NASA announced that it has selected 16 researchers to take part in a study on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) otherwise known as UFOs.
The project will examine “observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or as known natural phenomena” which have been labelled as UAPs.
The study, which began on Monday, will last nine months during which the team will lay the groundwork for future research on the nature of UAP sightings for NASA and other organizations.
The project’s mission will be to identify and analyze unclassified data on the phenomena from civilian government agencies, commercial companies and other sources. It will also “recommend a roadmap” for future study of UAPs by NASA.
“Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Understanding the data we have surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies. Data is the language of scientists and makes the unexplainable, explainable.”
According to NASA, it is nearly impossible to verify or explain a UAP sighting without an extensive data set, which is not yet available. Therefore, the study seeks to investigate available data to be used in the future to verify the nature of UAP observations.
“NASA has brought together some of the world's leading scientists, data and artificial intelligence practitioners, aerospace safety experts, all with a specific charge, which is to tell us how to apply the full focus of science and data to UAP,” said study leader Daniel Evans, assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.“The findings will be released to the public in conjunction with NASA’s principles of transparency, openness, and scientific integrity.”
The team’s full report will be released to the public in mid-2023.