The Pentagon has recently made public a video recorded by an MQ-9 Reaper drone, capturing an unidentified flying object traversing the skies over the Middle East. This incident, which was reported last year, marks the first instance of an unmanned aircraft encountering an Unexplained Anomalous Phenomena (UAP).
During a Senate hearing, Sean Kirkpatrick, the director of the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), provided a detailed account of the video’s contents, including the attributes of the “metallic orb” that followed a “spherical UAP.” According to Kirkpatrick, the object was “silver, translucent, metallic” and was observed to be flying at altitudes ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 feet with apparent velocities ranging from stationary to mach. He also noted that the object exhibited no thermal exhausts, which is typical of other ‘metallic orb’ sightings in the region.
While UFO sightings in the past have typically required human observers to discern the movement of the crafts and determine whether their movements exceeded the capabilities of existing technology, the MQ-9 Reaper drone’s camera was able to track and follow the orb without the need for a human pilot.
Kirkpatrick did not rule out the possibility that the object could be a result of adversary breakthrough technology. However, he acknowledged that its design and speed were impressive and that it could potentially fall under the category of “known objects or phenomena” or even “extraterrestrials.”
During the Senate hearing, Kirkpatrick also shared that the AARO manages to identify most airborne objects it encounters. In some instances, the agency has even informed the Defense Department and intelligence officials that foreign adversaries possess technology that Washington was previously unaware of.
The AARO was established with the goal of consolidating the Defense Department and other federal agency efforts to detect, identify, and attribute anomalous, unidentified objects in space, air, sea, and other environments. The department was created in response to a Senate bill that demanded intelligence agencies to provide information on “unidentified aerial phenomena,” which left legislators with more questions than answers.
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