The head of the Pentagon office responsible for investigating UFOs is stepping down from his post in December, he said in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

Sean Kirkpatrick, the head of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, is retiring from the federal government after nearly 18 months on the job. He deferred his planned retirement last year to take on the job atop AARO and now feels he has achieved his goals, he said.

“I’m ready to move on. I have accomplished everything I said I was going to do,” Kirkpatrick said, adding that he still wants to finish a few tasks, including wrapping up the first volume of a historical review of the unidentified anomalous phenomena issue, before leaving.

Kirkpatrick’s deputy, Tim Phillips, will lead the office in an acting role until the Pentagon hires a permanent replacement, Kirkpatrick said.

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