By Toby Martinez
and Shane Frakes
Roswell Daily Record
On Thursday, while President Biden made public comments about the takedown of three unidentified flying objects (UFOs), a bipartisan group of senators issued a joint statement urging full funding of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) to address growing concerns over unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs).
The AARO relies on access to U.S. Department of Defense and Intelligence Community UAP data. Its mission is to integrate and resolve threats to the United States, while also offering increased transparency to the American people and reducing the stigma around this issue of UAPs.
Biden said during a White House press briefing, “We don’t yet know exactly what these three objects were. But nothing — nothing right now suggests they were related to China’s spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from other — any other country.
Biden continued, “The intelligence community’s current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research.”
The president also addressed the ongoing recovery efforts. “Our military and the Canadian military are seeking to recover the debris so we can learn more about these three objects. Our intelligence community is still assessing all three incidents. They’re reporting to me daily and will continue their urgent efforts to do so, and I will communicate that to the Congress.”
In a video released by the White House after the briefing, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Command John Kirby stated, “We’re taking a hard look right now at the policies and protocols, the procedures by which we handle these kinds of objects. And we expect to be able to come up with some new parameters about how we’re going to deal with these kinds of objects going forward. If an object could pose a potential threat to civilian aviation, if it poses a potential surveillance threat, we’ve got to do what we need to do to act in the best security of the American people and our national interests. And that’s exactly what the president did.”
Kirby continued, “I don’t think the American people need to worry that this has anything to do with aliens or extraterrestrial technology. These were high flying, most likely balloons of some sort. So we think it’s certainly technology that is, again, not very sophisticated and definitely tied and definitely tied to somebody here on the planet Earth. And one of our leading assumptions is that it could very well just be research balloons, weather balloons, that kind of thing.”
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with his colleagues, established the AARO. In a statement issued on Wednesday, he emphasized the need for total funding and organizational support for the AARO’s mission. In a letter to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks and Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stacey Dixon, the bipartisan group of senators wrote, “AARO’s success will depend on robust funding for its activities and cooperation between the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.”
The letter was led by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). They were joined by Senators Warner (D-Va.), Graham (R-S.C.), Cramer (R-N.D.), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kelly (D-Ariz.), Warren (D-Mass.), Kaine (D-Va.), Bennet (D-Colo.), Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
Sen. Heinrich also weighed in saying, “We must harness the vast resources of the federal government and work collaboratively to identify and analyze UAPs and potential national security risks.”
Sen. Blumenthal said of the recent events, “The American people should be given more information. They’re ready for it. They can handle it. And they need and deserve to know it.”
This call for funding and support for the AARO comes amidst growing public interest and concern over UAPs, which have been widely reported in the media in recent years.
Retired Army Col. John Alexander, a leading expert in the field, commented on the recent UAP sightings in an interview Thursday with the Roswell Daily Record saying, “The recent shooting down of ‘UFOs’ is a major distraction from the issue of real anomalous objects. They were UFOs only in that they were flying objects that were unidentified until they weren’t. This discussion provides cover for the many officials who do not take UAPs seriously and just want the topic to go away. The operative word is ‘distraction.'”
In an interview with CNN, Sen. Rubio said, “Yeah, well, look, I think we need to get to the bottom of it, right? I mean, we need to find out what these things are. And there’s a stigma associated with it. There’s a lot of jokes associated with it. But there are things that are unexplained, and we need to figure out what that is. And so, my hope is that we can, as a country, come together, and take a nonpartisan approach to trying to get to the bottom of this. I don’t think it’s aliens, but I think we need to know what it is. And if there’s a technology out there that someone else has that’s not us, we need to know that too, and we need to figure out how to counter it.”
Rubio continued, “Well, look, there are things that are unexplained, right? There are things that people have seen that are hard to explain. And I don’t want to speculate beyond that, but I think it’s important to understand that there are things that have been observed, that are unexplained, and we need to figure out what that is. And that’s why I think this issue, even though it sounds a little strange or a little kooky, is actually important. And we need to get to the bottom of it, because there are national security implications to it as well.”