Part 2 – Opaque Testimony
On April 19, 2023, the U.S. Senate Armed Service Sub-committee on Emerging Threats held a hearing on the progress of the AARO on their investigations into the UAP. The only attendees were Senators Gillibrand, Ernst, Rosen, and the single witness, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick. Notably absent were Senators Warner and Rubio who, in previous public statements, had been the most vocal proponents of UAP disclosure.
Considering Kirkpatrick has a long history of working within the IC, he is certainly well schooled in dealing with Congressional inquiries into classified material, publicly avoiding direct answers, speaking in vague terms, generalizing, and evaluating the knowledge base of his interrogator. Intelligence agency testimonies before Congress are most adept in speaking without revealing. It appeared the Senators did not want to challenge his statements since none of them aggressively pursued lines of questioning.
Senator Gillibrand Opening Statement – Excerpts:
“…there remains a stigma attached to these phenomena…(from statements of Senator Harry Reid) there was strong evidence of advanced technology reflected in the features and performance characteristics…the response (from DOD/IC) has been irresponsibly anemic and slow…one of the tasks set for AARO is to establish an open door for witnesses of UAP (that has not happened as yet)…we need to set up a public process to know where that effort stands.” These were important points to be made, however she did not follow-up aggressively with the witness.
Kirkpatrick Opening Statement – Excerpts:
“Robust cooperation needed…It is AARO’s mission to turn UAP into SEP (Someone Else’s Problem)…In our research, AARO has found no credible evidence thus far of extraterrestrial activity, off-world technology or objects that defy the known laws of physics…in the event scientific evidence were ever obtained that an encounter can only be explained by an object of extraterrestrial origin or evidence of ET encounters, I suggest you submit it to scientific analysis.”
He does not define the term ‘credible evidence. How would that be determined? What parameters does he use for determining what is off-world tech? These questions were not asked. This seems to present an unsolvable problem and anti-ET bias. Is he placing the onus on the public to prove, scientifically, it is ET rather than having to explain something that defies our capabilities. He is calling for the scientific method, but how do you do it with observations that defy known science? What data do you collect? What about data already collected by USAF, DARPA and others from recovered craft and many other previous incidents? Does AARO claim that there have been no recovered craft? That question was not asked. He shows a graph, “UAP Reporting Trends” that tracks incidents from 1996. Why not earlier? There are many valid sightings that could be used for data. He seems to have placed limit on the historical data that will be evaluated.
Dr. Kirkpatrick presented AARO’s five steps for evaluating case incidents:
1. Take report and put in a ‘likely’ box.
2. Give it to two teams – an intel and a science team for review
3. Each team writes a case recommendation
4. That recommendation is peer reviewed by a senior advisory group and makes their recommendation
5. I (head of AARO) make a final determination for the disposition of case.
Statements by Dr. Kirkpatrick:
“Right now, we only have a CLASSIFIED web portal to list those (case)
determinations. We don’t yet have an UNCLASSIFIED web portal” [This implies that there is a set of classified cases that have been evaluated. Who makes this determination to continue their classification or not?]
“About half of the 650 cases are of anomalous interesting value. But how much of
them do I have actual data for…I have to have data…” [He is stating that he needs
scientific data for half of the 650 cases to evaluate them. Obtaining
such data will depend on whether, or not the data exists and on the
cooperation of other agencies. This could be highly problematic if the intent
is to resolve these cases.]
“Another report is due in June-July and should be submitted on time…we will have
another 20 reports that will have completed the process (five-point process)…
Of the cases that are showing advanced technical signatures, single percentages of
the entire population of what we have [If he has fully evaluated only twenty
of the 650 cases, how can he state with certainty the anomalous cases are in
single percentages?]…I am concerned about what that nexus is. I have indications
that some are related to foreign capabilities. We will hand those off to our IC
partners and it becomes an SEP at that point.” [In other words, those will
which cases show characteristics known to have been developed by foreign
countries? This would obscure the answer to the extraterrestrial question.]
“My relationships with the commands (military) are very good. We are also
working very closely with Joint Staff. They have been very outstanding.” [How
can he support this in light of the statement made to me during my interview
there is a lack of cooperation with some agencies?]
