Welcome back. So the next part of our sessions, series of short presentations by members of the panel on their thoughts on different aspects of our charge. And the format is we're going to have them come up to the podium and speak. And I'm going to ask each of the speakers then to take questions. It's actually the angle with this setup, as you can see the people better from the podium than I can where it's hard to see people behind you. I'm going to try to keep manage the time. So as those questions, you know, come to an end, I'll cut you off and bring up the next speaker. And we'll move through the the six topics, and then we'll have some time at the end for some general discussion. The first speaker will be Dr. Nadia Drake, talking about framing the issues of UAP.
Hello, and welcome back from lunch, everybody, and welcome to those of you watching us virtually, I'm Nadia, I am a scientist by training. I'm also a science journalist now. And my job is to try and synthesize the information that we've learned so far, and summarize the situation. So if you will put together a framework for thinking about UAP. Now I'm going to try and do this in a way that reflects the thoughts of the entire panel, although obviously we have a variety of opinions and ideas among us. So I'd like to leave some time at the end for you to weigh in with disagreements or concurrences as needed. So first, a housekeeping matter. The definition of UAP changed during the seven months of our fact finding process. UAP initially stood for unidentified aerial phenomena with aerial.
So the next part of our sessions, a series of short presentations by members of the panel on their thoughts on different aspects of our charge. And the format is we're going to have them come up to the podium and speak. And I'm going to ask each of the speakers then to take questions. It's actually the angle with this setup, as you can see the people better from the podium than I can where it's hard to see people behind you. I'm going to try to keep manage the time. So as those questions come to an end, I'll cut you off and bring up the next speaker. And we'll move through the the six topics and then we'll have some time at the end for some general discussion. The first speaker will be Dr. Nadia Drake talking about framing the issue of UAP.
Hello, and welcome back from lunch, everybody. And welcome to those of you watching us virtually. I'm Nadia. I am a scientist by training. I'm also a science journalist now. And my job is to try and synthesize the information that we've learned so far, and summarize the situation. So if you will put together a framework for thinking about UAP. Now I'm going to try and do this in a way that reflects the thoughts of the entire panel, although obviously we have a variety of opinions and ideas among us. So I'd like to leave some time at the end for you to weigh in with disagreements or concurrences as needed. So first, a housekeeping matter. The definition of UAP changed during the seven months of our fact finding process. UAP initially stood for unidentified aerial phenomena with aerial referring to events occurring and Earth's atmosphere that is now defined as anomalous which includes the space air and undersea domains. As a panel, I think we have decided to continue focusing our recommendations on the aerial domain because that is where the majority of sightings and events have occurred. And also because we couldn't fully pivot to address the expanded scope of the new acronym. Beyond that, there are three points I want to make. The first is that for a number of reasons UAP are obviously quite interesting. Right? That is why we are here. Recently, many credible witnesses have reported seeing unidentified objects in the sky, some of which are behaving rather peculiarly, peculiarly. In some instances, these reports include corroborating data from various instruments, various sensors. The challenge that we have, is that the data needed to explain these anomalous sightings often do not exist, or incomplete for generating a conclusive analysis. This includes eyewitness reports, which on their own can be interest Seeing and compelling, but often lack the information needed to make definitive conclusions about an object's provenance. We as a panel are thinking about the types of data that might add value to those reports, and which could be useful on their own. As a corollary to date, in the refereed scientific literature, there is no conclusive evidence suggesting an extra terrestrial origin for UAP. Collecting more good data for the scientific community to review in a peer reviewed context will be important for progress to be to be made here. Second point UAP offer an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the power of the scientific method and of empirically addressing a question using a multidisciplinary approach. It is our job as a panel to make some recommendations about how NASA might go about tackling this topic scientifically, taking advantage of the agency's resources, global outreach and reputation. Key points to keep in mind here are that science is hypothesis science is hypothesis driven. Scientists build confidence in their theories, by relying on well calibrated well collected data, using well established methods with rigorous evaluation and independent corroboration. In science, skepticism is not a bias, nor is it a bad word. It is not our job to define nature, but to study it in ways that let nature reveal itself to us, regardless of how exciting or disappointing that reality might be. And to that end, when we're thinking about making recommendations about how NASA can tackle this topic scientifically, I think it's important to remember that it's not NASA's job to replicate the efforts of the department of defense, but rather to consider approaches that are complementary to what the all domain anomaly resolution office is doing. And so one of the questions that we as a panel, I think, need to center is what can we recommend that NASA can do that the DoD cannot? Third point to that end? What are we even looking for? How are we defining this problem? And how do the available data define what seems to be to borrow a cliche, a very slender needle in a very big haystack. We heard a little bit about that today from Dr. Kirkpatrick, who reported that there have been 800 events collected over about 27 years. And between two and 5% of those events display signatures that could be anomalous, defined as anything that is not readily understandable by the operator or the sensor, something that is doing something weird, Mr. Free, and some of the experts on our panel have defined the background on which those events exist, the amount of stuff in the sky at any given time, like so. On average, FAA, air traffic control handles 45,000 flights per day in US airspace, with 5400 aircraft in the sky at peak time. Worldwide. On average, there are about 1600 weather balloon launches per day. In the US there are at least 184 of those balloons launched. And that doesn't include private companies or research flights. There are about 1.6 9 million recreational or model small uncrewed aircraft systems, and an additional 880,000 Drones are registered for commercial use. And these are not controlled by air traffic control. And they're not scheduled flights. So that's our challenge. So when making recommendations as a panel, I think we need to look at what kind of imprint we want to leave. What does the situation look like five years from now? What does it look like 10 years from now? Why are we making these recommendations? We've heard a little bit about this this morning, from both Mike and David, who noted that many discoveries in science are rooted in initially unexplained and bizarre phenomena. So by carefully scrutinizing the sky or however, we end up defining our search space, and by collaborating across disciplines, we are likely to learn new things about our planet. That's a fact. And that's the commensal science case we might want to consider when making recommendations here. All right. Does anyone have thoughts,
questions, thoughts, comments? Currently challenging a little bit,
we changed a from aerial turn, as the legislation required, but I'm not sure we precluded anything beyond the aerial for this panel. And so I've just raised that question for us even though mostly what we've seen and I think national NASA mission space will be more the Aerial.
I agree with you and I think that is a parameter that we need to define as a panel.
I'll just quickly jump in and echo some remarks I made this morning that yes, the age changed from aerial to anomalous. But it's also accurate to say that the preponderance of events are in the aerial domain. That being said, your panel scope has expanded outward. So I think we'll hear a little bit from David later on that very subject.
When I think anomalous, people often think about it as going down and including ocean. But I think what's very relevant for NASA is going out. Right, and, you know, looking at things in our solar system, and I think, in some sense, I think there's certain responsibilities in, you know, we look at airspace, there's FAA responsibilities, there's DoD responsibilities, as you get further and further away from the Earth. Eventually, it's all NASA. Once you get out to, you know, towards most certainly much of the solar system and out to our galaxy, the term NASA, and when we start thinking about things, like, you know, and this will be David, we'll get to this observations beyond the Earth's atmosphere. I think this change in language, lets us also think about outward, you know, further out in the solar system as well. Other thoughts? Great. Did
I summarize everything totally, accurately Awesome.
All right. All right. Thank you. So I thought that was the perfect intro and segue by Dr. Drake for addressing why NASA what, what is or what are NASA's roles in UAP studies. So NASA primarily is a science driven agency. It's committed to exploring and understanding air and space. And this includes, as we were just discussing the unknown, right? Whether that's the farthest reaches of the Universe, or right here on our home planet. In that light, NASA has over 60 years of experience measuring phenomena in air and space in space, and air that might be aeronautics, astronomy, as well as measuring other Earth phenomena. And this may include aquatic or atmospheric phenomena as well. And they do this using the unique vantage point of space. NASA's mission, data and technical expertise in science and engineering may also help investigate and understand any of the reported phenomena. It makes sense to explore what new observations or measurements or studies might contribute to the understanding of reported phenomena. In that light, Dr. Fox made this point this morning, there's a tremendous archive of NASA data. These are from satellites and other space based and ground networks as well as other assets and these are freely and openly available to the public. NASA research as was mentioned also supports a wide range of methods. This includes advanced data analysis, modeling, cutting edge, computational and data visualization tools, and these are all useful for investigating unexplained observations, which may be crucial in studying these phenomena. discoveries and results are all publicly available. And this can be something from the characterization of extra terrestrial solar planets or the hole in the ozone layer. And these are communicated publicly through many outlets through the agency. NASA also has a long standing public trust. This is essential to communicate those findings about phenomena to the public. And as was mentioned several times very important to D stigmatize the reporting and raise awareness of cultural and social barriers to doing so. NASA has a unique strength in leveraging public and private partnerships that could result in new technologies that may be useful and observing and understanding reported phenomena. These partners could include other federal agencies we've heard from the FAA today, as well as NOAA was identified, and they may collect data that could help to understand reported phenomena. In addition, NASA has a strong record of international collaboration, which could be beneficial to study any of these phenomena as that may be require global cooperation and data sharing. And then one thing that really strikes me is that new understanding of anomalous events really comes from when we bring communities together interdisciplinary communities that would not necessarily collaborate. And in my world that might be biological and physical oceanographers. And I'd tell people to think a little more broadly, what if we brought together astronomers and or scientists like we did on this panel. So that those interdisciplinary research teams as well as citizen scientists could explore historical and current NASA in partner data for events or more importantly, for environmental conditions around the time of reported events, this may help in our understanding. And then finally, given us his experience with long term missions, long term projects in scientific focus, the agency is really well equipped to handle the extensive and ongoing study of phenomena investigation that this likely requires. So hopefully, that gave you some thoughts as to why NASA, I don't know if any of my fellow panelists agree or disagree. Discuss. Yes, Paula. Thank
you. So NASA has a great visibility in the community. And not and UAVs are obviously of great interest to a very diverse range of people. So can you speak a bit about the opportunity that this provides for NASA to expand? You know, the knowledge or the understanding of the scientific method?
