NASA has published its first-ever study into hundreds of UFO sightings in recent decades and concluded there is ‘no reason’ to believe any cases are aliens – yet.
The unprecedented report, which comes as UFO fever reaches a tipping point in the US, analyzed more than 800 cases across three decades — albeit with a budget of just $100,000 and only about nine months to conduct their work.
The panel concluded: ‘To date, in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, there is no conclusive evidence suggesting an extraterrestrial origin for UAP [UFOs].’
However, NASA’s panel of experts had been primarily tasked with the goal of recommending investigative avenues for future UFO research, advising on how the US space agency’s own tools could aid in the search for ET visitation.
The panel noted that, to date, most sightings are recorded with equipment intended for nonscientific purposes under ‘serendipitous’ or accidental circumstances.
‘Coupled with incomplete data archiving and curation,’ the NASA panel wrote, ‘this means that the origin of numerous UAP remain uncertain.’
Above, a weather balloon careens through the air following its release from the Cape Canaveral weather station in Florida. NASA’s panel included this image in their report as an example of the striking, highly unusual objects that nevertheless have a terrestrial explanation
NASA did admit to cases that remain baffling, including this ‘metallic orb’ recorded by an MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Mid East, first presented to Congress by Pentagon physicist Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick. NASA’s report today said, ‘Due to limited data, the object remains unidentified’
NASA announced last year that it would review evidence regarding unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAPs), more commonly known as unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Their panel defined UAP as sightings ‘that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific perspective.’
In their final report issued today, the NASA team elaborated that, in their scientific view, the bar for proof of extraterrestrial visitors to Earth must be kept high.
Long-awaited: In their final report, the NASA team elaborated that, in their scientific view, the bar for proof of extraterrestrial visitors to Earth must be kept high, ‘the answer we turn to only after ruling out all other possibilities’
‘In the search for life beyond Earth, extraterrestrial life itself must be the hypothesis of last resort,’ the panel wrote, ‘the answer we turn to only after ruling out all other possibilities.’
‘As Sherlock Holmes said, ‘Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
In May, NASA’s independent study team shared their preliminary observations — that up to 98 per cent of reported UAP sightings can be explained away.
Just 2 to 5 per cent are considered ‘possibly really anomalous’, the panel added, but a lack of high-quality data is hampering researchers’ ability to apply ‘rigorous scientific scrutiny’ to the mystery-solving.
These genuinely unexplained UAPs are defined as ‘anything that is not readily understandable by the operator or the sensor,’ or ‘something that is doing something weird,’ said team member Nadia Drake earlier this year.
Feedback: In May, NASA’s independent study team (pictured) revealed their preliminary observations — that up to 98 per cent of reported UAP sightings can be explained away
One sighting from Southeast Asia that NASA did have a provisional explanation for involved a UAP that appeared to warp and compress the air around it, a process called cavitation. They concluded the unusual effect was ‘likely a sensor artifact resulting from video compression’
It is unlikely that today’s report will provide any ground-breaking new information that wasn’t revealed at the first public meeting in May, but it could eventually usher in the start of a new mission for the US space agency.
While NASA’s probes and rovers currently scour the solar system for any signs of alien life, its historic posture has been to ‘debunk’ sightings on our home planet.
However, the US government has started to take UAPs more seriously in recent years, partly because of concerns that some could be related to foreign surveillance.
The Pentagon has received 350 reports of UFOs in the past two years, and 171 of them remain unexplained.
NASA’s study is separate to the Pentagon’s investigation into UAPs, which saw US lawmakers hear first-hand accounts of UFO sightings from former members of the military earlier this year.
The US space agency’s panel is leading the civilian, unclassified side of the effort, while the US Department of Defense has convened a government body to examine UAPs in co-ordination with the intelligence and military communities.
NASA put together an independent team of 16 scientific, aeronautic, and data analytic experts with the aim of analyzing sightings of UAPs from a logical and scientific perspective.
‘We have access to a broad range of observations of Earth from space – and that is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry,’ the space agency’s Thomas Zurbuchen said last year before the study began.
‘We have the tools and team who can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That’s the very definition of what science is. That’s what we do.’
Interesting: Earlier this year the Department of Defense released a document disclosing the ‘world’s UFO hotspots’. It includes a map showing where the most sightings of unidentified objects have been recorded, based on reports between 1996 and 2023
Classified report: NASA’s study is separate to the Pentagon’s investigation into UAPs (pictured)
NASA’s report included images of unusual, but earthbound phenomena that could be mistaken for ET, including this rare type of lightning known as a red sprite (left). The study had less civilian data like this UAP near Japan’s Senganmori mountain from the International UFO Lab
The report is due to be published at 09:30 ET (14:30 BST) today.
This will be followed by a media briefing at NASA’s headquarters in Washington from 10:00 ET (15:00), where the panel will discuss its findings.
The press conference will be streamed live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website here.
‘We recognize that public interest in UAPs is high, and that the demand for answers is strong,’ Daniel Evans, the NASA official in charge of the study, said in May.
‘It is now our collective responsibility to investigate these occurrences with the rigorous scientific scrutiny that they deserve.’
He added: ‘All of NASA’s data is available to the public – we take that obligation seriously – and we make it easily accessible for anyone to see or study.’
Former intelligence official said the DoD is covering up evidence related to extraterrestrials
The US government has been forced to take the presence of unidentified flying objects more seriously in recent months.
Former intelligence official David Grusch testified under oath in July that the Pentagon had first-hand encounters or knowledge of secret government programmes involving technology that is ‘non-human’.
‘My testimony is based on information I’ve been given by individuals with a long-standing track record of legitimacy… whom have shared compelling evidence in the form of photography, official documentation and classified oral testimony to myself and many various colleagues,’ Grusch said, adding that he was driven to share by a ‘commitment to truth and transparency.’
Its release comes come roughly a month after David Grusch claimed the Pentagon is covering up evidence related to extraterrestrials in a bombshell testimony before Congress
‘I am asking Congress to hold our government to this standard and thoroughly investigate these claims,’ he told lawmakers at the time. ‘But as I stand here under oath now, I am speaking to the facts as I have been told them.’
He told the committee that he and more than 30 aircrew members and veterans had experience of UAPs, unidentified anomalous phenomena, along with members of Congress who have confided in him.
He also claimed the government has ‘intact and partially intact’ extraterrestrial vehicles, although he provided no evidence to support that or any of his other assertions.
Suggesting the American people had been left in the dark for nearly a century, he claimed the first recovery of a UFO was in Magenta, Italy, in 1933.
An artist’s impression of the alleged 1933 UFO crash outside Magenta in northern Italy shows a craft shaped like a saucer
He said Mussolini’s Italian government held it until 1944 through 1945 when Pope Pius XII tipped America off about it.
When asked if he firmly believes the government had UAPs, Grusch responded: ‘Absolutely.’
He said his view was based on interviews with at least 40 witnesses.
Asked where the craft are, he said: ‘I know the exact locations and those locations were provided to the inspector general … I actually had the people with the first-hand knowledge provide a protected disclosure to the Inspector General.’
He further claimed he has faced brutal retaliation after coming forward about his firsthand accounts of UFOs.
‘I do have knowledge of active planned reprisal activity against myself and other colleagues,’ Grusch said.
‘There were certain colleagues of mine that were brutally administratively attacked. It makes me very upset as a leader to see that happen to other co-workers and superiors of mine in the last three years.’