Less than 5% of hundreds of UFO sightings are actually unexplained: officials – DNyuz

Less than 5% of hundreds of UFO sightings are actually unexplained: officials

Only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of UFO sightings reported over the past three decades were actually unexplainable, officials said Wednesday at NASA’s first-ever public meeting on the mysterious aircraft.

Of the 800 sightings reported to the Department of Defense over the past 27 years, just 2 to 5% were “possibly really anomalous” — a term used to define “events in the sky that cannot be identified,” said Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the department’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, which investigates UFOs.

Overall, roughly 50 to 100 cases of the flying objects were reported each month but most “demonstrate mundane characteristics of readily explainable sources,” he told the NASA task force.

Kirkpatrick also unveiled some “recently declassified trends” in UFO sightings at the groundbreaking meeting, which came nearly a year after NASA launched a study into the unexplained phenomena.

The “vast majority” of UFOs reported since 1996 were described as “orbs, round spheres,” generally 3 to 12 feet in size and “white, silver [or] translucent,” according to data presented by Kirkpatrick.

Most were soaring at altitudes of 10,000 to 30,000 feet — “unsurprisingly” in the range of a normal airplane flight, he said.

People sometimes mistake drones, weather balloons and private aircraft for UFOs, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

The task force, which examines only unclassified material, is the first ever to work with NASA on studying UFOs — a subject long-considered confined to the secretive purview of military and national security officials.

The 16-member group of scientists and independent experts met in Washington DC for “final deliberations” before releasing a report detailing the findings of its nine-month UFO investigation, which is expected to be published in July.

At the hearing, the team also discussed how the space agency can help researchers better understand UFOs, which it calls “unidentified anomalous phenomena” (UAP).

Panel officials said Wednesday that the stigma associated with reporting UFO sightings, along with data gathering challenges have plagued them over the course of the study.

“If I were to summarize in one line what I feel we’ve learned, it’s [that] we need high quality data,” said group chair David Spergel.

Panel members have also faced harassment online for participating in the study, NASA science chief Nicola Fox said in her opening remarks.

“Harassment only leads to further stigmatization of the UAP field, significantly hindering the scientific progress and discouraging others to study this important subject matter,” she said.

“[It] obstructs the public’s right to knowledge.”

With Post wires

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