Astronomer says declassified UFO reports will pave the way for scientific discovery

The declassification of military UFO reports by the United States will open a window to new physics and science, says an Australian astrobiologist, although he finds it “highly unlikely” that extraterrestrial entities will visit Earth.

This week, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its long-awaited preliminary assessment of what it calls Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).

With its release came the admission that all but one of the 144 events recorded between 2004 and 2021 were unexplained.

The assessment included incidents of military pilots tracking down NAPs, with footage of some encounters declassified and released in recent years.

“As soon as you take them out of the top secret locker and make them public, you suddenly open them up to the examination of a wider variety of people with very different expertise,” said Jonti Horner, professor at the Center for Astrophysics. from the University of South Queensland. mentionned.

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Pentagon releases images of 2015 UFO sighting

Elves and goblins

Professor Horner, an astronomer and astrobiologist, said a good example was the relatively recent confirmation of lightning in the upper atmosphere, called elves and sprites.

“There were reports of pilots of these particular lightning above the thunderstorms that were a bit colorful, but they pooped each other,” he said.

“Then our camera gear got better and people started taking pictures of these things from the ground and their existence was confirmed.”

A glowing ball rises high in the upper atmosphere.
A large red leprechaun captured during a study by NASA and the University of Alaska in 1994.(

Provided: Wikimedia Commons

)

Professor Horner said similar skepticism greeted reports of electrostatic phenomena associated with meteorites and fireballs falling from the sky.

“There were things like weird noises in the house because the electricity was going on, and the radio was making noises, and there were weird noises and sonic booms and, at the time, all the world was pooping them and saying, “It doesn’t work” makes no sense, “he said.

“So I think an outing like this is a really positive thing, because it encourages people to express the things they see without feeling embarrassed about it.”

A man stands in front of a circular object on top of a white structure.
While believing it to be possible, Professor Jonti Horner claims that the vastness of space and time makes extraterrestrial visits unlikely.(

Provided: Jonti Horner

)

Not so close encounters

Professor Horner’s comments on ABC Radio Adelaide prompted several people to call and describe their own experiences with “UFOs”.

A caller by the name of “Delta” said he saw several UFOs near Swan Reach and made his first encounter in October 2018.

“It was a Saturday night, around 9:30 pm and I was probably at my second can of beer, just listening to Fresh FM,” he said.

“It was a giant ball of super bright light about 300 meters, about 200 meters high, in dead silence without wind, without clouds… moving at about 80 kilometers per hour in a southerly direction.

Professor Horner said about 50 percent of UFO sightings can be traced to Venus, as it appeared to hover silently and low in the sky after sunset.

It might sound moving, he said, depending on the viewer’s perspective.

“In reality, it’s a planet about 30, 40, 50 million km away and it’s not moving,” Professor Horner said.

“But your take on it gives you that instinctive feeling that it’s moving really fast, speeding up and taking these amazing turns and doing all these weird things.”

Sphere on Exmouth

Luke Abberley shared a photo his grandfather took in Exmouth, Western Australia.

“He was taking a photo of the Ningaloo Reef – like a seascape photo – and on his way home, reviewing his photos on a digital camera, there was a round silver ball between the clouds in the middle. over the ocean, ”Mr. Abberley said.

Looking at the photograph, Professor Horner said the object was most likely a weather balloon, or a helium-filled balloon that might have escaped a children’s party.

He said the only case the ODNI report managed to explain turned out to be a deflating weather balloon.

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Play the video.  Duration: 34 seconds

The report includes 144 sightings of what the government officially calls “an unidentified aerial phenomenon.”

Surprising discoveries

But the report also contained surprising findings, including that most UAPs were likely “physical objects.”

Some 80 events were recorded on several military sensors, including radar, infrared, electro-optics, weapons researchers and visual observation.

A small amount emitted radio frequency energy.

The report said 18 occurrences involved PSUs moving with unprecedented capacity without discernible propulsion means, and there were 11 documented cases of pilots reporting near misses.

“I think it’s really a lot of fun, because almost everyone – if not all – will eventually have an explanation and we’ll find a solution,” Professor Horner said.

“Some of them will be optical illusions, others will be questions of perspective.

Despite this, he said, the likelihood of one of the ODNI cases turning out to be extraterrestrial in nature was “highly unlikely” – although he did not rule it out entirely.

“A big part of this is the vastness of space and time, and the likelihood of aliens coming here is very low when there is so much more to explore,” Professor Horner said.

“In addition, the likelihood of them happening now, when we are able to record and document them, is also very unlikely.”


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