By MARCIA DUNN (AP Aerospace Writer)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA said Thursday that studying UFOs will require new scientific techniques, including advanced satellites, as well as a change in the way unidentified flying objects are perceived.
The space agency has released the results of a year-long study of UFOs.
In its 33-page report, an independent team commissioned by NASA warned that the negative perception surrounding UFOs poses a barrier to data collection. But officials said NASA’s involvement should help reduce the stigma around what it calls UAPs, or unidentified anomalous phenomena.
“We want to move the debate about UAPs from sensationalism to science,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. He promised an open and transparent approach.
Officials stressed that the panel found no evidence that UAPs had an extraterrestrial origin. But Nelson recognized that with billions of stars in billions of galaxies, another Earth could exist.
“If you ask me if I believe that there is life in a universe so large that it is difficult for me to understand its size, my personal answer is yes,” Nelson said at a conference Press. Its own scientists estimate the probability of life on another Earth-like planet at “at least a trillion.”
When asked by reporters whether the United States or other governments were hiding aliens or otherworldly spaceships, Nelson replied, “Show me the evidence.” »
NASA said it was not actively looking for unexplained sightings. But it operates a fleet of spacecraft circling Earth that can help determine, for example, whether the weather is causing a strange event.
The 16-member panel noted that artificial intelligence and machine learning are key to identifying rare events, including UFOs.
NASA recently appointed a director for UFO research, but is not disclosing his identity to protect them from the type of threats and harassment panel members faced during the study.
“This is partly why we are not publishing the name of our new director, because science must be free. Science needs to be put through a real, rigorous, rational process, and you need to have the freedom of thought to be able to do that,” said Dan Evans, NASA liaison to the panel.
No top secret files were accessed by scientists, aviation and artificial intelligence experts, as well as retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, the first American to spend nearly a year in the space. Instead, the group relied on unclassified data to try to better understand unexplained sightings in the sky.
Officials said there were so few high-quality observations that no scientific conclusions could be drawn. Most events can be attributed to planes, drones, balloons or weather conditions, said David Spergel, chairman of the panel and president of the Simons Foundation, a scientific research group.
The government calls the unexplained UFO sightings UFOs. NASA defines them as observations in the sky or elsewhere that cannot be easily identified or explained scientifically.
The study was launched a year ago and cost less than $100,000.
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