A team of NASA researchers have started an independent investigation into UFOs, now referred to as unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), with a new team of 16 people. According to a statement from NASA, the investigation will last 9 months and focus only on unclassified data.
This new approach will help determine how data collected by civilians, governments, and commercial businesses, can be examined. In turn, that will help to shed light on UFOs. By the end of the study, the team will be able to construct a road map for future NASA analyses. Public release of the report on their findings would be in mid-2023.
NASA exploring the unknown in space
“Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.
Additionally, he explained that “understanding the data we have surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies.”
“Data is the language of scientists and makes the unexplainable, explainable,” Zurbuchen added.
Daniel Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, is orchestrating the study.
“NASA has brought together some of the world’s leading scientists, data and artificial intelligence practitioners, aerospace safety experts, all with a specific charge, which is to tell us how to apply the full focus of science and data to UAP,” Evans said. “The findings will be released to the public in conjunction with NASA’s principles of transparency, openness, and scientific integrity.”
According to Smithsonian Magazine, the team includes former astronaut Scott Kelly, and science journalist Nadia Drake. They are joined by scientists who study the shape of the universe, astrobiology, oceanography, black holes, computer engineering and other similar topics.
Past UAPs encounters
Despite past disbelief, in the past couple of years the US government has taken a closer look at UFO encounters. Last year, for example, the Pentagon released a long-awaited UFO report on aerial phenomena that found about 144 unexplained UFO encounters.
The report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was meant to shed light on the mystery of those dozens of flying objects, spotted from 2004 to 2021. Instead, they said it did not have adequate data to be able to put all but one into a category.
Crucially, the UFO report said there were “no clear indications that there is any non-terrestrial explanation” for the aircraft. It also did not rule it out, however.
Congress’s first UFO hearing in 50 years
The House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation Subcommittee held Congress’ first hearing in over 50 years this spring.
Rep. André Carson, the subcommittee’s chairman, called for a destigmatization of UAP reporting. Moreover, during the hearing, lawmakers on the committee also warned that UAPs pose for a potential national security threat. The Pentagon furthermore added that its UAP database has now grown to around 400 encounters.
The new study therefore could be one of the largest efforts yet to provide a better understanding of these aerial phenomena.