We are not alone in the universe, according to NASA official and former astronaut Bill Nelson.
Nelson's statement comes just days after the Pentagon was unable to offer an explanation for UFOs spotted by US military personnel in a newly-declassified report released on Friday, which confirmed at least 144 cases of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) sightings.
'Yes, I’ve seen the classified report. It says basically what we thought. We don’t know the answer to what those Navy pilots saw, they know that they saw something, they tracked it, they locked their radar onto it, they followed it, it would suddenly move quickly from one location to another,' Nelson told CNN on Monday of the Pentagon's declassified report.
'And what the report does tell us that is public, is that there have been over 140 of these sightings. So naturally, what I ask our scientists to do is to see if there’s any kind of explanation, from a scientific point of view, and I’m awaiting their report,' he added, before stating that he has spoke with Navy pilots after a briefing on the matter while he was still serving as Florida's senior senator from 2001 to 2019.
INFINITY & BEYOND: Former astronaut believes we are not alone in the universe https://t.co/fHSsHiXycl— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 28, 2021
'… I talked to the Navy pilots, when we were briefed in the Senate Armed Services Committee, and my feeling is that there is clearly something there. It may not necessarily be an extraterrestrial, but if it is a technology that some of our adversaries have, then we better be concerned.'
Investigators involved with the nine-page report refused to rule out that the unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPS) - their preferred term for UFOs - may have an otherworldly origin.
And even as international tensions continue to rise between the US and China, Nelson made it clear that even the most advanced tertiary enemy could not account for the military's recent UAP encounters.
'We don’t think so [that it is an adversary], but when it comes to universe, remember the universe is so large, we have a program in NASA called the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,' Nelson said.
'But thus far, we don’t have any receipt communication from something that’s intelligent.'
Nelson also noted how both the US government and the public at large have been keeping a watchful eye over UAP developments.
NASA official and former astronaut Bill Nelson says we're 'not alone' in the universe https://t.co/cnBSMS7Dkk— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) June 28, 2021
'People are hungry to know. And of course, ever since ‘Star Trek,’ you know people are yearning to find out what’s out there in the cosmos. Are we alone? Personally I don’t think we are. The universe is so big, it’s 13 and a half 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.'
While the Pentagon's recently declassified report leaves more questions than answers, Nelson believes that will change once the James Webb Space Telescope launches later this year.
'We are already finding examples of other planets around other suns, when we launch the James Webb telescope in November, it will appear back in time, almost to the beginning and additional information will find more planets,' he said.
Meanwhile, space and UFO enthusiasts believe that the US government is covering something up after excluding top-secret information from Friday's report, prompting claims the government is shielding information.
Luis Elizondo, the former director of the Pentagon's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, said he he believes the majority of UFO sightings go unreported in the military, and that the new report only captures a fraction of sightings.
'A large majority of reporting goes unreported. Why? The stigma and taboo... involving this topic, so one can surmise there's actually a lot more than just 144 incidents involving the Navy and just last year and a half,' Elizondo said,
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.