NASA will launch study of UFOs: 'We are not shying away from reputational risk'

  • 18 Jun - 24 Jun, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

NASA plans to begin a study of UFOs – and they don't care if other members of the science community agree with their decision. The space agency announced they will form a team to examine "observations of events that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena." NASA's science mission chief Thomas Zurbuchen, who shared the news during a speech at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, called it "high-risk, high-impact" research. "We are not shying away from reputational risk," Zurbuchen said at the event, acknowledging that some may see this move as NASA "kind of selling out." The study will focus on identifying available data, best practices for collecting data in the future, and how NASA can use that information to gain a deeper understanding of UAPs, or unidentified aerial phenomena, according to the space agency's press release. Astrophysicist David Spergel, who is president of the Simons Foundation in New York City, will lead the independent nine-month study, set to start early this fall. "Given the paucity of observations, our first task is simply to gather the most robust set of data that we can," Spergel said in statement. "We will be identifying what data – from civilians, government, non-profits, companies – exists, what else we should try to collect, and how to best analyse it." NASA considers UAPs of interest for both national security and air safety. "Establishing which events are natural provides a key first step to identifying or mitigating such phenomena, which aligns with one of NASA's goals to ensure the safety of aircraft," the space agency said.