The official in charge of a secretive Pentagon effort to investigate unexplained aerial incursions has co-authored an academic paper that presents an out-of-this-world theory: Recent objects could actually be alien probes from a mothership sent to study Earth.

In a draft paper dated March 7, Sean Kirkpatrick, head of the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, and Harvard professor Avi Loeb teamed up to write that the objects, which appear to defy all physics, could be “probes” from an extraterrestrial “parent craft.”

It’s unusual for government officials, especially those involved in the nascent effort to collect intelligence on recent sightings, to discuss the possibility of extraterrestrial life, although top agency officials don’t rule it out when asked.


After Loeb posted it online, the paper gained notoriety from a post on Military Times and has also circulated among science-focused news outlets.

More than half of the five-page paper is devoted to discussing the possibility that the unexplained objects DoD is studying could be the “probes” in the mothership scenario, including most of the page-long introduction. One section is titled: “The Extraterrestrial Possibility” and another “Propulsion Methods.”

Kirkpatrick’s involvement in the academic paper demonstrates that the Pentagon is open to scientific debate of the origins of UFOs, an important signal to send to the academic world, experts said. But they add that his decision to attach his name to a theory considered in most academic circles to be highly unsubstantiated also raises questions about AARO’s credibility.

To read more, click here.