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NASA confirmed it is ready to go “full force” investigating UFOs, or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), in August. Now, the agency has officially begun its study into the strange objects often reported by U.S. military personnel and appointed a diverse team of scientists to lead it.
NASA’s study into UAPs is independent of the Pentagon, and is a scientific endeavor that will focus on unclassified data, according to a release posted on Friday. The team comprises 16 members and over the next 9 months they will research how data collected by “civilian” government agencies can be used to investigate UAPs. The study began on Monday, the release states, and the findings will be published in 2023.
“Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, in a statement. “Understanding the data we have surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies. Data is the language of scientists and makes the unexplainable, explainable.”
There has been no firm public evidence that UAPs are really alien in origin, but they have recently become the subject of intense focus by multiple government agencies. The Pentagon in particular has acknowledged in recent years that pilots frequently report UAP sightings, and set up an office to investigate them. If evidence is discovered that an object is man-made, then it will be sent to a different department because it is no longer a UAP—which, according to the military, would only be objects that are not human in origin.
NASA, for its part, has acknowledged the strange properties of UAPs, such as their “extreme acceleration,” in documents released due to a request under the Freedom of Information Act
The 16 members of NASA’s independent UAP study team run the gamut from NASA veterans to aerospace executives, former astronauts, satellite experts, physicists, and much more. It’s clear that the agency is attempting to create as interdisciplinary a team as possible to cover all of its bases in investigating UAPs, and the world will no doubt await their findings with excitement.