$100,000, nine months and a group of researchers

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NASA has had enough of UFOs. And, precisely for this reason, not only is it committed to a name change for the phenomenon, but it has also decided start the largest institutional study ever done. Nine months, $100,000 and a panel of investigators to put an end to the UFO conspiracy and try to bring them into the mainstream scientific world.

The UFO problem. Although it may seem surprising, historically speaking, NASA has shown very little interest in UFOs. Almost all the investigation, monitoring and analysis of this type of phenomenon fell into the hands of the US Department of Defense. In fact, although it evidently collaborated with many levels of the US government, the space agency was not part of either the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force nor of Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.

The ultimate reason for this is simple: for decades most of the really existing UFOs were, in reality, military operations of one of the two large military blocs and including NASA in all of this meant sharing confidential information. It is still the case in many cases.. However, with the opening of the space race to private actors, the situation has changed.

From UFOs to FANIs. What has changed, above all, is that we now have an explosion of data about what happens in near-Earth orbit. Therefore, NASA has realized that it is necessary to bring a large part of these issues into the light of modern science.

And that happens by starting to stop talking about UFOs and adopt other denominations that (although they are not novelties in the strict sense) are free of negative or pseudoscientific connotations: “unidentified aerial phenomenon” is surely the one that enjoys the most popularity.

A long-term project. But the name change is only a very small part. In reality, “the study will focus on identifying what data is available, how to best collect future data, and how NASA can use this data to advance scientific understanding of UAP,” explained Thomas Zurbuchenassociate administrator for agency science missions.

It seems like a very gray and boring approach (and, honestly, maybe it is), but the truth is that we are talking about a field that is as poor in data as it is rich in speculation. Anything about finding ways to collect lots of data, conduct research, and enable powerful scientific analysis is good news.

A paradigm shift. However, the project has just started. Or rather, it hasn’t even just started. It will start in the fall and, as I say, the first phase will take place over nine months. Many things depend on its success, but above all depends on a paradigm shift that (finally) allows us to discover, with light and stenographers, that “truth that is out there”.

Image | albert antony

NASA has had enough of UFOs. And, precisely for this reason, not only is it committed to a name change…

NASA has had enough of UFOs. And, precisely for this reason, not only is it committed to a name change…

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