Yes. So it's a great question. There are multiple opportunities, I think, UAP present. The first, as I mentioned, I think is to bring together interdisciplinary research teams and scientists and citizen scientists to really take a look at with a an objective and perhaps unique eye. What the NASA Data Archive actually means blend in the partnerships, a renewed partnership that's at the federal, the International and the private level. Right. So I think there are any number of pathways that people could pursue that could be really advantageous for helping us to understand what's happening with any reported UAP. questions.
Thank you, Paula. This is jelly. Right. Actually, my question and comment actually goes to both you and Nadia. Dr. Kirkpatrick gave us a definition of anomalous that was that it was not readily understandable to the operator of the sensor. And from the NASA's perspective, and we're a panel, I think we have to consider a broader definition, if we're talking about citizen science. And I'm curious of how we incorporate that, especially within the communication avenues that we were just discussing.
It's a good question. So not all data in an archive are user friendly, right, right out of the gate. But I think NASA does an excellent job. Making things like quick look or browse products available, you can go on the NASA website, you can look at different aspects of different things that the agency has its mission to study. And I think, if nothing else, people have become a lot more in touch with their surroundings and their environment and the changes happening there. And so I think there's probably an opportunity for people to maybe not become overnight experts in how to process satellite data and use it for basic research in a complex fashion. But there are ways to utilize those data to look at your environment, if you think you've, you know, seen something or you wish to report something. So communication engagement in the public, I think is a really important part of the D stigmatization for sure. Nadia, I don't know if you have anything to add.
I was I was struck by the phrase not readily understandable. I felt like that was actually doing a lot of work. So I think for our purposes, we probably want to come up with a slightly more specific definition of what anomalous actually means. Yes,
Okay, good. Thanks. Federica ROK next.
Hello, everybody, my name is Federico Bianca. I am an astrophysicist and a data scientist and bring this perspective to the panel. So for the next few minutes, I want to emphasize some of the things that my colleagues have already mentioned about the data particularly the status of the data that exists and what the data that we should collect. To really understand what maybe. We've already heard in a few cases by a few people that NASA's role is to explore the universe. Through the scientific method. The application of the scientific method to discovery requires that the data meets some standards that allow the data driven approach. And there are many standards that have been established in the scientific community over the years. I can mention one, for example, is called the Fair standard. We're fair cents for for inability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. The current status of the of the data about UAPs does not meet the standards. The data collection is inconsistent, it's in homogeneity, it's uncalibrated. The data are poorly documented, and largely incomplete. They're also not not systematically retrievable, which causes a problem in automation on the analysis. So what could benefit from data science and machine learning methods from artificial intelligence that is developing at a rapid pace, but machine learning and AI cannot be applied until the data mean the standards even to study a single event currently requires a significant lift in retrieving the data and the metadata that may or may not be available. And this lift is at the moment entirely person power, which means that it cannot be automated to apply machine learning methods. Organize repositories need to exist to enable the automation of retrieval of the data and the metadata. And this is a necessary premise to enable the systematic scientific approach to the study of UAPs. Anomaly detection is a well developed although notoriously hard discipline, and which has seen tremendous advances recently with data science and machine learning. Usually, this means that our team rare and unusual signals in a complex that is noisy, and rich with phenomena that we know. So there are two general approaches to anomaly detection in the scientific community. One is the following if we know the signal that we expect, we can model it and we can simulate it and maybe injecting our data. So we can develop methods that are specific to finding those exact signals or signals that are similar to those and we might be able to conceptualize signals coming from physical system that responds to the laws of physics, as we know them, but we cannot comprehensively produce all possible signals that could relate to or explain UAPs. So, the alternative approach in detecting anomalies requires a thorough and deep understanding of what is normal and usual to tease out what is unusual and unlike the rest, these methods typically found in the realm of what we call unsupervised machine learning what is usual maybe the balloons the aircrafts and wealth of natural phenomena that we have heard us and what is unusual what is an anomaly is anything in there is not consistent with the way in which those things look in our data. Once the anomalous signal is detected, it can be studied in more depth either through the discovery data itself, but that may not be sufficient. So then we may need to collect additional data for to study these these anomalies. And this is something that in astrophysics, we typically refer to as follow up data. This can be very hard, especially if the phenomena that are anomalies are also ephemeral in time, so you have to promptly respond to the detection and set up follow up observations. It's an extremely hard game, but it's something that is seeing a large developing in astrophysics in recent years, with the study of anomalous detections in the universe. This approach relies entirely on a comprehensive and systematic organization of the data, which is paramount and on a deep understanding of all the data there is actually usual unknown. The data that we might want to collect ideally will be collected in a multi sensor and multi platform and multi site manner. I witnesses reports, I want to elevate what Dr. Drake said, cannot ascertain the nature of UAPs. However, they shouldn't be considered because they may contain important information, for example, persistent saving locations or seasonality. But they only really work if joined with quantitative data collected by sensors as well as your physical and psychophysical assessments of the witness and the impact that the experience has on them to really reveal the nature of UAPs. You've heard it from from my colleagues a number of times, the data needs to be collected by sensors that need to be calibrated or calibrated both. So we need to collect not only the data images sound spectrum, characterization of what we see, but metadata, the sensor time, the brand, the brand of the sensor the noise characteristics, time of the acquisition instrument sensor TVT as well as information about the circumstances of the data collection, for example, temperature, or the location, or the conditions in which the sensor is at the time of collecting the data. The data should be collected simultaneously by different platforms ideally, ideally in different location in a multi sensor system. So, some of the data that we may want to collect are images, but also temperature sound recording spectral data emissivity that tells you the color in a very fine grid, as well as other as well as monitoring the motion of objects, which has been very important to identify what we have seen as UAPs that have been reported. Much of this certainly can be achieved with professional grade infrastructure, and both new and existing infrastructure to do that, such as astrophysical and geographical observatories, both on the ground and satellites. Some modern observatories, in particular designed for the detection of time anomalies specifically, as well as for the detection of objects that move rapidly in space, Near Earth Objects, asteroids, meteors, etc. So those could be leveraged for the study of UAP. There is also some effort in ongoing in the developing of facilities that are specifically to detect design to detect UAPs. And many of those comply with the characteristics that I just described. This level of information, though, can also be obtained by the public. We could crowdsource the data collection if a platform to crowdsource exists that supports the collection of data and metadata and the transmission of data and metadata. And we think that NASA might be able to play an important role in the development of this platform. To echo what Dr. bontempi said, NASA has a wealth of experience in coordinating scientific studies, efforts across discipline and domains serving as a bridge between communities in Interdisciplinary Studies, and studies across different countries. All of these can be supported. God of these can be leveraged to support the work of the other agencies in the identification and explain explaining, explaining UAPs, NASA also has a really important experience in data curation, we have heard about the sophistication of the analysis of the data that NASA provides of the sophistication of the calibration, that the data that NASA shares, a rights to, we have heard about the open data policy that NASA data goes under. Furthermore, NASA has recently spearheaded an effort review NASA and NASA partner archival data, to prepare them for machine learning and AI. So that data can be served to the community directly and ready to apply AI methods on it. This is an important experience than could be leveraged in the study of UAPs. However, we do want to emphasize that the current status of the UAP data will make this lift really hard compared to even what is being done by NASA for astrophysical data. And finally, I wanted to emphasize, one of my colleagues at NASA has a great visibility UAPs ever have great power of great public interest. And this could be an opportunity to really increase the reach of science, help people understand the scientific process, and maybe diversify the scientific community by attracting new talent into the scientific community due to the visibility of the problem. And I think that's all of my remarks.
Questions? Lots, go, Reggie. So on the whole crowdsourcing front and getting reports from citizen scientists, what do you think along those lines? Is it providing set of guidelines for how you report? Is it open sourcing a set of applications for cell phones to be able to pull in a lot the right read metadata? What does that look like?