“First, I would like to thank you for the twenty witnesses you have referred to us.
We have brought in about 12 witnesses so far…as you refer witnesses to us, please
try to prioritize those that you want us to do in order of priority…” [Who is
giving the names of witnesses to pass along to AARO? How are they selected for interviews?]
“My vision is that, at some point in the future, YOU SHOULD NOT NEED AN
AARO…we should be able to normalize applicable functions into every existing
government organization… HALF OF MY STAFF COME FROM THE IC…I want
to make UAP into SEP” [Is he telling us he wants to insure the secrets stay
secret by turning over his work product to the IC?]
“We are coming up with requirements for our sensors to detect the
witness reports, establishing operational parameters such as speed, altitude,
heat signature, etc., we can detect should not take much time.]
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary science…you do that with scientific method…as AARO implements its science plan, it has to do that within the framework of a solid foundation based on science across a range of technologies that UAP spans. That range goes from adversary breakthrough technology on one hand to known objects and phenomena in the middle and all the way to extreme theories of extraterrestrials…All of that has physics-based signatures associated with it…Within that entire range, we need to come up with peer-reviewed, scientific based signatures.” [This speaks to the question of how to proceed to understand something we already don’t understand. From the paper he wrote with Avi Loeb: “Specifically, if some observed UAP are of extraterrestrial origin, there are some practical limits on the interpretation of observed and measured data resulting from physics-based constraints” I don’t understand this vague logic. If UAP objects don’t confirm to our understanding of physics, isn’t that direct evidence of off-world craft?]
The expressed objective is to try and follow his five-point analysis of cases by understanding:
- The most advanced technology our adversaries have. We should already have a pretty good idea of this since it has been a continuing effort by the IC for the span of our history. They already have this answer.
- The many ways known objects and all-domain phenomena can be observed and mis-identified. This is simply taking the reported unknown and explaining that it is known. This too is something government has been using for decades to explain UFO phenomena. They already have these answers.
- Attempt to use known science to explain unknown science. This would be a fool’s errand, except for the fact that elements of the USGOV have been trying to make sense of this tech for decades through access to recovered craft/bodies. These are the deepest of secrets held by the USGOV on UAP. The essential question is – who, how, when, and if the USGOV will acknowledge this? In any event, it is unlikely AARO will get access to it, so it is likely to remain a fool’s errand.
Questions that should have been asked:
- You stated that you have seen no credible evidence of off-world technology. What about the testimonies of the navy pilots about their encounters with UAP in 2004 and many other reports of amazing performance characteristics?
- What parameters are you using to define off-world technology?
- Later, you say that there are some cases showing advanced technical signatures and you state that about half of the 650 cases are of anomalous interesting value. How can you say these are only in the single percentages when you have only fully evaluated twenty?
- If you determine that a particular case shows advanced technical signatures, do all of them go into the bucket of nexus with foreign capabilities? You then say those would become SEP at that point. What if the IC determines these do not come from foreign capabilities, do they come back to you to put in the possible off-world technology bucket?
- Some of the witnesses who have already testified report that you have had poor cooperation with other service agencies in validating their testimony. How can you support your statement ‘they have been very outstanding’ in their cooperation?
- You state you have brought in about twelve witnesses so far. When will we, in Congress see that testimony?
- You state you are waiting for approval of plans for public engagement. Your office has been established for over nine months. Why is it taking so long?
- You state you want to get to a point when we would not need an AARO. You want to make UAP into an SEP. Wouldn’t that return the UAP subject back to highly secret operations by agencies? We have come a long way in trying to remove the stigma of this subject and have a more open dialog. Wouldn’t your approach be counter-productive?
- You say there is a range of technology spanned by UAP. That range goes from adversary breakthrough tech on one end and off-world tech on the other end. You further state that “all of that has physics-based signatures associated with it and that you have to come up with peer-reviewed, scientific based signatures. How will you come up with physics-based signatures of ‘extreme off-world technology’ that we have no basis for understanding?
- You state you are exploring public-private partnerships and we are aware of that (he indicated Gillibrand knew of those). Who are those? How, will that work?