NASA has appointed its first-ever “UFO czar” to lead research into Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), commonly known as UFOs.
Despite initial concerns for his safety, Mark McInerney, a longtime civil servant, has been named as the director of UAP research. This move comes as government interest in UAPs has increased, prompting calls for NASA to play a more prominent role in understanding these phenomena.
NASA had initially declined to reveal the identity of the new director due to concerns about threats and harassment directed at individuals associated with the study of UAPs. Some study panel members had reportedly faced jeers and threats, which raised concerns for their safety.
Dan Evans, NASA’s assistant deputy associate administrator, explained that the agency had refrained from disclosing the director’s name to protect scientific inquiry, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a free and safe environment for scientific research. However, the pressure to reveal the director’s identity eventually led to NASA’s decision to do so.
The increasing interest in UAPs has given rise to conspiracy theories and speculation about government cover-ups and the existence of extraterrestrial life. NASA’s decision to appoint a dedicated director for UAP research reflects a growing recognition of the importance of investigating these phenomena.
The recommendation to appoint a “UFO czar” came from a study led by David Spergel of the Simons Foundation, which also called on NASA to collaborate with other government agencies, including the Pentagon, to study UAPs. The study faced challenges, including harassment of panel members deemed inappropriate.
While the appointment of a UAP research director represents progress in the scientific investigation of these phenomena, NASA’s initial reluctance to disclose the director’s name highlights the challenges and stigma associated with UFO research. The agency’s commitment to scientific inquiry may help overcome these challenges.