Why Did NASA Just Announce an Official UFO Investigation? | Unveiled

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In this video, Unveiled takes a closer look at NASA's recent announcement that it will conduct an independent review into UFOs! For decades, NASA has distanced itself from UFO talk... but now it's had a change of heart, and it could be a defining moment for UFO study!

Why Did NASA Just Announce an Official UFO Investigation?

For decades, although UFO claims have attracted headlines all over the world, it’s rarely seemed as though they’ve gotten top tier attention. The authorities and the higher-ups have typically smoothed over UFO stories, explained them away, and sometimes outright mocked them. But that’s no longer the case. And as we move through the twenty-first century, the UFO question is becoming an increasingly major focus at the top end of American space research.

This is Unveiled, and today we’re answering the extraordinary question; why did NASA just announce an official UFO investigation?

By now, we’ve all seen enough sci-fi movies to know many of the most popular UFO tropes in the mainstream. Flying disks, beams of light, impossible movements that appear to defy physics… and vehicles that are often piloted by green-ish, gray-ish mystery figures from an alien world or time. But, alongside all of that, UFO clips from the real world have now been burned into our collective consciousness, too. There’s an ever-lengthening list of officially declassified videos (usually from within the military) and thanks to the fact that most of everyone carries a camera around in their pocket nowadays, there are countless (and no less intriguing) amateur UFO films, as well.

For so long, the US government and agencies had stayed well out of it. Or, at least, that was the official stance. And perhaps this seeming disassociation by the authorities has historically led to a general feeling that UFOs weren’t worth worrying about. That, “unidentified” as they may be, there was always (probably) a simple explanation to be found. The change in recent times, then, is clearly a significant one. There have been a number of milestones, but some bigger than others. First, details of AATIP (the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program) were leaked in 2017, revealing a previously secret five-year government investigation into UFOs between 2007 and 2012. Second, the famous “Preliminary Assessment UAP Report” was published in June 2021, outlining more than one hundred unexplained UFO cases between 2004 and 2021. And now, third, that juggernaut of space and science, NASA, has entered the fray.

News broke on June 9th 2022, with NASA releasing a statement to outline its latest intentions. The Agency is to set up an “independent study on unidentified aerial phenomena”, or UAP – the preferred term of contemporary officials for UFOs. While the study’s exact goals are as yet unknown, its broadly pitched as a dedicated effort to pool all the existing UFO data together, and to identify “how best to collect future data”. Importantly, though, this won’t be just another analysis of properly declassified clips, only. Any and all UFO sightings may well be included. According to the astrophysicist and study lead, David Spergel, the NASA group “will be identifying what data – from civilians, government, non-profits, [and] companies – exists, what else we should try to collect, and how to best analyze it”. It is, then, a huge net that’s being cast here.

The news has been variously received with surprise by some, skepticism by others, but also celebration in some corners. Until now, and despite being the world’s leading space agency continually engaged in (among other things) the search for alien life, NASA has kept itself fairly distant from UFO talk. It’s arguably one of the main reasons why many UFO claims have struggled to earn credibility in the past. But, as of June 9th, it seems that NASA is officially recognising what (in the past) it seemingly ignored. And so, perhaps this could one day be remembered as a key breakthrough moment for UFO research. The head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, has already acknowledged the significance… saying, during a National Academies event; that “we [NASA] are not shying away from reputational risk”. Zurbuchen also conceded that some scientists may view the development as NASA “kind of selling out”.

But the Agency also remains adamant that there is scientific merit to its new approach, with Zurbuchen citing an until-now “data-poor field” as one of the biggest challenges relating to UFOs. NASA’s mission, then, in this instance, is to turn data-poor into data-rich, and thereby transform how we view, categorize and process UFO claims. At this moment, however, it appears as though this will still be more a side project rather than a long-term priority. The reported budget for the study is around $100,000 only, and it’s set to take just nine months to complete. Nevertheless, at the end of those nine months, whatever has been achieved and discovered will be open and available for the public to view, in line with NASA’s core principles toward transparency. Whereas the declassification of UFO clips in the past may have been caveated with a feeling of “what aren’t they telling us?”, that shouldn’t be what happens here.

As for wider predictions as to how NASA involvement could alter the landscape, it’s difficult to say. But might there be implications for SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence? In just the second paragraph of the opening statement to announce this study, NASA says “there is no evidence UAPs are extra-terrestrial in origin”. So, it doesn’t appear as though they’re out to prove beyond doubt that particular aspect of the UFO story. And indeed, there’s a more straightforward mention of ensuring the safety of aircraft, for readers looking for an outright reason why NASA has decided to come to the party. And yet, the Agency concludes its statement with reference to the search for alien life in the final two paragraphs. “Although unrelated to this new study,” it says, “NASA has an active astrobiology program that focuses on the origins, evolution, and distribution of life beyond Earth”. There’s mention of its various other, SETI-orientated missions, too – including the Hubble and James Webb telescopes, plus rovers and orbiters on Mars, Titan, and Europa – before further comment; “NASA’s science missions are working together with a goal to find signs of life beyond Earth”. It’s perhaps not unreasonable to suggest, then, that this latest venture into UFO study is made with alien life at least partly in mind. NASA itself appears to be linking the two together from the outset.

What’s your verdict on this latest development? Is a NASA study good news for UFO research? Do you think it’ll have a positive or negative impact? And, ultimately, what do you expect NASA will uncover with its investigation? The debate over alien life certainly isn’t a new one, but its direction has changed and accelerated in recent decades. Today, many scientists, astronomers and cosmologists believe that alien life must be out there… that the chances of Earth being the only planet to host living things in the whole universe are just too unimaginably small. However, the take on UFOs is still generally very divided. There are claims that there are aliens on Earth; that there have always been aliens on Earth; or that there are unseen (but superior) forces watching us from afar. Yet, so far, nothing has been officially confirmed, and no single object (airborne or otherwise) has ever been unanimously verified as being alien-made.

Following the release of the much-anticipated UAP Report by the United States in June 2021, almost a year to the day before NASA revealed these plans for its own UFO study, there had been something of a muted reaction. With the report failing to provide an explanation for any case it covered (except one) but also refraining from linking any case to alien activity… it wasn’t quite as dramatic as some had expected. While illuminating to an extent, many felt that more information was needed, and the call for an independent study was widely made. Perhaps, in time, this NASA initiative will serve to provide more information. It’s scheduled to get underway in mid-to-late 2022 so, if the nine-month duration is kept to, we should see the first results sometime around mid-2023.

The modern UFO phenomenon has held the world’s attention for close to a century now. There have been endless examples of strange objects seen in the sky, and various conclusions made that they could be not of this world. However, the prevailing sense of unanswered mystery has almost always won out… and there’s so often a feeling that even if you want to believe, you might never know for sure. It remains to be seen whether that will still be the case, once the world’s leading space agency takes a closer look than it ever has done before.

What’s become increasingly clear in recent times is that there’s something of a sea change taking place amongst authority groups in the US. What was once dismissed or derided has now become a real point of interest, demanding more and more time, energy, intelligence, and focus. And that’s why NASA just announced an official UFO investigation.