Nasa on Thursday said it is naming a new director of research into what the government calls “unidentified anomalous phenomenon,” or UAP, as an expert panel urged the US space agency to increase its efforts to gather information on what are commonly called UFOs.
Nasa administrator Bill Nelson made the announcement after the panel issued a report calling on the agency to increase its efforts to gather information on UAP and play a larger role in helping the Pentagon detect them.
Nasa said the new director of UAP research will handle “centralized communications, resources and data analytical capabilities to establish a robust database for the evaluation of future UAP”.
The Nasa panel, comprising experts in scientific fields ranging from physics to astrobiology, issued the report after holding its first public meeting in June.
“Nasa has a variety of existing and planned Earth- and space-observing assets, together with an extensive archive of historic and current data sets, which should be directly leveraged to understand UAP,” the report said.
“Although Nasa’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites typically lack the spatial resolution to detect relatively small objects such as UAP, their state-of-the-art sensors can be directly utilized to probe the state of the local earth, oceanic and atmospheric conditions that are spatially and temporally coincident with UAPs initially detected via other methods. Thus, Nasa’s assets can play a vital role by directly determining whether specific environmental factors are associated with certain reported UAP behaviors or occurrences,” the report said.
The US government in the past few years has made several disclosures of information it has gathered regarding a subject that once was met by virtual official silence.
The new report called UAPs “one of our planet’s greatest mysteries”.
“Observations of objects in our skies that cannot be identified as balloons, aircraft or natural known phenomena have been spotted worldwide, yet there are limited high-quality observations. The nature of science is to explore the unknown, and data is the language scientists use to discover our universe’s secrets,” the report stated.
“Despite numerous accounts and visuals, the absence of consistent, detailed, and curated observations means we do not presently have the body of data needed to make definitive, scientific conclusions about UAP,” it added.
It issued a watershed report in 2021 compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in conjunction with a Navy-led task force encompassing numerous observations – mostly from military personnel of UAP.
The report included some UAP cases that previously came to light in the Pentagon’s release of video from naval aviators showing enigmatic aircraft off the US east and west coasts exhibiting speed and maneuverability exceeding known aviation technologies and lacking any visible means of propulsion or flight-control surfaces. The report said defense and intelligence analysts lacked sufficient data to determine the nature of some of the objects.