‘Aliens,’ or a Foreign Power? Pentagon UFO Chief Says Someone is in Our Backyard

At first, the craft proved elusive. But when aviators eventually observed them visually, including during a harrowing near-midair collision, the objects appeared to be translucent and spherical, matching World War II-era descriptions of encounters with “transparent spheres.”

Marik von Rennenkampff
The Hill

The director of the U.S. government’s UFO analysis office stated that there is “evidence” of concerning unidentified flying object activity “in our backyard.” According to physicist Seán Kirkpatrick, who heads the congressionally-mandated All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, this alarming UFO activity can be attributed to one of two extraordinary sources: either a foreign power or “aliens.”

To be sure, the ramifications of either would be significant. But Kirkpatrick’s comments, which come as he is about to retire after a 27-year defense and intelligence-focused career, are more intriguing because he also says that “none” of the hundreds of military UFO reports analyzed by his office recently “have been positively attributed to foreign activities.”

At the same time, Kirkpatrick and senior defense officials have ruled out the possibility that secret U.S. programs or experimental aircraft explain the phenomena.

While suspicious UFO cases will “continue to be investigated” for foreign links, the facts at hand appear to support Kirkpatrick’s more startling explanation for the UFO activity in America’s backyard: “aliens.”

Aside from this remarkable development, the mere suggestion by a top government official that “aliens” could explain some UFO activity is the latest example of a striking shift in tone regarding the UFO phenomenon.

For well over half a century, obfuscation, deflection and ridicule defined the government’s approach to what it officially refers to as “unidentified anomalous phenomena” or UAP.

But in recent years, former presidents, senior defense and intelligence officials and members of Congress have speculated openly about extraordinary explanations for the most perplexing UFO incidents.

Kirkpatrick’s “aliens” comment fits a broader pattern. Earlier this year, Kirkpatrick raised eyebrows when he co-authored a draft scientific paper with Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb hypothesizing that extraterrestrial “parent craft” could release “many small probes” to explore Earth-like planets.

With the best-known contemporary UFO encounters occurring over the ocean, Kirkpatrick and Loeb’s suggestion that such “extraterrestrial technological probes” “would necessarily be looking for water” to refuel is noteworthy.

More importantly, Kirkpatrick stated in a recent presentation that U.S. government sensors and servicemembers are observing “metallic orbs” that are “making very interesting apparent maneuvers” “all over the world.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail, an intelligence source stated that there are “dozens” of unreleased videos recorded by surveillance drones, some of which show “orbs” conducting “remarkable [maneuvers], like suddenly bolt[ing] off the screen.”

Moreover, multiple sensors have apparently observed “metallic orbs” and “translucent” spherical objects traveling at speeds ranging from “stationary to Mach 2,” or twice the speed of sound, with “no [detectable] thermal exhaust.” According to Kirkpatrick, the objects’ enigmatic flight characteristics amount to a unique UFO profile that his panel is “out hunting for.”

Could these seemingly highly advanced “metallic orbs” have inspired the director of the government’s UFO office to theorize that “extraterrestrial probes” might be exploring Earth?

“Metallic orbs” matching Kirkpatrick’s description have perplexed U.S. military aircrews for 80 years. During World War II, American aviators reported encounters with “large numbers of silver spheres.” The New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Stars and Stripes and the now-defunct International News Service all published stories in late 1944 describing military aircrews’ encounters with “mysterious silver balls which float in the air.”

According to the reporting, the “silver colored spheres” “hang in the air either singly or in clusters” and, with noteworthy parallels to Kirkpatrick’s contemporary UFO profile, occasionally appeared “semi-translucent.”

Newsweek followed up with a Christmas Day, 1944, article titled “The Silver Sphere Puzzle.” Echoing the enigmatic nature of the objects, the headline of a second Associated Pess dispatch read: “Balls of Silver Seen Over Reich Intrigue Science.”

American aviators’ encounters with mysterious “metallic orbs” did not stop after World War II. Intelligence assessments of the UFO phenomenon from the late 1940s and early 1950s describe “silver balls” and “spherical” objects “of bright metallic lustre” among the most-commonly observed UFOs, alongside larger “metallic” discs.

Capt. Edward Ruppelt, the first director of the U.S. Air Force’s two decade-long UFO analysis effort, Project Blue Book, describes several noteworthy military encounters with metallic spheres in the years just before the U.S. government adopted a policy of “debunking” all UFO sightings and discrediting witnesses, no matter how credible.

More recently, former U.S. Navy fighter pilot Ryan Graves described how he and at least 50 to 60 of his fellow aviators frequently observed anomalous objects on their sensors while flying off the East Coast. At first, the craft proved elusive. But when aviators eventually observed them visually, including during a harrowing near-midair collision, the objects appeared to be translucent and spherical, matching World War II-era descriptions of encounters with “transparent spheres.”

Videos and images of three “metallic orbs” and a “semi-translucent” sphere, all recorded by U.S. servicemembers, have emerged in recent years.

In an apparent nod to the long history of U.S. military encounters with mysterious “metallic orbs,” the logo of the government’s UFO analysis office prominently features a silver sphere. A stock image titled “alien technology in a metallic ball” is hidden in a key document outlining the office’s mission.

Not to be outdone by the executive branch’s newfound appreciation for “alien” references, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently introduced extraordinary UFO-related legislation.

Among sweeping provisions intended to enhance government transparency on UFOs, the legislation addresses stunning allegations from many high-level current and former officials of the existence of surreptitious UFO retrieval and reverse-engineering programs.

If passed as drafted, the Schumer legislation would codify definitions for eyebrow-raising terms such as “non-human intelligence,” “legacy [UFO retrieval and reverse engineering] program” and “technologies of unknown origin” into federal law. Moreover, it would require private contractors currently in possession of recovered UFOs or “biological evidence of non-human intelligence” to turn over all such items to the U.S. government “in the interests of the public good.”
Marik von Rennenkampff served as an analyst with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, as well as an Obama administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense.

Marik von Rennenkampff
The Hill

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