Yeah, so I think guidance wouldn't just set our guidance, off best practices, etc, would just now be sufficient. I think what needs to be provided is a platform. You mentioned cell phones, cell phones have been used for crowdsourcing study and detection of a number of things, you know, astrophysics in space science. So that can definitely be done. The issue I think, is going to be to make sure that this platform is this plus one reaches a large enough community to really have a crowd to source the problem and coordination something that this could achieve, for example, is the follow up that I mentioned earlier, right. So we need this kind of community that would use the crowdsourcing facilities to be connected, so that if something is cited by one person, that message can go across and a broader community can point their sensors to the prop Got to the fighting. And the data has to be transmitted to the end that has to be transmitted to a place that can centralize it, and curate it.
Please feel free to citizen bad idea. But have you thought about synthetic data? As you were talking, I was thinking, you know, given the fact we don't have enough quality data to train a net neural net, if we're to generate synthetic data based on the information we do have, and then filling out the other characteristics, as we might guess, does that then help us train somebody to iterate in AI to be to find other correlations within data as we get it.
So we do it all the time in data science, right? We do generate datasets where the datasets are sparse, or scars, and we cannot train machine learning models. It's a risky business, because in the data that we generate, we embed the bias that we have. So we are thinking about the data, the way in which we think the data looks and the way in which the thing with the anomalies look. So in particular, in anomaly detection, it is a very difficult thing to do. To try to make sure that you don't buy and sell your models to what
you know, I want to come back to the topic of anomaly discussion in our general discussion, we're starting to run a little late. So we're gonna cut off questions now. But we do have a little time later at the end. So don't forget, don't forget your questions, bring them up again in discussion, and we'll we'll talk more more later. Great. So David's, our next speaker
All right, good afternoon. My name is David Grinspoon. I'm a planetary scientist and astrobiologist, and I'm going to talk for just a couple of minutes about how observations beyond Earth are relevant to our study of UAPs. Many of NASA's missions are at least in part, focused on answering the question of whether life exists beyond Earth. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. As part of this, we consider how to search for bio signatures, observations we can make of other planets, which mate might betray the presence of life. So we look for things like anomalous gases in the atmospheres of planets, and other anomalies, which may possibly reveal the presence of life. When we discover such an anomaly, we don't conclude that we've discovered life, we seek more data to understand what we're seeing and often this leads to other new discoveries. Similarly, we can talk about looking for techno signatures, observations we can make, which might reveal the presence of technological activity somewhere else. NASA is also supporting some research studying techno signatures. While there is at present, no evidence, we're aware of suggesting an extra terrestrial source for UAPs. These existing NASA programs are relevant to the question of UAPs in at least two ways. First, researchers in astrobiology and Seti the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence have focused for many years on techniques and methods for identifying anomalous signatures and determining if they have mundane natural explanations, as opposed to revealing unknown biological or even technological activity. The SETI community has expertise in methodologies for determining whether a potential techno signature is in fact a natural phenomenon or misinterpreted terrestrial technology. When a possible techno signature is observed, we asked Is it a real signal? Is it a known or unknown natural phenomena? Must it be technological? Is it known terrestrial technology? So these scientific communities have relevant experience in determining and communicating about weather observations which first appeared to reveal extraordinary evidence actually justify making extraordinary claims. Second, if we do acknowledge an extraterrestrial source, however unlikely as one possibility for UAPs, then these objects must have traveled through the solar system to get here. within the scientific community, there's a widespread, but by no means universal belief that there are extraterrestrial civilizations, and we have a well developed rationale. There's a lot of literature for discussing this, which I won't go into now, in the interest of brevity, but it has to do with the vast numbers of exoplanets and the timescales of evolution and the possibility of convergent evolution. on different planets leading to somewhat similar outcomes. It's a fascinating subject. But the the relevant point here is that the same rationale which says support supports the idea that extra extraterrestrial civilizations may exist and may be detectable, also supports the idea that finding extraterrestrial artifacts in our own solar system is at least plausible. NASA is the lead agency for solar system exploration. It already has an active program of detecting objects in our solar neighborhood, using both ground based and space based facilities. And it could leverage those capabilities to search for objects in space with anomalous motion, anomalous trajectories, unusual light curves, anomalous spectral signatures, or other characteristics. Most of the solar system has not been searched for artifacts or anomalies. And these modest data analysis efforts could potentially be applied to existing and planned planetary missions. The Galaxy does not stop at the edge of the solar system, and the solar system does not stop at the top of the Earth's atmosphere. It's all a continuum of possibilities worthy of investigation. If NASA applies the same rigorous methodology toward UAPs, that it applies to the study of possible life elsewhere, then we stand to learn something new and interesting, whatever the ultimate explanation is, of those phenomena. And that's all I wanted to say right now.
We have time for one or two comments or questions or thoughts?
Yeah, thank you for that, you know, it struck me while you were speaking about bio signatures, that we do a lot of that type of analysis, right, in our home planet in different capacities. And so it's more of a comment. But I wonder your thoughts on you know, bringing together those communities that might not work together. And whether that would aid in, you know, not only establishing what's normal, but to, you know, enabling the detection, or maybe the understanding explanation of the UAP if reported?
Absolutely. I mean, you know, the focus of my talk was, was observations elsewhere, but in fact, most of what the field of astrobiology has to study is here on Earth, because after all, it's our one example of an inhabited planet, and it's a little bit easier to get to, to make observations. So yes, any any insights you have in that area, or any any suggestions for for collaboration between those communities, would be very valuable.
So of course, NASA hasn't been researching the techno signature field for very long, and there's been a stigma with techno signatures for many decades. Are there any lessons learned, we can impose from the techno signature in the SETI community, to the UAP and solar system? Studies?
That's a really good question. I guess the immediate thought it sparks in me is that, yeah, techno signatures, were kind of treated, kept at arm's length for a long time by NASA, because of stigma, and ultimately, can't be kept away forever. If you're, if you are an agency curiosity driven, trying to understand the whole universe, you have to move beyond stigmas, and just try to honestly look at whatever evidence there is. And so I think in that broad sense, the same lesson ought to apply to UAPs.
Because someone who has been working in astrobiology and data sciences for some time now, it strikes me when both Dr. Bianco and you talked that the differences that seemed to me between bio signatures and techno techno signatures fields, and UAAP field again, relies on the data so bio signatures and techno signatures they have very well standardized datasets they have collected, been collecting datasets for some time, and they are able to apply machine learning artificial intelligence algorithms. While it's a totally different question with UAPs, in how we can apply artificial intelligence here. So again, just like Dr. Bianca how she said, it's about data standardization. So I hope that the UAP field will learn how to work with the data from the bio signatures and techno signatures fields.
Yeah, that's a good point. The one the one point I push back on a little bit is whether techno signatures has been has a lot of data in that sense. The one part of techno signatures which is looking for signals from radio and optical in that sort of thing that's been, you know, associated with SETI for a long time. You're right. There's a lot of data there that we've been collecting. But the term techno signatures, this sort of newly being adopted in it. In a way, it reminds me the distinction we heard from the FAA about a cooperative and you know, noncooperative, that, with techno signatures we're looking, there's more of an emphasis on finding technology that is not necessarily intended to signal us but just sort of doing what technology does and finding ways to, you know, so it's not looking for signals as much. And in that domain, we have not necessarily been collecting information for that long but, But your point is well taken that there are lessons learned from certainly the astrobiology and the the sort of classical SETI field where we've had a lot of data and we could look at how that is analyzed and try to collect the data for UAPs that will be amenable to that same sort of analysis.
Thank you, Collins next.
Hello, everybody. I'm Carlin toner. I'm an aerospace engineer, you know, really struck me when Dr. Drake opened up this afternoon and talked about this really small needle in a really big haystack that we're looking for. And I'm going to talk to you about reporting a theme that we've heard a lot, how can we make that haystack smaller and that needle bigger? So reporting of UIP events has received a lot of attention recently. But I think that there are still barriers for people to report. How are where should they report? Will someone take action on their report? Will the reporter be believed? Or will they be shamed? We've heard over the course of our fact finding that many scientists and aviators consider the study of VIPs to be fringe at best. So this suggests there's a significant negative stigma associated with reporting or even researching such phenomena. That said, By encouraging military aviators to disclose anomalies that they've seen or detected, the Department of Defense is receiving many more reports. I think in the time that we've been looking at this topic, growing from an ODI report that was something like 502. I think this morning, we heard something like 800. Now, so that's accelerating. And then DoD will soon also mandate if not already reporting by pilots, which we've and grow that set. I would propose to this panel that NASA can help make it safer for researchers to explore data in the civil airspace domain. Simply by starting that work internally. NASA could look at how civil anomaly data is shared. study how to incentivize reporting, assess the possibility of crowdsourcing data, which I think we've heard a bit about this afternoon, or sponsor and participate in conferences on UAP detection. Our team has really only seen I'd say a few unclassified images of UAP, which lack the contextual data that's needed to understand their true nature. And I believe we've heard a single firsthand account from a former military aviator. So one of my colleagues, Josh has an example, to show just why it would be important for NASA to also shout helped shape how the data and information is reported. But before I turn the mic over to Josh, I want to make a recommendation to my fellow panelist, that we consider advising NASA to more fully assess the cultural and social barriers to studying and reporting UAP. And for NASA to implement a plan to leverage its brand image to start removing these obstacles
that just want you to go up and then we'll take discussion of your presentation.
