AARO’s New Boss Launches Website, Avi Loeb Finds Interstellar Material
We’re back with news from around the UAP community. First, Chuck’s here to talk about Avi Loeb’s claim to have recovered fragments of an interstellar object. Then we’ve got a quick update on more whistleblower activity. And finally, we’ve got some news about AARO, who recently moved in the org chart to report directly to Deputy Defense Secretary Hicks, who knocked some heads together and finally got their website launches (though it still has no contact info). Also, we discuss some reports that AARO themselves may be in possession of “anomalous materials!”
Avi Loeb’s Interstellar Object
- Harvard Astronomer Avi Loeb claims to have recovered fragments of an interstellar object.
- Loeb: "This is a historic discovery because it represents the first time that humans put their hand on materials from a large object that arrived to Earth from outside the solar system,"
- Charles Hoskinson, who funded the expedition, said: "We've been looking for something the size of a watermelon in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and somehow managed to find some fragments,"
- Loeb: “I found this catalogue that NASA compiled of 273 meteors with velocity information. I told my student: ‘Why don’t we check the fastest moving meteors – perhaps one of them is like Oumuamua and came from outside the solar system.’ Sure enough, we found this meteor from 2014. Three years later, the US Space Command confirmed that it was interstellar and provided information about the fireball. That convinced me to lead an expedition because the government data indicated that it exploded in the lower atmosphere. Therefore, it must have been tougher than all the other meteors in the catalogue. To me, that raised the possibility that maybe it was made of some artificial alloy, maybe stainless steel, and also was moving fast because it benefited from propulsion. So that led us to the Pacific Ocean, where it fell. We localised the meteor explosion site using seismometer data, and then went there with a sledge that has magnets on both sides and collected 500 spherules – these are molten droplets from the surface of the object.”
- Loeb’s team’s initial analysis of the metal fragments strongly indicate an interstellar origin (due to isotope ratios that don’t match anything in our solar system).
- The team’s researchers say the composition of beryllium, lanthanum and uranium “does not match terrestrial alloys natural to Earth or fallout from nuclear explosions. Additionally, the composition is not found in magma oceans of Earth, nor the moon, Mars or other natural bodies in the solar system.”
- Loeb has continually implied that they may be from alien technology:
- In an interview with CBS: "The fact that it was made of materials tougher than even iron meteorites, and moving faster than 95% of all stars in the vicinity of the sun, suggested potentially it could be a spacecraft from another civilization or some technological gadget."
- In the actual paper, he backs down a bit to merely claim “Another possibility is that this unfamiliar abundance pattern may reflect an extraterrestrial technological origin,” but he keeps saying this kind of stuff on podcasts and in interviews.
- The NYT wrote about the community’s feelings on this and quoted fellow astrophysicist Steve Desch from Arizona State University as saying “People are sick of hearing about Avi Loeb’s wild claims, … It’s polluting good science — conflating the good science we do with this ridiculous sensationalism and sucking all the oxygen out of the room.”
Quick Update: More Whistleblowers To The ICIG
- Liberation Times: “Liberation Times understands that individuals who have worked on UAP programs are now prepared to come forward to the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General by making whistleblower complaints.”
- Matt Ford, of the Good Trouble Show: “We have confirmed from sources that multiple people have completely bypassed The Pentagon's UAP program, AARO, and have filed PPD-19s, the official whistleblower reporting mechanism, with the Intelligence Community Inspector General.”
AARO now reports to Deputy SecDef Hicks
- As a reminder, The DOD created AARO reporting to Ronald Moultrie, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security (OUSDI&S) , despite the 2022 NDAA specifying it should report directly to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks.
- At the time, Lue Elizondo tweeted: “The USDI&S is the one single office that has continuously lied about this topic and persecuted whistleblowers.”
- And Chris Mellon said “the inability of USDI&S to engage effectively on the UAP issue is why so little has changed or been accomplished since 2004.”
- We’ve seen some evidence that Moultrie may be dragging his feet with AARO. When Sen Gillibrand asked in May why AARO wasn’t fully funded, the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller, said “I don't have any information from my colleague Undersecretary Moultrie that he needed additional funding in this area.”
- Then again in April, Sen Gillibrand asked Dr Kirkpatrick: “Are you taking direction directly from the Deputy Secretary? Are you able to meet and brief the Deputy Secretary? Is the office of USDI&S working with you to have the right framework?”
- Kirkpatrick responded: “I currently report to USDI&S until they come up with a plan for how they’re going to implement legislation. DoD and DNI are working through that now. I’d have to refer you back to USDI&S on what their plan is.”
- So now DefenseScoop reports that Deputy SecDef Hicks took over AARO in late August.
- Hicks: “AARO is not yet at full operational capability, and I look forward to AARO achieving that in fiscal year 2024,”
- Defense Scoop “Hicks now holds regular meetings with AARO’s inaugural director, Sean Kirkpatrick — who she’s also repositioned to report directly to her.”
- Kelly Chase from the UFO Rabbit Hole podcast: “Oof. Not good when you gotta meet with your boss weekly to make sure you're doing your work. In the corp world they call that a "performance improvement plan" which usually just means that they are trying to more directly document your ineptitude so they can fire you.”
