I) The great differences with the Blue Book.
The very creation of the Anomaly Resolution Office in all Areas has a very different origin than that of the Blue Book.
In those times, scientists such as Dr. Joseph Allen Hynek, Dr. Jacques Vallée, and Dr. James E. McDonald, lobbied legislators to adopt a resolution creating a national body for UFO research.
No matter how many special hearings in the legislative field, notes to legislators, and articles in publications of organizations such as CUFOS itself – founded by Hynek – as well as statements to the press, the national Senators and Representatives couldn't agree.
So the Blue Book was an exclusive creation of the US Air Force in response to the multiple complaints made by its pilots of aerial encounters with unknown objects.
The death of Captain Thomas F. Mantell, flying an F-51 “Mustang” propeller fighter, was a major trigger for these aerial encounters.
But let's agree that in reality, the Blue Book took shape in a small office, commanded in its best period by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, with the help of a lieutenant and a couple of secretaries. That was all.
As Dr. Hynek said, with great realism, “The importance of a military office is determined by the rank of its commander. The Blue Book has barely a Captain.”
Without undermining the work done by Ruppelt and his knowledge in Aeronautics, that was what the USAF decided to have, and the final point in the attempt to discover something was the nonsense of the Condon report, as the "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects" was popularly known.
That's as far as it went. It was left to recalcitrant skeptics to prepare the coffin for the Blue Book, because there was no honest will to thoroughly analyze various cases that defied easy explanation.
Now it's different. The military body that drives the new era is, the US Navy because it has been its pilots who have encountered apparently strange things. And the Navy organizes an investigative group that it calls the Task Force –which becomes known as UAPTF.
But it is short-lived, then AOIMSG will come, and finally, the AARO.
Legislators are in charge of drafting a law in this regard, and setting deadlines for having periodic reports – at least once a year – on what the office is doing, what it has found, what it has discovered, and what to do next.
What Hynek and others wanted was accomplished. Finally, the legislators mobilized.
The strong influence of the press cannot be ruled out, and of certain people who have worked in high government positions and maintain their links and channels of action if necessary. The most specific case is that of Christopher Mellon, who before being a private investor as he is today, spent almost 20 years in US Intelligence.
Mellon – who belongs to an influential American family – was Deputy Secretary of Defense for Intelligence during the presidencies of William (Bill) Clinton and George W. Bush, and later for Security and Information Operations. He was also the Staff Director of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The top authorities for the AARO are the Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks, both working in the Department of Defense.
Then, specifically, they are followed by Dr. Seán Kirkpatrick, whose academic degree is in Physics, but he is a military and Intelligence Officer and is in charge of running the AARO.
(II) Bureaucracy versus Efficiency
If we analyze the most recent document emerging from official US sources on the research and study of the UAP issue, in 15 pages it details how legislators have motivated the creation of a true bureaucracy, against which, those of us who have for decades had the experience of investigating, studying and validly concluding original reports of what was then called UFOs, ask ourselves if it is necessary, and if perhaps such a complex office does not contain within itself the germ of its failure.
The subject, above all, requires well-trained people, speed, and efficiency.
We don't know what the inner workings of the AARO are. Are they people dedicated 100% to the Office, and all of them working in the Pentagon, or – as can be assumed – are they scientists or technicians, each one dedicated to their specialty, in their laboratories or Universities, who connect periodically by some electronic means, and this is how they hold their meetings and exchange their points of view?
The fact is that the Office is made up of four Divisions, namely: Analytics, Operations and Collection, Science and Technology, and Strategic Communication. To this, we must obviously add several administrative staff.
We do not know how many people make up this Office, but let us assume that in total, there are 30, considering that each division could have 6 experts. It is possible that the total amount could reach 45.
Nor do we know specifically how many people are dedicated to interviewing witnesses, and traveling to places where cases have occurred for an appreciation and reconstruction "in situ" of what happened.
But if this were not enough, the activity of the AARO requires connections, links, requests for information, and exchange of it, with a total of 35 Defense authorities and national entities.
(III) The sensors
The requirement to demand that to be considered a UAP report it must contain the versions of witnesses of an event and the detection by expressly calibrated sensors, first of all, eliminates at a stroke all testimony that is not accompanied by such detection.
This requirement was supported by the panel of scientists convened by NASA.
Everything that has been accumulated over the years by official and private investigation in different countries would be of no use, and almost nothing would be known, for the mere fact that it is impossible to pretend that these reports were there then, or are today, accompanied by detection by sensors.
