The Pentagon’s AARO Rolls Out Its New Secure Reporting Mechanism for UAP… Sort Of

All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office

Welcome to this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief… on Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that it had finally instituted a secure reporting mechanism for U.S. government personnel to use to report to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which is tasked with the Pentagon’s investigations into Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP). However, right out of the gate, we’re seeing some concerning indicators… in our analysis this week, we’ll be taking a look at 1) the new secure portal and what it’s designed to do, 2) the glaring issues that already exist with the new reporting mechanism, and 3) why the mechanism seems doomed to fail in its objectives… and also why AARO leadership appears to be aware of all this from the outset.

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With all the housekeeping out of the way, it’s time we look at the latest efforts by the DoD’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office to get to the bottom of UAP… and why, based on what we’re seeing so far, we’re a little concerned.

AARO Gets a New Secure UAP Reporting Mechanism for UAP… Or Does It?

This week, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it had instituted a new secure reporting mechanism for U.S. military personnel reporting to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which is tasked with the Pentagon’s investigations into Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

However, there’s a catch: the new secure system, which is now active on AARO’s official website, is not intended to be used to collect reports about actual UAP sightings. Instead, the secure reporting mechanism is intended only as a reporting channel for U.S. military personnel “with direct knowledge of U.S. Government programs or activities related to UAP dating back to 1945.”

“AARO is NOT currently accepting reports of UAP sightings/encounters from the general public,” the reporting page on AARO’s website states, although adding that “In the future, reporting eligibility will be expanded to the general public and include reports of any event related to UAP.”

Perhaps members of the public shouldn’t feel left out, since apparently members of the military still aren’t able to submit their reports through the new secure portal either, and have been advised to “Please follow the process established by your service branch or federal agency to report the information to AARO.”

So, AARO finally has a secure system for collecting information, but one that isn’t equipped to collect any actual reports of UAP. Nonetheless, the fact that any secure reporting system is now in operation may seem like a promising indicator of progress on behalf of the Pentagon’s official UAP investigative unit… but not so fast: a closer look at the fine print still gives us good reason to be more than a bit concerned.

The Secret UAP Program Reporting Mechanism That Wasn’t

Since June of this year, revelations involving claims of secret U.S. government programs involved in retrieving exotic craft or technologies have dominated the UAP discussion. The claims, while still unconfirmed, have received widespread media attention since The Debrief first broke the story of whistleblower David Grusch on June 5 in an article by reporters Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal.

The resulting media attention ultimately led to a Congressional hearing in July, where Grusch, along with former U.S. Navy pilots David Fravor and Ryan Graves, restated many of their past claims and made additional statements, all while under oath. Given the level of attention such claims have received in recent months, one would be inclined to think that AARO, the DoD’s official UAP investigative office, would also be eager to learn whether there was indeed any fire behind all this smoke.

Hence, the secure reporting mechanism makes sense in principle, given that there are already established channels that U.S. military personnel may use to report their UAP sightings. AARO wants to ensure that, for now, those who might be able to offer information that corroborates the claims of those like David Grusch have a secure means of getting that information directly to its investigators.

David Grusch speaks before Congress in July, 2023 (Credit: Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs).

That process, unfortunately, will inevitably be hampered by the very conditions outlined on the secure reporting mechanism’s page on the AARO website.

“Please do NOT submit any information that is potentially CLASSIFIED, or unclassified information that is not publicly releasable (e.g., subject to export control regulations),” reads a section of bold underlined print near the top of the site’s reporting form. So, in other words, if there was any expectation that a secret—and therefore what is likely to be a classified—U.S. government program related to UAP might exist, AARO is effectively advising U.S. personnel with such knowledge not to report it.

One has to wonder what the purpose of creating the secure reporting mechanism would be at all, especially if AARO isn’t accepting any classified information or details that otherwise aren’t already “publicly releasable.” Logic would seem to dictate that if such programs had ever existed and involved information that was deemed to be publicly releasable, then we probably would have already known about them by now.

Equally sad is the fact that AARO’s director, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, seems to be acutely aware of all of these issues.

AARO Holds an Off-Camera Press Gaggle… and Confirms Our Concerns

On Tuesday evening, the DoD held an off-camera media roundtable with Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, Director of the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office. Also in attendance was Defense Press Operations Spokesperson Susan Gough. At one point during the roundtable, Dr. Kirkpatrick was asked whether he was confident that AARO’s current staffing levels could handle large influxes of reports as his Office institutes reporting mechanisms, first for U.S. government personnel, and eventually for fielding UAP reports from the public.

Kirkpatrick, after acknowledging that he has “surge capability” if large numbers of reports were to begin to be received, added the following revealing tidbit: “[I]f I look at this through the lens of if we start with the hypothesis that there is a highly protected program somewhere that very few people have access to, then I would expect very few people would be able to come and report that [author’s emphasis]. Because there… just aren’t that many people that would then, in theory, be briefed to that.”

Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the DoD’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) speaking during an event held by NASA’s UAP Independent Study Team earlier this year (Credit: NASA TV).

One has to assume that such secretive UAP programs would, in likelihood, be classified Special Access Programs (SAPs) if they existed. Kirkpatrick’s own reference to the small number of people he expects would “be briefed to that” seems to acknowledge this likelihood. Hence, the AARO Director’s own expectation seems to be that people qualified to speak about secret U.S. government UAP programs will not be able to convey this information to AARO, given its own strict rules involving the communication of classified information.

Again, we are left to ask why AARO would go to the trouble of instituting a secure system for collecting information from U.S. government personnel about what is likely to be one of the greatest secrets ever kept, while excluding classified information from what it can collect. Frankly, none of this makes any sense.

Altogether, it seems relatively pointless for AARO to have launched a new secure reporting mechanism if it is already so inherently limited in terms of what information it can gather. Given such circumstances, not only can Kirkpatrick and his office “expect very few people” to report on the kinds of programs AARO is purportedly looking for… but they can almost be assured that they won’t get any information at all until they can offer a better means for U.S. government personnel to provide that information.

That concludes this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief. You can read past editions of The Intelligence Brief at our website, or if you found this installment online, don’t forget to subscribe and get future email editions from us here. Also, if you have a tip or other information you’d like to send along directly to me, you can email me at micah [@] thedebrief [dot] org, or Tweet at me @MicahHanks.

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