NASA released its UFO report and now has a director of UFO research

Today, NASA released its "Independent Study Team Report" on UFOs. According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, "The top takeaway from the study is that there is a lot more to learn. The NASA independent study team did not find any evidence that UAP have an extraterrestrial origin, but we don't know what these UAP (unidentified anomalous phenomena) are."

To that end, the report calls for a transparent and scientifically-rigorous study of the phenomena, whatever it is. To lead those efforts, NASA has appointed a director of research on UAP. The name of the individuals hasn't yet been revealed.

Kenneth Change in the New York Times:

NASA officials said that part of the reason for keeping the identity secret was the harassment experienced during the period of the study by some of the 16 members of the independent panel, who included university professors, space industry officials and a science journalist.

"Some of them actually rose to actual threats," said Daniel Evans, assistant deputy associate administrator for research in NASA's science mission directorate. "And yes, that's in part why we are not splashing the name of our new director out there, because science needs to be free."

U.A.P.s often turn out to be innocuous objects, like weather balloons. Most experts consider alien spacecraft to be an unlikely explanation for any of the events. But it is possible that some of what has been observed could be as-yet-undiscovered atmospheric phenomena or tests of advanced weapon systems.

"One of the main goals of what we're trying to do here today is to move conjecture and conspiracy towards science and sanity," Dr. Evans said. "And you do that with data."

The panel recommends that NASA use its Earth-observing instruments to collect environmental data coinciding with U.A.P. reports and enlist members of the public to send in a broader swath of observations, perhaps through a smartphone app[…]

The panel also suggested using sophisticated computer algorithms, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to look for subtle patterns in U.A.P. reports that may help identify the underlying phenomena.