The end of UAPs? Not likely.

The Defense Department’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) released a report that will finally end all that UFO/UAP nonsense. Just kidding — nothing will end the human capacity for self-delusion. But it’s a start.

AARO found no evidence that any USG investigation, academic-sponsored research, or official review panel has confirmed that any sighting of a UAP represented extraterrestrial technology. All investigative efforts, at all levels of classification, concluded that most sightings were ordinary objects and phenomena and the result of misidentification. Although not the focus of this report, it is worthwhile to note that all official foreign UAP investigatory efforts to date have reached the same general conclusions as USG investigations.

  • Although many UAP reports remain unsolved or unidentified, AARO assesses that if more and better quality data were available, most of these cases also could be identified and resolved as ordinary objects or phenomena. Sensors and visual observations are imperfect; the vast majority of cases lack actionable data or the data available is limited or of poor quality.
  • Resources and staffing for these programs largely have been irregular and sporadic, challenging investigatory efforts and hindering effective knowledge transfer.
  • The vast majority of reports almost certainly are the result of misidentification and a direct consequence of the lack of domain awareness; there is a direct correlation between the amount and quality of available information on a case with the ability to conclusively resolve it.

I thought this was an amusing comment on the quality of the evidence.

Another program brought to AARO’s attention, Kona Blue, was alleged to be a Homeland Security Department effort “to cover up the retrieval and exploitation of ‘nonhuman biologics,’” the report found. In other words, alien bodies.

The origins of those suspicions, investigators found, traced back to some of those earlier Pentagon researchers, backed by Reid, who had strayed into studying UAPs.

When the Defense Intelligence Agency canceled that effort in 2012 “due to lack of merit,” its supporters proposed that Homeland Security fund a new version to investigate paranormal research, including “human consciousness anomalies,” the report found. The program, which they proposed calling Kona Blue, also would reverse-engineer “off-world spacecraft that they hoped to acquire.” The Kona Blue backers assumed that biological evidence of aliens was already in the government’s possession, the report found.

They proposed to study aliens and spacecraft that “they hoped to acquire”. Cool. What are the chances of my getting funding for my NSF proposal to study spiders from Mars that I “hope to aquire”? I’m sure, though, that we’ll be hearing about the unauthorized, unsupported, imaginary Kona Blue project for years to come. The only thing you need to do to captivate the Ancient Aliens crowd is to invent a catchy, enigmatic name.

In related news, you may recall that Avi Loeb claimed to have scraped tiny molten balls from an exploded UFO in the ocean off New Guinea. He launched his expedition years after the fireball was observed, and claimed he had mapped the location from real scientific data, seismographic recordings that caught a little jiggle at the precise time of the supposed crash.

Except it wasn’t. He was chasing a trivial seismic glitch.

In January 2014, a meteor scorched its way through the atmosphere, a brilliant ball of fire over the Pacific Ocean.

Before it plunged into the sea, strange sound waves were picked up by a seismometer in nearby Papua New Guinea.

Could it have been an alien signal? Perhaps a desperate SOS?

Sadly for UFO fans, it was not. The sound waves were actually from a truck, distinctly Earthly in origin, trundling along a nearby road.

‘The signal changed directions over time, exactly matching a road that runs past the seismometer,’ said Dr Benjamin Fernando, a planetary seismologist at Johns Hopkins University who led the research.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter. It never does. I’m going to see Loeb’s grinning, gnomish face popping up on web pages for the rest of my life, aren’t I? It’s of no importance that he has zero evidence, his thesis is ridiculous, but he wields that fading authority of Harvard, so every kook in the world will lap up his dribblings.


  1. says

    Maybe I’m missing something here. If the U.S. military has been in possession of extraterrestrial technology and/or biology for many decades:
    a) Why are they keeping it a secret?
    b) Presumably every president, chairman of the joint chiefs, Secretary of Defense and of the Air Force, and a whole lot of other people, must have known about it, and they all have taken it or are taking it to the grave. That would include Ronald T. Dump.
    c) Why hasn’t the Air Force made any use of the technology? And if it isn’t actually useful, all the less reason to keep it a secret.

    Maybe you can think of more reasons why this is ridiculous but that’s good enough for me.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Aww, c’mon – these so-called debunkers haven’t produced that alleged “truck”, don’t even have a license plate for it, and haven’t identified the driver, nor put said driver through an MRI machine nor a DNA sequencer!!1!

  3. raven says

    Don’t forget HAARP, the US Air Force weather control project.


