In the midst of Harvard University Professor Avi Loeb’s efforts to prove the existence of extraterrestrial material on Earth from beyond the solar system, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a 33-page report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) on the 14th. The report originates from an independent group of experts and scientists who have been assisting NASA in their research since 2022. So far, the research team has not found definitive evidence to explain unexplained events as originating from extraterrestrial life. However, the outcome of this study relies on non-classified data, leaving people wondering what the real answers might be.
The 33-page research report
The United States has always been a hotspot for UFO sightings, with 5,585 sighting reports submitted by local residents in Florida alone since January of this year. High-level officials have been attempting to explain these mysterious events. In June of this year, NASA held a public UFO hearing to investigate approximately 800 reports of unidentified flying objects over the past few decades. The research team stated that truly unexplainable phenomena make up only a small portion of these reports. Pilot Scott Kelly stated that in most cases, UFO events are simply stories of optical illusions. He recounted an incident where he and his co-pilot were flying near Virginia Beach, and his co-pilot “was convinced we had just passed a UFO.” “I didn’t see it. We turned around to look, and it turned out to be a Simpsons cartoon character – a balloon.”
Although the percentage is small, events that are “truly possibly anomalous” still exist. Since 2022, an independent team consisting of 16 scientists, data and artificial intelligence experts, and aviation safety specialists has been assisting NASA in investigating these UAP events. Their true purpose is not to find evidence of alien visitations but to use more scientific methods to collect and analyze data on anomalous phenomena.
After the report was released, NASA announced the appointment of a UAP research director, although the specific name was not disclosed for security reasons. “This is the first time NASA has taken concrete action to seriously study UAP phenomena,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. While there is currently no reliable evidence to explain that UAP phenomena originate from extraterrestrial life, Nelson hopes that with the development of artificial intelligence, existing technology can assist researchers in mining large amounts of data and collecting information to find answers. Nelson also added that given the vast number of stars and galaxies in the universe, he believes in the existence of other life in the cosmos. “NASA is committed to discovering another habitable planet like Earth in the universe.”
The report also emphasizes the need to eliminate bias and preconceived skepticism. “Science is a process of revealing reality, not shaping it, regardless of how unsatisfactory or puzzling that reality may be. Therefore, a rigorous, evidence-based, data-driven scientific framework is crucial to understanding UAP,” Nelson said. “We hope to shift the discussion about UAP from sensational stories to science. If intelligent life indeed exists, it may take millions or even billions of light-years to reach Earth without being detected.”
Searching for extraterrestrial life
NASA underscores the importance of science, but there are still many in the public who believe that “the U.S. government is hiding something.” In December 2017, The New York Times revealed a story about a U.S. government project called the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program,” which had an annual budget of $22 million and had been investigating reports of unidentified flying objects for years. However, the U.S. government has never made this project public. In the article, two Navy pilots described a mysterious event in 2004 off the coast of San Diego: an oval-shaped object seemed to hover 15 meters above the sea surface, then suddenly disappeared from sight; Navy pilot Ryan Graves also described encountering unidentified aircraft multiple times near the U.S. East Coast.
The appearance of UAP has never ceased. Just days before the release of the research report, NASA announced that the James Webb Space Telescope had discovered chemical traces of life on an exoplanet about 120 light-years from Earth. On the 12th of the local time, the Mexican Congress also held a public hearing on UAP. Unlike the U.S.’s “commitment to science,” its neighbor presented two “alien bodies” during the hearing, with elongated heads and three fingers on each hand. UFO expert Jaime Maussan claimed that the bodies were discovered in Cusco, Peru, in 2017, and after radiocarbon testing, he found that the bodies were 1,800 years old, with one of them containing “eggs.”
The authenticity of these two bodies is seriously doubted by the scientific community, primarily due to Maussan’s history of deception. In 2015, he claimed to have discovered an alien body in Peru, but it was later confirmed to be a mummified human child. NASA scientist David Spergel told the BBC that if Maussan genuinely believes he has found alien bodies, he should contribute samples to the scientific community to see what is inside.
The report released by NASA also brings to mind the ongoing work of Harvard University Professor Avi Loeb, who is dedicated to researching and searching for extraterrestrial life. Many people consider Loeb and his team to be engaged in a futile endeavor. “Many of my critics are bloggers or science communicators who have not written a single scientific paper, and I have written over a thousand,” Loeb said. “It’s like a commentator telling a football player how to pass the ball. How dare they? What gives them the right to say I haven’t been doing scientific work?”
“Psychologically, it’s hard for us to accept that our neighbors might be more advanced than we are,” Loeb said. “For me, it’s more about using the laws of physics to figure out what reality means, to look for things beyond Earth, not just to prove the existence of aliens.
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