- A big part of the reason she took over was to help speed up the launch of AARO’s website, which had become a point of contention.
- 2023 NDAA required a website, with a June deadline.
- In April, Kirkpatrick told Congress that his team submitted the website in November, but was still waiting for approval.
- In July, witnesses at the UAP hearing made a point that AARO still had no website or means for witnesses to get in contact.
- DefenseScoop outlines the whole timeline, but the short version is that behind the scenes, the website was ping-ponging back and forth between AARO and Moultrie.
- “Between November 2022 and April 2023, that submitted package moved back and forth between the I&S front office and AARO at least every other week. At Moultrie’s request, AARO regularly responded to questions, made edits and re-coordinated the memo. And Kirkpatrick also had several in-person meetings with the undersecretary.”
- On June 27, the website was sent to the DOD lawyers for review, and they came back with “several privacy and records management requirements that AARO needed to address before releasing the secure reporting mechanism portion.”
- “AARO then reached out to department stakeholders to address those issues raised… but faced challenges receiving definitive guidance on what privacy and records management actions were required to launch the website.”
- SecDef Hicks was not provided with the website materials until late July, and on July 31, she “convened stakeholders to discuss AARO’s website and formally directed DOD to provide that office with any administrative and technical support needed to build and launch the online portal successfully.”
- Pentagon Spokesperson Eric Pahon: “She has the ability — and used it — to bring together all the top actors in the department. I think what she found was that this was being worked at a working level, but it didn’t have the right level of senior leader attention until she really kind of drove it home to say, ‘Hey, you people around the table are going to make this thing happen,’”
AARO’s website finally launches!
- The vast majority of info on the website matches everything Kirkpatrick has said publicly before, including a denial that they have identified anything extraterrestrial.
- Still no email or contact method!
- AARO will be rolling out the secure reporting mechanism in phases:
- Phase One: providing an email address for Congressional witnesses. (done)
- Phase Two: secure reporting mechanism for military and government employees (in review now)
- Phase Three: mechanism for public reporting. (deferred for now)
- Reporting mechanism coming soon: “AARO will be accepting reports from current or former U.S. Government employees, service members, or contractors with direct knowledge of U.S. Government programs or activities related to UAP dating back to 1945*. We will announce when a reporting mechanism is available for others to use.”
- DefenseScoop says the first phase of that reporting mechanism should go live in late October.
- Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon: “The process for submitting these reports, via the AARO website, is going through a significant security review to ensure that we protect both the privacy of the participants and the security of the site. AARO and the Department recognize that members of the general public also desire to make UAP reports, and this capability will be established in the next phase of the website development in the coming months,”
- Current reporting: Military should report through their command, and civilian pilots are encouraged to report to air traffic control. “AARO receives UAP-related Pilot Reports from the FAA.”
- AARO will be rolling out the secure reporting mechanism in phases:
- DOD spokesman BrigGen Pat Ryder said: “The site will provide information including videos and photos on resolved UAP cases as they’re declassified and approved for public release.”
- They’ve got a videos section, with the videos we’ve seen before, including the 2017 NYT videos (labeled as unresolved) and the ones Kirkpatrick shared at his previous appearances, both the debunked ones and the metal orb video.
- Orb video: “while AARO assesses the object in the clip is not exhibiting anomalous behavior, the object remains unidentified.”
AARO Has UAP Material?
- The site includes a mission overview slide deck. Mostly unremarkable but one section caught a lot of eyes, referring to “UAP Object Recovery!”
- “Leads UAP recovery planning and execution, in close collaboration with AARO Science & Technology Group. Advises Commands on the secure and safe handling, storage, transport, and transfer of UAP Objects and Material, for AARO Science & Technology exploitation.”
- Liberation Times: “Multiple U.S. intelligence and defense sources have confirmed [that AARO] has… "coordinated the collection and analysis of materials from an unknown origin." According to sources, the material is connected with an alleged UAP event and is not readily explainable, in reference to its composition. The analysis has not been concluded, meaning any potential origin cannot be verified at this time.”
- The Pentagon did not deny the claim, but just repeated their stock denial: “To date, the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) has not discovered any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently.”
- Avi Loeb: Discovery of Spherules of Likely Extrasolar Composition
- USA Today: Metallic spheres found on Pacific floor are interstellar in origin, Harvard professor finds
- The Guardian: Astrophysicist Avi Loeb: ‘UFOs should be the subject of mainstream inquiry. Science must bring clarity’
- New York Times: Scientist’s Deep Dive for Alien Life Leaves His Peers Dubious
- Liberation Times: People vs. Pentagon: The Battle for UFO Transparency
- Defense Scoop: Hicks takes direct oversight of Pentagon’s UAP office; new reporting website to be launched
- Kelly Chase: “Sounds like Kirkpatrick’s on a PIP.”
- All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office website
- The Debrief: The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office Has Finally Launched Its Official Website. Here’s What’s Missing.
- Michio Kaku: “The burden of proof has shifted.”
- Liberation Times: Multiple Sources Confirm The Pentagon's UFO Office Has Coordinated Collection And Analysis Of Material From Unknown Origin
- Matt Ford: “Multiple people have bypassed AARO to file whistleblower reports with the ICIG.”
Episode 28, posted on