    HAARP is the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. Various individuals have speculated about hidden motivations and capabilities of the project. For example, Rosalie Bertell warned in 1996 about the deployment of HAARP as a military weapon.[36] Michel Chossudovsky stated in a book published by the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform that “recent scientific evidence suggests that HAARP is fully operational and has the capability of triggering floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes.”[37]

    Over time, HAARP has been blamed for generating such catastrophes, as well as thunderstorms, in Iran, Pakistan, Haiti, Turkey, Greece and the Philippines, and even major power outages, the downing of TWA Flight 800, Gulf War syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome.[8][38][39]

    HAARP can do anything involving weather control.

    In real life, HAARP is actually a scientific investigation program for the ionosphere.


    The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is a University of Alaska Fairbanks program which researches the ionosphere – the highest, ionized part of Earth’s atmosphere.

  4. says

    cervantes@1 more that a few UFO fans are convinced our modern technological civilisation is the result of reverse engineered alien technology recovered at Roswell. So they’d tell you that alien tech is actually in use.

    But yeah, like most conspiracy theories the UFO coverup idea falls apart on logistics. So many people would be involved, and all it would take is the right person to flap their gums to blow the whole thing. Or steal a piece of alien technology and reveal it to the world. Or one government to decide “Screw it, covering this up is a bad idea, we’re gonna reveal the truth.”

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    ‘The signal changed directions over time, exactly matching a road that runs past the seismometer,’ said Dr Benjamin Fernando, a planetary seismologist at Johns Hopkins University who led the research.

    OMG The aliens are now driving trucks!

  6. tacitus says

    I’m old enough to remember when it was the “Brookings Report” (which has an entry in Wikipedia) that was evidence of a US government coverup of aliens.

    Published in 1961 it was commissioned by NASA to study the long term implications to society of the exploitation of space. They included a very short section speculating on the impact on society of the discovery of ETs, and made the mistake of suggesting that governments might want to keep such information from the public so as to avoid panic and disruption.

    Well, you can easy imagine what the conspiracy theorists made of that — idle speculation to “active official policy” in one easy step.

    Conversely, the report was also used by conspiracy theorists as evidence that the government was preparing the general public for the announcement that ETs exist and are here on Earth.

    Consistency is not their strong suit.

  7. says

    Well, we know where semiconductors and fiber optics and cell phones and the Internet came from. We know the full story of the development of those technologies and the corporations, organizations and individuals involved. And furthermore aircraft and spacecraft in particular haven’t gotten notably more sophisticated in the past 50 years, except for better computers, which again is a well-understood story. They use the same old rocket and jet propulsion, and they don’t do any flying saucer tricks. So I don’t know what alien technology they might be talking about.

  8. map61 says

    If I find out our military has been sitting on alien derived Zero Gravity technology all this time, I’m gonna be pissed. I’d hate to think I fell off that ladder for nothing.

  9. Reginald Selkirk says

    @8: Check into “Kona Deep” – a brand of bottled water.

    Kona Deep is deep ocean water, desalinated and bottled at the source in Kona Hawaii. Kona Deep offers a unique hydration experience unlike any other on the planet because of our source, it’s unique blend of naturally occurring deep ocean minerals and electrolytes, and our ability to responsibly utilize the largest renewable source of water on our planet.

    They are touting the “minerals and electrolytes” while admitting that their product is desalinated.
    Deep or Derp?

  10. tacitus says

    there is a direct correlation between the amount and quality of available information on a case with the ability to conclusively resolve it.

    The most damning point of all.

    It is amazing how, in a world entirely transformed by billions of people having a decent-to-high quality digital camera with them at all times, the photographic evidence for UAPs is just as bad today as it was back in the 1950s when virtually nobody had a camera of any sort with them at any time.

    Streaky smudges and blurry blobs then, streaky smudges and blurry blobs now.

  11. tacitus says


    So I don’t know what alien technology they might be talking about.

    That’s because you’re overlooking the fact that the US colleges and corporations involved in the “invention” of computer technology agreed to remain silent about its alien origin in exchange taking the credit and reaping the rewards from its exploitation.

    That nobody has detected the subterfuge is simply evidence as to how effective the decades-long plan of drip-drip-drip releases has been, with meticulously created origin stories for every new advance in technology and science.

    The truly advanced stuff that would blow the doors of the conspiracy wide open if it was released too soon is still safely stashed away in Area 51 and other secret locations around the country, waiting for the right moment.

