The Pentagon office devoted to studying the UFO phenomenon will soon have a new leader as the current head of the program, Sean Kirkpatrick, plans to step down from the role next month. In a press release from the Department of Defense, they indicated that the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) chief would be retiring in December following a “distinguished 27-year career of public service.”
Keep scrolling to read the full press release.
All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) Director Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick announced that he will retire from federal service in December. During his distinguished 27-year career of public service in the Department of Defense and the United States Intelligence Community, and since assuming leadership of AARO, Dr. Kirkpatrick has served the American people with honesty and integrity, tackling an incredibly difficult mission to explain the unknown. During his tenure, Dr. Kirkpatrick stood up the office and its operations, investigated more than 800 unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) cases, led an extensive search for U.S. Government and contractor programs associated with UAP, and established the department’s first public-facing website, www.aaro.mil, to bring greater transparency to the department’s work. His commitment to transparency with the United States Congress and the American public on UAP leaves a legacy the department will carry forward as AARO continues its mission.Our department is stronger and better prepared for future scientific and national security challenges because of Sean’s distinguished service to our country. We are deeply appreciative of his tenacity, insight, and undying dedication to our national security mission, and wish him the greatest of success in his future endeavors. The Department of Defense, in coordination with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is in the process of searching for the next AARO Director, and it will publicly announce its selection once made.
Throughout his tenure as head of AARO, Kirkpatrick was the subject of considerable scrutiny from UFO enthusiasts who contend that the Pentagon office served as merely a public relations effort aimed at keeping the ‘true nature’ of the phenomenon a secret. Remarkably, in response to these assertions, Kirkpatrick told Politico that “the best thing that could come out of this job is to prove that there are aliens” as, otherwise, “what we’re finding is evidence of other people doing stuff in our backyard and that’s not good.” Time will tell whether the change in leadership at AARO will lead to any substantial differences in the office’s findings or if it will continue to put forward largely prosaic explanations for the phenomenon to the chagrin of the UFO community.