NASA has weighed in on the growing conversation about the existence of alien life with a 36-page report detailing their findings about ‘unidentified anomalous phenomena’ or UAPs, otherwise known as UFOs.
If anyone’s going to know about aliens, it’s America’s National Space Agency, the first organisation to put a man on the moon, a robot on Mars, and a satellite beyond the solar system. In sad news for UFOlogists, ET fans, or anyone looking to hitch a ride off this rapidly collapsing rock, NASA has said they haven’t actually seen any aliens.
“At this point, there is no reason to conclude that existing UAP reports have an extraterrestrial source,” the report’s final page reads.
However, the agency also does not rule out the possibility that alien life does in fact exist somewhere beyond the solar system and that UAP sightings may be the result of that life trying to reach us.
“There is an intellectual continuum between extrasolar techno-signatures, solar system SETI, and potential unknown alien technology operating in Earth’s atmosphere. If we recognise the plausibility of any of these, then we should recognise that all are at least plausible,” the somewhat wordy report concludes.
The report, which was conducted by sixteen people over nine months, is not intended to verify past UAP sightings, but is instead something of a roadmap for how NASA will treat UAPs in the future.
It makes several recommendations for the organisation, including using its already vast array of technology to specifically look for UAPs. Many of the sightings, they write, are captured on technology not built for tracking such objects whereas they actually do have the means to assess this stuff clearly, which they say they will do from now on.
Another of the recommendations is to use the public to crowdsource information on UAP sightings. Potentially, this could come through the use of an app where people around the world can submit photos and videos they take on their phones.
In addition, NASA is also appointing their former Defence Department Liaison on UAP issues, Mark McInerney, as their first-ever Director of UAP Research.
At a press conference discussing the release of the report, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson appeared to be keen on playing down any excitement or conspiratorial thinking about UFOs and aliens. NASA is there to “shift the conversation about UAP from sensationalism to science,” he said.
“There is a mindset. We all are entertained by Indiana Jones in the Amazon, and finding the Crystal Skull, so there’s a lot of folklore out there. That’s why we entered the arena, to try to get into this from a science point of view.”
The panel chair at the press conference, David Spergel of the Simons Foundation, said that almost all UAP sightings have a logical explanation.
“It is essential to clarify, based on current findings and methodology, that we find no evidence to suggest that UAP are extraterrestrial in origin,” he said.
“Most events are explainable as planes, balloons, drones, weather phenomenon and instrument features. In any search for interesting anomalies, the first step is to eliminate the chaff of conventional events before moving on to identify novel phenomena. In this, the public’s role cannot be overstated.”
Spergel was also asked about the recent announcement of so-called ‘mummified alien remains’ found in Peru and exhibited in Mexico this week. He said that samples should be made available to the global scientific community and “we’ll see what’s there.”
UAPs have been at the centre of recent public debates owing to revelations in 2017 that the Pentagon has been secretly tracking UAP sightings for years. Since then, there have been reports, hearings, and whistleblowers from various high-ranking US Government departments all coming forward with information on UAPs.
Even former President Barack Obama came out and said that there were “objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are.”
The latest of these revelations was sparked by whistleblower David Grusch, a former high-level security officer, who has testified before Congress about the existence of a decades-long secret UFO crash retrieval programme conducted by the US and its allies.
When asked about the claims made by Grusch, specifically that the US government was hiding recovered alien technology, Nelson said that NASA was “open and transparent about their data.”
“‘Where’s the evidence?’ Is my response,” Nelson said about the claims.
“Just the facts, just the facts. Show me the evidence,” he continued, quoting from the 1950s TV show Dragnet.
Of course, UFO communities online have dismissed NASA’s claims, with users on the UFO subreddit stating that the organisation itself is “part of the coverup.”
Those communities have been posting references to leaked photos stolen from NASA websites by hackers that appear to show extraterrestrial spaceships. They also highlight the testimony of alleged former NASA employee Donna Hare who claims that NASA routinely airbrushes UFOs out of their images.