NASA on Thursday said it is naming a new director of research into what the government calls "unidentified anomalous phenomenon," or UAP, as an expert panel urged the U.S. space agency increase its efforts to gather information on what are commonly called UFOs, APA reports citing Reuters.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson made the announcement after the panel issued a report calling on the agency to increase its efforts to gather information on UAP and play a larger role in helping the Pentagon detect them.
NASA said the new director of UAP research will handle "centralized communications, resources and data analytical capabilities to establish a robust database for the evaluation of future UAP."
The NASA panel, comprising experts in scientific fields ranging from physics to astrobiology, issued the report after holding its first public meeting in June.
The U.S. government in the past few years has made several disclosures of information it has gathered regarding a subject that once was met by virtual official silence.
The new report called UAPs "one of our planet's greatest mysteries."
An independent NASA panel studying UAPs held its first public meeting in June, comprising experts in scientific fields ranging from physics to astrobiology. Challenges panel members cited to their work included a stigma attached to the subject as well as a dearth of scientifically reliable methods for documenting UFOs.
Two senior U.S. defense intelligence officials told a 2022 congressional hearing that the Pentagon was committed to determining the origins of UAPs. Both officials pledged that the Pentagon would follow the evidence wherever it leads and made clear that the primary interest is addressing possible national security threats.