Sean Kirkpatrick: Between Two Ferns
(With apologies to Zach Galifianakis)
After last week’s atrocious UFO forum between AARO director Sean Kirkpatrick and two senior softball league journos, it’s doubtful The Press could’ve pulled it off even if they’d decided to grow some stones. That scenario probably would’ve gone something like this . . .
The Press: Why don’t you like UFOs?
Sean Kirkpatrick: Great question. It’s not that I don’t “like” UFOs. Lots of people do like UFOs, which — pay attention — we’re calling UAP these days. It’s just that UAP are beneath my own professional station. As you know, I bring more than two decades of experience and a significant depth of expertise in scientific and technical intelligence to bear on this issue. I’ve spent much of my professional life in space policy, research and development, acquisitions and operations, with an emphasis on space and counterspace mission areas. At the University of Georgia – go Dawgs – I finished my doctoral work in nonlinear and nonequilibrium phonon dynamics of rare earth doped fluoride crystals. While I was investigating laser-induced molecular vibrations of high explosives under an AFOSR program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, I discovered –
TP: You have a pocket square shaped like a vulva. Why aren’t you wearing it now?
SK: (Thousand-yard stare, silence)
TP: Where do you think space aliens come from?
SK: I love that question. As our sensor technology matures with machine learning and develops a more robust domain awareness, we expect increasing numbers of unknowns to be resolved as software glitches, lens flares, seagulls, balloons, surveillance platforms from our terrestrial competitors, as well as near-foreground houseflies, also known formally as Musca domestica. We’re not discounting alternative possibilities, of course. You may recall earlier this year, in a paper called “Physical Constraints on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena,” we –
TP: You were furious with him, weren’t you?
SK: Furious with who?
TP: Avi Loeb. For leaking that paper without your permission. Do you wish you had gone to Harvard instead of Georgia?
SK: (Grimace) Dr. Loeb and I were addressing the challenges of acquiring reliable data on UAP. As I’m sure you know, radar cross-section scales similarly to meteor head echoes as the square of the effective radius of the sphere surrounding the object, while the radar cross-section of the resulting ionization tail scales linearly with the radius of the ionization cylinder. Given these factors –
TP: It was the mothership wording, wasn’t it? The paper mentioned how and I quote “an artificial interstellar object could potentially be a parent craft that releases many small probes during its close passage to Earth.” And Avi slipped that phrase in there when you weren’t looking because he knew it’d make headlines. You don’t dare complain too loudly about it now because, as a sop to your critics, it makes you look open-minded. But when you interview for your next gig with an unacknowledged special access program, that could potentially suck because they’re gonna go, oh gee, I dunno, man, you let the cat out of the bag by putting that mothership thing out there – am I right?
SK: That’s actually pretty ignorant.
TP: Oh! Well, um, isn’t that kinda racist? I mean, Louis Farrakhan saw Ezekiel’s “mother wheel” in the sky and here you go calling people like him ignorant . . .
SK: (Fingertips in a prayer steeple, eyes closed)
TP: Is Roswell real?
SK: Do you believe my check’s in the mail?
TP: Ouch, good one – I think my glass jaw’s broken! What about that transmedium UFO in the Aguadilla video? What’s that all about and why isn’t AARO looking at it?
SK: Great question. Every physicist with even a modicum of competence, even those with degrees from Ole Miss, knows there’s nothing new to analyze here. We know what this is, we know where it came from and we know how it works. It’s all in Relativity: The Special and General Theory and it’s been out there for nearly 120 years. Designers at Lego and Hot Wheels have been monetizing those principles for decades, and we call them geniuses.
TP: The Customs and Border Protection agency declassified the Aguadilla video two months ago and they didn’t have an explanation for it.
SK: That’s why they’re Customs and Border Protection.
TP: You know what I don’t get? The Tic Tac video, right? The one without any supporting data because the spooks confiscated it? Here’s what I don’t get. The special effects seem really dated, like something out of “Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.” If space aliens are so advanced, why couldn’t they come up with something that doesn’t look so lame?
SK: I don’t have enough data to answer that, and I’m not going to speculate. That’s not how science works.
TP: Is David Grusch still on your shit list?
SK: He was never important enough to make it on there. A lot of what Mr. Grusch says is turning out to be true, but it’s information we already know.
TP: Such as?
SK: Have you read Einstein’s Relativity: The Special and General Theory?
TP: Even my 5-year-old’s read that one, hello. Hey, by the way. Kirsten Gillibrand – you think she’s hot?
TP: Let’s put it another way. Back in April during your Senate testimony, you said, quote, “AARO’s mission is to turn UAPs into SEP – somebody else’s problem.” Whose problem should UFOs be?
SK: Not mine. Yours. Hollywood’s. Biden. China. The CIA, Space Force. Not mine. Great question.
TP: What if somebody from Area 51 came to your office and dumped a box of extraterrestrial wreckage on your desk. Would you be convinced then?
SK: If you were in my class, I might give you an F-plus. That’s not how science works. First, you start with a hypothesis, or hypotheses. Then you look at what you’ve got and say, how can we explain it away? If it’s an unknown unknown, you compare it with the signatures of your known knowns, your unknown knowns and your known unknowns and if you don’t have a match, you say, is this a sensor calibration problem? And what science tells us is, the answer is always yes. Then you look out into the universe for life and say, how hard has it been to find exoplanets in habitable zones? Right? Then you put it all out there to the entire academic and scientific community and you say guess what? We know exactly what this is because of all our hypotheses, and it’s just an engineering problem. So if you folks think it’s important enough to try to turn NHI – whatever that means, I’ve never heard of it, it came out of a fake book in the 1950s – into HI, well, by all means have at it. Then it's somebody else’s problem.
TP: Last weekend at Stanford, they had, like, the most prestigious scientific UFO symposium ever. I know you heard about it — it was this nonprofit called the Sol Foundation and the auditorium was packed with 300 people and all the heavy hitters in the research field were there. Even Avi. Even the former Inspector General of the Intelligence Community was there. Since you’re the nation’s leading UFO expert but you weren’t invited, what’s it like to get snubbed and humiliated that way? Do you ever feel like Quasimodo? By the way, do you follow Steven Greer? You should, you’re both doctors, so he might be able to get you a discount on some Ambassador to the Universe training. Also, thanks for letting us know you’re planning to finish the first installment of UFO history before you leave AARO in December, and I hope you plan to include something about Kenneth Arnold and Allen Hynek — nobody’s ever heard of them before. And oh, one last thing, I promise: E.T. and Yoda, mano a mano, cage match — who’s your money on . . .?
Life in Jonestown is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.