NASA on Monday began an independent investigation on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), more commonly known as unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, The Epoch Times reported.
The study will be conducted using entirely unclassified data, NASA said. The team studying the UAP data hopes to make a recommendation for future analysis by the space agency, potentially leading to further studies.
“Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a media release. “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.”
The team will consist of a 16-member panel and will focus on data collected from civilian government entities, commercial data, and data from other sources.
“NASA has brought together some of the world’s leading scientists, data and artificial intelligence practitioners, aerospace safety experts, all with a specific charge, which is to tell us how to apply the full focus of science and data to UAP,” Daniel Evans, assistant deputy associate administrator for research at the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, said.
Evans, who is responsible for leading the study on UAPs, said the findings will be released to the public in compliance with NASA’s internal rules on transparency and scientific integrity.
The inquiry is unrelated to a separate, newly formalized investigation by the Pentagon into UAPs, according to Reuters.
NASA said in June that there is no evidence that UAPs are extraterrestrial in nature, although the Pentagon has been so far unable to determine the nature of the sightings by military personnel going back as far as 2004.