NASA has formed a committee to analyze approximately 800 reports of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs), more commonly known as UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects). According to NASA, these events are sightings that “cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific perspective.”
The establishment of this committee underscores NASA’s earnest consideration of potential extraterrestrial events. On May 31, 2023, the committee held its inaugural public meeting to outline its actions and preliminary findings. This preceded the forthcoming comprehensive report expected later this year. During the meeting, it was revealed that some reports were easily explained, such as boats, planes, or weather phenomena, while others had whimsical origins related to lunchtime activities. Only a few reports remained mysterious.
Leading the committee is astrophysicist David Spergel, accompanied by a team of experts, including university professors and a former astronaut. The study has utilized declassified reports and images to shed light on some of these enigmatic reports, sourced from a variety of individuals, including military personnel and commercial airline pilots.
Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the US Defense Department’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which also investigates such claims, disclosed that they receive between 50 and 100 new reports of UAPs each month. While UAPs encompass a broader range of anomalous phenomena beyond just unidentified flying objects—encompassing anomalies on land, sea, air, or space—the majority are explicable, with only approximately 2-5% remaining genuinely anomalous and unexplained.
The committee has encountered challenges in analyzing the often low-quality data, sourced from diverse origins, which makes unraveling these mysteries more challenging. The hope is to destigmatize reporting sightings to encourage more people, especially commercial pilots, to come forward with their anomalous observations. The recent release of videos by the Pentagon showcasing unexplained phenomena has garnered significant attention and interest.
However, the main challenge lies in the quality of recordings, as many sightings are captured using devices not optimized to accurately document these peculiar events. Factors like glitches in outdated cameras or misleading lighting and distant objects can contribute to misinterpretations of apparent UFOs.
In addition to technical challenges, online harassment has become a significant concern for committee members, further hindering their work and adding to the stigma associated with studying this area. Despite these challenges, the committee remains committed to investigating these phenomena diligently.
Subsequent to the public meeting, an American whistleblower with a background in government intelligence claimed that the US might possess additional concrete evidence of UAPs. NASA has yet to respond to these claims, and no additional evidence has been presented by the whistleblower. While the current studies have not conclusively identified extraterrestrial origins, NASA’s visible and thorough investigation of UAP claims signifies a notable shift in approach from debunking claims to openly exploring and discussing these phenomena. A comprehensive report, expected later this year, will provide further insights and findings from these ongoing investigations. For now, while there’s no evidence of UFOs or aliens, NASA is actively and seriously engaging with claims related to UAPs.
Source: The Conversation