National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced Monday the members of a 16-expert panel to research so-called Unidentified Arial Phenomena, commonly referred to as UFOs, from across the sciences to research strange, inexplicable lights in the skies.
The first-of-its-kind independent panel includes experts from such various fields as planetary, astrophysics, biologists, data scientists and a former test pilot, astronaut and Naval officers, CNN reports. In May, NASA held its first hearing on UFOs in 50 years. The Pentagon revealed over 400 odd images and recordings made by Navy personnel, causing the Department of Defense to establish an oversight office to collect the reports. From CNN:
The new group won’t necessarily seek to determine exactly what the UAPs, which have been seen moving through restricted military airspace over the past several decades, are. Rather, the team will look to hash out exactly how it’s best for NASA to approach further study of the phenomenon.
The space agency has already noted that the limited number of observations of UAPs has made it difficult to draw scientific conclusions about the nature of such events.
“Without access to an extensive set of data, it is nearly impossible to verify or explain any observation, thus the focus of the study is to inform NASA what possible data could be collected in the future to scientifically discern the nature of UAP,” according to a NASA news release.
The panel will spend nine months investigating UAP incidents and layout a plan for dealing with future sightings. The feds said back in May that one of the panel’s goals will be to destigmatize reporting UAP sightings within America’s defense forces. Reuters reports that the panel members include “...Anamaria Berea, a research affiliate at the SETI (Search for Intelligence Life) Institute in Mountainview, California; retired NASA astronaut and test pilot Scott Kelly; University of Rhode Island biological oceanographer Paula Bontempi; and University of California at San Diego astrophysicist Shelley Wright.”
The Pentagon released a report on UAPs in 2021, but failed to draw any specific conclusions of what UAPs might be. While NASA denies there is any evidence that the strange lights, which seem to move in ways contrary to our current understanding of physics, are extraterrestrial in nature. However the possibility doesn’t seem to be totally discounted, considering the inclusion of a SETI researcher and astrophysicist. The first report is expected in mid-2023.
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