The possibility of extraterrestrial visits to Earth is definitely being taken seriously in the United States. After the attempts of the American intelligence and then of the Pentagon, it is the turn of NASA to look at the presence of unidentified aerial phenomena, for example moving abnormally or very fast in our atmosphere, and which cannot be explained. in the current state of our knowledge. It announced on Thursday the launch of a multi-month investigation into the famous UFOs in the fall.
There is no evidence that these phenomena have an extraterrestrial origin, the space agency said at the outset. But “if someone were to ask me if I think there is irrefutable evidence of intelligent life in any of these phenomena, I would give a perfectly acceptable answer for a scientist, which is that I don’t know.” Thomas Zurbuchen, an associate director of NASA, told a news conference.
However, the issue is extremely important, as it concerns both national security and air traffic security, the US agency said.
Mountains of data to de-stigmatize the subject
The study will be conducted by eminent scientists and aeronautics experts. Scheduled to begin in early fall, it is expected to run for nine months and culminate in a report. The budget should not exceed $ 100,000. Three objectives are announced: to gather the existing data, to determine which ones are missing and how to best collect them, and to decide with which tools to analyze them in the future.
“Today we have a very limited compilation of these observations,” David Spergel, an astrophysicist at the helm, said at the same press conference. “It simply came to our notice then.”
However, mountains of data actually exist, according to NASA experts, who want to collect them from governments, private companies, associations or individuals.
The idea is to de-stigmatize the subject. “One of the results of this study for me would be to make everyone understand (…) that the scientific process is valid for dealing with all issues, including this one,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, who said. having decided to open this investigation himself.
“New scientific mechanisms will be discovered”
In June 2021, US intelligence claimed in a long-awaited report that there was no evidence of extraterrestrials, while acknowledging that dozens of phenomena observed by military pilots could not be explained. And last month, for the first time in more than 50 years, the U.S. Congress held a public hearing on it.
According to the Pentagon, an increasing number of unidentified objects have been reported in the sky for 20 years. And they inevitably provoke the craziest speculation.
“I think new scientific mechanisms will be discovered,” said Thomas Zurbuchen. “There have been many cases where something that seems almost magical has turned out to be a new scientific effect.” “Never underestimate what nature is capable of,” he added.
Experts said they would embark on this project without any preconceived notions. But for David Spergel, UFOs probably bring together different phenomena, which cannot be placed under a single explanation. The study may not immediately clarify many aspects, he conceded, but rather should provide a roadmap to move towards that goal in the future.
A first on Earth
NASA is already looking for extraterrestrial life in space, for example by looking for traces of ancient life in microbial form on Mars, or technosignatures from other planets (signals showing the presence of technology). But this is the first time the U.S. space agency has seriously considered this possibility on Earth.
“I don’t think anyone has ever looked at systematically unidentified aerial phenomena in the past,” Daniel Evans, who co-ordinated the study for the space agency, said Thursday. But “over the decades, NASA has responded to the call to tackle some of the most puzzling mysteries we know, and this is no different.”
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