February 25, 2024

A recent report from the Defense Department Inspector General found that the Pentagon’s efforts to identify UFOs are “uncoordinated” and may have overlooked threats to the U.S. Luis Elizondo, the former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, said that efforts to engage with the media about UFOs were met with resistance from Pentagon leadership. He argued that staying silent on the issue only fuels conspiracy theories and accusations. Elizondo praised Kathleen Hicks, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, for her support of the mission to investigate unexplained phenomena. However, he expressed frustration with the recent IG report, which he felt did not fully account for the progress made by the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). AARO, which Elizondo oversaw, is tasked with investigating potential threats to U.S. operations, not necessarily with finding extraterrestrial life. Elizondo argued that the Pentagon should be more forceful in explaining and defending AARO’s mission, but he acknowledged the department’s concerns about getting caught up in conspiracy theories. The report also raised concerns about Pentagon secrecy regarding UFOs, with accusations of covering up a decades-long program to retrieve and reverse-engineer alien craft. Despite this, Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon disputed Elizondo’s claim that media requests were shot down, stating that any media engagement recommended or requested by Elizondo was approved.

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