AIAA seeks answers on UAP topic

By Toby Martinez
and Shane Frakes
Roswell Daily Record

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has established an Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Integration and Outreach Committee, which seeks to improve aerospace safety by enhancing scientific knowledge of and mitigating barriers to the study of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP).

Ted Roe, a founding/steering committee member of the AIAA UAP/Aviation Safety program, has been at the cutting edge of this movement, with his involvement in National Aviation Reporting Center On Anomalous Phenomena, the UAP Medical Coalition and now the AAIA UAP Outreach Committee. Roe agrees that there is a need for people to work together and collaborate on data collection and analysis to help move the field forward.

Roe says, “It was the ODNI report’s assertion that UAP exists as described and are a hazard to aviation that initiated a response from AIAA, beginning with an invitation to present our findings at the AV21 conference. There were five presenters. The theme was ‘Advocating for scientific research of unidentified aerial phenomena.’ We were all invited back to set up a dedicated UAP committee inside AIAA. Personally, it was a courageous move to step up and bring the considerable experience and resources of the AIAA to bear. The senior leadership and our executive sponsors deserve acknowledgment and respect. It’s been an absolute privilege to help design and implement this program and work with talented and motivated members.”

Ryan Graves, a former Navy pilot and chair member of the committee, emphasizes the importance of collaboration, stating, “We need to get people to start working together, to have a discussion and not shut each other down.” The push for collaboration comes after increased air safety concerns have been raised by unidentified objects in our airspace. The AIAA UAP Outreach Committee hopes to lead the charge for open and collaborative scientific exploration of the topic, helping to eliminate the stigma surrounding the study of UFOs.

Graves noted these objects had been spotted in our skies during his time with the Navy. “I was an F-18 pilot in the Navy, and although we didn’t actually know they were UAPs or UFOs at the time, we were seeing objects on our radar that were causing us to have to change our flight areas. So we just essentially are running into these objects and we didn’t quite know what they were. And, you know, long story short, we’re still kind of asking questions about it, and here we are.”

Graves added, “The conversation has shifted a bit when we found out they weren’t really ours, and we still can’t really figure out what it is.”

As Graves notes, “We’re in a unique position to learn more about these things, and we should take advantage of that. We started building out a network within the AIAA and elsewhere in order to gain support from the relevant skill sets and people and stakeholders that we would need in order to be successful. Right now, what that means is that we have about, you know, 55 to 60 people in all, scientists and engineers or folks from academia that are part of the committee.”

Roe noted, “The process is about mitigating safety factors. And whether that becomes like a detection protocol, some kind of method machine that you put on the airplane or on the ground or in space or all three you know, or some other process, we’ll figure that out.

That’s what we’re looking at. That’s our primary mission. And the whole thing is made up of professionals. Everybody there is either a program or project manager or they’ve all got aeronautics and astronautics backgrounds.”

The need for science to take UAP seriously was echoed in a letter sent by members of the U.S. Senate to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks and Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stacey Dixon regarding the implementation of Section 1683 of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the development of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). The letter, co-signed by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), requested assistance in securing the necessary funding and organizational support for AARO’s success and longevity.

The letter suggested the success of the AARO will depend on robust funding for its activities and cooperation between the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. The lack of funding for these capabilities presents a serious impediment to AARO’s mission. The letter urged the DOD to reprogram funds to cover this serious funding gap and requests a briefing on the agencies’ plan to implement the dual reporting of AARO to the leadership of the DOD and the intelligence community. Additionally, the letter urged the DOD to ensure that AARO is funded appropriately in FY 24 and that robust funding is requested for FY 25.

As Jacques Vallee notes in his book “Forbidden Science: Journals 1957-1969”, published in 1992, “The invisible college, whatever its merits or flaws, existed because there was a vacuum in the scientific community.” The AIAA UAP Outreach Committee is now working to fill that scientific vacuum and take a collaborative approach to understanding UAP.

To that end, Roe said, “There are 108 technical committees that deal with every aspect of aeronautics and astronautics. Engineers and scientists. Propulsion. You name it. Physics of every kind. And so there’s a huge brain thrust in all of that this has never had. And I don’t think there’s ever been an effort stood up in the world so far as intense as this program is.”

Roe added, “We’re not trying to prove anything, we’re just trying to find out what’s going on.”

The collaboration and dedication of organizations like the AIAA UAP Outreach Committee and the government’s increasing efforts to take the study of unidentified anomalous phenomena seriously are crucial steps towards uncovering the truth about these phenomena and bringing this topic into the mainstream of scientific research. The potential implications of this research could be significant, and the topic must be approached with a scientific and open-minded perspective, as Roe stated, “The conversation now is how do we collect data?”