Current or former U.S. government employees, service members and contractors with direct knowledge of government UFO programs or UFO activity can now voluntarily submit a report with the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, or AARO, its director told reporters on Tuesday.
Sean Kirkpatrick, who leads the office tasked with researching and analyzing UFO reports, said he has seen no evidence of any secret U.S. government program regarding reverse engineering or researching extraterrestrial UFOs. Those who provide information to the office, he said, are protected under whistleblower laws, which were extended to the UFO office last year.
“All information shared will be protected as personal and confidential and will only be shared with [AARO] staff for the purposes of contacting individuals,” Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick said the form is an initial point of contact between the referring individual and the UFO office. He told reporters that there were no restrictions on reporting information to the office based on classification level or where information originated within the U.S. government, and the office would look into information dating all the way back to 1945.
While the portal is for data that may have been recorded decades ago, military personnel who come across an anomalous phenomena should report it “through their command or service,” according to the office’s website. Civilian pilots, meanwhile, should report their sightings to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Earlier in October, the UFO office released its yearly report, which showed the number of UFO reports that have been analyzed exceed 800. None of the UFOs investigated by AARO were found to be a threat.
A very small percentage of the sightings demonstrated characteristics of interest, such as traveling at high speeds or having unknown morphologies, according to the report. The vast majority of sightings have “ordinary characteristics of readily explainable sources,” according to the report, but a large number of the sightings have too little data to support a conclusion.
Kirkpatrick noted that while the public may be interested in filing their own reports, the office is working on how to handle what they expect to be a large influx once a reporting mechanism is open to the general public. Currently, he anticipates the reports from former and current personnel to be manageable, given such classified information is only known by few people, he told Military Times.
“The website is a living thing,” Kirkpatrick told reporters. “It’s going to evolve as we we do more and more. We’ve got a package of a lot of new material that we’ve got ready for release. … So, you should expect to see things evolve on this platform.”
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.