A NASA panel recommended in a report released Thursday that the U.S. space agency should step up efforts to gather information about unidentified objects in the sky — labeled by the government as an “unidentified anomalous phenomenon,” or UAP — and play a greater role in help the Pentagon detect them.
The agency said in a statement accompanying the report that it was evaluating the independent investigation team’s findings and recommendations but nevertheless created a new role, director of UAP investigations. The NASA panel, made up of experts in scientific fields ranging from physics to astrobiology, released the report after its first public meeting in June.
UAPs are better known to the public as unidentified flying objects or UFOs.
“NASA has a variety of existing and planned Earth and space observation assets, along with an extensive archive of historical and current data sets, that should be used directly to understand UAP,” the report said.
“Although NASA’s fleet of Earth observation satellites typically do not have the spatial resolution to detect relatively small objects such as UAP, their state-of-the-art sensors can be used directly to investigate the state of local terrestrial, oceanic and atmospheric conditions that coincide spatially and temporally with UAPs initially detected through other methods, so NASA’s resources can play a critical role in directly determining whether specific environmental factors are associated with certain reported UAP behaviors or occurrences,” the report said.
The U.S. government in recent years has made public various information it has collected on a subject once met with near-official silence.
The new report called UAPs “one of our planet’s greatest mysteries.”
“Observations of objects in our skies that cannot be identified as balloons, airplanes or known natural phenomena have been recorded worldwide, but there are only limited high-quality observations. The nature of science is to explore the unknown, and data is the language scientists use to discover the secrets of our universe,” the report said.
“Despite numerous reports and images, the lack of consistent, detailed and composite observations means that we currently do not have the amount of data needed to draw definitive, scientific conclusions about UAP,” it added.
It released a watershed report in 2021, compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in collaboration with a Navy-led task force, that included numerous observations – mainly of UAP military personnel.
The report included some UAP cases previously exposed in the Pentagon’s release of video footage from naval aviators showing enigmatic aircraft off the east and west coasts of the US exhibiting speed and maneuverability beyond known aviation technologies and have no visible propulsion or flight control surfaces. . According to the report, defense and intelligence analysts did not have sufficient data to determine the nature of some objects.
An independent NASA panel studying UAPs held its first public meeting in June, consisting of experts in scientific fields ranging from physics to astrobiology. Challenges panelists cited in their work included the stigma attached to the topic and the lack of scientifically reliable methods for documenting UFOs.
Two senior US defense intelligence officials told a 2022 Congressional hearing that the Pentagon was determined to determine the origins of UAPs. Both officials pledged that the Pentagon would follow the evidence wherever it leads, and made clear that the primary interest is addressing potential threats to national security.
Both officials at that hearing chose their words carefully, including the issue of possible extraterrestrial origins. One of the officials, Scott Bray, said at the hearing: “We have no material, we have not detected any emanations within the UAP task force that would suggest anything of non-terrestrial origin.” There had not been an open hearing in Congress on the subject since the Air Force ended an obscure UFO program codenamed Project Blue Book in 1969.
Another congressional hearing was held in July, which included testimony from retired military personnel, although no government officials appeared.
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