NASA publishes UFO report, appoints director of UFO research

Washington NASA has created a new position within the space agency to oversee research into unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) events that appear in the night sky, also known as unidentified objects or UFOs.

The space agency revealed the new position in its preliminary report released Thursday based on findings from an interconnected scientific team assembled to determine how the space agency could analyze future UAP. While initially hesitant to name the appointee, hours after the announcement, the space agency revealed Mark McInerney as the new director of UAP research.

NASA commissioned a 16-person independent UAP study team in June 2022 to examine UAP events in the sky that are not aircraft or natural phenomena. The study team did not seek to determine the reason for seeing unidentified objects, but rather sought to find a way for NASA to study them in the future.

“NASA’s independent study team found no evidence that UAPs have an extraterrestrial origin, but we don’t know what these UAPs are,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.

The study team focused on a way to evaluate and study UAP using data, technology and other scientific tools already available. On Thursday, the group and NASA released the results, which provide NASA with a roadmap for future dealing with unidentified events.

NASA defines UAP as “observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific perspective.” According to the space agency, there is a limited amount of qualitative observations of these events, making it “impossible to draw firm scientific conclusions about their nature.”

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The space agency included images of weather and space weather phenomena such as sprites and aurora borealis in its report, but weather was not the cause of the recent UAP events. However, the study group recommended using weather radars, including the NEXRAD Doppler radar network, and NOAA’s GOES satellites, to distinguish between “objects of interest and airborne clutter.”

NASA asks public to treat new UAP research director ‘with respect’

Panelists said negative perception surrounding UAP reporting poses an obstacle to data collection. NASA’s involvement may help reduce the stigma associated with reporting unidentified objects, according to the 36-page report.

Among the team’s goals is to “shift the conversation from excitement to science,” Nelson said.

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Part of the conspiracy and obsession surrounding the UAP is why NASA did not initially announce who it had appointed as the new director of UAP research.

In the nine months following the study team’s announcement, panel members saw some “extremely inappropriate behavior” and were harassed by people on social media, said David Spergel, head of the UAP’s independent study and president of the Simons Foundation.

Dan Evans, associate deputy administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said some of the behavior toward committee members was “out of the ordinary” and ranged from “simple trolling” to “actual threats.”

“Given the interest, I co-select NASA’s Mark McInerney, director of UAP Research,” said Nikki Fox, NASA associate administrator for science. Written on X. “As we continue to digest the study team’s report and findings, please treat it with respect in this pivotal role to help us better understand UAP scientifically.”

McInerney was previously the liaison between NASA and the Department of Defense regarding UAP activities. He worked in various positions at the space agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Hurricane Center throughout his 27-year career, NASA said.

“In the director’s role, he will centralize communications, resources, and data analytical capabilities to create a robust database for future UAP evaluation,” NASA said. “It will also leverage NASA’s expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and space-based observation tools to support and advance the broader government initiative on UAP.”

This comes after the Ministry of Defense established the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) to examine similar events. NASA’s UAP Research Director will serve as the liaison to the Department of Defense office.

NASA plans to publish its findings on UAPs in an effort to be transparent and avoid some of the conspiracies surrounding these events.

The independent UAP report was released the day after self-proclaimed “ufologist” Jaime Mosan brought two “non-human” corpses to a congressional hearing in Mexico and claimed they were aliens.

When asked about the events in Mexico, Spergel said the Mexican government should make samples available for further study.

“If you have something strange, make the samples available to the global scientific community, and we’ll see what’s out there,” Spergel said. “That’s one of the main goals of what we’re trying to do here today is to move speculation and conspiracy toward science and reason.”

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