According to the panel members, the greatest challenge was a dearth of scientifically reliable methods for documenting UFOs, typically sightings of what appear as objects moving in ways that defy the bounds of known technologies and laws of nature.
An independent group of scientists and experts convened by NASA to study unidentified anomalous phenomena, known as UAPs or UFOs, said in their first public meeting on Wednesday that dearth of scientifically reliable methods for documenting UFOs and a lingering stigma pose the greatest barriers to unraveling such mysteries.
The 16-member body, formed last year among experts across various fields from astrobiology, data science, to policy and planetary science, on May 31 held a four-hour session streamed live on a NASA webcast. The session was aimed at deliberating their preliminary findings ahead of issuing a report expected later this summer.
The panel’s chairman, astrophysicist David Spergel, said his team’s role was “not to resolve the nature of these events,” but rather to give NASA a “roadmap” to guide future analysis, according to a Reuters report.
The officials said several panelists had been subjected to unspecified “online abuse” and harassment since beginning their work in June last year.
NASA’s science chief, Nicola Fox, in her opening remarks said that it is really disheartening to hear of the harassment that the panelists have faced online because they’re studying this topic. Harassment only leads to further stigmatization, Nicola Fox stated.
According to the panel members, the greatest challenge, however, was a dearth of scientifically reliable methods for documenting UFOs, typically sightings of what appear as objects moving in ways that defy the bounds of known technologies and laws of nature.
The underlying problem, they said, is that the phenomena in question are generally being detected and recorded with cameras, sensors and other equipment not designed or calibrated to accurately observe and measure such peculiarities.
Spergel said that if he were to summarise in one line on what he feels the panel has learned, it’s the need for high-quality data. The current existing data and eyewitness reports alone are insufficient to provide conclusive evidence about the nature and origin of every UAP event, Sergel said.