    I can keep this going all day…

  12. says

    Kona Longboard is an okay beer. Never tried Kona Blue.

    …Or one government to decide “Screw it, covering this up is a bad idea, we’re gonna reveal the truth.”

    Or even one recently-deposed party or faction in such a government saying “This is how we totally discredit our enemies for at least two generations!” You really think ANY Republicans since 1952 would have passed up such a chance to discredit those evil commie Democrats? You think some hardcore old-school Maoists would have passed up a chance to take down a business-enabling reformist or twelve?

  13. Ed Peters says

    UFO nuts. They watch our rockets launch, expending huge amounts of energy to put a small payload into orbit, but they still don’t get that space travel is very energy intensive and we aren’t ever going faster than 0.1% of the speed of light. They don’t understand that at the fastest we will ever go, the distances between even adjacent stars makes it impossible to move between them in less than thousands of years (and even if relativistic speeds were doable, the astronauts would age a fraction of the amount as the people left on earth – so even if you could return, the world would be very different). So they abandon achievable technology altogether, and dream that the techno-argle-bargle (warp engines, wormholes) of theoretical physics and sci-fi is doable if we just apply enough electricity.

    To people with little or no science training, our modern technology suggests anything is possible. And the more people are immiserated by crapitalism, the more they clutch at ‘spacemen will save us’ straws. Everyone here knows this, but knowing about it doesn’t lead to knowing what to do about it.

  14. ardipithecus says

    No matter how good detectors and analytic techniques get, there will always be a zone between what can be detected and identified and what can’t be detected at all where things can be detected but not reliably identified. There you will find the UAPists UAPing their little hearts out. Bless them. at least they are not tramping all over my lawn.

  15. HidariMak says

    “I have no idea what it is, so therefore, I know exactly what it is” appears to be the thought process behind most conspiracy theories and conspiracy believers.

  16. says

    I actually saw a flying saucer at night in Vietnam. The small lights from the windows rotated together then went behind the craft. At least until I realized that what I was really seeing was a swarm of fireflies circling together. They were not far enough away so I detected the parallax, but without something in the background to see the parallax it definitely looked like a real flying saucer with lighted windows.

  17. dstatton says

    Avi Loeb is a physicist at Harvard. A physicists friend of mine at Johns Hopkins said he was respected and refused to believe these stories, saying he was just being satirical, intel he looks him up.

  18. Matt G says

    I see Avi once or twice a week on my daily Medium email. He continues to complain about his closed-minded detractors, talk about himself and Harvard, present his “evidence” for extraterrestrials, etc. When you’ve made as big a fool of yourself as he has, you really have no choice but to double down….

  19. gijoel says

    It’s strange that after traveling unimaginable light years across space that aliens want to talk to us by stomping on grass, and sodomizing hicks.

  20. says

    In Breakfast of Champions, the ET tries to communicate by farting and tap dancing. His human interlocutor kills him with a golf club.

  21. Reginald Selkirk says

    The actual hidden truth about UFOs

    … In 2022, the Pentagon tapped a veteran scientist and intelligence officer named Sean Kirkpatrick to set up a new office tasked with investigating UFO sightings by the US military…

    In the most extensive media interview he’s given, Kirkpatrick laid out a convincing case that the stories swirling for decades about the alleged government cover-up of alien-related UFOs may well have been fueled largely by true believers inside the US government or with close ties to it…

    “True believers are not just outside of government; many of them are inside government,” Kirkpatrick told us, including the late US Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was Senate Majority leader…

    And Kirkpatrick says his investigators ultimately traced this game of top-secret telephone back to fewer than a dozen people.

    “It all goes back to the same core set of people,” Kirkpatrick said. This is both deeply weird and richly ironic. Because, for decades, UFO true believers have been telling us there’s a US government conspiracy to hide evidence of aliens. But — if you believe Kirkpatrick — the more mundane truth is that these stories are being pumped up by a group of UFO true believers in and around government…

  22. Matt G says

    And as if to prove my point, Avi’s new article (The Thrill of the Search) is right at the top of this morning’s Medium email. He just doesn’t quit digging in.

  23. StevoR says

    @17. Ed Peters :

    They watch our rockets launch, expending huge amounts of energy to put a small payload into orbit, but they still don’t get that space travel is very energy intensive and we aren’t ever going faster than 0.1% of the speed of light.

    Second part there doesn’t necessarily follow from the first.

