In their first public meeting this week, a NASA panel of independent researchers examining UFOs, or what the government now calls UAP for “unidentified anomalous phenomena,” claimed that a lack of evidence (that is of high quality) and the stigmas involved in reporting are hindrances to solving such riddles.
In preparation for presenting a report later this summer, the 16-member group, founded last year, met for four hours through a NASA live stream to discuss early results in subjects ranging from physics to astrobiology.
A lack of scientifically valid methods for recording UFOs, which often include sightings of objects moving in ways that defy the limitations of known technology and the laws of nature, was regarded as the most significant problem by panel members. While military pilots have been encouraged by the Pentagon to keep records of UAP sightings, many civilian pilots are still reluctant to come out with such reports out of fear of retaliation.
For a topic the government has previously relegated to the sole purview of the military and the occult, the NASA advisory council is the first UFO probe ever undertaken under the auspices of the U.S. space agency. Over the past two decades, the United States military has recorded over 800 UFO sightings; nevertheless, only a tiny fraction of these occurrences are considered inexplicable.
NASA and the Department of Defense have stressed the importance of securing American skies. The NASA panel relies only on declassified reports from civilian observers to promote free and open communication among academic, commercial, and international institutions and the general public. The government now uses the acronym UAP instead of UFOs in all official communications.
After a recent legal change in the United States, the UAP abbreviation now refers to “unidentified anomalous phenomena,” broadening the field of investigation for the NASA study team. NASA and defense-intelligence authorities have said that they have discovered no evidence to support the hypothesis that UFOs have an extraterrestrial origin. However, they have not ruled out the possibility of the presence of intelligent alien life.