The Department of Defense (DoD) has officially blasted off with its mission to identify what the military calls “anomalous phenomena” in space, air, land, or sea.

Although the Pentagon hasn’t been specific in what it’s searching for in the galaxy or underwater, it leaves the mind to wonder about extraterrestrial life. Could alien activity or UFO sightings pose a threat to U.S. national security?

Well, that’s what the DoD aims to find out.

The agency describes unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) as anything in the space, air, land, or sea that can’t be identified, and which might pose a threat to U.S. military installations or operations.

Since the agency stood up its All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) in July, it has made “significant headway” in setting up its mission, a Dec. 17 press release notes.

“We have an important and yet challenging mission to lead an interagency effort to document, collect, analyze and when possible, resolve reports of any unidentified anomalous phenomena,” said Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the AARO.

The office has also widened its focus on things that it’s looking for.

In the past, AARO only addressed reports of anomalous phenomena that were seen in the air, but that has since changed. The team now works to identify unknown objects across all domains.

“[We’re] working with the military departments and the Joint Staff to normalize, integrate and expand UAP reporting beyond the aviators – to all service members – including mariners, submariners and our space Guardians,” Kirkpatrick said.

Upon its establishment, the AARO was mandated to present Congress with quarterly updates on UAP reports that have been documented, analyzed, and resolved.

In a recent media roundtable about the AARO, Kirkpatrick told reporters that the team has “several hundreds” of UAP reports in hand – some of them new and some of them dating back a few years.

The director said his team is partnering closely with other agencies in the intelligence community – like the Energy Department, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and several others – to work through and analyze the reports on UAP.

Ronald Moultrie, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, said of reports containing extraterrestrial sightings, “We have not, to the best of my knowledge, had any credible reporting, that we’ve been able to analyze of trans-medium activity or trans-medium objects.”

“We are still going through the data,” Moultrie said. “I would say that it’s early on in the process. So, I don’t want to be definitive to say that there’s nothing that is there.”

The Pentagon is sticking to its claims that it hasn’t found any signs of alien life in any of their UAP reports yet. But in good news for UFO hunters, that’s not stopping DoD from continuing the search.

Read More About
More Topics
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.