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NASA holds UFO hearing as Pentagon says alien life has not been ruled out

May 31


A NASA panel established last year to investigate Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), commonly known as UFOs, held its inaugural public hearing on Wednesday, May 31. Comprised of 16 experts from various scientific fields, the panel was assembled to examine unclassified UFO sightings and provide rigorous scientific scrutiny to these occurrences.

“It is our collective responsibility to investigate these occurrences with the rigorous scientific scrutiny that they deserve,” said Dr. Daniel Evans, an assistant deputy associate administrator for research within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, ahead on the panel’s discussion. “It’s an opportunity for us to expand our understanding of the world around us. This work is in our DNA.”

The objective of this four-hour public hearing was to conduct final deliberations before NASA’s independent study team publishes a report from on their findings from these UFO sightings later this summer. The panel suggested that the report could be released as early as mid-July.

During the hearing, the panel also addressed the online harassment faced by several panelists due to their involvement in the study. Several NASA officials came to their defense during the opening remarks, reaffirming the agency’s commitment to combat the perceived “stigma” surrounding UFO sightings.

“It is really disheartening to hear of the harassment that our panelists have faced online, all because they are studying this topic,” Dr. Nicola Fox, associate administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate, said during the hearing. “NASA stands behind our panelists and we do not tolerate abuse.”

The panelists acknowledged that the current data on UFO sightings is likely incomplete due to military personnel, as well as commercial and private pilots, hesitating to report sightings due to this stigma.

“One of our goals in having NASA play a role is to remove stigma and get high-quality data,” Dr. David Spergel, the panel’s chair, said. “If I were to summarize in one line what I feel we’ve learned, it’s we need high-quality data.”

For example, footage that has recently circulated from 2021 depicting a possible UFO sighting over a Marine base in California was referred to investigative journalists Jeremy Corbell and George Knapp by military personnel over fears that stigma was preventing the incident from being passed along the proper chain of command.

“Sources come to me with military footage and they tell me ‘look this hasn’t been properly investigated, this hasn’t been put through the proper chain of command, because of stigma,'” Corbell told CBS News Los Angeles. “I’m really here today to help reduce stigma to UFO reporting, I think it’s so important that we are able to talk about this.”

However, recent efforts by Congress and government agencies to allocate more resources and conduct studies on UFOs have resulted in a reduced stigma around reporting such sightings, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Meanwhile, Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, stated in a House subcommittee hearing last year that there has been an increase in sightings as the stigma has diminished.

“Reports of sightings are frequent and continuing,” Bray told lawmakers. “The UAP Task Force database has now grown to contain approximately 400 reports. The stigma has been reduced.”

NASA’s independent panel convened as the Pentagon recently initiated its own investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena documented by military aviators and analyzed by defense and intelligence officials.

U.S. defense officials have said this recent push by the Pentagon to investigate such sightings has led to hundreds of new reports that are under examination, most of which have remained categorized as unexplained.

Though NASA emphasized when the panel was formed that there is “no evidence” linking unidentified aerial phenomena to extraterrestrial origins, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, head of the Pentagon’s newly established All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, stated that the existence of intelligent alien life has not been ruled out.

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