So you can call it my slide deck if you want.
So it's not it's not the charge of our panel to evaluate UAP evidence. But part of our statement of task is to assess the scientific analysis techniques that are available. You don't have to start it just yet. And the and how we might use them to determine physical constraints on UAP. You know, the UAP reports with the most detailed contextual informations are the ones from the Navy aviators and they're using a car emanation of arranging and infrared imaging information. And for these cases, we can directly calculate critical parameters of a UAP, such as altitude and velocity under certain assumptions. And it's, you know, the main point I want to make here is that this multi sensor approach is absolutely critical to charting a path forward for UAP investigations, and that pertains to NASA as well. So I'm going to provide one example here just to illustrate the crucial role of science and scientific analysis and the role of scientific analysis to avoid misinterpretation in some sense. Next build. Hit space. Yeah, okay. So this is this video was recorded by pilots deployed from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2015. The example has been given the nickname go fast, because it gives an impression of an object moving very rapidly against the ocean surface. And, you know, the question is, is this impression correct? And, you know, if not, what can we say quantitatively about what that object is doing in kind of Earth centered coordinate system. Fortunately, the information needed to determine the altitude and velocity of this object is contained on the display. So go ahead and next. And this includes the elevation angle of the camera, the Azmuth angle of the camera, the target range and nautical miles, aircraft altitude, the time reference and seconds, indicated airspeed and knots. You know, this information in this video in particular has been discussed quite a bit on the on the web. So let's begin with the object altitude. Next, please. So knowing the Jets altitude and the bearing to the target, we can apply basic trigonometry to figure out where that object is in altitude space. And it's turns out to be provided the range information is accurate, which can have some uncertainties associated with it, but the object appears to be at about 13,000 feet. And important aspect of this here is that it's sort of midway between the jet and the ocean. So it's the ocean that looks like it's right behind it is actually 4.2 miles away. And this is our first indication that some or most of the motion that we observe the apparent motion of the object is in fact, due to the rapid motion of the sensing platform, which is about 430 miles per hour in this case. But we don't have to guess about this. So we have enough information on this display to actually reconstruct the encounter. Go to the next slide, please. And so this is what this is, this is using additional information on the screen, including the time axis. And so we know that this aircraft is backing about 15 degrees left, and you can compute through a simple calculator the radius, approximate radius of curvature of the flight. And you the bottom line is I won't go into detail here. But if you can get the bearing and range to the target at two locations with known separation and time, you can figure out how far it moved. And in this case, this object moved about 390 meters in 22 seconds, and that corresponds to a velocity of just 40 miles per hour. And so that's a velocity is consistent with wind speeds at 13,000 feet. So it's not our task to conjecture what this object is, but it's an example that illustrates the type of data needed to determine critical parameters that will help us identify such objects going forward. In addition to the importance of quantitative analysis, this example also serves to illustrate the kind of cognitive bias we have to contend with for UAPs recorded from unfamiliar perspectives. And Shawn Kirkpatrick showed another example of that this is this is a parallax effect case. Thank you.
Thanks. Actually, before we have questions, actually a good moment. Shauna, want to comment on his one of the questions if we will bring Shawn up and then take questions for everybody, or more discussion.
Thanks, that was that was actually very helpful for everyone. I'm sure. Just one piece of clarification on the video that we showed the second one that was the new, newly released one had the three aircraft in it. The question was asked about if it was a stabilized background against which the jitter was showing. I am not 100% certain of that answer. It might just be a bunch of dust First on that sensor, but let me go back and get you a more fulsome answer. It is either stabilized background, or it's just garbage. But in either event, the three aircraft are chittering, because of the platform. But that's another example of exactly what you're saying, right? It's the perception of the of the operator who thinks it's doing something else, when it's actually just your own camera.
Shot in your event, it seems to me that what you mean by jitter, in this case is the plane is actually making motions that are causing a parallax.
So it's actually more than that. So the plane will move, and that will cause the parallax that you just showed, but the sensor itself, the a lot of these cameras are in gimbals. For those of you not certain what a gimbal is, it's the thing that your your cameras sit on your telescope sit on, it moves around and different directions. Those can sometimes be stabilized, in which case, they, they damp out the motion of the platform. And in other cases, they're not. And they jump around. And so what you're actually seeing in that video, is what we call jitter of the sensor against the platform, so the platform is moving, and the sensor is moving. It's not a stabilized against the target. But the once it's collected, sometimes in processing, the background is stabilized frame to frame just like some of those tick tock videos you see. Right? Same idea.
Yeah, I just wanted to jump in here, I think, make a couple of comments to just follow up on what Josh said, and my experience of flying, you know, over 15,000 hours, 30 something years, in airplanes, and both in space, and the environment that we fly in space or you know, an atmospheric flight, very, very conducive to optical illusions. So I get why these pilots would look at that go fast video and think it was going really, really fast. I remember one time I was flying in the warning areas off of Virginia Beach military operating area there. And my REO thought the guy that sits in the back of the Tomcat was convinced we flew by a UFO. So I didn't see it. We turned around, we went to go look at it. It turns out it was Bart Simpson, a balloon. You know, oftentimes in space, I would see things and I was like, Oh, that's really not behaving like it should. It's not. It doesn't have the trajectory of a satellite or a planet on the back of the star field. And every single time, when I would look at it long enough, I would realize that it was atmospheric lensing. It was the fact that what I was looking at was actually flying behind the atmosphere. And because of variations in the atmosphere, it made the trajectory looked like it wasn't going in a straight line, it was going like this, and they'd go like that. And it would turn in the other direction. Always was always the case. My brother, Mark Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, and also now a US senator. I was with him for dinner last night. And he shared a story with me, again, that he had shared years ago, but I had kind of forgotten about it. And I think it's worth sharing. And that is when he was the commander of STS 124. I think it was in 2008. They were getting ready to close the payload bay doors are the spaceship. And before they do that, you got to make sure nothing interferes with the doors because of the doors don't close properly, the space shuttle can reenter the atmosphere, it would come apart. It's part of the structural integrity of the vehicle. So they see something in the payload bay. And they thought it was a tool, maybe a bolt, they couldn't quite figure it out. They were potentially going to have to go and do a spacewalk to retrieve it. But before they did that, my brother grabbed the camera, they took a picture of it. And when they blew up the picture, they realize that this is not a bolt or a tool in the payload bay. It was actually the international space station that was 80 miles away. I mean, that's just a really good example of how this environment we operate in is so so conducive topic, optical illusions, oftentimes guys fly into the water. And there are cases where, you know, pilots have rendezvous on a buoy because they thought that was their wingman. It's just very, very challenging environment to work in, especially at night. And in my experience, the sensors kind of have the same issues as the, you know, the People's eyeballs.
So per what Scott just said, I think we need to take it as an action to investigate identified animated phenomena to go after Bart Simpson. I think what Josh is gotcha is very, very helpful and shows why we need multiple sources of data where the radar hits where there are other sightings. Unless we can look at this from a holistic perspective, it's very difficult to draw conclusions. And relative to stigma. And I appreciate the reports that our colleagues gave. I think there's plenty of stigma right here in this building. And I'm sure Danny suffered from it at times. And I just want to commend administrator though, who's always be Senator Nelson to me for his leadership, and candidly, courage and getting an asset to tackle this issue. And as we look at what Shawn had articulated that what he wants NASA to do, as we look at the recommendations for reporting and how we need to collate that reporting, I'm very concerned that this could be effectively done on an ad hoc basis. And I've been a part of far too many panels and studies that end up sitting on the shelf, I don't want this to be one of those exercises. And we can discuss this further. But I would call for and recommend a permanent office within NASA to support this activity, I'll be it likely a modest one. But to collate this information, collate that data, to archive the information and act as the open forward facing counterpart to Shawn and a arrow, I think then we could continue and actually accomplish the reporting, the stigma issues that have been raised. And we can do so in a relatively affordable fashion. Because again, I don't want to all of our work to end up being in vain.
So now, Jen's gonna turn to our charge. And, and, you know, as panel, when we were convened with a set of questions that we were charged to address, we've been addressing them through the topics we've talked about, and through things, as we've been thinking this through, but we're going to organize the next part of the discussion with Jen presenting these things. And this is also a chance to get into some of the discussion phase. Because we can look at each of these questions as the topics that we make, we want to make sure we address as part of the report.
