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NASA has officially announced that it is stepping up its efforts to hunt for UFOs, and will assist the US government’s investigations into the search for extraterrestrial life.
The news comes following the first congressional hearings into ‘Unexplained Aerial Phenomena’ (UAPs) in more than fifty years, which took place earlier this month, resulting in the creation of a new government-mandated task force dedicated to examining the existence of unidentified aircraft.
During the hearings, the Pentagon announced that since last year it had been compiling hundreds of reports of UAPs, which appeared to rely on ‘leap-ahead’ technologies not currently known to exist in any of the world’s major military arsenals.
“Reports of sightings are frequent and continuing,” Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, told a subcommittee of the House Intelligence Committee.
“The UAP Task Force database has now grown to contain approximately 400 reports. The stigma has been reduced.”
Whereas the hearings so far have been primarily concerned with the issue of defence and national security, NASA’s involvement in the project could see the space agency throw its considerable scientific weight behind the search for signs of extraterrestrial life, both in outer space and right here on Earth.
If confirmed, the announcement represents a huge leap for NASA, which has previously dismissed all suggestions it has anything to do with unidentified flying objects.
Speaking to the MailOnline, an anonymous US government source allegedly confirmed that the project will likely see the agency gather evidence from astronauts who claimed to have seen unidentified objects in space, and cross-reference their testimony with anomalous data from previous missions.
“It's going to be some sort of working group that will help support the DoD,” the source said. “It's looking to be complementary.
“I suspect it will be a combination of efforts that will include perhaps firsthand eyewitness testimony of NASA employees and astronauts, and then perhaps a review of old archival footage to assess if there are some findings within the NASA archives that can help [the UAP task force]," the source added.
The source also revealed that the Pentagon's UFO team has already requested footage from shuttle cameras on some of NASA's space missions as part of their investigations.
“There have been several alleged incidents involving NASA astronauts and NASA missions that involve UAP,” they said.
“Rather than ignoring it, I think NASA's doing the right thing by actually taking this topic head on.”
However, despite confirming the existence of the project, a spokesperson for NASA, Karen Fox, said that alien lifeforms are not the only explanation for strange phenomena spotted in the skies.
“The limited number of high-quality observations of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, which includes reported objects that cannot be immediately identified by individuals, currently makes it impossible to draw scientific conclusions about the nature of UAPs,” she said.
“NASA is evaluating how to provide our expertise in space-based Earth observations to improve understanding of UAPs.”
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