There is no evidence that these phenomena have an extraterrestrial origin, stressed the US space agency, but the issue could not be more important, because it concerns both national security and air traffic.
After the intelligence agencies, last year, NASA has now launched to investigate the issue.
The aerospace agency wants to de-stigmatize the issue. “One of the results of this study would be to make everyone understand … that the scientific process is valid to deal with all problems, including this one,” NASA associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen told a news conference.
He noted that he himself decided to start this research, led by eminent scientists and aeronautical experts.
As NASA’s probes and rovers scour parts of the solar system for fossils of ancient microbes, and its astronomers search for so-called “tech signatures” on distant planets behind signs of intelligent civilizations, this is the first time the agency has will investigate unexplained phenomena in the skies of Earth.
Scheduled to start in early autumn, the work is expected to last nine months and lead to a report that will be made public.
Its objectives would be three: collect the data that already exists, determine what is missing and establish what is the best way to collect it, and decide with which tools to analyze it in the future.
“Today we have a very limited compilation of these observations,” said David Spergel, an astrophysicist who will lead this work. “This makes it difficult to draw conclusions,” he said.
However, there are actually mountains of data, according to NASA experts, who aspire to collect it from governments, private companies, associations or even individuals. The budget granted for this study will not exceed 100,000 dollars.
In June 2021, United States intelligence services stated in a report that there was no evidence of the existence of extraterrestrials, while acknowledging that dozens of phenomena observed by military pilots could not be explained.
According to the Pentagon, an increasing number of unidentified objects in the sky have been reported in the past 20 years.
“I don’t think anyone has systematically observed unidentified flying objects in the past,” Daniel Evans, who is coordinating the study for the space agency, said Thursday.
But “over the decades, NASA has answered calls to tackle some of the most perplexing mysteries we know of, and this is no different.”