A first-of-its-kind panel organized by NASA opened a study on Monday of what the government calls “unidentified aerial phenomena,” commonly termed UFOs, bringing together experts from scientific fields ranging from physics to astrobiology.
The 16-member panel, convened with little fanfare, will focus its inquiry entirely on unclassified sightings and other data collected from civilian government and commercial sectors, according to NASA.
The team’s inquiry is separate from a newly formalized Pentagon-based investigation of unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, reported by military aviators and analyzed by U.S. defense and intelligence officials.
The parallel NASA and Pentagon efforts highlight a turning point for the U.S. government after spending decades deflecting, debunking and discrediting observations of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, dating back to the 1940s.
Announcing the formation of its panel in June, NASA said: “There is no evidence UAPs are extraterrestrial in origin.”
“Understanding the data we have surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what’s happening in our skies,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate NASA administrator. “Data is the language of scientists and makes the unexplainable explainable.”
The panel is chaired by David Spergel, who formerly headed Prince University’s astrophysics department.Follow us on social media