Nasa has a UFO research director, but he remains unidentified

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WASHINGTON – Pledging a new, transparent, scientifically rigorous look at UFOs, Nasa on Thursday said it had appointed a director of research on the topic – and then kept the name of the director a secret.

The new position is part of Nasa’s response to recommendations made by an independent study team that the agency had convened. The panel looked at how to better gather and study information about “unidentified anomalous phenomena,” or UAP – the modern term for UFOs.

The panel’s report, released on Thursday, did not attempt to provide a definitive answer to whether galaxy-trotting extraterrestrials are zipping through Earth’s skies. But it does propose a bigger role for Nasa in tackling the question.

“Nasa will do this transparently,” Mr Bill Nelson, the Nasa administrator, said during a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., discussing the report.

During the news conference, Mr Nelson first talked about Nasa’s Perseverance rover on Mars, which is collecting rock samples that might contain hints of life that lived there several billion years ago. He then turned to the James Webb Space Telescope, which is studying planets around distant stars for clues that they may be habitable or even inhabited by life.

The UAP work, he said, follows a similar yearning for learning about the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe. “This is the first time that Nasa has taken concrete action to seriously look into UAP,” Mr Nelson said.

Ms Nicola Fox, the associate administrator for Nasa’s science mission directorate, said the person serving as the new director of UAP research had been in that role “for a while now,” but declined to identify him. “We will not give his name out,” she said.

Nasa officials said that part of the reason for keeping the identity secret was the harassment experienced during the period of the study by some of the 16 members of the independent panel, who included university professors, space industry officials and a science journalist

“Some of them actually rose to actual threats,” said Mr Daniel Evans, assistant deputy associate administrator for research in NASA’s science mission directorate. “And yes, that’s in part why we are not splashing the name of our new director out there, because science needs to be free.”

The federal government’s knowledge of UAPs has recently been the subject of proposed federal legislation. In a House oversight subcommittee hearing in July, lawmakers quizzed a former intelligence official who claimed knowledge of a government cover up of extraterrestrial technology

UAPs often turn out to be innocuous objects, such as weather balloons. Most experts consider alien spacecraft to be an unlikely explanation for any of the events. But it is possible that some of what has been observed could be as-yet-undiscovered atmospheric phenomena or tests of advanced weapon systems.

“One of the main goals of what we’re trying to do here today is to move conjecture and conspiracy towards science and sanity,” Mr Evans said. “And you do that with data.”

The panel recommends that Nasa use its Earth-observing instruments to collect environmental data coinciding with UAP reports and enlist members of the public to send in a broader swath of observations, perhaps through a smartphone app.

“It always comes back to the data you feed into your analysis,” said Mr David Spergel, an astrophysicist who is president of the Simons Foundation and served as the chair of the UAP panel. “If you don’t have good data, you’re not going to learn things.”

EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected]

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