(ORDO NEWS) — NASA said Thursday that studying UFOs will require new scientific techniques, including improved satellites, as well as changes in the perception of unidentified flying objects.
The space agency released the results after a year-long study of UFOs.
In its 33-page report, the independent team commissioned by NASA warned that negative perceptions of UFOs were creating a barrier to data collection. But officials said NASA’s involvement should help reduce the stigma surrounding unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPS).
“We want to move the conversation about UAPS from sensationalism to science,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
Officials stressed that the commission found no evidence that the UAPS were of extraterrestrial origin. But Nelson acknowledged that with billions of stars in billions of galaxies, there might be another Earth.
“If you ask me if I believe there is life in the universe that is so vast that I have a hard time understanding how big it is, my personal answer is yes,” Nelson said at a news conference.
The 16-member commission noted that artificial intelligence and machine learning are needed to identify rare phenomena, including UFOs.
NASA recently appointed a director of UFO research, but is not disclosing his identity to protect against threats and harassment faced by commission members during the research.
Scientists, aviation and artificial intelligence experts and retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, the first American to spend nearly a year in space, were not given access to any top-secret files. Instead, the team relied on unclassified data in an attempt to better understand unexplained sightings in the sky.
Officials said there were so few high-quality observations that no scientific conclusions could be drawn. Most of the events can be attributed to airplanes, drones, hot air balloons or weather conditions, said commission chairman David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation, a research group.
The government refers to the unexplained sightings as UAPS rather than UFOs. NASA defines them as sightings in the sky or elsewhere that cannot be easily identified or scientifically explained.
The study began a year ago and cost less than $100,000.
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