A group of researchers claim that out of the total 800 bizarre reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) evaluated by American authorities over decades, only a small portion is truly unexplained.
The group was established by NASA last year to discuss its research on what it refers to as unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP). These are characterized as sightings “that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific perspective.”
On Wednesday, the panel’s first open meeting took place. The meeting revealed the following:
Unsolved Mystery of flying object
Sean Kirkpatrick, head of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), a division of the US Defence Department, stated, “We have 50 to 100-ish new reports each month.”
However, according to him, just 2% to 5% of the database’s observations are “possibly really anomalous.”
A naval aircraft over the western US captured a video of a group of dots travelling through the night sky, shown at one point during the hearing. The object, which proved to be a business jet flying towards a large airport, evaded the military plane’s attempts to stop it.
According to a Pentagon report from 2021, all but one of the 144 encounters by military pilots since 2004 has remained unsolved. Officials did not completely rule it out that those things were extra-terrestrial.
Kirkpatrick cited privacy issues as one of the limitations behind NASA’s investigations. He said, “We can point the largest collection apparatus in the entire globe at any point we want. A lot of what we have is around the continental United States. Most people…don’t like it when we point our entire collection apparatus at your backyard.”
Radio waves & optical illusion
Data pertaining to UAPs is frequently challenging to analyse and is susceptible to bias.
A burst of radio waves detected by scientists in Australia was mentioned by David Spergel, chair of NASA’s UAP team.
“They had really strange structure. People couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then they start to notice a lot of them bunched together around lunch time,” he said.
It turned out that the researchers’ sensitive instruments were picking up signals from the microwave they were using to reheat their lunches.
Former astronaut and seasoned pilot Scott Kelly shared a tale involving an optical illusion. His co-pilot “was convinced we flew by a UFO” when they flew close to Virginia Beach.
“Removing stigma” to address UAPs
Because of the negative connotation associated with flying saucers, Spergel claimed that commercial pilots are extremely hesitant to report sightings.
He stated that “one of our goals is to remove the stigma” since “because there is a need for high quality data to address important questions about UAPs.” For their research in the field, several scientists have also experienced internet harassment.
NASA science chief Nicola Fox stated that “harassment only leads to further stigmatisation of the UAP field, significantly hindering the scientific process and discouraging others to study this important subject matter.”