NASA Administrator Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Climate change turning US into coffee country Elon Musk mocks Biden for ignoring his company's historic space flight How will Biden's Afghanistan debacle impact NASA's Artemis return to the moon? MORE on Sunday said he does not think individuals on Earth “are alone” in the universe, following the release of a United States intelligence report that revealed the U.S. government has encountered more than 140 unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), commonly known as UFOs.
The intelligence report, which was unclassified on Friday, said the U.S. government has encountered 144 UAP since 2004. Of the sightings, one was identified with high confidence, while the others remain a mystery.
The nine-page unclassified assessment presented a number of potential explanations for the encounters, including airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, top-secret U.S. government programs and foreign adversary systems.
It also, however, presented “a catchall ‘other’ bin” as an additional explanation.
Nelson, who has reviewed the unclassified and classified versions of the report, said he believes Earth is not alone in the galaxy.
“Are we alone? Personally, I don't think we are,” Nelson said during an interview on CNN.
“The universe is so big, it's 13 1/2 billion years ago is when the universe started. That's pretty big. But people are hungry for this kind of information and we're going to keep searching,” he added.
He said the report “says basically what we thought,” referring to Navy pilots who previously reported UAP sightings.
“We don't know the answer to what those Navy pilots saw. Now they know that they saw something. They tracked it, they locked their radar on to it, they followed it, it would suddenly move quickly from one location to another. And what the report does tell us that is public is that there have been over 140 of these sightings,” Nelson, a former U.S. senator from Florida, said.
He added that the UAP sightings by the Navy pilots “may not be extraterrestrial,” and could possibly be new technology obtained by an adversary country.
Nelson said if the latter is the case “we better be concerned.”
He said the U.S. does not think that other countries have capabilities to create such flying objects, but cautioned that “the universe is so large.”
“We don't think so. But when it comes to the universe, remember, the universe is so large. We have a program in NASA called the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. But thus far, we don't have any receipt of communication from something that's intelligent,” Nelson said.
The assessment came after lawmakers inserted the requirement for the report into last year’s intelligence authorization bill, following a spike in UFO sightings by U.S. military flyers.