The Austin Chronicle

After UFO Whistleblower Testimony, UT Prof Says: Let’s See Some Evidence

By Lina Fisher, July 27, 2023, 3:16pm, Newsdesk

Yesterday Congress held a hearing on the possibility the U.S. is concealing evidence of UFOs – or their official nickname, UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena).

Former Air Force intelligence officer David Grusch said he knows of multiple colleagues that have been physically injured by UAPs, that pilots with “nonhuman biologics” have been found at crash sites, and alleged the misappropriation of funds toward a secret program that reverse engineers UAPs in a race with other countries. Grusch's claim is that the U.S. government has known about the existence of nonhuman visitors since the 1930s, though the Pentagon has denied it.

So this proves aliens are real, right? “I would be the happiest, happiest astronomer on Earth if that would be real,” says Michael Endl, an astronomer and professor of an intro astrobiology course called The Search for Extraterrestrial Life. “But produce the bodies.”

Endl says he only spends “like half a lecture” discussing UFOs, because “we can't study them. We can only study usually pretty crappy videos.” This testimony, even before Congress, won't change anything about his class: “Because in science, it's always about the evidence. I tell my students all the time, it's a known thing in human psychology that eyewitness reports’ reliability is just incredibly bad.” Even when the Department of Defense released three navy pilot videos of unexplained aircraft in 2020, Endl says, experts could quickly explain them as glare on an infrared camera.

Plus, the vast majority of these reports are in the U.S.; Endl is from Europe, and finds it funny that “it's almost like the aliens only want to take out the American military or visit the U.S. Just because you can't explain what that was doesn't immediately make it an alien spacecraft. Since the 30s we kind of are trained to make this incredible mental jump from ‘Wow, this is a weird behaving light in the sky and I don't know what it is,’ to ‘It's gotta be a spaceship from Alpha Centauri or somewhere.’”

But there is a legitimate field of inquiry into life on other planets; it’s Endl’s field of research: “I'm an old school astronomer who is hunting exoplanets. I'm mostly interested in planets that are potentially habitable. So we find them at the right distance to the star, so that it's not too cold or too hot.” Scientists also study biosignatures, or signals that there might be life on a planet, like chemicals in the atmosphere that wouldn’t be produced otherwise; for example, geologically, Earth could not produce the 20% oxygen in its atmosphere without life. They also study extremophiles, or microorganisms that thrive under extreme conditions: “Even now, we could imagine them being completely happy on Mars.”

If there are aliens, Mars is the most likely planet in our solar system to have housed them. There's plenty of water there, “it's just mostly ice at the moment. It is clear that it had, in the past, a much warmer climate, a much denser atmosphere. There is compelling evidence for this. We're currently trying to figure out how long this period lasted. But in that period of time, there was already life on Earth emerging.”

As for “nonhuman biologics” piloting UAPs to Earth, “I would love that this would be real. But we had reports about alien people walking around on Earth since the 1930s. None of this has ever turned out to be real. Or at least none of this was ever backed up with any compelling evidence.”

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