Mar 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

U.S. investigation finds no evidence of confirmed extraterrestrial activity or technology

Illustration of a hand holding a magnifying glass that is stylized as a UFO with it's beam lit up.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. government, academic research and official review panels have not confirmed sightings of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), the Defense Department said in a report unclassified on Friday.

Why it matters: UAPs, or UFOs, have been on Congress' radar with national security and transparency at the center of the bipartisan conversation.

  • An investigation found no evidence that the U.S. government and private companies have reverse-engineered extraterrestrial technology, the Defense Department also said in its 63-page report.
  • "All investigative efforts, at all levels of classification, concluded that most sightings were ordinary objects and phenomena and the result of misidentification," Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.

Context: The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, founded in 2022, reviewed U.S. investigatory efforts since 1945, researched classified and unclassified archives and conducted about 30 interviews.

  • The probe was in response to a narrative that the U.S. government has reverse-engineered off-world spacecraft and extraterrestrial biological remains and has conspired to keep this effort hidden.
  • The Defense Department said AARO "thoroughly" investigated the "claims without any particular pre-conceived conclusion or hypothesis."

What they found: "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," the Defense Department said.

  • Foreign investigations have found the same general conclusions, it said.
  • In many cases, interviewees mistook classified U.S. programs that were well known to the White House or Congress for extraterrestrial activity.

What's next: A second volume of the report will be published with analysis on information gleaned from November 2023 to April 2024.

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