    My “”fixed” version of this -chanegs in bold :

    They watch our ever improving and becoming cheaper and more diverse rockets launch, expending huge amounts of energy to put a small but increasing in size payloads into orbit, but they still don’t get that space travel is currently very energy intensive and perhaps one day we might develop a technolgies enabling us to go faster than 0.1% of the speed of light.

    I don’t see why you set that limit and precedent of human history and engineering suggests it is foolhardy to do so. There were a lot of academic papers and popular science articles with careful maths and firm “logic” worked out telling the people of the past that we couldn’t travel to our planet’s Moon, couldn’t fly, couldn’t even ever go faster than 25 miles per hour, etc..

    We went from writing about imagined “brick moons” in 1869 ( ) to launching Sputnik in 1957 to having the International Space Station today following a long line of other space stations like the Salyuts, Skylab and Mir.

    We went from the Wright brothers plane – or Gustave Whitehead’s one ( – in 1901 to the Saturn V – Apollo rockets and spacecraft that put a dozen human beings on our Moon and more circling it in the very late 1960’s-early 1970’s. Under a century’s time.

    So, technology can advance fast and impressively and jump far beyond what the nay-sayers say..

    Now imagine ETI’s have had a lot longer than us and perhaps are a lot smarter than us as implied by the Principle of Mediocrity ( ), throw in a pinch of Clarke’s Three Laws and, extrapolate and, yeah. I don’t think the UFO ones are that “nuts” (nice ablism there – not.) here.

    You’re betting against Humanity improving its technology greatly and betting against other potentially more intelligent, ancient and advanced species – including alien AI ones doing so too and well, I Idon’t think that’s a good bet.

    That said, I dont think the Flying Saucers have coem atleats tens of light yeras tomolest cattle and happikly be covered up by men inblack and don’t believ in ancient aliens or conspiriacy theories UA ~wise here.

  24. StevoR says

    ^ One more fix to my fix of #17. Ed Peters original :

    ..but. and they still don’t get that whilst space travel is currently very energy intensive we are learning and advancing ad developing better technology all the time so that perhaps one day we might develop a technologies enabling us to go significantly faster than 0.1% of the speed of light.

    Or, indeed, perhaps even develop superliminal starships with warp drives or whatever given enough extra knowledge and understanding and tech that, to us, would look as magical as an aircraft, the internet or travelling faster than 25 mph would seem to those who thought those things scientifically impossible back in the ancient and not so ancient past.

    It’s generally a bad idea to say something can’t or won’t be done, especially in the realm of science and technology. The following are quotations that have failed to stand up to the test of time: …

    Source :

  25. KG says

    Or, indeed, perhaps even develop superliminal starships with warp drives or whatever – StevoR@32

    Not only special relativity, but any remotely plausible alternative, rules this out. Besides which, if it were possible, the “Fermi paradox” (“Where is everybody?”) becomes that much more of a puzzle.

  26. StevoR says

    I saw a (temporarily) Unidentified Flying Object once years ago that turned out to be distant car headlights on clouds.

    Also saw the Moon turned molten golden lava presumably from massive planetary impact or internal volcanic eruption when camping once that was, well, because it was setting / rising and atmospheric diffusion. Combined with some imagination which really had me going for a bit.

    Yeah, there’s a lot of UFO’s and plenty of sightings of them – some that even remain unexplained. No, I don’t think any are alien starships coming to visit us clandestinely for ..reasons.. although, I won’t entirely rule it out. Just think its extremely unlikely and there’s a pretty much 99.9% (metaphorical not mathematical) odds against that explanation versus more probable ones.

  27. StevoR says

    @33.. KG :Yes. In light of what we currently know. Or think we know.

    Which isn’t everything and we do have a tendancy to keep learning that what we think we know isn’t necessarily so.

    We can imagine things that seem impossible like FTL drives.. and like “brick moons “and like heavier than air craft..

    Do I think we’ll have FTL one day, maybe centuries or millennia hence, maybe tomorrow with the right left-field breakthrough? Dunno.

    Probly not. Not with our current understanding of physics.

    But would I completely rule it out? Not 100% since physics as we know it now might not be the full picture (indeed almost certanly isn’t given how much we know we don’t know – Unified (Quantum Gravity) Theory, Dark Energy & Dark Matter..) and may still have workarounds eg space itself being able to travel FTL in e.g. “warp bubbles”, wormholes, technomagic, hand wavium – given what we presently think but might be mistaken about.


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