NASA spent over 60 years flying UFOs. Each spacecraft which has ever orbited Saturn or landed on the moon would have to be identified by any alien intelligence who might come across it. This intelligence may not exist beyond Earth’s solar system. But in interstellar space? That’s another question. That’s why the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes, which left the solar system in 2012 and 2018 respectively, carry golden records on their sides etched with coded sounds and pictures from Earth—a message in a bottle to any civilization that might one day encounter the ships and want to learn more about the curious species that launched them.
UFOs—or UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena), as they’re more decorously called today—have frequently been in the news lately. As I reported, just last month, the House Intelligence Committee’s Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation subcommittee conducted public hearings on more than 140 sightings by military pilots over the past 20 years of UAPs flying in all manner of inexplicable ways: bobbing, weaving, hovering, diving, changing direction with head-snapping speed that would produce potentially deadly g-forces to any living being—or at least any living Human being—inside.
“Look at that thing, dude!” one pilot shouted in a declassified recording made during a 2015 sighting. “Oh my gosh. There’s a whole fleet of them. They’re going against the wind! The wind’s 120 knots [135 mph] west!”
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After the last year’s release of a Department of Defense similar study of UAPs in the United States, Congress and Pentagon both came to the exact same conclusion: beats me.It could be common for objects to be misinterpreted or created by pilots using their equipment.
“UAPs are unexplained, it’s true,” Congressman and committee chairman Andre Carson (D., Ind.) In his opening remarks during House hearings, Carson stated that UAPs were “unexplained,” “But they are real.”
Now, there’s a third government agency getting involved in the effort to explain UAPs: NASA itself. As the space agency announced this week, it’s launching its own investigation, beginning in the fall, to get to the bottom of the UAP mystery. David Spergel (ex-chair of Princeton University’s astrophysics section) will lead the effort. This study is budgeted at just $100,000 and will take nine months to complete. The analysis of all existing video data as well as first-hand accounts from the field will be done. Consult both military and civilian experts in order to analyze the evidence. The space agency is open to any and all interpretations of the data—though it is setting a high bar for at least one.
“There is no evidence,” NASA said in its release, “[that] UAPs are extraterrestrial in origin.”
NASA officials recognize that there is no evidence to support the claim and will pursue any findings that might be made.
“NASA believes that the tools of scientific discovery are powerful and apply here also,” associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement. ”We have the tools and team who can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That’s the very definition of what science is. That’s what we do.”
That is indeed what NASA does—and it’s high time it brought those skills to the UAP mystery. After six decades of building and flying machines it can very much explain, the space agency will at last turn its eye to ones the world can’t.
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