Anomalous aerial phenomena deserve to be studied by science

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 4 nov 2020, 8:31 por Plataforma Sites Dgac
For approximately three years, anomalous aerial phenomena, more commonly known as UFOs, have once again attracted the attention of the general public and the mainstream media due to leaks of footage from the US Navy in 2017 that this year were confirmed as real by the Pentagon.
Ravi Kopparapu, a NASA planetary scientist and co-author of the article published by Scientific American.

Picture of one of the UAP captured in video by the US Navy that was leaked to the public in 2017.

Jacob Haqq-Misra, an astrobiologist and researcher at the 
Blue Marble Space Institute of Science and co-author of the article published by Scientific American.
While media such as The New York Times continue to publish articles on the subject with some regularity and anticipate possible new disclosures by the US authorities, at the end of July, 2020, Scientific American magazine published an article signed by NASA planetary scientist Ravi Kopparapu and by the astrobiologist and researcher of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science Jacob Haqq-Misra, in which they argue that anomalous aerial phenomena deserve a scientific investigation.
Multidisciplinary teams

In the article, the authors recall that in the 1960s there was already an interest in researching the subject of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in a scientific way and for that the United States Air Force hired the University of Colorado to conduct the study.

The UFO research project at the University of Colorado was led by the renowned physicist Edward Uhler Condon and operated between 1966 and 1968, studying cases and gathering information.

At the end of the investigation, the “Condon Committee” issued what is now known as the “Condon Report”, in which it concluded that further study of UFOs was unlikely to be interesting from a scientific point of view.

The “Condon Report” provoked great controversy in the late 1960s and is still debated today, as members of the committee denounced irregularities in the way the group operated and claimed that Condon had a negative bias towards the subject from the beginning. David Saunders, a psychologist and one of the main researchers of the group, published about it in a book-exposé entitled UFOs? Yes!

Following the publication of the “Condon Report”, the United States ended its official investigation into the UFO phenomenon, the well-known “Project Blue Book”, on December 17, 1969. Since then, it was assumed that the world power no longer investigated the anomalous aerial phenomena officially, but following leaks in 2017 it was known that there was a secret research program on “Unidentified aerial phenomena” at the Pentagon between 2007 and 2012.

With the renewed interest aroused by the recent revelations, the authors of the article published by Scientific American argue that UFOs not only deserve to be studied by science, but that for such study it is necessary to form multidisciplinary teams, in which experts in various subjects can collaborate, exchange information, points of view and complement skills.
Scientific curiosity

In the text, the authors indicate that the recent disclosures of videos and information on sightings of anomalous aerial phenomena have not generated an interest among the scientific community similar to that which they have aroused among the public and the media.

“Part of the reason could be the apparent taboo around the UAP phenomena, connecting it o the paranormal or pseudoscience, while ignoring the history behind it”, they argue.

“Why should astronomers, meteorologists, or planetary scientists care about these events? ... Because we are scientists. Curiosity is the reason why we became scientists”, they add, justifying an approach to the subject by scientists.
Furthermore, the authors emphasize that anomalous aerial phenomena are not unique to the United States, but are “a worldwide occurrence”.
“Several other countries studied them. So shouldn’t we as scientists choose to investigate and curb the speculation around them?”, they propose, and argue that systematic research is essential to make the phenomenon of interest to mainstream science.

“Perhaps some, or even most, UAP events are simply classified military aircraft, or strange weather formations, or other misidentified mundane phenomena. However, there are still a number of truly puzzling cases that might be worth investigating”, they warn.
“We do not know what UAP are, and this is precisely the reason that we as scientists should study them”, they conclude.