Bill Nelson, who recently became NASA’s new administrator last month, said there was not yet any evidence that extraterrestrials have visited Earth but admitted it was too early to rule out the possibility. The US space agency’s research into the phenomena comes as the Pentagon prepares to make public a report detailing all known UFO investigations by the US military.
Speaking on the recent UFO encounter filmed by US Navy pilots, Mr Nelson told CNN: “We don’t know if it’s extraterrestrial. We don’t know if it’s an enemy. We don’t know if it’s an optical phenomenon.
“We don’t think [it’s an optical phenomenon] because of the characteristics that those Navy jet pilots described … And so the bottom line is, we want to know.”
NASA press secretary Jackie McGuinness told reporters that Mr Nelson had not established a formal task force to investigate UFOs.
However, she added that researchers could look into the topic as they see fit.
She said: “There’s not really a lot of data and … scientists should be free to follow these leads, and it shouldn’t be stigmatized.
“This is a really interesting phenomenon and Americans are clearly interested in it [so if] the scientists want to investigate, they should.”
Recent reports have suggested the Pentagon is concerned that the mysterious objects filmed during the recent US navy encounter could be Chinese or Russian “hypersonic” weapon experiments.
The experimental technology which can launch aircraft or missiles up to 4,000 miles per hour would perhaps explain how the mystery objects are able to move in ways that defy the laws of physics.
The highly anticipated Pentagon report is set to be released by June 25.