Thanks, David. And I want to thank the panelists all for all of your work. All of the knowledge that I've gained from from each of you through this time, I took it upon myself in preparing for today's meeting to draft a statement that answers the eight questions that we were provided, at the beginning of the last summer when the panel was was created. So I'm going to read the question out loud. I'm going to read my statement. And I'm going to pause, let you think and reflect. And if there's remember, this isn't all of the details associated with each of these answers, right? This is to be a kind of high level, make sure we've got the major points there. And this is an initial take for these answers. So the first question goes, what types of scientific data currently collected and archived by NASA or other civilian government entities should be synthesized and analyzed prior to potentially shed light on the nature and origins of UAP. So the panel reviewed data sources, analytic tools, data architectures from NASA, NOAA, FAA, commerce and others. The data that we recognize were not collected for the purpose of identifying UAP, which leaves bias in the data that was collected. Even though there is an immense amount of data available, it is hard to access and the sensors that were used were not well calibrated for identifying anomalous phenomena. No questions moving forward. Question number two kind of feel like Jeopardy. What? What types of scientific data currently collected and held by nonprofits and companies should be synthesized and analyzed to potentially shed light on the nature and origins of UAP. Many organizations exist to track sightings of anomalous phenomena in the Earth's atmosphere, both nonprofit for profit and otherwise. The study panel concluded that much of the inputs collected by these organizations are not considered scientific data in nature, and that they do not contain unbiased disinformation, they're not repeatable. And they typically come with eyewitness accounts, which we've heard even today, that there's hesitations with using only eyewitness accounts to recognize or identify UAP. To the point about commercial or companies, there are a lot of space companies that some lobbied hard to get into present to us. They have troves of data, but they're collected for a variety of different purposes than the purpose of UAP. And those systems while they are well calibrated, or only one source of money that could be used. Questions, comments, concerns? Yes, Carla?
I'll bite on that one. Yeah. You know, I think your answer is correct as to what we've seen. But where I would go is if we made a recommendation to NASA that we're really asking them to build a roadmap. And we haven't done a robust cataloging, we looked at sources mentioned sources that we think might be relevant, but perhaps a more robust effort, cataloguing would be a good modest start. Yeah.
That's good. I will only incite defensive trying to answer the exact question as opposed to the panel rather than trying to add recommendations at this point. But yes, point well taken. Thank you.
I mean, I think one of the data sets that we just learned about, you know, heard more about today, and thinking about sort of calibrating things is the FAA data on anomalous, you know, tracking events, right. And I think this is something where, if we had, you know, some imaging software people, you know, cell citizen scientists with cell phone cameras identify some event that looks interesting. One of the places you'd like to be able to turn is the FAA data. And having, you know, if there is to go back to, you know, having a NASA responsibility for data, NASA Mike's has a lot of experience in serving as a clearinghouse for data from across the government for civilian data, right. This is something we do in lots of different areas. And I think there are some opportunities with datasets there. And I think the radar data is one that comes to mind as well, we don't want to forget about isn't available data. So yeah,
absolutely. Question three, I think goes more towards the recommendations of what other types of scientific data should be collected by NASA to enhance the potential for developing an understanding of the nature and origins of UAP. So we've heard now from two of the panelists on some of the information that should be collected, or the way that some of that data should be organized in a manner to make it available for people to analyze that information. And the only other thoughts that I had here was, was really recognizing the difference in the sensor thresholds, right. So we can always tune a sensor all the way to the resolution that we might need, or we might want. And as we collect that data to recognize for the scientists that are doing those analyses, the bounds of each of the systems that they're that they're using.
Yeah. You know, what strikes me on that one? When you were reading, though? The answer, the proposed answer was, what may be new, maybe something that's new to NASA in the sense of like, a time series so we can know what's normal. So we can perhaps identify what's not normal or anomalous, right? So I'm not sure to what extent it's like the most unsexy thing to sell on the face of the planet, right is making consistent long term observations, but I think that the agency may be set up to do just that for multiple reasons, right?
data collection, the agency does that in a lot of cases for us to physical purposes. So the infrastructure, of course, you know, pointing up and pointing at a different distance, but the infrastructure for collecting this kind of data organizing and keeping it and that does exist, yeah.
And there are, in their defense, a lot of satellite companies that are doing that persistent collection as well. Okay, question four, which scientific analysis techniques currently in production could be employed to assess the nature and origins of UAP? Which types of analysis techniques should be developed? This is a two part with what exists today and what should be so we're looking also at recommendations, based on the information provided by the presenters to the panel, there are very few credible analysis technique techniques available that currently exist to assess the nature and origins of UAP. The onset of artificial intelligence and automated analysis techniques give promise to being able to do that in the future.
I wanted to add something to that perhaps, which is that really to design the analysis, you need to know what the data looks like, right? So, you know, we can't really say what kind of analysis should be created on the hypothetical data that we're recommending should be collected in some, you know, somewhat specified
fashion, if it's all hypothetical, and we want to collect all of this data, and we know what format it's going to be. And we can design analysis techniques around it. And at that
point, it's likely that there are analysis techniques that are that already exist. For anomaly detection work, we just don't know which one will be more suitable, because the data as it should be, doesn't exist yet. Correct.
She said exactly what I was gonna say, yeah. And that that's what I was getting out with my point, not that there is analysis techniques don't exist in the scientific community, just that they're not being applied to this problem set right now. And it's hard to apply them when we don't have the known data of what would go into those. David?
Yeah, I think something we want to stress here is the importance of uniform data, yes, and the way it's collected, because particularly when you're looking for outliers, if you have data coming from many different observing techniques, right, and just having a uniform set of cameras, a uniform set of detectors, so you understand and characterize them, right, because this is a needle in the haystack problem. And, you know, every camera, I'd mentioned in the opening session, ghosting and optics. Now, that's going to be different in every different detector everyday. Right. And you. Before we get to the analysis techniques, we want to make sure we design the data collection, so that the analysis techniques can effectively be used on it. Right.
David? Can I take a slight issue with that, which is? It sounds like you're implying that you need a single way of collecting the data, I'd argue it's really you need to understand the various ways in which you're collecting the data. And you're able to cross calibrate across those different approaches. Because I seriously doubt that there is a single detector,
I think a handful of ways so that Yeah, well characterize things, things need to be well characterized to be useful, I guess is the way I would state it. And it takes time and energy to work out gross things. So that that's, that's, I think, the challenge.
So following up on both your points, I think it's where we can actually apply artificial intelligence. So we cannot apply artificial intelligence on the current data. But we can apply artificial intelligence in a way that we can design characteristics for the data that we need and how we can collect the data that we need. So
this is probably more of a frustration than anything else. So I don't know how helpful it will be. But I think we're not looking for a needle in haystack. We're looking for anomaly in haystack. We don't even know that we're looking for a needle, that it's just a discolored piece of hay. I'm from Montana. So I love good hay analogy. I don't know what the phenomenology is that we're looking for. We say anomalous. Again, this question earlier. What does that mean? Novelist acceleration, like I think is we try to look at the data. We're starting from an almost impossible position. When if we don't know what we're looking for, is it a radiation signature? Is it something electromagnetic is that something like that is why this is so challenging, and frustrating to me that we're talking about monitoring something that we don't even know what we're supposed to monitor?
Let me just offer Josh, before you jump in the scientific process of hypothesis driven research of that, while we don't know all of the possible outcomes in the entire world, we can ask very specific questions and go about it in a very scientific process to understand. So you're right. We don't know exactly what we're looking for. But we know hotspots as we've seen from both FAA and aero, we do know some of those conditions that we might be looking for. So if you start with with kind of what you know, are places to start to go and look and you start with the data that we have available to us. We might start being able to untangle the chicken and egg problem, which is
what is the phenomena that we're looking for?
So we've heard them from Sean, I would pull up Shawn's chart, but I can't quickly do that. of the criteria that he said on the trends, I use word criteria. He said trends of six or seven phenomena, I guess, of specific size or within a specific motion range. And it's something different than what we've seen before, something we don't recognize. And so when you go to look for something that you don't recognize it, it can be pretty easy, and that we've fooled ourselves today and even watching some of these videos of what's going on. But when you're able to corroborate that with three or four other sources, it starts to make sense. Right? So something that looks like magic to the naked eye, or to that camera, and that sensor? Isn't once you understand all of the effects of what was going on in the surrounding environment.
This is the kind of question can we? Because it's not gonna say frustration you do, right? It's, regardless of what you're looking for. If you don't know what it is whether using AI or match filtering techniques, you can't find it. Right, he can't find it. Because the question I have is, can we use social media, that kind of thing as a way of queuing to know where something's happening? Because we know Google searches can lead you to better understand where outbreaks happen, right disease outbreaks? Can you similar type of conflation of data to start saying, well, something's going on here. Let's start queuing sensors in that area that requires some real time visibility. But is there something we can think about?
Can I object to that just a bit, you can find things that you don't know how they look? Okay? There is a lot of the algorithms in anomaly detection are really based on let's know, let's find out how what we know looks like so that anything that doesn't look like that can be identified and spotted. And then we can think whether or not we understand it, right. And so I think the point about the homogeneous detectors, really is about that we need to have a solid understanding of the normal to the tip or nominals, with the outliers, as we sometimes perhaps more often call them in in science, right? Yeah,
absolutely. I do want to be cautious of time. We were supposed to end this about 10 minutes ago.
Right. So this has drifted into discussion, but I think we're doing discussion. So do you have any last topic you want to hit? If not, then we'll just open up to General,
I have four more questions that we're technically supposed to answer.
All right, let's do one.
