NASA forms a UFO research group to investigate "unidentified aerial phenomena."

News Sand DC
Source: space.com

NASA has announced the launch of a research team focused on UFOs, or unexplained aerial phenomena (UAPs), as they've been renamed to avoid the tin-foil-hat reputation. However, don't anticipate an "X-Files"-style crew to establish the presence of extraterrestrials.

Beginning this autumn, researchers will identify what UAP data is now available, establish how to best gather UAP data in the future, and create tools to analyze the nature of UAPs for both scientific and aerospace defense purposes. Astrophysicist David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation in New York City, will lead the team, which will also include Daniel Evans, NASA's Science Mission Directorate's assistant deputy associate administrator for research.

"NASA has answered the call to solve some of the most intriguing riddles we know of throughout the decades, and this is no different," Evans said at a press conference. "I do want to emphasize that NASA is ideally positioned to solve UAPs since no one else can look at what's going on in our sky with the strength of data and science like we can." And, to tell you the truth, this is why we do what we do."

This isn’t the first program dedicated to UAP research. Between 1952 and 1969, the United States Air Force (USAF) studied UAPs under Project Blue Book. More recently, in 2017, The New York Times revealed a clandestine Pentagon UAP research program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which ended in 2012 due to lack of funding. That report led to an increased public interest in UAPs. Subsequently, the Department of Defense (DoD) formed the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), dedicated to investigating UAP reports, and its successor, the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG).

Most UAP sightings have thus far remained unexplained by these programmes. And, as seen by the Department of Defense's declassified UAP study from June 2021 and a congressional hearing on UAPs in May 2022, they have not generated definitive proof that UAPs are extraterrestrial.

NASA has already stated that UAPs are unlikely to be extraterrestrial spacecraft. In a news statement, the agency stated, "There is no proof that UAPs are extraterrestrial in origin." That isn't to argue that aliens are completely out of the question.

“Part of our task at NASA given to us by Congress is not only to do fundamental research in the skies and so forth, but as part of that also to find life elsewhere,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science. “And that’s why we’ve built astrobiology programs in many disciplines across this summary field that looks at both extinct life on Mars, for example, but also looks at the patterns of life elsewhere, perhaps in Europa, or perhaps in Enceladus.”

Zurbuchen also mentioned NASA's ongoing work on "technosignatures," or traces of extraterrestrial technology that might have been generated by intelligent species.
However, NASA will not be looking for alien or other explanations for UAPs in this investigation. This is more of an information-gathering operation — one whose findings, unlike many DoD studies, will be made public — that might pave the way for future UAP studies and analysis. "We'll hopefully lay out some of the roadmaps for how we could make progress in the future," Spergel stated during the news conference.
We believe Special Agent Dana Scully would be happy of NASA's dedication on rigorous, scientific UAP study.

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