WASHINGTON - Back in June 2022, NASA announced that it was commissioning a report on sightings of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs). The findings of the year-long independent study were published Thursday.
Far from the parochial ideations of "little green men" many think of when it comes to UFOs, NASA’s study focused on identifying available data, best practices for future data collection and how they can leverage that data to further our understanding of UAPs — the broader term now used to classify objects in the skies that "cannot be immediately identified as known human-made or natural phenomena."
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the agency wants to shift the conversation about UAPs "from sensationalism to science."
The 33-page report is not a review of past UAP sightings but rather a roadmap on how to conduct specialized scientific research going forward. The main message: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
The agency makes several recommendations for future studies on UAPs and its role in research conducted in conjunction with the Department of Defense’s recently launched AllDomain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), which is dedicated to sharing information on UAP cases with the public as they are declassified and approved for release.
Nelson says new technologies, some of which are still being developed, could help aid in the search for information.
"We will use AI and machine learning to search the skies for anomalies as we have been searching the heavens and will continue to search the heavens for habitable reality," Nelson said. "And NASA will do this transparently."
The push to release more information on UAPs has been growing since the House Oversight Committee launched a panel to investigate government transparency and its impact on national security and public safety.
NASA notes that UAPs present an obvious threat to U.S. airspace safety and encourages further integration of FAA reporting systems since many sightings are reported by U.S. pilots, air traffic controllers, and other professional aviation staff.
This was brought up at the July 26 House committee hearing in which members heard testimony from decorated military pilots Ryan Graves and David Fravor, who have witnessed — and, in Fravor's case, engaged — UAPs while in the air.
A third key figure, UFO whistleblower and former intelligence official David Grusch, also testified at the hearing, alleging that the government has long had secret programs that retrieve crashed UFOs and reverse engineer the technology.
In the hearing, Grusch claimed that he knows colleagues who were injured while reverse-engineering UFO tech, and said the government "absolutely" has had UFO tech and "biologics" of "non-human origins" since the 1930s and knows the exact locations where they're being held.
But NASA’s report stressed that there is "no reason to conclude" ant existing UAP sightings were extraterrestrial in origin. It’s noted, however, that the 16-member study team did not have access to any top-secret files and instead relied on the same declassified information available to much of the public.
Grusch’s testimony brought lawmakers to criticize the Pentagon for not sharing more information with the public but DoD officials have denied the allegations of a coverup.
The release of NASA’s findings came on the heels of bizarre testimony delivered in front of Mexico’s congress by independent journalist and ufologist Jaime Maussan. Maussan presented them with two alleged alien corpses in windowed boxes that he claimed were remains "found buried in diatomite mines" in Peru and had been preserved for 1,000 years.
Maussan has been known for making widely debunked claims about alien life on Earth but nevertheless, the testimony excited UFO conspiracy theorists, including the communities of believers across the U.S.
A July survey from Ipsos found that 42% of Americans believe in UFOs. And a study from BonusFinder.com says that two in five (40%) Americans believe that Area 51 is used by the US government to study extraterrestrials and their spacecraft.