Senate hearing on UAP sparks concern for whistleblowers

By Toby Martinez, Shane Frakes
and Christopher Sharp
Roswell Daily Record

The Senate’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee held a hearing with both closed and public sessions on measures related to Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) on Wednesday.

Emerging from the hearings, an absence of clear direction for whistleblowers who wish to come forward with sensitive information.

All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) director Sean Kirkpatrick provided testimony for both sessions of the hearing. His office bears the responsibility of undertaking the Department of Defense’s (DoD) endeavors to investigate UAP, as mandated by the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In addition, the AARO, together with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, is accountable for creating a mechanism that enables whistleblowers to securely provide information that can subsequently be brought to Congressional leadership, as well as defense and intelligence committees.

When asked about the progress on this mechanism, Kirkpatrick stated he had submitted the first version of a public-facing website product to his superiors for approval before Christmas. Kirkpatrick indicated that testimony so far had been mainly with people referred to him by Congress. “So I would like to first say thank you all very much for referring the witnesses that you have thus far to us. I appreciate that we’ve brought in nearly two dozen so far. That’s been very helpful. I’d ask that you continue to do that until we have an approved plan,” he said.

The Roswell Daily Record has learned from several sources familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly that the AARO is asking whistleblowers to pay for their own travel and accommodations in order to provide testimony in Washington, D.C. In addition, at least one witness’ testimony was taken over the phone from an unsecured location, even though the whistleblower was bound to a non-disclosure agreement.

Kirkpatrick noted that while his team is examining 650 UAP cases, “Of those over 650, we’ve prioritized about half of them to be of anomalous, interesting value and now we have to go through those and go ‘How much of those do I have actual data for?’”

“I want to underscore today that only a very small percentage of UAP reports display signatures that could reasonably be described as ‘anomalous.’ The majority of unidentified objects reported to AARO demonstrate mundane characteristics of balloons, unmanned aerial systems, clutter, natural phenomena or other readily explainable sources,” he added.

With recent reports from whistleblowers that they have briefed the AARO on UAP crash retrievals and reverse engineering programs, Kirkpatrick’s response seems to indicate that his office has no way to verify these claims.

“I should also state clearly for the record that in our research, AARO has found no credible evidence thus far of extraterrestrial activity, off-world technology or objects that defy the known laws of physics,” Kirkpatrick said.

As a result, at present, any whistleblower possessing information about possible UAP programs that are being kept clandestine from Congressional scrutiny who wishes to utilize the AARO’s fresh mechanism is unable to do so. Two of the individuals that spoke with the Record Daily Record on condition of anonymity indicated that they believe their testimony is not being followed up on.

Personnel at U.S. Space Command have also shown interest in meeting with these witnesses. This comes days after a press briefing given by the Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of  Space Operations for the U.S. Space Force at the Pentagon, Maj. Gen. John Olson, on April 14 in New York City.

Regarding UAP detected worldwide, Olson stated, “We view that as an open and transparent effort and activity through the United States Congress and executed by our UAP Task Force office and so I would encourage greater collaboration and cooperation in that, and particularly I think as we see various technologies that will help demystify or debunk or clarify.”