Washington, 10 June 2022 (dpa/MIA) — NASA has commissioned a new independent study on so-called “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAPs).
The agency said Thursday that UAPs — also known as unidentified flying objects or UFOs — are of interest for air safety and national security, stressing that there is “no evidence” the phenomena “are extra-terrestrial in origin.”
The study, which is set to begin in autumn and take about nine months to complete, will seek to examine “events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena” through a “scientific perspective,” NASA said in a statement.
The new UAPs team, led by astrophysicist David Spergel, will focus on how to best collect data and how the space agency can use it to better understand UAPs going forward by collaborating with experts in scientific, aeronautics, and data analytics communities.
“Given the paucity of observations, our first task is simply to gather the most robust set of data that we can,” said Spergel.
NASA said the report would be shared publicly and stressed that though the study had been agreed with the US government, it is not part of the US government’s investigation of the phenomena.
Last year, the US Department of Defense (DoD) published an eagerly awaited report by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) on the subject, which identified at least 144 “unexplained” aerial phenomena over the past two decades.
The assessment found that UAPs posed a security risk to air travel and could potentially pose a national security risk to the US.
In response, the DoD ordered a plan be developed to formalize the task force’s mission.
In May the US Congress held the first public hearing on the subject in half a century.