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After Decades of Dismissal, NASA Finally Studying UFOs

On the heels of the first public UFO hearing on Capitol Hill in more than 50 years, NASA has just announced it will form its own independent team to study UFOs, or UAPs as the government now calls them.

Writing in a release, NASA says it will study, “[O]bservations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena – from a scientific perspective”

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’S associate administrator for science added, “We have the tools and team who can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That’s the very definition of what science is. That’s what we do.”

For context and perspective, we talked to Nick Pope who served at the UK’s Ministry of Defense covering UFOs for years.

“Well, this NASA announcement is groundbreaking,” Pope said. “I very much welcome it, I think it’s long overdue, and I think it’s very interesting — you could read it a number of ways. Firstly, you could say that this was just filling an obvious gap that the military and intelligence community are actively researching and investigating as a result of congressional interest — and more than interest of course, it’s in the Defense bill, so it’s a mandate.”

“So you could just say that well, they want a science plan in all of this NASA is logically the place to do it. But there’s another way that you could interpret it: NASA doing their own inquiry is arguably a sort of statement that they don’t perhaps have confidence in the way that the DoD and intelligence community are moving ahead, and they want to do it their own way and use their own resources and capabilities,” he said.

This is a major break from the past for the space agency, which has avoided any serious discussion of aerial phenomena for decades. So why is it doing this and why now?

“This is a complete 180-degree turn,” Pope said. “NASA previously said, ‘[W]e are looking for extraterrestrial life, but its a scientific search, we are not, as part of that, looking at UFOs. We are not interested in UFO sightings. We have not investigated and will not.’”

“And now it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, we better take a look at this.’ So, either they realized that they’d been missing a trick, or the doubters are correct when they say, ‘Come on, they were always in this game, now they’ve got to be open about it.’ But either way, this is a dramatic u-turn. You can’t overstate the importance of this, because they were absolutely adamant that they were not going to touch this subject, and now, here they are at the heart of it,” Pope said.

Pope has been involved with UFO studies for nearly 30 years looking at the bigger picture. What does this announcement mean? Could this lead us to disclosure?

“This is vindication, this announcement is really, I think, a validation of what a lot of people know, suspect, believe — depending on who they are and what access they’ve had — and it’s another piece of the puzzle,” Pope said. “I think four or five years ago, nobody would have realistically thought we’d be where we are now. I mean, it’s just revelation after revelation; the existence of the Pentagon’s AATIP program, the US Navy videos and photos of these, classified briefings in Congress, a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, public hearings, open hearings, in congress, and probably more to come — and now this NASA announcement. All I can say is, ‘my goodness, what’s next?’”

The team will begin their study this fall and it should last about nine months.

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