NASA has announced that it will convene a commission to study “unidentified atmospheric phenomena” (UAP), also known as UFOs – while saying it does not believe they are “of extraterrestrial origin”.
The space agency unveiled the 16-member panel that will focus on “unclassified observations and other data collected from the civilian government and commercial sectors.”
The panel is chaired by David Spergill, former chair of astrophysics at Princeton University, and other members include Annamaria Beria, a research firm of the SETI (Search for Intelligence Life) Institute in Mountain View, California; retired NASA astronaut and test pilot Scott Kelly; and others ranging from oceanographers to astrophysicists to science journalists.
The commission is separate from the Pentagon group that investigates UAPs reported by military pilots and investigated by US defense and intelligence officials. Now, the US government is effectively running two tracks of UFO investigations after keeping that work behind closed doors for years, Engadget reports.
And it’s clear that special effects experts like Corridor Crew are skilled at spotting obvious fakes and altered clips. In a recent video, the group debunked a number of popular UFO videos, even from the Pentagon, attributing them to ordinary events such as camera iris, birds, and infrared lens light.
NASA itself doesn’t seem to think there’s much going on with these videos and scenes either, however, and said the committee still plays an important role in deciding how to classify them — even if there are no aliens involved.
“Understanding the data we surround ourselves with about unidentified atmospheric phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator. “Data is the language of scientists and makes the inexplicable explainable.”