The possibility of extraterrestrial visits to Earth is definitely being taken seriously in the United States: NASA announced on Thursday, June 9, the launch in the fall of a multi-month investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena , the famous UFOs. There is no evidence that these phenomena are of extraterrestrial origin, stressed the space agency from the outset.
But “If someone asked me if I thought there was irrefutable evidence of intelligent life in any of these phenomena, I would give a perfectly acceptable answer for a scientist, which is that I don’t know.”said at a news conference Thomas Zurbuchen, associate director of NASA.
However, the issue is extremely important, as it concerns both national security and air traffic security, the US agency said. The study will be conducted by eminent scientists and aeronautics experts. Scheduled to start in the early fall, it is expected to run for nine months and lead to a public report.
Three objectives are announced: to gather the existing data, to determine which ones are missing and how to best collect them, and to decide with which tools to analyze them in the future. “Today we have a very limited compilation of these observationssaid David Spergel, an astrophysicist at the helm of the work, at the same press conference. This makes it difficult to draw conclusions. »
But mountains of data actually exist, according to NASA experts, who want to collect them from governments, private companies, associations or individuals. The budget should not exceed $ 100,000.
The idea is to stigmatize the subject. “One of the results of this study, for me, would be to make everyone understand (…) that the scientific process is valid for dealing with all issues, including this one ”launched Thomas Zurbuchen, who says he decided to open the investigation himself.
In June 2021, US intelligence claimed in a long-awaited report that there was no evidence of extraterrestrials, while acknowledging that dozens of phenomena observed by military pilots could not be explained. And in May, for the first time in more than fifty years, the U.S. Congress held a public hearing on it. According to the Pentagon, an increasing number of unidentified objects have been reported in the sky for the past twenty years. And they inevitably provoke the craziest speculation.
“I think new scientific mechanisms are going to be discoveredfor his part judged Thomas Zurbuchen. There have been many cases where something that seems almost magical has turned out to be a new scientific effect. Never underestimate what nature is capable of. »
Experts said they would embark on this project without any preconceived notions. But for David Spergel, UFOs probably bring together different phenomena, which cannot be placed under a single explanation. The study may not immediately clarify many aspects, he conceded, but rather should provide a roadmap to move towards that goal in the future.
NASA is already looking for other life forms in space
NASA is already looking for extraterrestrial life in space, for example by looking for traces of ancient life in microbial form on Mars, or technosignatures from other planets (signals showing the presence of technology).
But this is the first time the U.S. space agency has seriously considered this possibility on Earth. “I don’t think anyone has ever looked at systematically unidentified aerial phenomena in the past.”, Daniel Evans, in charge of coordinating the study for the space agency, said on Thursday. But “Over the decades, NASA has responded to the call to tackle some of the most puzzling mysteries we know, and this is no different.”.