By Robert Salas
I spent thirty-two years of my life in government service. I often looked for ways to make government work better. From my experience, the great majority of people who work in government are motivated by how to perform their jobs best to help the public. Therefore, it is fair and right to start with that premise whenever taking a stand on the efficacy of any government official or agency. However, government generally has exceptional powers to impact our lives and those powers have been mis-used. There have been ample examples of mismanagement or outright corruption in our history in the performance of governing. As a result, we the people have a responsibility to remain vigilant. This critique of current government efforts to address the UAP is simply my attempt to pursue that vigilance. The Congress of the U.S., under its oversight authority, has established an office under the Department of Defense and in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence to assess the threat posed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). On July 15, 2022, the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) was established under the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSD-IS) and named Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick as its Director. Currently, the 2023 NDAA specifies AARO’s responsibilities.
Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick – Decades of experience within the Intelligence Community (IC).
1997 – Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) investigating ultrafast laser technology
2005 – CIA staff scientist
2007 – CIA-DIA joint program office, Chief Technology officer, later Chief DIA officer
2010 – DOD space and intelligence
2012 – DIA Defense Intelligence Officer for Scientific and Technical Intelligence
2016 – Deputy Director of Intelligence, US Strategic Command
2017 – National Security Council, Deputy Assistant to the President on integrating intelligence, space/counterspace, nuclear, cyberspace, and military modernization. Space/counterspace, nuclear, cyberspace, and military modernization.
2020 – DNI Deputy Director of Intelligence, designed the intelligence enterprise for SPACECOM
2022 – Appointed Director of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO)
The principal regulatory responsibilities that establish AARO include the following:
Establishing a centralized repository of UAP incidents.
Evaluating the threat such incidents present to the United States.
Coordinating with other departments and agencies on UAP.
Coordinating with allies and partners of the U.S. on UAP.
Collecting existing data held by the IC on UAP.
Military, civilian and contractors shall report incidents or information on UAP to AARO.
Develop and execute a Science Plan to account for characteristics and performance of UAP that exceed the known state of the art in science and technology.
Produce reports, including all reported UAP that occurred during a period other than the previous one-year period, not include in an earlier report.
Analyze the collected data.
Report on the number of reported incidents, descriptions of UAP associated with military nuclear assets, including strategic nuclear weapons, facilities or assets associated with nuclear weapons or their components.
For some of us who have long been researching, writing, and speaking about the breadth and depth of this subject, this partial action list would be an enormous undertaking. Before attempting to populate a ‘centralized repository,’ the decision parameters for acceptance of any case would need to be established. How each incident in the repository would be fairly evaluated would need to be defined. A comprehensive process for the effective and efficient data collection and coordination between agencies and allies would be a miraculous achievement. And, of course, high secrecy would continue to envelop the above processes. This is highly problematic and the grand objective of producing public transparency on the issues of the UAP as defined under current regulations is not a viable one as it stands. It appears to me that the work of AARO, as currently constituted, would simply continue secret internal deliberations into this phenomenon and would not achieve the important objective of informing the public.
On February 15, 2023, I accomplished a personal milestone. I gave a two-hour interview to the U.S. government office now designated to research and report on the UAP issue to the Congress and the public. Since 1994, when I went public with my UAP experience, I was finally able to be heard by U.S. government agency about my experience and research of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).
Section 1683 of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) established a requirement for an office, within DOD, to carry out the duties of the UAPTF. One of those specified tasks required reporting on “(t)he number of reported incidents, and descriptions thereof, of unidentified aerial phenomena associated with military nuclear assets, including strategic nuclear weapons…” My testimony to AARO, now an official record, spoke specifically of two separate incidents at Malmstrom AFB in March 1967 involving the disabling of strategic nuclear missiles. I also informed them of the importance of an additional very similar incident that occurred at Minot AFB, ND in September 1966, resulting in disabling ten Minuteman missiles during a UFO encounter. On May 9, 2023, AARO received, during an unclassified interview they requested, the testimony of principal witness, David Schindele, about the Minot incident. These three incidents, occurring within the span of six months, resulting in the disabling of thirty nuclear weapons during UFO encounters, are now official records and can no longer be denied, or ignored, by AARO or any other government agency giving serious deliberations to the subject of the UAP incidents at nuclear weapons facilities.
Some aspects of my interview with AARO are concerning. When I specifically asked them if they would be checking details of my presentation with the Air Force (AF), the reply was “not directly.” They indicated that they were having trouble obtaining information from AF on past events. Many of their inquiries to the Air Force had a standard evasive response of: “Everything the AF has to say is a matter of record.” AARO indicated they would leave it up to the Congress to sort out the validity of any official report such as my presentation. In my opinion, this approach is totally insufficient. In fact, I am not aware of any record of USAF comments or any resolution as to the cause of any of the three incidents involving the disabling of nuclear weapons. In each of the incidents, there were multiple witnesses and substantial documentation to verify the facts. Many of the principal witnesses are still living. Resolution of these facts and acknowledgement through a summary statement by the principal cognizant government agency, such as the U.S. Air Force, should be required to complete the historical and public record and demonstrate government transparency.
Part 2 will review the April 19, 2023, Senate Armed Services subcommittee Hearing with AARO.