"There is a possibility that extraterrestrial motherships and smaller probes could be visiting planets in the solar system," said Sean Kirkpatrick, the Pentagon's top ufologist, as he is known. He is the director of AARO, the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, recently created under the U.S. military department.
By anomalies we should understand UFOs - primarily those that have been "rampaging" in the U.S. sky for several years near aircraft carriers, fighter jets and other military objects.
Earlier in a similar "ufological" spirit expressed General Glen VanHerck, head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). He stated that the Pentagon does not reject the theory that UFOs, or UAPs in current terminology, were created by aliens.
Recently both the military and scientists involved in the "comprehensive study" have been using the more modern and apparently more solid term Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAP, instead of the usual and traditional UFO wording.
The latest revelation comes in a lengthy report Kirkpatrick has written with Professor Abraham Loeb, who works at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is chairman of Harvard University's astronomy department, and is a member of the President's Council on Science and Technology.
Kirkpatrick is no slicker of the arts: before joining AARO, he was chief scientist at the Defense Intelligence Agency's Missile and Space Intelligence Center.
Obviously, the "chief ufologist of the Pentagon" was inspired by the ideas of Loeb, who became famous worldwide, arguing the version that the solar system crosses the alien ship - Oumuamua, or "Messenger, who arrived first from afar" in literal translation from Hawaiian. That's how the mysterious cigar, about 400 meters long, was eventually named, which was spotted in October 2017 by astronomers from the University of Hawaii. The trajectory of the "cigar" stretched to other worlds - either to the constellation Virgo, or Unicorn, or Whale. It flew at a huge speed of about 100 thousand kilometers per hour. It was abnormally bright - shiny like metal, had a complexly shaped surface, and most importantly, it periodically accelerated - so if someone controlled it. Loeb even wrote a book summarizing all of Oumuamua's oddities. "Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth."
In the report, Loeb and Kirkpatrick went even further, proving that Oumuamua may have been a mothership that launched several dozen, if not hundreds, probes designed to explore Earth and near-Earth space.
"The tactics are not fundamentally different from those used by NASA in its missions," the authors wrote.
Those mysterious objects seen on infrared radar by U.S. naval pilots may well be automatic probes.
Current telescopes have not picked up the alien "landing party" because the probes are small and reflect little sunlight. But one of them, it seems, did get caught - all the same Loeb and, as it turned out later, the military, who detected the object, but classified the information concerning its passage.
According to observations by Loeb and his colleague Amir Siraj, on Jan. 8, 2014, a body about a meter in size and weighing about half a ton entered Earth's atmosphere and fell into the Pacific Ocean near Papua New Guinea the same day.
The object was moving twice as fast as Oumuamua, at 216,000 kilometers per hour. For meteorites and asteroids circulating through the solar system, such speeds are not typical.
The scientists laid out their arguments in an article, which was sent to The Astrophysical Journal Letters. But the publication did not take place. Intervened the U.S. Space Command (United States Space Command - USSC), allegedly because Loeb and Siraj used data from the spy satellite of the Department of Defense and from the tracking stations. The military uses it to monitor ballistic missile movements and detect nuclear explosions. Making the data public would reveal the system's capabilities.
But suddenly, in early April 2022, Lt. Gen. John E. Shaw, deputy commander of the USSC sent a special memorandum to NASA, admitting that scientists had once correctly determined the speed of the object. And that it - so high - together with the hyperbolic trajectory of the object indisputably indicate that the object is not local, but interstellar.
We know where the object fell, which Loeb, and now Kirkpatrick and, who knows, maybe the entire AARO believe to be an automatic alien probe. All that remains is to find it. Scientists have identified the area where they will send an expedition: the size of 10 by 10 kilometers - not so big that you can't count on success. In addition, the object should be magnetic. Which will make the task easier.
It will be searched within the framework of the Galileo Project research project. The expedition itself is already fully funded.
At the same time is expected to find other probes - those that are still in space and still hiding among the many NEOs - near-Earth objects. There are plans to look for them with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory (Vera C. Rubin Observatory), equipped with a wide-angle reflector telescope, which from 2023 will photograph the sky from the high Cerro Pachon mountain in Chile.
By the way, it is possible that the mother ship may be another object currently in the solar system - the asteroid 2011 AG5, which in early February 2023 flew past Earth. Several images from the 70-meter antenna of the Goldstone Solar System Radar system in Southern California testified: the object is cigar-shaped, like almost Oumuamua, but longer - about 600 meters. And it was changing its trajectory, too.