Nasa cannot yet explain all of the mysterious sightings that have been spotted in the sky, a major new report has said.
A panel assembled by the space agency to examine Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, or UAPs, said that more and better data is required to be able to explain them.
Recently, a number of people – primarily military pilots – have said they have spotted unrecognisable objects over the US. While some have been explained as having known natural or human-made causes, some continue to defy explanation.
To better understand where those still mysterious phenomena are coming from, the space agency’s panel urged it to come up with “a rigorous, evidence-based, data-driven scientific framework” to better examine and understand them.
Some of that can be done by Nasa, it said, and the space agency should play a “prominent role”. But the research must be done across the US government.
Nicola Fox, the associate administrator of Nasa’s Science Mission Directorate, says begins the report by saying that UAPs are “one of our planet’s greatest mysteries”.
“Observations of objects in our skies that cannot be identified as balloons, aircraft, or natural known phenomena have been spotted worldwide, yet there are limited high-quality observations,” she writes. “The nature of science is to explore the unknown, and data is the language scientists use to discover our universe’s secrets.
“Despite numerous accounts and visuals, the absence of consistent, detailed, and curated observations means we do not presently have the body of data needed to make definitive, scientific conclusions about UAP.”