NASA has appointed its first director of UFO research after an independent scientific panel said it should play a larger role in detecting them.
It announced the move following the publication of a 33-page report, which contained a series of recommendations describing how the space agency could advance the US government’s understanding of such phenomena.
While the 16-team panel stressed there is “no reason to conclude” that any sightings have been alien in origin, it warned any mysterious flying objects were a “self-evident” threat to American airspace.
NASA has also sought to rename UFOs to UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena) to disassociate the panel’s activity from the public’s never-ending fascination with potential alien life.
The report comes more than a year after the space agency announced it was forming an independent team of scientists tasked with looking into UFO sightings.
It held its first public meeting back in May, where the panel said while there had been a rise in reported sightings, barely any could be deemed “anomalous”.
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But the possibility of aliens has continued to make headlines, not least because of a first-of-its-kind Congressional hearing about the topic earlier this summer.
Among those who gave evidence was a former US intelligence official who claimed “non-human biologics” have been recovered from crash sites and covered up.
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