We can do with four questions in two minutes. Right. Okay, I want to be drowned fast. In considering all of the factors above what basic physical constraints can be placed on the nature and origins of UAP? Mike, would you like to take this question? Absolutely. Got it. Um, I, in my my notes, to answer this, I knew that Shawn had presented some trends. So I used that kind of as the basis for what basic physical constraints could be available, and also the Josh's presentation that he just presented of, we know some of these are still in the realm of understanding. We just haven't applied basic physics to understand what's there. What we have. Question six, what civilian airspace data related to UAPs have been collected by government agencies, and are available for analysis to a inform efforts to better understand the nature and origins of UAPs and B determine the risk of UAPs to the national airspace.
we saw some of this, and I'm going to use examples from today to kind of move quickly. Some of this in Mike Frese presentation and talking about the air risks, right, that FAA is always looking out for. We know, by altitude and by sensor and curvature of the earth and line of sight. And as you get higher that you can see more, right, so we have a lot of civilian airspace data that can start to understand the nature and origins of the UAP. And determining the risk is based on how much you know, right? So you think about, I go straight to space, and I think about satellites and one tiny piece of space debris, you can destroy an entire satellite because they're moving really, really fast and in the vacuum of space. It's not necessarily so true in airspace, right? But something that we don't know could have a severe impact on pilots and their flight plan and all of that, which then could really wreak havoc on all of the United States airspace, and so being able to understand and identify what those are phenomena are and We'll help de risk the air flight safety. The in the national airspace. Question seven, what current reporting protocols and air traffic management data acquisition systems can be modified to acquire additional data on past and future UAPs. We've heard a lot of the reporting structures it was talked about earlier today. Those probably can be adapted and improved. And it's up to us in discussion as the panel on what those recommendations might be. Question eight and I'm good off stage, what potential enhancements to the future air traffic management development efforts can be recommended to acquire data concerning future reported UAPs to assist in the effort to better understand the nature and origins of the UAPs. The potential enhancements, automatic filtering of the knowns has come up as a talking point. These are specific really to acquiring data. The tuning of those sensor platforms, the multimodal spectrum collection, and being able to kind of timestamp or geo stamp each of those to cooperate, the sightings. So I will leave the panel with that with time to continue discussion.
Thank you. Great move up to the district.
But before I open it up, I just wanted to restate Federica is answer to Mike for, hey, if you know the properties of Hey very well. And you can cat you go through your haystack and say, I don't know what this is. But it doesn't look like hey, you don't need to have a match filter looking for a needle in a haystack. If you know Hey, very well
said NASA couldn't speak to Middle America.
Now, as a New York City resident, my impression is we go through Hey, with your don't want to do with your hands. But I defer to you. On a choice today. Yeah, I think yeah. So I want to in the final minutes we have here before the public session. Look to the future. I think a lot of us have looked at the data we have now with a sense of dissatisfaction. And say, what data would you want? And how would you want to collect it? And just think about, you know, we don't need to design the detectors. But think about the characterization that we we'd like what wavelengths we'd like and, you know, just to kind of throw that out as one way to think about what we might want to recommend.
So one thing that strikes me in that question is that I'm not totally certain that we've dedicated our time and effort to looking for anomalies. I think by default, there are some science communities that look for things like the genesis of a hurricane or a harmful algal bloom in the ocean or, you know, something in interstellar space. But I'm not sure we ever focused our interdisciplinary effort on that. And I think the question you ask is a really interesting one part of our statement of task, right, but I'm not sure I can answer that quite yet. That's how I feel about that one. Sure.
Surely, right. I'm going along with Dr. Boone tempIes. point there. We heard a lot from Arrow about specifics about the needle, one to four meters in size, you're at a Mach two, you can then look at NASA as assets, right? And look at its spatial resolution, its spectral resolution, in particular, the frame rate to get I'm gonna get to your question here. Dr. Spergel. You can look at the current NASA assets and try to say which ones could find that needle, the ones that Dr. Kirkpatrick put forward? That analysis has not been done. So one of my recommendations would be for NASA to convene a group and a task force to look at its current assets to calculate what current available data current data and current facilities could answer. Insight into that. Now to get to your future question. Looking at this, I see Walter here. It is framerate, I see a really big issue with framerate. So if you want to catch fast moving objects, you need to take quick images. If you want to get to these very small sizes and resolution, depending on altitude, where your actual, you're taking your image from ground or space, NASA will likely have to increase its framerate into its detectors.
The short answer to what NASA's current assets would be able to see would be really big haystacks that are moving very slowly, which I think is the point that you're making. But that doesn't mean that that data is not useful. Because if it's able to characterize the background extremely well, that gives you a better idea of what unusual looks like basically, anything that you do that characterizes the background will contribute to an understanding.
So we're gonna have to cut this off now because we're now going to our our public session, public comment session. So turn that over.
Hello, everybody. I am Karen Fox with NASA's Office of Communications. And we are segwaying into the public q&a portion of this meeting. As a reminder, this is a faculty meeting that has a Federal Advisory Committee Act. And so we are under a guidance which says that these meetings are public, and that we take public questions. We got hundreds and hundreds of questions. And I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everybody who, who submitted them. We're obviously not going to get to all of them today. But we are going to make attempts to answer some of them online, you can always check back to science.nasa.gov/uap. We're over time, we will make it clear where we're putting up some more of those answers. In the meantime, we did have to make some decisions. We stuck to questions that applied to this independent study and UAPs there were a lot of questions about astrobiology and other subjects that we're not going to get to today. And also in an attempt to get to as many of the questions as possible, since so many of them were similar. We've we've sort of bucketed them. And that is how we're going to try to address as many as possible. So I'm going to toss the questions to you. And we'll and we'll look to getting some answers for our for our public questions. All right. So first set of questions are specifically about the the data being used. So examples? What exactly are you incorporating into your report? What data are we using? What are some examples of data being used? Do we have multisensor data or have objects performing maneuvers that seemed truly anomalous? Do we have photos videos? What about having the NASA historian go through the NASA's historical records? Did you interview military or pilots for this study? So looking for some information about the kinds of data I can toss to anyone David looks like he's dumping it?
Well, I think first and foremost, our goal here is really to create a roadmap. Right? So really, you know, we have been informed by some of the events that are reported and we've had. But we've certainly not done a complete historical study are in an archive. And I think one of the things we've wanted to do was, learn what kinds of events have been reported, learn about some of the ones have been resolved some of the ones that are unresolved, so we can best think about how in the future, we can collect data so that we can get more robust answers. So that I hope that it did address that question. Does others have anything else they'd like to add?
All right. So I will keep going. Another big question category was about transparency, and about sharing information. And so examples in this category are, what is NASA hiding? And where are you hiding it? How much has been shared publicly? Has NASA ever cut the live NASA TV feed away from something? Has NASA released all UAP evidence it has ever received? What about NASA astronauts? Do they have an NDA or clearance that does not allow them to speak about UAP sightings? What are the science overlords hiding? Dan Evans
All right, I'll take a stab at that one. I really want to assure the public and to double down on the remarks I made this morning that this agency is absolutely cast iron committed to openness and transparency and honesty. And that commitment also extends to I live NASA TV feeds. They provide real time footage from over various missions. Now, to my knowledge, NASA has never intentionally cut a live feed, to hide anything. And that includes you APS, of course, sometimes there are interruptions to our feeds. But that is simply because space is a complex place. There's a vast array of natural phenomena, human made objects, and so forth. But again, I wanted to reassure the public that we're absolutely committed to providing the public transparency and openness. Those are the hallmarks of NASA. That's why we're here today in public on TV, because we want the public to have the opportunity to see the process of this committee doing its work in public, it's only right
there just to follow up on what I said, I didn't mean to be to joke about it. But in my 20 years at NASA, no one, either officially or unofficially, in my recollection, have ever discussed or briefed us or had any kind of discussions about anything that would be considered UAP, or UFO or anything like that. And I'll
ask you to stand for one second and state your name. I'll ask you to stand for one second and state your name, just so everybody know who was speaking, it's hard.
Just following up on, on the question about if NASA astronauts ever signed an NDA, or anything of that, any thing like that, in my experience of being in the Astronaut Office for 20 years, there was never any formal or informal discussions at all, about UAPs or UFOs, or anyone reporting anything that would suggest something from, you know, beyond our planet.
Thank you very much. Yes, please,
just want to make a quick comment about the culture of science, in relation to this question. Scientists, by nature are at least intellectually sort of rebellious, it's, it's, it's in our nature to question authority. You know, that's how you're a good scientist, you don't just take someone's word for it, you try to discover the truth. And for that reason, you know, this question about what are the science overlords hiding, that's sort of written in a facetious way, but I just want to emphasize that there's no way that that all scientists could be in on, on on trying to hide something, because it's just not in our nature, if somebody told me to try to hide something, as a scientist that would just increase my desire to, to, to Belay that order, and to release it. And I think that's true of our community in general.
All right, thank you so much. I'm gonna go on to our third set of questions. Which is, has NASA been tracking Earth's atmosphere? Or are we also studying bodies of water for for UAP? I think that's a Dan question. For National or that. Yeah, up.