This requirement is restricted to the military's ability to be the only witnesses of a phenomenon, simply because only they will be able to have sensors. But concomitantly, all the testimony of other people is lost, among whom there may be astronauts, scientists, technicians, and even the simple man on the street.
It seems to us a criterion that betrays in itself the reason for the existence of an official organization if one is going to start and demand those bases as unique, valid, and incidentally, exclusive.
Although the sample (technically considered) of more sensitive witnesses can be highly valuable, it undermines the function of the AARO, because it restricts it from considering the vast majority of reports that are based only on testimonies.
In other words, the sample of the phenomenon is greatly reduced. Is this adequate, or convenient? Does it respond sufficiently to reality? How can we evaluate and measure the psychological and sociological factors that make up the most total picture of the UAP phenomenon? It seems to us that this aspect is neglected.
(IV) The setbacks at the beginning
We prefer to be benevolent with the AARO, and think about errors or mistakes that occur when you are just starting a task, even though at this point, it has already been working for 5 years.
But we consider it pertinent to point them out, for the good of the AARO, so that it can better fulfill its function.
a) when cases are mentioned, it is not enough to give a general idea of where they occurred, but it is necessary to be precise about the place, date, and time of the event. They are the basic parameters that allow the study of each case, and thus they must be publicly communicated. It is not enough to say South Asia or the Middle East. It is understandable that in certain circumstances – especially in the case of secret military bases, or operational groups in high-risk areas – the specific place with its corresponding coordinates is not declared, but at least a geographical area can be indicated, for example, “near xx city”.
b) resolved cases that appear as “unresolved”.
The press released three videos with infrared images of three alleged UAPs, dated in 2004 and 2015. Shortly after they were publicized, the expert in photography and video analysis, the British Mick West, provided explanations for each of the videos respectively called FLIR, GIMBAL, and TIC-TAC. This identification was well before the creation of the AARO.
However, the Office, in a publication dated August 2023, presents a list of videos in its possession, all from official sources, and among them the three widely publicized ones, which it entitles as “Unresolved case”.
It should not be surprising that in the report of October 18, 2023, the list of “Official UAP Videos” has no longer been included.
It would be good if in a future report, the three cases are marked as Resolved, and the resolution of each one is indicated.
c) unresolved case, explained by a source external to the AARO
This case typified as the detection of a UAP by an M-Q9 military drone, is inaccurately said to have occurred in the Middle East. AARO clarifies that “the object is not exhibiting any abnormal behavior,” that is, there are no strange or implausible maneuvers. The UAP simply travels at a constant speed.
A private company, Bellingcat, which defines itself as the Global Investigative Journalism Network, develops what it calls GAP (Global Authentication Project) and with a staff of more than 30 individuals spread across 20 countries, operates with advanced technology, forensic investigation, and the principles of transparency and responsibility.
Thanks to the work of Bellingcat, we know that the case occurred over Deir ez-Zor, a city located in Eastern Syria.
In its report from the end of October 2023, Bellingcat concludes that the UAP in the case is simply a balloon, about 43 centimeters in diameter, and coincides with the third day (July 12, 2022) of Eid al-Adha, one of the two major holidays in Islam, where the celebration includes balloons.
A parallax issue between the M-Q9 and the balloon explains - according to Bellingcat - why the balloon appears to move faster than a balloon would presumably do.
That day winds were blowing at about 20 to 25 kilometers per hour.
In a video communication on the internet with the engineer and astronomer Edgar Castro, from Guatemala, carried out on September 23, 2023, in which he interviewed me about the UAP topic, he asked me what that spherical object captured would be, and I answered that it was a balloon. (minute 33:27 of the recording).
AARO gives it as UAP.
Will AARO accept this explanation or will it fundamentally refute it?
d) accurate but incomplete identification
Another video presented by AARO in its October 18 report shows three bright spots contrasting with the sky. The three are almost at the same height, and keep a distance from each other.
AARO settled the case by saying: “Analysis of the total motion in the video, combined with information from commercial flights in the region, led AARO to evaluate that the objects were three separate commercial aircraft flying at a great distance from the infrared sensor.”
Two Divisions worked on the study of the case, and the agreement of both that they had to be commercial aircrafts led to that conclusion.
But if it is an identification process, and AARO has “information on commercial flights in the region”, why does it not specify exactly with names of the places where those planes were, and their respective airlines and flight numbers are not identified, as well as their origin and destination?
That is properly IDENTIFY. And that's what the AARO didn't do.
With this, we hope that AARO's task will be more efficient, that in the future it will have more cases adequately identified, and that it will assume as part of its investigation and study, cases where there are only solid testimonies, but no parallel detections by sensors.