NASA to Americans: Help us spot UFOs

He also adds that “artificial intelligence and machine learning are essential tools for identifying rare events.”

Public oversight is a “critical aspect of understanding” UFO sightings, the report says. The panel recommended that the space agency study the viability of creating or acquiring open source smartphone-based applications capable of collecting imaging and other data from around the world.

“The panel finds that there is currently no standardized system for civilian reporting of UAPs, resulting in sparse and incomplete data lacking preservation or monitoring protocols,” the report said.

In a briefing with reporters Thursday after the study’s release, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson reiterated his position that extraterrestrial life, while unlikely, is still possible.

“If you ask me if I believe 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.

Nelson also announced that NASA would hire a UAP research director who would oversee the space agency’s work on the subject and serve as a communicator between federal agencies on UFOs.

At a public meeting in May, members highlighted the need for better data on UFOs, including high-quality photos and videos of the incidents. They did not have access to classified information, which has been a point of tension between the government and lawmakers who have called for more transparency.

Reported UFO sightings by military pilots have drawn attention from the public and lawmakers in recent years, sparking accusations that the government is withholding information and failing to create an adequate system for reporting cases.

The Pentagon this month created a website to report sightings, after complaints that the effort was taking too long.

In July, a House Oversight Subcommittee hearing on the issue reignited public interest. While much of the hearing focused on the possible existence of extraterrestrial activity, witnesses and lawmakers stressed the importance of investigating UFOs as a national security issue. Rather than spacecraft operated by aliens, the unidentified craft could be drones or other aerial vehicles operated by adversaries.

But the presentation of alleged extraterrestrial bodies before Mexican lawmakers Tuesday undermined the move to encourage more UFO reporting, according to one of the witnesses at the House oversight hearing in July.

“Unfortunately, yesterday’s protest was a huge step backwards on this issue,” Ryan Graves, executive director of the Americans for Safe Aerospace organization which seeks to raise awareness about the issue, tweeted Wednesday, as photographs “bodies” were going viral.

“I am deeply disappointed by this baseless stunt,” he added.

During the briefing, Nelson noted that the study was commissioned to “shift the conversation about UAP from sensationalism to science.”


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