Here's the oceanographer.
you know, my understanding is this is a completely independent study to assess, you know, what assets, what data? What science, what observations, platforms, NASA has to potentially help evaluate and understand UAP, right. We have? Well, NASA has an Earth Science Division. And many scientists at many centers and many academics and other partners out there that study the Earth as a system. We do this from the unique vantage point of space, and the atmosphere is part of that. So I think Dr. Kirkpatrick stated this morning, that to his knowledge, and I think two hours there, there isn't anything that's been reported below the ocean surface. You know, and so I think part of what we've been talking about all day is, you know, what assets are out there to actually begin to identify data that could be useful in explaining any of these reports? If and should they come in? So I think that's probably it, unless there's something else to add.
All right, then. Thank you. Moving on to our fourth general bucket of questions. What are you doing to solve the stigmatization surrounding the study of UAP? I can take that one. And state your name if you wouldn't mind first.
Arwen, toner, FAA? I think the fact that NASA has called us together here as a panel to look into this that NASA is hosting a public meeting that we've heard, right it clearly stated we're here to be transparent parent, I think that's the first step in trying to really normalize the study of UAPs. And I, you know, we talked a little bit earlier about the reporting about how to make it credible. And we talked also about UIP. In one of the earlier talks this morning, of the definition of the A, whether it was aerial or anomalous, as the legislation now is, and really the distinction beyond UFOs. Right when we're looking at UAPs. Here, we're beyond just airplanes, we're looking at all types of anomalous phenomena. And so that's just a more inclusive term there.
Still, Michael, just wanted to emphasize what Carlin said, which is so accurate, I really consider it quite amazing that we're here having this discussion as the leadership service, great kudos for this. And beyond, I think a recommendation that I'd like to make is that NASA participate in symposia in panels sponsor research, when you have the NASA logo on that sponsored research on that discussion. It really helps normalize and push back against the stigma, I think NASA can leverage his excellent reputation, both domestically and abroad, to push back on that stigma. I think it's important to do so not just for science and discovery, but for national security, that we've all seen what's occurred with balloons from rival nations, we don't want this stigma to be a vulnerability that rival nations can take advantage of. Yes, Dan.
Thanks, Karen, just a few additional points. From the agency perspective, we are of course, taking a set of actions to effectively normalize the study of UAPs. And that involves collaborating across the government, encouraging an open dialogue and promoting rigorous scientific inquiry. Let me turn to each of those in turn. So in terms of promoting a rigorous scientific inquiry, the primary way we're doing this is by being truly rigorous, and employing an evidence based methodology in everything that we do. That is characteristic of scientific research. It's no accident that the people up on this stage are true experts in their reflect his respective fields. Okay. So that is, in turn going to help us to legitimize UAP studies, encouraging open dialogue. So by holding public meetings, such as this one, and having open conversations about findings, then we're helping to normalize discussions again. And that really goes arm in arm with our commitment to openness and transparency with the public. And then finally, in terms of collaborating across the government, we're working very closely with other government agencies, not least Sean's office arrow, to broaden the scope, and the depth of our study. And I honestly believe that this collective interagency approach will lend credibility to the study of UAPs. And it's going to demonstrate the seriousness with which we're approaching this issue. Thanks.
Well, that segues very nicely into what our next set of questions are, which is who we are working with. So the question is, who else is NASA currently working with? Or do we want to work with to study UAP? And is NASA working with international partners?
Alright, do you want to,
I'll take a stab at it as the questions test to this panel, so kindly asked us, both in what other government agencies are collecting data, what data is available, NASA is partnering with them, in many ways, as well as national, NASA has a wide commercial outreach, and partnerships with understanding what data is available, as well as NASA NASA is founded on well not founded, but the core principles of NASA are with international partners. So the information that our partners are gathering is typically available to NASA as well. Well, yes, on all accounts,
and I may just emphasize and add that NASA is singular, I believe among government agencies, and its international outreach, again, not to keep talking about the Artemis accords. But you see, countries like Saudi Arabia that we may not have a great relationship with as government right now. We have Saudi Arabia and Israel in the accords family so that NASA is unique in its scope and ability to reach out. I also think that we're entering a new era of commercial space transportation, that is going from low Earth orbit out to cislunar space. And that is going to be the purview of the Department of Commerce, which is taking over space traffic management. So I think it's very important that now NASA work with in support commerce as we go through that transition department defense is currently responsible for that. And I think that will help us not only to identify potential UAPs, but to assist in preventing contention, congestion and eventually conflict. And I also want to note in terms of space debris, debris in orbit right now, I believe represents an existential threat to our very society that we are getting very close to an event that could cause real problems for our ability to access satellites. And that's why I think there's great ancillary benefits to the conversation we're having today that it was we increased our capability to monitor orbit for UAPs. That data could also be very relevant as we look at near Earth objects, and other threats. And again, there's just no Near Earth Objects Apophis, for example, and asteroid is going to come so close to Earth, it will be below geosynchronous satellites. So any effort to begin to catalog and do better in terms of understanding that environment is going to be terrific and hope NASA works with commerce and international agencies, on Apophis and other missions.
I think Federica had something to say, Yeah, I just wanted to add, you know, a lot of the things that we think we might recommend in terms of platforms to collect data that will be useful to study you will be, you know, we recommend a multi platform and multi site that would also mean likely ground based as well as space based facilities. And this is being done already in astrophysics, co observing the sky, from the ground and from space with different methodologies and different different instruments to get a more comprehensive picture of what's normal. And then that that was an ominous, and about every 10 years, the scientific the astrophysics community anyways, but many other branches, convened a panel of experts to see what things can be done to advance the field in the next decade. It's called the decadal survey for us. And one of the recommendations this year was explicitly for agencies that do astrophysics to work together. So NSF, DOD and NASA to work together, share data share facilities and instruments. So I think this is, you know, there's a lot of fields will benefit from this, including the UAP studies.
Absolutely Carwin toner, I'd like to put an exclamation point on how well NASA is collaborating across the government, I can from the FAA, and I can personally attest that FAA and NASA have a robust engagement in transferring research into practice in the ATM system. I think on the commercial space side, we work well with NASA, and all of our agencies are in the whole of government approach, supporting arrow specifically on UIP topic. And and, you know, it really comes down to good government and how we deliver because we can each work our own mission space. But to cover the whole space, we need to collaborate together.
And then to put an exclamation point on Carlins exclamation point. So I think it's important to say that, you know, we really do have a good relationship with the automated anomaly resolution office, aero Sean's office, and its previous a predecessor organization, the UAV Task Force. And we have really benefited from very fruitful collaborations among those various entities. And quite frankly, as, as a taxpayer, one should expect nothing less than the government to be working effectively across different units together. It's only right. That'd be being said, it's also important to acknowledge what NASA's perspective is, in this study, and to acknowledge that, you know, the the Department of Defense Intelligence community have massively different equities about the study of UAP. And they have different interests. Ours is a purely scientific one. So we collaborate, we consult. It's a very good relationship. And I agree wholeheartedly with Carolyn, but a whole of government approach is absolutely the right one to take.
Great, thank you. I will move on to our sixth bucket of questions, which we had many on this topic. Is there evidence that UAP were created from non human intelligence? All right. Yes, please.
I will take this one. First and foremost, we are scientists, and we follow the scientific process. And I hope that the gathering here today showed a little bit of a glimpse on how the scientific process works. It's not a question that you can answer very quickly with yes or no. And we follow the data right. So as scientists we follow the data, we formulate hypotheses, we test theories, we follow the scientific process. The role of this panel has been to create a roadmap and a framework for how all scientists that are interested in this phenomenon can further study can further collect data can further formulate experiments. Again hypotheses can test different methods, maybe even innovate on the methodology side of things come up with new methods for how we can do basically science, but not just any kind of science, but the science of discovery and exploration, which is basically in the spirit of NASA. So just like Carl Sagan was saying Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, we cannot make that kind of extraordinary claims at all, for any kind of big subject in science, whether it's UAPs, whether it's bio signatures, whether it's techno signatures, this question of whether we are alone in the universe is probably one of the largest questions that we've had in our history of science in our history of humanity. And it's not one that we can take lightly. And that's why we need so many scientists and multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams to work together and many organizations. So it's a process. It's a roadmap, and we work collectively on this. And we hope that within our lifetime, we will be able to answer this big question of whether we are alone or not. And also to better characterize this phenomenon, which is UAPs.
I want to sort of supplement that excellent answer by noting that we have not seen the extraordinary evidence. Right. I mean, there's a sense to give, you know, to make the claim that we see something that is evidence of, you know, non human intelligence would be would require extraordinary evidence. And we have not seen that. I think that's important to make clear.
All right, then I will move on to our seventh set of questions. We received many questions about the budget that is being dedicated to this. How large of a budget will NASA allocate how large of a budget is NASA allocating? And how large of a budget will NASA allocate towards this study of UAPs? Dance?
Yeah, that's a damn question. So there are two separate questions in there, which is, what is the budget for this group, this team? And what is the budget going forward? I think now, the budget for this independent study team is very consistent with any other of our external review groups that we bring in to the Science Mission Directorate on an annual basis. So you know, we have maybe 100 200 such groups entirely consistent with that. Also important to say, going forward now that NASA has not established a program relative to UAP. And as a result, there's no associated programmatic funding. But this is how NASA works. Federal budgeting is a complex journey, of course. And the way NASA particularly NASA Science likes to work is we anticipate and wait recommendations from independent groups such as this one. And we need to wait on final recommendations. And then we'll make an assessment. So too early to say. But of course, that's all couched in the fact that federal budgeting is a very complex process, and we will always follow the law.
