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What We Learned from NASA’s Public Panel on UFOs

Prominent scientists and experts convene at NASA's public panel to discuss the latest findings and challenges about UFOs.
Prominent scientists and experts convene at NASA’s public panel to discuss the latest findings and challenges about UFOs. Credit: Paulo O / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

NASA’s recently held public gathering of its ‘independent study group’ on UFOs uncovered significant findings about mysterious objects that have been detected ‘across the globe.’

The meeting also highlighted the urgent need for additional resources to investigate UFOs, now referred to as Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) to encompass a wider range of reported sightings and cases.

The assembly, consisting of 16 specialists including physicists and astronauts, engaged in a comprehensive four-hour discussion, addressing various topics such as the quest for extraterrestrial artifacts and the online harassment perpetrated by UFO skeptics.

The unique study group has been diligently conducting research since June of last year. They are set to present their final recommendations to NASA by the end of July. Let’s now delve into the six key insights gleaned from yesterday’s (June 1st, 2023) meeting.

Scientists advocate for investigation of extraterrestrial technology in our solar system

Scientists with a genuine interest in the subject are keen on investigating the possibility of extraterrestrial technology within our own solar system. According to astrobiologist David Grinspoon, while not all scientists agree, there is a prevailing belief within the scientific community that extraterrestrial civilizations might exist.

Grinspoon argues that if we accept the notion that these civilizations could be present and potentially detectable, it follows that discovering extraterrestrial artifacts within our solar system is at least a reasonable prospect.

Drawing from his experience as a former advisor to NASA on space exploration, Grinspoon suggests that NASA should take the lead in this search for alien relics, should they indeed exist. He highlights that the majority of our solar system remains unexplored in terms of artifacts and anomalies.

Given NASA’s prominent role in solar system exploration, Grinspoon proposes that the agency can utilize existing and planned planetary missions to conduct modest data analysis efforts, potentially leading to significant findings.

Grinspoon’s advocacy for investigating alien “technosignatures” within our solar system and even on our own planet is not new. He criticizes dismissive attitudes toward the idea as lacking intellectual rigor.

Consistent percentage of unresolved UAP cases over time

Physicist Sean Kirkpatrick, who heads the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), recently shared with NASA’s UAP group that the proportion of military UAP sightings deemed “possibly really anomalous” by AARO amounts to approximately two to five percent of the total cases in their database.

Interestingly, this percentage aligns closely with historical rates of unresolved UFO and UAP incidents, including those documented by Project Blue Book, the Pentagon’s UFO investigation program during the Cold War, which reported figures ranging from four to 5.9% in the 1950s.

In a survey conducted by Stanford astrophysics professor Peter Sturrock in 1977, 2,611 members of the American Astronomical Society were polled regarding their encounters with inexplicable aerial phenomena.

The results showed that 62 astronomers out of 1,356 respondents, or approximately 4.6%, reported witnessing or documenting such incidents.

This consistency in the percentage of unresolved cases across different time periods and among various groups, including military personnel and academic scientists, raises intriguing questions.

Some scientists, such as physicist Kevin Knuth from SUNY Albany, have suggested that this pattern could indicate a higher likelihood of the phenomena being genuine rather than mere random noise.

These findings highlight the ongoing presence of unexplained aerial events and the need for continued investigation into the nature and origin of these phenomena. By studying these cases systematically and applying rigorous scientific methodologies, we may gain valuable insights that could potentially reshape our understanding of the universe.

US military tracks puzzling ‘metallic orbs’ seen worldwide

During a presentation to NASA’s UAP panel, physicist Sean Kirkpatrick highlighted an intriguing unsolved case involving a video captured by a US military MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Middle East. The footage depicted a peculiar flying metallic orb, which Kirkpatrick described as a typical example of the sightings they frequently encounter.

He emphasized that such orbs have been observed globally, exhibiting intriguing maneuvers. However, he clarified that the specific orb did not display any mysterious technical capabilities and posed no threat to aviation safety.

