The Pentagon’s lead UFO investigator said he will retire in December, just 18 months after heading up the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), according to reports.
‘I’m ready to move on. I have accomplished everything I said I was going to do,’ Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick said in an exclusive interview with Politico.
He also told the publication that there are a few tasks left that he wants to finish before stepping away. One of those projects is to complete a historical review of the unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs), aka UFOs.
Once he steps away, Tim Phillips, who currently serves as Kirkpatrick’s deputy, will step into the role until a permanent replacement is hired.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News Digital seeking confirmation of Kirkpatrick’s planned retirement.
On July 20, 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced the establishment of AARO, while also naming Kirkpatrick as the office’s director.
AARO’s mission is to synchronize efforts across the DoD and other U.S. federal departments and agencies to ‘detect, identify and attribute objects of interest’ in or around military facilities or airspace, which could pose a threat to safety of operations or national security — this includes anomalous, unidentified space, airborne, submerged and trans medium objects.
According to his bio from the DoD, Kirkpatrick brought more than two decades of experience and expertise in scientific and technical intelligence pertaining to space policy, research and development, acquisitions and operations.
He was born in Columbus, Georgia, grew up in the Atlanta area, attended the University of Georgia where he studied physics as an undergraduate, and ultimately completed his Ph.D. work.
The news of Kirkpatrick’s retirement comes a week after the DoD launched a new website to report government activity related to UAPs.
‘The department is committed to transparency with the American people on AARO’s work on UAPs,’ Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said in August, when first announcing the website, also explaining that the site will serve as a ‘one-stop’ shop for information that is publicly available.
In April, Kirkpatrick showed two videos to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities hearing.
The first was an ‘unresolved’ UAP in an active conflict zone in the Middle East in 2022.
‘Why am I showing you this?’ Kirkpatrick told lawmakers. ‘This is the kind of data we have to work with and the type of analysis we have to do, which can be extensive when you have to pull these apart frame by frame.’
‘Further, we’re now matching all of this with models of all those imaging sensors so that I can recreate this. I can actually show how the sensor going to respond.’
Kirkpatrick showed an infographic during his presentation with information about the 2023 UFO sighting in South Asia that he said is ‘resolved.’
When he opened his presentation, he said there was no definitive evidence of extraterrestrial technology or alien life.
But the number of UAP reports has increased over the last few years as the stigma associated with UAPs slowly wears off and as the government ramps up its efforts to address potential safety risks associated with unexplained objects in the sky.
NASA is also investigating UAPs, running on a separate but parallel track as AARO.
Fox News Digital’s Chris Eberhart contributed to this report.