NASA team studying UFOs holds first public meeting ahead of final report

NASA held its first public meeting on UFOs on Wednesday, a year after launching a study into unexplained sightings and insisted it’s not hiding anything.

The space agency televised the four-hour hearing featuring an independent panel of experts who vowed to be transparent. The team was made up of 16 scientists and other experts selected by NASA, including retired astronaut Scott Kelly, the first American to spend nearly a year in space.

“I want to emphasise this loud and proud: There is absolutely no convincing evidence for extraterrestrial life associated with” unidentified objects, NASA’s Dan Evans said after the meeting.

NASA launched the study to probe what it calls UAP- short for unexplained anomalous phenomena – in the sky, in space or under the sea.

Some 800 unidentified aerial phenomena have been collected, Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, said on Wednesday. But “maybe only between 2% and 5%” are “really abnormal”, he said.

During the meeting, he showed two videos. The first depiected a spherical object seen in the Middle East in 2022, still unexplained today.

A second video showed three dots that appeared to be moving back and forth in a mysterious way. He explained these were actually aircraft in an air corridor, whose back-and-forth movements were caused by oscillations in the sensor itself.

Online harassment from sceptics

Since last June, some of the group’s experts have been subject to online harassment from sceptics. These acts reinforce the stigma surrounding the topic, said NASA’s chief, who added that the agency’s security is dealing with the issue. 

“It is really disheartening to hear of the harassment that our panellists have faced online because they’re studying this topic,” Nicola Fox said during the meeting.  “Harassment only leads to further stigmatisation.”

The meeting was held at NASA headquarters in Washington with the public taking part remotely.

A final report is expected by the end of July.

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