoD, as the AARO's creation was supposed to begin a new chapter of transparency regarding the UAP topic within the U.S. government.

It is unclear whether the blame lies with the DoD for failing to disclose Kirkpatrick's involvement with the meeting, or with Kirkpatrick himself, who may not have informed the DoD before taking the role.

The situation also calls into question other aspects of Kirkpatrick's background and AARO's investigations which may have also been omitted.

His attendance of the meeting was in the public interest and is indicative of Kirkpatrick's awareness of the topic of UAP before joining AARO.

A DoD briefing card regarding the establishment of AARO under its former guise of AOIMSG stated:
'The Department is committed to transparency with the Congress and the American people while balancing its obligation to protect classified information.'
Even the AARO's own and much-criticised UAP Historical Report released earlier this year, referenced a lack of public trust in government regarding the UAP topic:
'Polling data on public trust reflects Americans' changing views over time. According to the Pew Research Center, polling on this topic began in 1958, when about 75 percent of Americans trusted the USG "to do the right thing almost always or most of the time."

'Since 2007, however, that figure has not risen above 30 percent. This lack of trust probably has contributed to the belief held by some subset of the U.S. population that the USG has not been truthful regarding knowledge of extraterrestrial craft.'
Speaking to Liberation Times, investigative journalist Jeremy Corbell said:
"What we are seeing is a clear pattern of obfuscation and lies by our government representatives. The omissions by Dr. Kirkpatrick are simply a symptom of the status quo; our government doesn't want you to know about UFOs."
Dr Kirkpatrick admitted his attendance at the meeting in an interview with Steven Greenstreet of the New York Post, before then claiming the meeting occurred in 2017 and that Skinwalker Ranch was not referenced.

Kirkpatrick also later claimed he did not recall meeting Brandon Fugal at the meeting, owner of Skinwalker Ranch.

In response, Fugal posted a picture of Kirkpatrick at the meeting. Fugal is seen in the picture presenting in front of Kirkpatrick.

Fugal later wrote on X that Kirkpatrick was:
'Lying, saying he never attended a detailed formal briefing specifically on Skinwalker Ranch on April 19, 2018 to government officials.

'Lying, saying he has never met me.

'Lying, saying he had no interest in the UFO topic prior to 2022.'
Liberation Times has contacted Fugal for further comment but has received no response.

Kirkpatrick's denial, to Greenstreet, of being interested in the UAP topic before 2022 has been indicated as being false, as per information provided to Fugal. This calls into question all of AARO's claims and findings during Kirkpatrick's tenure.

Sources have indicated to Liberation Times that in addition to the meeting in 2018, Kirkpatrick took an active interest in the UAP topic and followed developments closely before his AARO appointment.

According to his LinkedIn page, from June 2017 until April 2018, Kirkpatrick was Director for National Security Strategy at the National Security Council. Between April 2018 and August 2018, he was on sabbatical and was a Visiting Professor at the National Intelligence University in Washington D.C. He then went on to serve roles with the U.S. Space Command and the Missile and Space Intelligence Center, before joining the AARO.

Despite its promises of transparency, the DoD refuses to provide the names of its Senior Technical Advisory Group (STAG). DoD spokesperson Susan Gough told Liberation Times, "For personnel security and privacy reasons, we will not comment on the individuals that participate in the STAG."

Sources have also indicated that the future of the AARO looks increasingly bleak and that its acting director Timothy Phillips will maintain the status quo set by his predecessor.

Liberation Times understands Phillips has taken a dismissive approach to criticisms of the AARO and is hostile regarding serious allegations of secretive UAP retrieval and reverse engineering programs.

Little future transparency is expected, as shown by a recent case resolution over the Gulf of Mexico. The AARO suggested that a UAP seen by an Air Force pilot might have been a lighting balloon.

Despite claiming the case was resolved, the battery packs required to light these balloons would not typically allow them to reach the altitude of 16,000 feet, where the UAP was observed.

Representative Matt Gaetz, who first brought attention to the case, has also accused the AARO of lacking transparency and questioned its official explanation, stating on X:
'This report by the AARO is incomplete and does not reflect all of the information that I was shown.

'I believe all of the information regarding the sighting should be released to the public, including pictures from the pilot and radar signatures.'
The DoD confirmed to Liberation Times that a test balloon was obtained from Airstar America Inc by the AARO. Despite contacting the company on numerous occasions, Airstar America Inc refused to provide comment regarding the AARO's conclusions.

There are concerns that if this explanation represents the baseline for resolved cases, AARO might be focusing on dismissing cases rather than thoroughly investigating and explaining them in good faith.

Speaking about the current situation with the AARO, Jeremy Corbell told Liberation Times:
"If we are going to make progress towards UFO transparency - we need to hold those accountable who lie to the public about the UFO phenomenon. And we must be vocal about it.

"Complacency is not an option."
Another significant issue is that, as of 23 April 2024, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSDI&S) and the AARO remain the only entities not to have implemented DoD Inspector General (DoDIG) recommendations regarding UAP.

This follows findings within a report that highlights a need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing UAP concerns.

OUSDI&S and AARO are recommended to collaborate on issuing DoD policy to integrate guidelines for managing UAP into existing military procedures, encompassing roles, responsibilities, requirements, and coordination procedures.

Despite the Joint Chiefs, Air Force, Navy, and Army having implemented their respective recommendations made in the report, it is alarming that the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), whose primary responsibility is addressing UAP issues, has not made quicker progress.

This delay is particularly concerning given that the recommendations were published on 15 August 2023.

Liberation Times has contacted the DoDIG to confirm the current status of recommendations made to OUSDI&S and the AARO.