The Senate is set to take up the issue of restarting a shuttered Pentagon program that looked into Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (or UAP), but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) may not be ready with a plan for when a UAP or a UFO becomes an alien encounter.
According to an interview with PBS’s “Firing Line,” former Senator and astronaut Bill Nelson, who is now NASA’s administrator, says that the agency has not crafted a plan for an alien encounter, even though the agency has worked in tandem with researchers exploring the possibility of alien life — and has sent messages into the universe on Earth’s behalf.
“Does NASA have a plan for what it would do if a UAP turned out to be a space alien?” host Margaret Hoover asked Nelson.
“No,” Nelson said, plainly.
“But the first thing we’d want to do is find out is if it’s friend or foe. But we’re not to that point because we just don’t know what this phenomenon is. I think that with all of those sightings that you referenced, there’s something there. This is not an optical illusion or a radar blip that’s a mistake. So we need to find out. When you talk to those Navy pilots, they’re convinced because they saw it and they tracked it,” Nelson said, referring to a host of Navy pilot encounters with technology that acted strangely or moved too quickly.
That does indicate that NASA has, at least, a step-by-step idea of how they might approach an alien spacecraft if a pilot ever encountered one.
Hoover then asked if, given the Pentagon’s UAP Task Force’s report, released earlier this summer, it might be time for the federal government to consider a more concrete plan for confrontation.
“Given what we know about the UAPs, when is the right time, Senator, for us to come up with a plan to handle the intelligent life that we’re looking for?” Hoover asked.
“Well, we better identify it first and once we identify it, then we’ll know what to do,” Nelson said. “We don’t have any idea if suddenly an alien is going to appear. This is still great speculation, but we’re in the search for life out there and this phenomenon that these Navy pilots have seen, let’s find out about it. What is it? And then we can deal with it.”
Hoover then suggested Nelson was being cagey, noting that the U.S. government has “contingency plans” for a number of scenarios, and it is hard to believe, with NASA’s longtime focus on seeking out alien life, that it would have never made a plan in case alien life encountered the U.S. government first.
According to Reuters, the UAP Task Force report seemed to downplay the possibility that military pilots encountered alien spacecraft; instead, it implied that the pilots either were unaware of more sophisticated technology being tested by the military itself or that the pilots had encountered sophisticated foreign technology. Reuters did note, however, that the UAP Task Force would not close the door on the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
“A U.S. government report on UFOs…said defense and intelligence analysts lack sufficient data to determine the nature of mysterious flying objects observed by American military pilots including whether they are advanced earthly technologies, atmospherics or of an extraterrestrial origin,” the outlet reported in July.
An intelligence spending bill, passed last month, authorized the Department of Defense to reopen the Pentagon UAP Task Force office, but there is controversy over which branch should handle such investigations. The U.S. Space Force, a new branch that shares much of its resources with the U.S. Air Force, said, in August, it would prefer not to be in charge of UAP probes.