The Pentagon is aiming to get to the bottom of unidentified “transmedium” phenomena either way.
“The Pentagon Is Opening an ‘Anomaly Resolution’ Department to Study UFOs,” announced VICE Magazine on July 22, 2022, to virtually no fanfare and almost no notice whatsoever from legacy press outlets.
Perhaps this was due to the stunning pictures returned by the James Webb Deep Space Telescope, NASA’s next-gen Hubble Telescope, last week. Webb’s first spectacular transmissions, of starfields far more distant than humans have ever seen before, stunned world astronomers, NASA engineers and astrophysicists of every description.
It is possible Webb’s very first photos of baby space distracted the odd science writer or press-room space enthusiast; prevented even amateur stargazers and those funny “ancient alien theorists” on the History Channel from noticing an odd little blip about the Pentagon beginning a search, in earnest, for the source of all these unidentified flying objects people are always seeing.
But, alas, the Webb photos contained no obvious space aliens, nor alien spacecraft, and it was perhaps for this reason press outlets didn’t bother touting the Pentagon’s very strange and radical new directive: “The newly-created All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) will study ‘transmedium’ UFOs that fly between space, the air, and under the water,” in the worlds of VICE’s Matthew Gault.
Under the water? Perhaps Webb is pointed in the wrong direction.
“Unidentified aerial phenomenon,” as the U.S. military and Congress prefer to officially call UFOs since a 9-page report on the subject was released last year by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, have long been a quirky part of American culture. From spooky to kooky, tales of close encounters of the weird kind have only proliferated in the Information Age.
On Tumblr and message boards, social media sites and top-ten lists, strange tales from around the world have been percolating across the internet since its inception. There are no shortage of theories; each seems more implausible than the last.
Some authors, particularly those already known for outlandish and contrarian theories, have even posited that contemporary stories of “alien abductions” correspond closely, if oddly, with ancient human folk tales about fairies and changelings.
Even for the purely scientific-minded, however, those neither prone to odd flights of fancy nor wild theories, the stories of encounters with strange aircraft present thorny and persistent questions.
What are all these people seeing in the sky?
Over the past few years in particular, accounts recorded by military pilots of encounters with unusual aircraft- some which apparently disappear into the ocean- dutifully entered into official records for posterity, have become more and more difficult to ignore completely or dismiss out-of-hand as crack-pottery.
Military pilots, soldiers and personnel trained to be astute observers are as credible as witnesses get. And, all space alien jokes aside, there is always the very real possibility unidentified aerial phenomena have an origin much closer to home.
Mankind has been engaged in an arms race since practically the dawn of the Agricultural Revolution. From the ubiquitous hand-axe, popular with Homo Sapiens for approximately 200,000 years, to the horse-drawn chariot, to the Panzer tank, to the A-Bomb.
Warfare has been our kith and kin from the beginning of recorded history; one of the true constants in the human story.
The writer T.S. Elliot decried the term “Homo Sapiens” in his masterwork, “The Once and Future King”. Homo Sapiens (man the thinker) was misnamed, according to Elliot: Mankind should have been called “Homo Ferrox” (man the ferocious). For Daniel Quinn in “Ishmael” we should have been christened “Homo Magister” (man the master).
Warfare isn’t just fought with weapons, either. On the contrary. Newer weapons, and better mastery of them, have only ever gotten one group or another so far towards primacy in battle.
Once one army brings a horse-drawn chariot into battle, every army has one. Revealing your weapons of war means deploying an advantage of surprise you can only use once. Next battle, your opponent will have horse-drawn chariots of their own- with improvements.
What one nation has done- nuclear weapons, chemical warfare, biological warfare- another can do, and does.
Weapon primacy doesn’t guarantee success, especially in the long term. Which is why the weapons your enemy thinks you have are almost as important as the weapons you actually have.
With good reason, the U.S. and Soviet Union were engaged in a heated competition to put a man on the moon. The moon was the ultimate high ground; both nations had all the motivation in the world to get there first.
What could either nation have done with that high ground? Nothing. But neither opposing nation knew what technology the other might have. The U.S. moon landing gave the Americans a tactical weapons advantage, with no weapon to back it up.
The same is true of the way the Soviet government used U.S. spy satellites against the U.S. during the Cold War- setting up fake military bases, filled with cardboard tanks, fake trucks, the empty shells of buildings.
In war, there are the weapons you have, the weapons your enemy knows you have, the weapons your enemy thinks you have, and the weapons your enemy fears you have.
Does the average American citizen know and understand the true scope and nature of U.S. military might?
In fact, U.S. national security would be poorly served if the U.S. military didn’t have any top secret weapons of war secreted in unknown military bunkers throughout the country. Unfortunately for U.S. national security, the same is probably true of the military capabilities of America’s enemies, opposing nations, even our allies.
What kind of state-of-the-art military technology might the Chinese Communist Party be sitting on, for instance? Or Vladimir Putin’s Russia?
Some regimes we can feel fairly certain about. We are likely seeing all the cards of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, for example. If Kim had weapons more powerful than the rockets he routinely fires at South Korea, he would almost certainly have used them by now.
Ditto the extremist rulers of Iran. Even that government’s most recent media blandishments about having hit all the necessary benchmarks to build a nuclear bomb seem disingenuous at best.
Unfortunately for the Iranian people, Israel, the entire Middle East and the world, if Iran’s rouge government gets The Bomb on Tuesday, the world will likely get the bad news on Wednesday- the hard way.
Iran’s willingness to use a nuclear weapon is the main reason world leaders are keen to see it never gets one.
Are these unknown phenomenon our glimpse into an enemy camp? The U.S. military seems to think it’s a possibility.
“DoD Announces the Establishment of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office,” read the Department of Defense July 20, 2022, press release:
“On July 15, 2022, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), amended her original direction to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security by renaming and expanding the scope of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Group (AOIMSG) to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), due to the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022, which included a provision to establish an office, in coordination with DNI, with responsibilities that were broader than those originally assigned to the AOIMSG.”
In between the dry language and military fondness for acronyms, is couched a fairly incredible admission: “Airborne Object” is now officially to be known by the U.S. military as an “All-domain Anomaly”.
“The mission of the AARO will be to synchronize efforts across the Department of Defense, and with other U.S. federal departments and agencies, to detect, identify and attribute objects of interest in, on or near military installations, operating areas, training areas, special use airspace and other areas of interest, and, as necessary, to mitigate any associated threats to safety of operations and national security,” announced the DOD. “This includes anomalous, unidentified space, airborne, submerged and transmedium objects.”
Military leaders and intelligence experts may be well-familiar with the term “transmedium object”: Members of the public, even most science and technology journalists, have never even heard the term.
The new AARO Executive Council will provide “oversight and direction to the AARO along these primary lines of effort,” according to the DOD: “Surveillance, Collection and Reporting; System Capabilities and Design; Intelligence Operations and Analysis; Mitigation and Defeat; Governance; Science and Technology.”
Only one year ago, we learned to what extent the U.S. military has been tracking these sightings and encounters for decades. This week, we learned the U.S. military is now looking for unidentified objects under the water.
What will we learn next?
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)