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What have the US Government and NASA said about UFOs?


UFOs are no longer a matter of science fiction movies: the US studies them and warns of possible threats.

UFOs, the new study branch of NASA 1:02

(CNN Spanish) --

UFOs - formally called "unidentified aerial phenomena" - have long ceased to be a matter of conspiracy theories and science fiction movies: the United States Government considers that they should be investigated and taken seriously as a potential threat to national security.

And NASA has decided to put its tools at the service of this mission.

The space agency announced in June the formation of a team to study these phenomena, which were the focus of debate at a public congressional hearing in May, the first in 50 years on the subject.

The news came a year after a much-anticipated report was released by the intelligence community about UFOs that had been sighted by Navy pilots in restricted military airspace over the last few decades.

And although that report left more questions than answers, its symbolic value is considerable: it was one of the first times that the administration publicly acknowledged that these sightings are worthy of study.

The issue, by then, was already hot on the agenda: the Pentagon had acknowledged months ago that leaked images and videos from 2019 of unidentified aerial phenomena were real.

In 2020, he had also posted three short videos from infrared cameras that appeared to show fast-moving flying objects and service members reacting.

143 reports without explanation

In the official report published in June 2021, it is stated that the Intelligence community examined 144 reports of "unidentified aerial phenomena" and by the end of the study could only explain one.

There is no evidence that what the pilots sighted is extraterrestrial life or technologies from adversaries such as China and Russia, although officials acknowledged that it was possible.

The only phenomenon they could identify "with great confidence" was a deflating balloon.

"The others remain unexplained."

Official figures show that sightings are on the rise.

From the 144 in the report, it went to more than 400, reported this year the deputy director of intelligence of the Navy, Scott Bray, although many reports are old and do not have enough documentary evidence to investigate them exhaustively.

national security problem

Despite the lack of findings, the government acknowledged that these objects "clearly pose a flight safety issue and may pose a challenge to the national security of the United States."

The security issues, he said, are primarily for airmen who "are faced with increasingly crowded airspace."

But they would also pose a national security challenge if it turns out to be "innovative or disruptive" technologies from potential enemies of the country.

Ahead of this year's congressional hearing on the issue, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said they were doing everything they must to "mitigate any security issues as many of these freaks have been seen in training camps."

"We are very concerned about flight safety," he remarked.

"Everyone who has paid enough attention to it understands that it should be taken seriously," former Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist, who established a task force in 2020 to investigate them, said of UFOs.

"If [these objects] had the Russian flag on the side, we wouldn't be having this conversation," Norquist said.

"Each one of these would be reported; everyone would be aware."

NASA prepares research team

NASA reported in June that it was assembling a team to study "events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific perspective."

The space agency said that these phenomena were of interest to it from a safety and security perspective and stressed that there is no evidence that they have an extraterrestrial origin.

The study will begin this fall and is expected to last nine months.

"We have the tools and the equipment that can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That is the very definition of what science is. That is what we do," Thomas Zurbuchen of the Science Mission Directorate said at the time. of NASA in Washington.

The limited number of observations makes it difficult to draw scientific conclusions about what the nature of these phenomena is, NASA explained, so their first task will be to "assemble the strongest data set" they can.

The Pentagon, for its part, recently created an office to "facilitate the identification of previously unknown or unidentified aerial objects in a methodical, logical and standardized manner."

"The bottom line is we want to know"

The news about the task force comes a year after then-new NASA chief Bill Nelson, a spaceflight veteran and former senator from Florida, launched an initiative to further investigate these phenomena.

In an interview with CNN Business in June 2021, Nelson said that he did not believe the UFO sighting was proof of the existence of extraterrestrial life, although he acknowledged that he could not rule it out as a possibility.

"We don't know if it's extraterrestrial. We don't know if it's an enemy. We don't know if it's an optical phenomenon," Nelson said.

"The bottom line is we want to know."

And the aliens?

That's what Obama asked about.

Barack Obama thinks about the existence of UFOs 1:26

Time after the Army confirmed the veracity of images and videos where unidentified objects could be seen, former President Barack Obama was consulted on the subject on "The Late Late Show with James Corden", on the CBS network.

"There are images and records of objects in the sky that we don't know exactly what they are. We can't explain how they move, their trajectory," he said in the serious part of his reply.

But he also appealed to the humor that continues to surround these phenomena: "When I became president I asked: Is there a laboratory somewhere where we keep the alien specimens and the spacecraft? They did some research and the answer was no."

With information from Jackie Wattles, Michael Roa, Katie Hunt, Ashley Strickland, Katie Bo Williams, Zachary Cohen, Jeremy Herb. 

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-07-02

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