an alien exits a space ship in "the day the earth stood still"

NASA Announces Study Team For Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (Yes, That Means UFOs)

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense released unsettling footage of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (known by the general public as UFOs) recorded by Navy pilots. Now, NASA has put together its UAP study team, and we may be one step closer to finding out what exactly those objects are.

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The UAP study, which was first announced in June 2022, is tasked with gathering data about UAP and figuring out how NASA can use that data to understand what’s going on in the skies. The team consists of 16 members, including astronaut Scott Kelly, several astrophysicists and engineers, one SETI Institute researcher, a science journalist, and other experts. According to study coordinator Daniel Evans, assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, “NASA has brought together some of the world’s leading scientists, data and artificial intelligence practitioners, aerospace safety experts, all with a specific charge, which is to tell us how to apply the full focus of science and data to UAP.”

Evans also said that “the findings will be released to the public in conjunction with NASA’s principles of transparency, openness, and scientific integrity.” The full roster of the study team is available on NASA’s website. The U.S. Department of Defense first released the UAP videos in spring 2020, after confirming in a statement that the phenomena the pilots recorded was “unidentified.” In the videos, circular objects zoom through the sky as the pilots filming them laugh and express amazement at what they’re seeing, saying, “Look at that thing!” and “Oh my gosh, dude!”

What exactly are UAP?

That’s just it—nobody knows. If there’s a working theory, it hasn’t been released to the public.

When the videos were first released, government officials like Marco Rubio speculated that the objects could be drones or other aircraft from Russia or China. Other researchers believe the objects could actually be alien spacecraft. According to the New York Times, astrophysicist Eric W. Davies briefed the DOD in 2020 on materials recovered from “off-world vehicles not made on this earth.”

Even though the study team’s report is slated to be released in mid-2023, don’t expect answers anytime soon. The team is only tasked with recommending how NASA can use data on UAP going forward. The team won’t be hazarding any guesses on what the UAP might actually be. Meanwhile, unexplained objects, wherever they came from, are presumably still in the skies. Enjoy your day!

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>