The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) yearlong study into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), also known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), released its findings on Thursday detailing how the government should approach these unexplained occurrences.
The highly-anticipated report, while unlikely to reveal encounters with extraterrestrial beings, emphasizes the systematic collection of quality data to better understand these phenomena.
NASA said Thursday that the study of UFOs will require new scientific techniques, including advanced satellites as well as a shift in how unidentified flying objects are perceived.
The space agency released the findings after a yearlong study into UFOs.
In its 33-page report, an independent team commissioned by NASA cautioned that the negative perception surrounding UFOs poses an obstacle to collecting data. But officials said NASA’s involvement should help reduce the stigma around what it calls UAPs, or unidentified anomalous phenomena.
“We want to shift the conversation about UAPs from sensationalism to science,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. He promised an open and transparent approach.
At a public meeting, the 16-member panel, which includes scientists, aviation professionals, artificial intelligence experts, and renowned former astronaut Scott Kelly, noted that their assessment did not reveal evidence linking UAPs with intelligent alien life.
Interest in UFOs grew last year when Defense Department officials published video footage of encounters during a congressional hearing, the first of its kind in over five decades. Former military and intelligence officers discussed their experiences with these unexplained phenomena and highlighted concerns about national security. The topic gained even more attention in July after two former U.S. Navy fighter pilots discussed their encounters with UAP during a hearing with the House Oversight Committee.
The federal government has begun disclosing some information about UAP sightings, and has established task forces to investigate further. In 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report surveying dozens of sightings of mysterious flying objects between 2004 and 2021. Investigators found several examples of objects that lacked visible forms of propulsion or that appeared to use technology beyond the known capabilities of the U.S. or its adversaries.
NASA defines unidentified anomalous phenomena as objects seen in the sky that can’t be identified as aircraft or as known natural phenomena. NASA and the U.S. Defense Department have said there is no credible evidence that the observed flying phenomena are extraterrestrial in origin.
One of the issues discussed by the NASA panel was the inconsistent and often fragmented data-collection practices that the government is currently using to gather information about UAPs. These methods span multiple federal agencies and rely on the use of instruments that are not well-suited for meticulous scientific research. The report made recommendations on how these agencies can employ higher-quality methods for understanding these phenomena more comprehensively.
The possible existence of extraterrestrial life has been quite a riveting topic for many. But it has not received much attention in the past. Now, with the recent hearing and the release of this report, it is possible that it might gain more prominence in the national conversation. Indeed, a self-proclaimed “ufologist” recently brought two caskets to Mexico’s legislature, alleging that they contained the corpses of extraterrestrial beings.
— Grupo Fórmula (@Radio_Formula) September 13, 2023
Their claims have not yet been confirmed. But it appears the search for life on other planets is not close to being concluded. But one thing remains abundantly clear: The truth is out there.