In a long-awaited report this week, NASA said its investigation of unidentified anomalous phenomena or UAPs revealed no evidence that numerous sightings are of extra-terrestrial origin. But the agency also said it will take the lead in further investigations and will share what data it finds with more transparency.

The 36-page report summarized numerous sightings by credible observers including military pilots and although the agency didn’t conclude extra-terrestrial life exists, it also didn’t deny the “potential [for] unknown alien technology operating in Earth’s atmosphere.”  

The report  said investigations have thus far “been hampered by poor sensor calibration, the lack of multiple measurements, the lack of sensor metadata, and the lack of baseline data. Making a concerted effort to improve all aspects is vital, and NASA’s expertise should be comprehensively leveraged as part of a robust and systematic data acquisition strategy within the whole-of-government framework.”

After first declining to identity the NASA official who will lead the ongoing probe of UAPs over fears of harassment, the agency later said Mark McInerney, previously NASA’s liaison to the Defense Department, will lead the investigation and share data with other government agencies and the public. NASA’s Dan Evans told reporters Thursday that members of the study group had been ridiculed on social media and had received hate mail.  

Nicola Fox, NASA’s associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, said the agency found that a lack of high-quality data stymied efforts to make definitive conclusions about numerous sightings that have been widely reported in the press. The most dramatic of these were HUD camera footage from Navy aircraft operating off the coasts of Virginia and California dating as early as 2004. More than 500 sightings have been reported. NASA said it will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze what data it can collect and that findings will be shared with the public.

NASA was also asked about a bizarre incident in Mexico this week in which the Mexican Congress was shown what was purported to be bodies of aliens by a self-proclaimed UFO researcher. The researcher claimed the bodies were recovered in Peru in 2017 and carbon dating revealed that they were at least 1000 years old. According to reporting in The New York Times, analysis of the specimens in Peru revealed that they were manufactured from human an animal bones, vegetable fibers and synthetic adhesives.

NASA’s David Spergel said that the agency hasn’t investigated the claims. “Make samples available to the world scientific community and we’ll see what’s there,” he told the BBC.

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