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DOD Report Discounts Sightings of Extraterrestrial Technology

An aerial view of the Pentagon.
Pentagon Aerial
An aerial view of the Pentagon, May 15, 2023.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. John Wright, DOD
VIRIN: 230515-D-KY598-1316

The Defense Department's All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office today released a report detailing its review of nearly 80 years of reports on government offices and special access programs related to unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAP—a new term for what was once referred to as unidentified flying objects. 

"AARO has found no verifiable evidence that any UAP sighting has represented extraterrestrial activity," said AARO acting Director Tim Phillips during a Wednesday briefing at the Pentagon. "AARO has found no verifiable evidence that the U.S. government or private industry has ever had access to extraterrestrial technology. AARO has found no indications that any information was illegally or inappropriately withheld from Congress." 

The 63-page "Report on the Historical Record of U.S. Government Involvement with Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena" provides conclusions drawn following an examination of historical documents and conclusions drawn by U.S. government programs that did work related to UAP dating back to 1945. 

AARO's work also involved investigating claims that there were secret or hidden U.S. government programs related to UAP that might not have been reported to Congress. The AARO team looked into those claims to verify if such programs actually existed. 

"AARO assesses that alleged, hidden UAP programs either do not exist or were misidentified, authentic national security programs unrelated to extraterrestrial technology exploitation," Phillips said. "We assess that claims of such programs are largely the result of circular reporting in which a small group of individuals have repeated inaccurate claims they have heard from others over a period of several decades. 

Also, part of the report were assessments of claims made by about 30 individuals AARO interviewed, including former and current U.S. government employees who were allegedly involved in such programs or heard stories about those programs and subsequently misinterpreted what they saw or heard. 

"I wish to emphasize that we believe most of the individuals repeating these claims did so without malice or any effort to mislead the public," Phillips said. "Many have sincerely misinterpreted real events or mistaken sensitive U.S. programs, for which they were not cleared, as having been related to UAP or extraterrestrial exploitation." 

Phillips told reporters that while researching the AARO report, his team was given an unusual level of access to programs and information, which allowed them to more easily complete the work Congress had asked them to do. 

"AARO, as designed by Congress, had unprecedented access to classified programs," Phillips said. "Nobody blocked where we could go or the questions we asked. Nobody in the government influenced the findings in the report. As a career intelligence officer, I am just amazed at the access we had to some of our nation's most sensitive programs. Nobody said, 'No.'" 

Lawmakers directed AARO to produce the report as part of the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. Today's report is the first volume of AARO's findings and covers a period from 1945 through October 2023. A second volume, which will be released later this year, will cover findings from interviews and research completed between November 2023 and April 2024.

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