Lawmakers are asking for more funding for the Pentagon’s UFO Bureau
Members of Congress have called for an increase in funding for the Pentagon’s Office of Research on Unidentified Airborne Phenomena after the Biden administration’s budget request was released.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) questioned Pentagon officials during a March 28 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing — which included Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley — about one Budget request for the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), the Military Times reported.
Gillibrand, the chair of the Senate Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, asked why the bureau was underfunded now in its second year.
Michael J. McCord, Comptroller for the Department of Defense, told Gillibrand he was unaware that the office needed more funding and felt there was “adequate funding” for the newly formed organization.
Gillibrand argued that the office does not receive “basic operational funding” and that several senators previously sent a letter to US Assistant Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks stating what funding was needed.
The letter to Hicks, which included Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and 12 other senators, was sent Feb. 16 and called for overall funding for ARRO after the Biden administration failed to provide the office with adequate funding this year had previously reported the outlet.
Gillibrand, understanding that the exact numbers were classified and could not be revealed during the hearing, questioned Austin about why the bureau needed proper funding after the Chinese spy balloon incidents.
“The incidents over the past month involving the Chinese high-altitude balloon and the three unidentified objects have made it clear that we need to continue improving our understanding of UAPs over US airspace,” Gillibrand said.
Austin — who said he will ensure the bureau receives overall funding going forward — told Gillibrand that the Pentagon requested $11 million for its research in the fiscal year 2024 budget, which Gillibrand revealed was not the budget that the bureau had requested.
President Biden announced the budget on March 9 in Philadelphia — which called for $5.5 trillion in tax increases over the next decade.
Pentagon spokeswoman Susan Gough told the Military Times March 14 that AARO’s budget numbers for fiscal year 2024 are classified.
AARO was formed in July 2022 with the goal of detecting and identifying objects of interest in US airspace and “mitigating any associated threats to operational security and national security,” representing “anomalous, unidentified space, airborne, underwater and transmedium includes objects.”
“They just put a placeholder number on it,” Rubio told the Military Times. “Fortunately, we won’t pay attention to that [the Biden administration’s] household figures.”
In early March, Pentagon officials said in a draft document that aliens may already be visiting Earth to probe it, just as NASA does in its studies of other planets.
“An artificial interstellar object could potentially be a mother ship that releases many small probes during its close passage to Earth, an operational construct not too different from NASA missions,” the report says. “These ‘dandelion seeds’ could be separated from the mother ship by the sun’s tidal gravity or by some maneuverability.”