To track mysterious objects in space, the air, the water, or even those that appear to cross over between these realms, the Department of Defense established an office.
Unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), or UFOs as they are now known, are currently the subject of increased government scrutiny not seen in decades. The U.S. has held numerous hearings and confidential briefings there.
Congress and several lawmakers have recently voiced concern that the number of sightings of unidentified flying objects that military aviators and other members of the armed services have reported may mean that American airspace is not as safe as we thought.
In light of this, the Department of Defense (DOD) revealed the opening of this new office in a statement on Wednesday (July 20). The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security established the office, known as the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, or AARO. Sean Kirkpatrick, who formerly held the position of chief scientist at the Defense Intelligence Agency's Missile and Space Intelligence Center, will serve as the director of the new office.
According to the statement, the DOD will coordinate efforts across the DOD and the federal government to "detect, identify and attribute objects of interest in, on or near military installations, operating areas, training areas, special use airspace, and other areas of interest, and, as necessary, to mitigate any associated threats to the safety of operations and national security."
The office's six main areas of focus are governance, science and technology, intelligence operations and analysis, mitigation and defeat, surveillance, collection, and reporting, and system capabilities and design.
Transmedium in this context refers to objects or craft that can travel between domains, such as being able to transition from airborne flight to spaceflight or from underwater travel to flight. The objects of interest the office will try to detect and identify will include "anomalous, unidentified space, airborne, submerged and transmedium objects."
This new organization's formation is only the most recent move the American government has made in recent months to further its understanding of UFOs. NASA appointed a subcommittee to look at UAP in June with the secondary goal of demolishing some of the taboos or stigma surrounding the subject.
One of the things that we tangentially hope to be part of this study, simply by talking about it in the open, is to help to remove some of the stigma associated with it," at a press conference given at the time, Daniel Evans, assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA's Science Mission Directorate, remarked