Several hundred unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have been reported in 2022 by the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), the new Pentagon office set up to investigate UFO reports. The office tracks flying objects reported by the various U.S. military branches.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, a UFO—or unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), as preferred by the government—is “anything in space, in the air, on land, in the sea or under the sea that can’t be identified, and which might pose a threat to U.S. military installations or operations.”
The U.S. military has revealed that UFO reports are now flooding the facility which was set up in July 2022. Sean Kirkpatrick, the AARO office director, noted that none of the reports, old or new, show any actual hint of alien activity, however.
When asked to quantify such sightings, he said there have been several hundreds. An updated official report with specific figures on new reports received since 2021 is expected by the end of the current year.
Stigma in reporting UFO sightings before AARO
The AARO was established upon the realization that military pilots were sometimes reluctant to report UFO sightings as a result of potential stigma. This insight came after more than a year of focusing on pilots’ sightings of UFOs.
Kirkpatrick says the sudden influx of new reports may be thanks to recent outreach efforts by the AARO. The goal is to “destigmatize” the process of reporting such sightings so as to make it easier for military personnel to come forward with their observations.
In June 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported that there were 144 UFO encounters, eighty of which were captured on multiple sensors, between 2004 and 2021.
In November, anonymous Pentagon officials told The New York Times that a number of these reported sightings have actually already been resolved.
Officials also said many UFO sightings can likely be attributed to “relatively ordinary” surveillance drones from nations such as China and Russia. Others may simply be “airborne clutter,” including such things as weather balloons.
In May 2022, Congress held its first hearing on UFOs after more than half a century. Members expressed concern that regardless of whether or not the objects are alien or potentially new technology being flown by China, Russia, or another potential adversary, the unknown creates a security risk for the U.S. itself.
Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security in the Biden administration, announced, “We have not seen anything, and we’re still very early on, that would lead us to believe that any of the objects that we have seen are of alien origin.”
However, Moultrie added, “Any unauthorized system in our airspace we deem as a threat to safety.”
U.S. technology signatures to distinguish aircrafts from UFOs
Kirkpatrick stated the new office has been coordinating with the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community to attain signatures of U.S. technology in order to more efficiently distinguish aircraft or drones from UFOs.
In relevance to this, as reported by Kirkpatrick, programs are in operation by the Pentagon or intelligence agencies with the aim of establishing “very clear mechanisms…to de-conflict any observations that come in with [military aircraft] activities, and ensure that we weed those out and identify those fairly early on.”
Moultrie also said the office is working on recalibrating sensors that may be focused on known adversary aircraft or drone signatures. This will improve the office’s ability to identify UFOs in general.