Alright, we're making good time. And we have one more question that that encompassed. Many of the ones we got, which is has NASA encountered any aliens or extraterrestrial life? What happens if the public comes across extraterrestrial life? What would NASA do if extra terrestrial life was discovered? What would NASA study or do if extraterrestrial life was discovered? Now? I think it's worth making the distinction that there when we talk about extraterrestrial life, we do have a study within NASA of astrobiology, which is not intelligent life, necessarily. And so I invite you, as you answer this question to make clear the distinctions as you are talking in terms of UAPs, as well as any astrobiology work that we do.
I would start by saying one of NASA's big question is, Is there life out there? Right, and a lot of what NASA is doing, in its exploration of the solar system and beyond, is focused on searching for life in any form. Extraterrestrial Life, I think one of the things we have learned in the past 20 years as planets are common, we knew of course, about the planets in our solar system. But we now know there are lots of planets out there. So that what have you Potential environments for life. And I think one of the most fascinating questions is do any of those planets host life. And that's something that NASA is trying to address in a host of different ways. Whether it's probes that are landing on planets, or designing missions that will look for signatures of life around other planets. So the search for life is a really important thing. We haven't found life beyond Earth yet. Right? I mean, that's be clear about this. We haven't found it yet. But we're looking, and we're looking for it in lots of different ways. And, you know, David was discussing techno signatures is one way that we can work both within our solar system and beyond. And there's so there's a lot, a lot of different elements, I think of this potential search. And, you know, this to go back to something so that those phrase an earlier question, you know, is NASA hiding anything about this? No, this is actually what you know, answering this question is one of the things that NASA isn't agencies is excited about. It's what's something that lots of scientists working with NASA are excited about? Is, is this question of? Is there life out there? You know, and I think one of the things that makes this question of Are we alone? Such a central question, not just to the scientific community? It's a central question, I think, for the public. I suspect there are more people watching this than the typical episode of NASA. TV. Right. And this is something where we will have meet, you know, media coming to the press conference, because these questions touch on something that I think is really a deep question for humanity. is, are we alone in the universe?
Yeah, it just kind of echo what David said a bit. I mean, obviously, this is something we think a lot about in astrobiology, what, you know, what if we succeed, and, you know, we are very driven, to try to find real evidence of extraterrestrial life. And we would be highly driven to share that if we found it, because everyone wants to show that they've been able to succeed, and what they're trying to do, and, you know, one, perhaps illustrative examples to think about what happened when we came close when NASA thought maybe they had discovered extraterrestrial life. And, and a big event, actually, in the history of astrobiology was in in the 1990s, when some scientists had thought that they discovered fossils in a meteorite that came from Mars. And what happens is, you don't announce it immediately, you make sure that you try to make sure you're right, because you also don't wanna have false alarms and announce something where and then you go, oops, sorry, we were wrong. That was a mistaken analysis. But what happened was when the when the scientists were sure they were right, then there was a big, in fact, presidential press conference with President Clinton and NASA. And it was a big public announcement. And that's what would happen. If we discovered something we would try to make sure we were right. And then we would very proudly and loudly let the public know about it.
Thanks. We've just one minute left. So I'll let you finish up.
Yeah, thank you. The only thing I wanted to add, I wouldn't at all liken it to alien or extraterrestrial life. But in astrobiology in exobiology, you know, there is the exploration of our planet as an analogue for what might be found on other worlds. You know, and what, what is extreme cold was extreme heat, a volcano of black smoke or at the bottom of the ocean, what lives there and how is that even possible and things we still discover, throughout our ocean might look alien to a lot of people, right? And we keep discovering new species of different things, whether they be microbes or algae, or you know, charismatic megafauna, whatever they are. But there are synergies. I know that was an initiative years ago at NASA called oceans across the solar system. And the idea was, could our own Earth ocean be used in the life within it as an analogue for what might be discovered elsewhere? So I think that's an example of a potential synergy of interdisciplinary science, research observations, etc. collection of data and information gathering that could be useful in the future.
Thank you so much. I will hand it back to David Spergel your chair
So let me also just answer the one other piece of that question was, what do you do if you see something surprising, right? Where do you report. And this is something where just to come back to something I mentioned in my opening remarks, the ARL, is the our lead agency for UAPs. And while we've talked about orange, you know, life in this context, most UAPs, I think when when, when one looks at the data in more detail, are going to turn out to be phenomenon we understand, we saw this with some of the balloons or our commercial jets, we saw those examples. Some UAPs, and we saw this with the Chinese balloon that flew over is something an issue sometimes have national security. So we actually do want to encourage people, just from that angle, to report it. So, you know, since two before it will transition to summary, but you want to answer on that question that, you know, to keep in mind that, you know, the AR O's role is to be the prime source for understanding those things. And what our charges is to think about what's NASA's role. And I think NASA, and this is something you know, will come, I want to now go back to discussion, we didn't have that much time for it just to come back to, you know, what we eat what we see as NASA's role in this. I think one role piece we've talked about is big. NASA can help remove the stigma, NASA can draw them more of the scientific community and and I think what NASA can help do is provide standards of high data quality. I think one of the things that many of us you've not looked at this before, I certainly put myself in this group was struck by the limited nature of the data, that many events had insufficient data. And that in order to get a better understanding, we will need to have high quality data data where we understand its provenance data from multiple sensors. And I think one of the things that, you know, even from the same sensor, as we saw in Josh's analysis, also in the event, Shawn's showed us, when you can observe event over time, and get velocity information, that gives you a lot of additional information. So we're going to want things with high framerate, we're going to want things from Oct perspectives. And so I think those are all going to be pieces of things that we want to think about. I think this is an opportunity for citizen science. I think if we can come up with recommendations in our roadmap that point to ways in which we can collect it, people can collect data, I remain a big fan of these things. They do take over our lives too much. But they are fabulous data collectors. And I don't know, there's something like three, 4 billion or them that are on the planet. And NASA, I think has the prestige and visibility to develop an app or work with companies to develop apps that could collect data in a uniform and centralized way. that I think will, you know, most of the stuff that's collected is going to turn out to be commercial planes, balloons. When you have multiple cameras, you can eliminate some of the optical limitations with ghosting and those effects. Some of them will almost certainly be novel physical phenomenon. Right? I think it is. We have learned a lot about our planet and how the universe works. There's a lot we don't know. I think yeah, you know, as a scientist, what is the most exciting thing is the surprises. And I think that there are things that continue to surprise us about our own planet. There's phenomenon or atmosphere, the atmosphere that we probably haven't seen yet, or perhaps we've seen and not noticed yet. Right. And there's, I think, a long history in science when you look back and you realize that this Discovery had a pre discovery. So people had seen something before. And we're missing it. And those pre discoveries were not of note, because often because we had biases against seeing it, but it wasn't because there was limitations and data quality. And, you know, one of the things I was taught is, when you have a question you don't know how to answer, you start by getting better data. And, you know, I will come in, you know, I got to do the summary. And as the Chair, I get to, you know, summarize a conclusion, we need better data would be my takeaway, and we need more uniform data. And since I'm so proud of my haystack, we need to be able to understand what's in the haystack. And it's a lot more complicated than a haystack in the sense, right, as you know, it's got commercial planes, it's got, you know, drones. And, you know, I think the number of drones out there is large and growing, and will be a continuous source of confusion. We were charged to think about air safety, you know, understanding and characterize and seeing what's going on with drones is also going to be an important air safety issue. So we'll need to, you know, to understand the unknown, or start to study the unknown. Another important piece is always going to be characterizing the known really well. And, you know, this is the part, I think of a lot of science that seems dry and boring. But it's calibration, and understanding the events you expect to see. You know, in thinking about this area, one of the groups of people that people talk to her particle physicist doing experiments at CERN, where they go through the effort of finding extremely rare events, to find new particles. And in order to do that, you need to understand the standard predictions well, so I think another part of the whole story, and I know, this is something ARL is working hard on in the context of military is like, you've got to characterize what the known things are, you know, when you've got that, f 35, flying past a balloon, what does it see? What does it see at sunset? What does it see it on observing angles, and that characterizing the normal is an essential thing to do to understand what's out there. So let me conclude the session by thanking the panelists. It's been a pleasure learning from you, thanking our Shan and other invited speakers are that we've had we've had for some of our data collection sessions, we've learned a tremendous amount from you. And also thank the public for their engagement. I think we were all impressed by the the number and level and sophistication of the questions people sent in. We try to address as many as that we could in the session. As you heard NASA, through science.nasa.gov will provide there'll be some additional answers provided encourage you to go there. X ray is a non NASA employee, I'll put in a little ad for science.nasa.gov. NASA does amazing things. And we're learning amazing things about the universe and our planet. And just encourage you to go there and continue to learn and continue to explore. So thank you