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NASA team calls for end to UFO stigma as search for proof continues

NASA has made its latest pronouncement on the question of UAP sightings.
NASA has made its latest pronouncement on the question of UAP sightings. Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Andrew Naughtie, Euronews
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With ever more sightings of so-called 'UAP' being reported by US military personnel, new means for recording and studying them are badly needed.


A new report commissioned by NASA has outlined how the US's space agency can do more to help explain mysterious flying objects spotted around the world, this at a time when theories and claims about extraterrestrial visitations to Earth are suddenly circulating widely once again.

The paper on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, or UAP – the US government's preferred term for what are popularly called UFOs – argues that even though many of the sightings recorded in recent years have since been revealed as nothing out of the ordinary, there remain more than a few that are not explicable with current data.

NASA's role, the authors write, is to use the full spectrum of its technological power to improve monitoring and study of these phenomena – and to lend its unique credibility to an issue where rigorous scientific investigation is still hampered by stigma.

"The negative perception surrounding the reporting of UAP poses an obstacle to collecting data on these phenomena," the report's authors write.

"NASA’s very involvement in UAP will play a vital role in reducing stigma associated with UAP reporting, which almost certainly leads to data attrition at present. NASA’s long-standing public trust, which is essential for communicating findings about these phenomena to citizens, is crucial for destigmatising UAP reporting."

So serious is the stigma, according to the report, that even some of the very scientists commissioned by NASA to write it suffered directly as a result of their association with the UAP issue.

"At least one scientist serving on the study team reported receiving negative (hate) mail from colleagues due to their membership," the report reads. "Others were ridiculed and criticised on social media...These experiences further confirm the negative stigma associated with studying unusual or unexplained phenomena. Such criticism, either by detractors or by proponents of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, are anathema to the scientific method, which NASA always has and will continue to promote in an objective and open-minded fashion.

"As a Federal agency, NASA can make it safer for researchers to explore data within the civilian aerospace domain by starting that work within the Agency itself."

However, the NASA report's authors take pains to point out that they do not yet have definitive explanations for the UAP sightings that have not as yet been explained.

They also offer evidence that an object shown in one well-known video clip released by the US Navy was almost certainly not moving at an unusually high speed, but "most likely drifting with the wind".

Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach/AP
This June 2023 image provided by the Space Telescope Science Institute shows the planet Saturn and three of its moonsSpace Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach/AP

Silence broken

The question of how to break through UFO-related stigma and encourage more reporting of sightings to the authorities has become paramount in recent years, as the US government has opened up dramatically on the subject of UAP.

Pathbreaking stories published in the American media starting in 2017 detailed how money has been directed to fund detailed Pentagon investigations of reports from military service members.

Since then, numerous members of Congress from both parties have worked hard to scrutinise the issue in public, with a view to freeing the issue as much as possible from the strictures of secrecy and government classification.

As a result, it has transpired that the number of UAP sightings by US military personnel around the world is dramatically higher than was known – even with the stigma against reporting them still very much alive.

Many Congressional efforts to address the issue have focused on the risk that UAP are evidence of ultra-advanced technology possibly being developed by an earthly US adversary, such as China.

However, this summer, a House of Representatives committee held a hearing featuring a military veteran and former intelligence official, David Grusch, who told the strikingly sympathetic bipartisan panel he had been shown evidence and heard witness testimony that confirmed the US is in possession of crashed alien spacecraft and "non-human biologics" retrieved from wreckage.

He did not produce evidence to back up his claims, but promised to share it with the committee within the confines of a secure facility.

He also alleged that along with other military staff aware of the supposed full extent of the US government's activities in this area, he has been harassed and threatened to deter him from making his claims public.

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