Pentagon UFO Boss Fires Back At Whistleblower Allegations (Updated)

The head of the Pentagon unit charged with tracking unidentified flying objects has fired back at allegations made in sworn testimony to Congress that the U.S. government possesses alien beings and spacecraft and there’s been a nearly century-long coverup that includes retribution against those coming forward. Such a response by a sitting official is rare and highlights the growing divide between the Pentagon’s formal UFO office and work being done by some lawmakers to expose what they say is a massive coverup.

“As the director of [the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office] AARO’s amazingly talented, devoted, and highly motivated team…I cannot let [Wednesday’s] hearing pass without sharing how insulting it was to the officers of the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community who chose to join AARO, many with not unreasonable anxieties about the career risks this would entail,” Sean Kirkpatrick wrote in a personal memo Thursday. “They are truthseekers as I am. But you certainly would not get that impression from [Wednesday’s] hearing.”

The memo was posted on social media and UFO researcher D. Dean Johnson who is well connected with the political ongoings of this issue said it was confirmed to him by Kirkpatrick. We have reached out to the Pentagon for further confirmation.

Kirkpatrick was responding to sworn testimony to a House Oversight Committee subcommittee by whistleblower David Grusch, a former Air Force intelligence officer, who testified that he was the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s “co-lead in Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) and transmedium object analysis, as well as reporting to UAP Task Force (UAPTF) and eventually the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).”

Grusch laid out a litany of amazing claims during more than 2.5 hours of testimony.

He said he has evidence there is a cabal of people inside and outside the government involved in ongoing programs dealing with non-human craft and lifeforms. Those beings have visited the Earth, he said, and the cover-up has been going on since the 1930s. The U.S. government, he testified, possesses multiple alien craft and the remains of their crew; government contractors have “misappropriated” money to fund these ongoing programs and there have been efforts to silence those who come forward – including him and his wife. He suggested that some of those efforts may have even included murder.

Beyond all that, Grusch said the U.S. was working to reverse-engineer alien technology and that people were hurt in the process of attempting to do so. He said he had a list of witnesses, both cooperative and hostile, for future hearings that could provide additional answers through firsthand accounts.

He also said he had a “classified conversation” with Kirkpatrick before he took over AARO and contradicted Kirkpatrick’s previous Congressional testimony that no credible evidence thus far of extraterrestrial activity or quote ‘off world technology’ was brought to AARO’s attention. He also said that Kirkpatrick has not contacted him about his subsequent claims.

You can read more about his allegations in our deep dive here.

Kirkpatrick fired back at a number of assertions made by Grusch, who he did not name in his memo.

“…to be clear, AARO has yet to find any credible evidence to support the allegations of any reverse engineering program for non-human technology,” he wrote. “Also, to be clear, none of the whistleblowers from [Wednesday’s] hearing ever worked for AARO or was ever a representative to AARO, contrary to statements made in testimony and in the media.”

AARO, Kirkpatrick noted, was created by law to “investigate the allegations and assertions” presented during Wednesday’s testimony by Grusch and two former Navy aviators who claim their personal interactions with UFOs.

Allegations “of retaliation, to include physical assault and hints of murder, are extraordinarily serious, which is why law enforcement is a critical member of the AARO team, specifically to address and take action should anyone come forward with such claims,” said Kirkpatrick. “Yet, contrary to assertions made in the hearing, the central source of those allegations has refused to speak with AARO. Furthermore, some information reportedly provided to Congress has not been provided to AARO, raising additional questions about the true commitment to transparency by some Congressional elements.”

Kirkpatrick did not specify which allegations or “Congressional elements.”

Furthermore, Kirkpatrick said the committee “has never asked AARO for an update on the reporting system, the historical review, the operations, and the [science and technology] strategy that AARO leads and is undertaking.”

UNITED STATES – JULY 26: David Grusch, former National Reconnaissance Office representative on the Defense Department’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, testifies during the House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs hearing titled “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena: Implications on National Security, Public Safety, and Government Transparency,” in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

He added that he is “disappointed at the denigration of AARO’s dedicated men and women hailing from the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and civil partners who are pouring their hearts out working this issue on behalf of Congress.”

AARO, he added, “welcomes anyone with knowledge of any of these allegations or programs to talk to us in a safe, secure and appropriately cleared environment. Rest assured, AARO will follow the data wherever it leads.”

While Grusch made many tantalizing statements, he declined to provide further answers to many questions in a public forum, citing restrictions imposed on the sharing of classified information.

It remains to be seen whether his allegations are proven and if further action is taken as a result. It also remains to be seen what follow-up steps, if any, AARO takes in the wake of all this.

Either way, we will continue to follow this closely and update this story when warranted.


We have an official statement from the Pentagon. They confirm that this was from Kirkpatrick, but say he was speaking as a private citizen. This is a very unusual set of circumstances, especially when an active whistleblower is involved. Here is what came from Susan Gough, the Department of Defense spokesperson who handles the UAP portfolio:

The Department is aware of Dr. Kirkpatrick’s post, which are his personal opinions expressed in his capacity as a private citizen and we won’t comment directly on the contents of the post. We do want to reinforce the Department’s unwavering commitment to openness and accountability to the American people and Congress. The dedicated military service members, civilian personnel, and federal contractors who support AARO’s efforts are deserving of the full confidence of our lawmakers and the American public. While much remains to be done to fulfill AARO’s mandate, AARO’s committed team has made great progress since its establishment only a year ago.

  • AARO welcomes the opportunity to speak with any former or current government employee or contractor who believes they have information relevant to the congressionally-mandated historical review, and AARO has established a safe and secure process for individuals to come forward with information to aid in this effort.
  • The Department has no information that any individual has been harmed or killed as a result of providing information to AARO. Any unsubstantiated claims that individuals have been harmed or killed in the process of providing information to AARO will serve to discourage individuals with relevant information from coming forward to aid in AARO’s efforts.
  • To date, AARO has not discovered any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently.
  • DoD is committed to timely and thorough reporting to Congress, and to transparency with the American public. Since its establishment, DoD has kept Congress fully and currently informed of AARO’s activities and findings at all levels of classification.
  • AARO looks forward to increasing the public’s understanding of UAP through the declassification of historical and contemporary UAP information.

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Howard Altman Avatar

Howard Altman

Senior Staff Writer

Howard is a Senior Staff Writer for The War Zone, and a former Senior Managing Editor for Military Times. Prior to this, he covered military affairs for the Tampa Bay Times as a Senior Writer. Howard's work has appeared in various publications including Yahoo News, RealClearDefense, and Air Force Times.