Experts dispatched by NASA worked for the first time on Wednesday on the question of UFOs, while a report must be published before the summer.
At an unusual public meeting in Washington, a panel of experts commissioned by NASA to look into the delicate issue of UFOs hammered Wednesday the need to collect more data to be able to explain these phenomena in the future.
“Existing data, and witness accounts, are insufficient to provide conclusive evidence on the nature and origin of each event,” said David Spergel, astrophysicist in charge of chairing this work. “We need high quality data.”
A report should be published during the summer, which should detail how to get there.
800 unidentified aerial phenomena
NASA announced the launch of this work last year, and in October appointed no less than 16 experts to carry it out. Among them, eminent scientists, but also officials from the American civil aviation regulator (FAA), or even former astronaut Scott Kelly.
Their purpose is not to review “unidentified anomalous phenomena” – the official term used – in an attempt to explain events observed in the past one by one. It is to make recommendations to NASA on how to study them rigorously in the future.
Some 800 unidentified aerial phenomena have been collected so far, said Wednesday Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the office dedicated to this question within the Ministry of Defense (AARO).
But only “maybe between 2% and 5%” are “really abnormal”, he said.
The subject is very serious, NASA said on Wednesday: it concerns both national security and that of air traffic. But it also arouses a strong interest because of the term UFO, very connoted.
“At this time, we have no explicit data to suggest there is a connection between the unidentified anomalous phenomena and extraterrestrial life,” said David Grinspoon, one of the panel scientists.
Nicola Fox, associate administrator at NASA, opened the session by condemning the online harassment of panel members.
The meeting, which lasted several hours on Wednesday, was broadcast live on the internet, and a portion was dedicated to questions from the public, submitted in advance online.
This transparency is highlighted by the American space agency, which underlines the need to “de-stigmatize” the subject.
Source: BFM TV