Kirkpatrick acknowledged that reaching definitive conclusions would require time and accumulating better-detailed data on similar objects. By amassing a more comprehensive dataset, a thorough analysis could be conducted, leading to potentially enlightening insights.

Additionally, Kirkpatrick disclosed that the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) receives an average of 50 to 100 reports of UAPs each month. This indicates that roughly one truly anomalous and inexplicable case lands on their desks every week.

He noted occasional spikes in UAP sightings, often associated with events such as the launch of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites or the attention surrounding China’s spy balloon in February.

Kirkpatrick attributed some of these spikes to procedural factors, such as the influx of new data resulting from AARO’s collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This partnership yielded approximately 100 additional UAP reports for analysis.

Collaboration and coordination were emphasized during the meeting, with Kirkpatrick mentioning the involvement of “NASA embeds.” These scientists have received clearance to work on classified UAP cases and are closely collaborating with the Pentagon’s official UFO investigators on a few highly confidential UFO incidents.

The notorious ‘GOFAST’ UAP wasn’t fast at all

In the gripping infrared targeting video capturing the enigmatic ‘GOFAST’ UFO, one of the pilots exclaims, ‘Whoa! Got it!’

During a presentation by Josh Semeter, an engineering professor at Boston University’s Center for Space Physics and a member of NASA’s panel, a comprehensive analysis of a fighter jet’s flight path in relation to the ‘GOFAST’ UAP was presented.

Surprisingly, it was revealed that the mysterious object was moving at a relatively leisurely pace of around 40 mph. Semeter highlighted that this velocity aligns with typical wind speeds at an altitude of 13,000 feet, which was the estimated height of the GOFAST UAP.

The convincing argument supporting the notion that the GOFAST object was likely propelled by a strong breeze was made possible due to the technical readout and interface of the infrared video.

Fortunately, the necessary information to ascertain the object’s altitude and velocity could be extracted from the displayed data, Semeter clarified.

NASA’s UAP panel faces online harassment

During NASA’s public meeting that spanned four hours, multiple panel members revealed the troubling reality of online harassment they have encountered. These instances of abuse have come from UFO trolls, skeptical individuals, and even within their own organizations.

Nicky Fox, the associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, expressed her disappointment at hearing about the harassment faced by the panelists solely because of their involvement in the study of this subject.

She clarified that NASA fully supports and stands behind its panelists, emphasizing that the agency does not tolerate such abusive behavior.

Fox further emphasized that online harassment not only harms the targeted individuals but also contributes to the stigmatization of the UAP field as a whole. This hinders scientific progress and discourages others from pursuing research in this critical study area.

Daniel Evans, also from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, reassured the panel that NASA’s security team is actively working to address this issue and provide the necessary protection.

The issue of online harassment appears to be an ongoing aspect of the social stigma surrounding UFOs. Sean Kirkpatrick, from the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), mentioned that he and his team have also faced similar experiences of harassment.

Kirkpatrick highlighted that the root of the problem often lies in a lack of understanding of the scientific method. He acknowledged that there is a strong desire for immediate answers from the public regarding UAPs. However, this pressure for quick responses has proven to be counterproductive and has impeded the work of AARO.

NASA’s panel advocates for serious tools to study UAPs

During the public meeting, there was a consensus among the panelists, including former senior NASA official Mike Gold, that NASA should establish a permanent office dedicated to studying UAPs. The panel members displayed a serious and committed approach to the subject.

One recurring theme throughout the meeting was the importance of obtaining higher quality data, not only from UAP cases but also from various ordinary occurrences that could be mistakenly perceived as extraordinary phenomena.

Federica Bianco, an astronomer and panel member, highlighted the necessity for UAP researchers to possess a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes normal observations to distinguish the truly unusual.

The chair of the study group, astrophysicist David Spergel, emphasized the crucial need for improved data collection equipment and methodologies. He stressed that addressing the UAP issue successfully would require NASA or any other research organization to have access to high-quality data.

Drawing from his own extensive experience in deciphering faint signals from the depths of the universe, Spergel summarized the critical lesson of his career: essential questions must be addressed using high-quality data and well-calibrated instruments.

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