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Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena New Reporting Tool
by Joseph Clark, DOD News
November 2, 2023

The Pentagon on October 31, 2023 launched a new reporting mechanism for current and former military members, federal employees and contractors to come forward with direct knowledge of alleged U.S. government programs related to unidentified anomalous phenomena dating back to 1945.

The information is being collected by the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) as part of a congressionally directed report on historical UAP programs allegedly overseen by the U.S. government.

An unmanned aerial system is observed during Naval exercises off the East Coast of the United States in early 2022. The object in this image was first classified as an unmanned aerial phenomenon before being reclassified as a UAS based on additional information and data from other UAP sightings. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Navy courtesy photo.)
An unmanned aerial system is observed during Naval exercises off the East Coast of the United States in early 2022. The object in this image was first classified as an unmanned aerial phenomenon before being reclassified as a UAS based on additional information and data from other UAP sightings. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Navy courtesy photo.)

The Defense Department established AARO in 2022 to investigate mysterious craft operating in air and space, on land, in the sea or under the sea that are not immediately identifiable and might pose a threat to national security.

The new reporting form, which will be made available on AARO's website, allows current and former service members and employees to provide unclassified summary details about programs they may have knowledge of along with details about their affiliation with the U.S. government and their contact information.

Once that information is reviewed AARO officials may request further details.

"We want to hear from you," said Sean M. Kirkpatrick, the director of AARO. "The information you submit in the form will be protected. Additionally, any information that you provide in a subsequent interview will be protected according to its classification."

All information will be safeguarded as personal and confidential, he said.

"By law AARO can receive all UAP-related information including any classified national security information involving military intelligence or intelligence-related activities of classification, regardless of any restrictive access controls, special access programs, or compartmented access programs," Kirkpatrick said.

AARO can also receive UAP-related information regardless of where that information originates within the U.S. government, he said.

Kirkpatrick emphasized that no classified information should be disclosed, however, in the initial form available on AARO's unclassified website.

The new reporting form marks the second phase of AARO's secure reporting mechanism.

In May, the Joint Staff issued guidance to the services and combatant commands on reporting UAP sightings or encounters that occur during current operations.

The new mechanism for reporting historical programs does not replace previous guidance on current operational UAP reporting.

Kirkpatrick said that while AARO aims to collect information about any potential UAP-related programs overseen by the U.S. government in the past as part of its congressional mandate, his office does not currently have evidence that any such programs ever existed.

"We do have a requirement by law to bring those whistleblowers or other interviewees in who think that it does exist, and they may have information that pertains to that," he said. "We do not have any of that evidence right now."

U.S. Department of Defense

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