Still from a video showing a UFO filmed near San Diego in 2004, which was released by the Department of Defense in 2017.
  • A former US Navy pilot said pilots saw UFOs in the sky almost daily.
  • A UFO expert says there is no concrete evidence aliens exist but the idea is not off the table.
  • Advanced technology beyond current comprehension could also be at play.
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An expert on UFOs said while there's no concrete evidence to show whether aliens may or may not be out there, there are technological artifacts that exist "way beyond our comprehension."

In May, a former US Navy pilot told CBS's 60 Minutes that pilots training off the US coast sighted UFOs - also known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) - nearly every day.

In 2019, the Department of Defense launched a special task force to investigate videos of UAP. A report on the sightings found no evidence that UAP sighted belong to aliens, but said so little is known that it can't be ruled out.

University of Southern California Professor Madhu Thangavelu said that what pilots saw may not be extraterrestrial in origin, as there still isn't any public evidence that aliens exist - but that doesn't mean the possibility is off the table.

"[In the] scientific field, the material evidence is important," he said.

NASA is now also looking into UAP

NASA's new chief, Bill Nelson, told CNN last week that the agency is setting up an investigation to further look into the flying objects.

Nelson said he doesn't think the UFOs prove the existence of aliens, but said he referred to scientists who could better explain what they are.

"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," Nelsons aid. "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."

Thangavelu, who works in both the Engineering and Architecture departments at USC, said these videos do show things that can't be easily explained.

"It's possible that we will see more evidence as things happen," he said, referring to the Pentagon report and further investigations into the UFOs. "There's also the possibility that the technologies that are employed are what is causing these rapid movements that they talk about that cannot be explained using our physics or our engineering," he said.

However, whatever is piloting these craft is not likely human. Or if they are human, they're probably not on board.

"Very simply, when they talk about these things that are moving very fast... if there was a human being inside, they would simply be crushed because of the acceleration."

The interactions were too far away to identify

However, Thangavelu said when talking about other life forms, it's important to categorise what's being seen into three categories based on the proximity of the interaction. The first being where someone sees something they can't explain from far away. The second is when something is witnessed in close proximity. Finally, the third is actual face-to-face interaction with an alien.

Thangavelu said all the interactions being talked about so far are from afar, which makes it harder to really tell what the Navy pilots are witnessing.

Advanced technology could be at play

Thangavelu said our technology and innovations span over a relatively small amount of time in history and it's possible what we're seeing are innovations that we haven't completely understood, so whether it's aliens, new technology by other countries, or top-secret projects by the US, the ability to understand it is hindered by the scope of what we know.

NPR, however, said the report found the objects witnessed were not created in classified programmes by the US or the Pentagon.

To put it more simply, Thangavelu quoted the inventor and writer Arthur C. Clarke who said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

However, even if what's being seen is the work of aliens, Thangavelu says there's no reason for anyone to panic. And while he said this could be advanced technology, he rejected theories that they're being used to spy on the US by rivals and said if they were, we would feel the consequences.

"If it were a spying operation then we should see the consequence of it... in some of our actions and I'm not aware of anything that suggests that whatever is looking at us or running around... is affecting our intelligence community to date, because if they were, we would know it," he said.

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