NASA has just held its first public meeting on its study of UFOs, revealing some surprisingly juicy information about the reports they've gathered. Among the hundreds of sightings they have received, many have involved reports of unexplained metallic orbs flying at high altitudes all around the world.
The was panel launched last year with the aim of studying UFOs – unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) as they are now officially referred to – using data-driven scientific standards. The public meeting this week comes ahead of a final report that’s expected to be published this summer.
The panel of experts said there have been around 800 events collected over the past 27 years. All of these sightings were made in Earth’s airspace, not space nor even the sea. Many of these can be explained as commercial aircraft, civilian and military drones, or weather and research balloons.
However, between 2 to 5 percent of those events were said to “display signatures that could be anomalous” and are not readily understandable. Around half of these reports involve unusual orbs or round spheres, which appear metallic, that have been spotted by aircraft at high altitudes.
“This is a typical example of the thing that we see most of. We see these all over the world and we see these making very interesting apparent maneuvers,” Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the US Department of Defense’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), told the crowd.
The hotspots of UAP sightings were located on the east and west coasts of the US, over the Middle East, and in the Pacific. However, Kirkpatrick explained this is likely to be a sampling bias, as these are the parts of the world that are closely monitored by the US military.
One of the chief takeaways of the session was that the scientific study of UAPs needs more high-quality data to properly investigate unusual sightings.
"Without sufficient data, we are unable to reach defendable conclusions that meet the highest scientific standards we set for resolution,” added Kirkpatrick.
The panel was also keen to stress that NASA’s UAP study team has been harassed by online trolls, something they say is hampering their efforts to understand this phenomenon.
“It is really disheartening to hear of the harassment that our panelists have faced online all because they're studying this topic,” commented Nicky Fox, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
“Harassment only leads to further stigmatization of the UAP field significantly hindering scientific progress and discouraging others to study this important subject matter. harassment also obstructs the public's right to knowledge,” she added.