NASA wants to remove the stigma around reporting and researching UFOs.
During a public meeting on Wednesday, NASA said its 16-member team of independent experts had been harassed for helping create a strategy to better categorize and evaluate unidentified flying objects — now called UAPs, for unidentified anomalous phenomena.
This is a serious topic deserving rigorous scientific analysis, NASA said, and harassment hinders progress in the field. Analyzing UAPs could help scientists better understand the world — potentially the universe — and it could improve situational awareness crucial for airspace safety.
“Conversations like this one are the first step to reducing the stigma surrounding UAP reporting,” said Dan Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “Moreover, transparency is essential for fostering trust between NASA, the public and the scientific community. In order to do things right, we must work together, pooling our resources, our knowledge and our expertise.”
The independent study team was tapped last year and plans to release a report by the end of July. Its focus is on the sky, where most of the sightings have been reported, though the National Defense Authorization Act recently changed the acronym from unidentified aerial phenomena to unidentified anomalous phenomena. This expands the scope to undersea and in space.
More than 800 UAP sightings have been collected in the past 27 years. Of those, maybe 2 to 5 percent are truly anomalous, said Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, which was started last year within the Department of Defense.
Most UAPs have explainable sources, such as commercial aircraft, military equipment, drones, weather balloons, SpaceX Starlink satellites or ionospheric phenomena including auroras.
For instance, Kirkpatrick showed a nighttime video with three dots that moved left then right, left then right, over and over. Those dots were planes lined up to land at a major airport. The planes were all flying to the left, and the back and forth motion was caused by a “jitter” in the sensor.
Optical illusions are common when flying a plane or spacecraft, confirmed former NASA astronaut and fighter pilot Scott Kelly. He described flying near Virginia Beach when his companion thought he saw a UAP. They turned around, and it was a Bart Simpson balloon.
That’s why better data collection will be a crucial part of the recommendations for studying UAPs.
That was from a month ago, as usual I’m catching up on posts that got lost in the drafts. Like I said, I agree with this premise. More and better data will help demystify these phenomena, and we might learn something useful. I look forward to seeing that report in July.