The possibility of an extraterrestrial mothership and smaller probes visiting planets in our solar system is not a new idea, but it has gained new attention following a report by the head of the Pentagon’s unidentified aerial phenomena research office. Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), and Abraham Loeb, chairman of Harvard University’s astronomy department, co-authored a research report titled “Physical Constraints on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” which suggests that an artificial interstellar object could be a parent craft releasing many small probes during its close passage to Earth.
Kirkpatrick, who previously served as the chief scientist at the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center, was appointed as director of the AARO when it was founded in July 2022. The AARO was established to investigate unidentified “objects of interest” around military installations, according to a Pentagon press release. Loeb gained notoriety when he proposed in October 2017 that our galaxy had been traversed by its first visitor from outer space.
The authors suggest that these tiny probes could reach Earth or other solar system planets for exploration, as the parent craft passes by within a fraction of the Earth-Sun separation, just like the object “Oumuamua” did. “Oumuamua” was detected in October 2017 by the PanSTARRS telescope in Hawaii, and its orbit hinted at other forces besides the sun’s gravitational pull influencing its movement. The object was dubbed “Oumuamua,” the Hawaiian term for “scout.” Find out more at Wikipedia.
The authors further explained that astronomers would not be able to notice the spray of mini-probes because they do not reflect enough sunlight for existing survey telescopes to notice them. This possibility has gained attention following a month of intense scrutiny of unidentified flying objects, a trend ignited when a Chinese spy balloon captivated the nation by drifting across U.S. airspace. Three additional unidentified objects were subsequently found.
On Feb. 16, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and 12 other senators sent a letter to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stacey Dixon calling for full funding for the AARO. The Biden administration’s previous funding request for fiscal year 2023 failed to fund anything beyond the office’s basic operating expenses, the lawmakers argued.
In support of the establishment of the AARO, the senators noted that it could help resolve various threats to the US and reduce the stigma surrounding the subject of alien encounters. The funding for the project will depend on the cooperation between the intelligence community and the Department of Defense.
A report presented by the head of a Pentagon research office that claimed that small alien ships could travel to distant planets has gained widespread attention. According to the report, an artificial object could launch several small probes as it approaches Earth.
According to the authors of the report, the lack of sunlight reflected by the mini-probes could prevent astronomers from detecting the objects. The senators noted that the AARO should be funded to address various hazards and threats to the US.
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